Author Archives: encounterathens

Athens: open assembly

a first step towards the coordination of collective action for housing rights

19O-Athens-housing is a right not a commodity                   19O-Athens-open assembly

On the European day of action for housing rights, more than 120 people gathered at Eleftherias square in Athens, in order to participate at the first open assembly on the right to housing and the right to the city. Participants represented a range of groups and organisations and voiced their  concerns about the housing situation and the forthcoming measures and reflected on future actions.

The main issues that were discussed focused on the forthcoming liberalization of auctions of foreclosed houses and the general attack (via increased taxation) on homeowners and small property owners.

Other points that were made include the issue of increased homelessness and of people living on the streets and/or in highly inadequate housing;  the problems faced by the former beneficiaries of the Workers Housing organisation; the problems faced by a number of social groups (such as young people and students, older people or vulnerable social groups) that see the existing social infrastructure closing down and the (already limited) welfare provisions further curtailed.

The general feeling was that there is a need of a broader coordination among groups, individuals and organisations in order to collectively resist against the expanding housing crisis and to develop alternative practices and policies with the participation of movements and grassroots organisations.

Ideas for next steps fall under three broad directions:

  • the need to inform, network and mobilise affected people, but also to create a broad alliance for housing rights,
  • the need to develop alternative social housing and welfare policies based on existing resources and know-how and,
  • the need to develop alternative and radical practices that can directly answer immediate housing problems and needs in a collective way.
Collectives that participated:
Coordination of assemblies of Attika against auctions, Embros Theater Occupation, Encounter Athens, Members of local assemblies (DIKAEX, Perama, Chalkida, Ambelokhpoi, Akadimia Platonos), Members of the municipal council (Municipal left parties Anoihth Polh and Adarsya stis Geitonies), Members of the youth of Syriza, Members of the Architects’ Association of AttikaNetwork for the right to housing and habitat, Open assembly of Engineers, Solidarity for all, Workers of the Workers Housing Organisation, Workers, students and professors of the school of Architecture, NTUA
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Athens: call for common action and open assembly, 19Oct, 12:00, Eleftherias sq.

Greece is facing an acute housing crisis, part of broader socio-economic crisis of the last four years. Under the memorandum and austerity politics, imposed by the Troika and the Greek governments,  the right to housing and the right to the city are severely violated. Due to the rapid impoverishment of the majority of the population and the rising unemployment, an increasing number of people are forced to live in precarious and inadequate housing; even on the streets.

The gradual liberation of auctions of primary housing and small property (suspended until December 2013), the excessive increase on property taxation (irrespective of income or ability to pay), the abolition of the Workers’ Housing Organisation (2012) as well as the broader cuts in welfare provision and benefits are only some of the governments’ measures that jeopardize the right to housing while destroying peoples’ lives.

Against this “crisis regime” an open assembly is organised on Saturday 19th October 2013 inviting social groups, organisations, associations, local assemblies and movements, local residents and interested individuals to share their experiences and views on the expanding housing crisis and to deliberate on common demands and actions in order to (re)claim and safeguard the right to housing and the right to the city for all.

more information (in greek):

No auctions – No evictions

Dignified housing for all

syntagma-kanena spiti

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