This video offers a brief update on some of the political struggles taking place this winter in the city of Chania (Crete, Greece) as well as a summary of the solidarity movement of Rosa Nera squat against the far-right nepotistic regime.
In response to the violent state-wide suppression of popular struggles under the false guise of public safety, weekly neighborhood demonstrations have been taking place since December – highlighting the mismanagement of the pandemic and its exploitation by the forces of reaction. As a result, the movement has been able to reclaim the streets and the right to dissent under the authoritarian climate that prevails.
In January, a new cycle of popular mobilizations arose nation-wide in response to a flagrant neo-liberal assault on the public character of universities. Measures include a costly unconstitutional police corps and the enrichment of private educational institutions. This vendetta politic reflects the contempt of the oligarchy to the student movements legacy of resistance.
The exceptional dynamic of resistance in Chania is nourished by the outgrowth of political organizing and networks around “Rosa Nera”. Rosa Nera refers to the political occupation of 16 years located in the heart of the old town, whose eviction in September of 2020, resulted in a solidarity movement and mass mobilizations not seen in years. The squat was the heart of grassroots cultural and political life and one of the few spaces of social existence organized outside the laws of the market. Beyond hosting people and events, some of its publicly accessible infrastructures included a library, children’s space, theater, communal garden, public kitchen, and anti-consumer gift bazaar.
The repression of the squat coincides with a corrupt business scheme between a phantom company, the university administration, and the government for a planned hotel complex. Beyond the detriment of unfettered touristification in making the city hostile to its own residents, the enterprise has an inherent goal of undermining the political movement and accessibility to space for self-organization. The immediate aftermath of the police eviction saw thousands of solidarians take to the streets and the creation of large popular assemblies. Under the slogan “they closed Rosa, now we open the city” the solidarity assembly has been spearheading the local resistance to the regime.
This February, in response to the hotel development proposal to the municipality, the assembly created its own counter-proposal, encapsulating 16 years of experience into a new dynamic vision of horizontally self-organized public space. The struggle continues.