Greece: Anarchists clean Exarchia from dealers

Hier kun je discussieren over Greece: Anarchists clean Exarchia from dealers.
The media and the police had a few days to speculation before at Athens Indymedia released a message explaining the situation. We learn from him that the attackers were local anarchists , and abducted this influential dealers of Albanian origin.

The authors refer to a " political intervention ", the aim of which was to " send a clear message ." With further fragments the statement we learn about what exactly the message mean :

"From now on , hostile behavior towards politically active patrons of the area , residents, meeting places will no longer be tolerated. Do not leave the historic district of Exarchia at the mercy of various sorts of gangsters. "

Greek police similarly interprets these events, claiming that they are the result of the ongoing conflict between the anarchists and the Albanian mafia , which controls a large part of the drug trade in Athens. According to local media , it is not known what happened to the two captives people.


social cleansing is not ok

Brrrr, I can only hope the original explanation in greek was ok, because this posting by 'veganarchist' is rather scary. People who think that themselves and their ideas are 'pure', and want to 'clean' the city from [fill here in which ever group that is not your own and that you'd like to see gone: junkies, dealers, albanians?…], that's a scary idea and it has little to do with anarchism.

Anarchism and social crime

I totally do not agree with you. Gangsters, mobsters or who-ever can be just as oppressive as the state and I think it is very desirable that communities can defend themselves against them. Next to that I think it is just that people can oppose those who spread poison into the communities or those who try and take advantage of the 'lawless' situation of liberated areas.

In the article I don't read anything specifically against Albanians, nor against users (eg. junkies).

I think self-determination and self-justice is a fair part of anarchism. I think the dream of an anarchism where everybody is happy dancing in some kind of hippy-world without conflict is an illusion, but doesn't make anarchism any less appealing. It just means that in case of social crime, we ourselves got to do it and not 'hire' others (eg. cops or security folks) to do so.

Don't forget that on the other hand these criminal entities were also often driven into these neightbourhoods to wreck the social structures and appeal of communities, to disrupt them. This kind of getting 'cleansing' has also happened for instance in Italy in the '70's by the Autonomists with liberated/revolutionary neighborhoods. This action is nothing new and personally I applause it. Many liberated zones got flooded by dealers and the likes and mostly do the hood no good.

i agree

I'm not an anarchist but for the rest I agree with your comment.

I don't know about the situation in that neighbourhood, but I thought that this was more like an action of the Golden Dawn.

It is not ok. that drugs are not legal. So there's nothing wrong with selling it, even if its illegal. And its only the repression what is causing all the problems 'connected' to drugs.

Now two people have been abducted. Rather serious shit. Looks like a war is going on between two gangs. An action like this can only be justified by very serious reasons, that should be given in a well documented statement. Without such a statement to me this is only gang warfare or even worse: fascist tendencies.

Very sad to hear how Greece is going down, after being looted by the financial world criminals. The real bad guys here are the Dijsselbloems.

the situation and the response

drug dealers are encouraged in exarchia by the police. ie not stopped, left alone to sell heroin and other substances. the situation has gotten pretty bad in exarchia, full of drug addicts and quite undesirable to live or hang around there.

the problem is not condisered the junkies themselves, greece is in a state of financial meltdown and many, many people have decided to opt out of life and to simply become dependent on drugs. instead of accepting this state encouraged destruction of a neighbourhood, the anarchists have appeared to have taken the bull by the horns and taken steps to solving the problem.

many steps have been taken in exarchia, my favourite step is the opening of a squatted medical centre with proffessionals voluntarily working there including dentists, doctors and sychologists.

in my opinion when all has been weighed out and the drug dealers won't leave of their own accord, then it was time for them to be shown the door.

you are as evil as the police

So in the rest of Athens the drugsscene is chased away by the police, to drive them to Exarchia.

And now the 'anarchists' who claim to be the gvt. of Exarchia do the same.

On the one hand you write: "the problem is not condisered the junkies themselves" but on the other hand: "the situation has gotten pretty bad in exarchia, full of drug addicts".

While you admit that using drugs is a CHOICE people make, you DON'T RESPECT that choice. You want to make this choice impossible by removing the dealers, just like the system does (elsewhere). You want to choose for people that they have made the wrong choice.

That you also have opened a medical center is not a wrong thing to do, but I won't go to your psychologues, because your organisation denies free choice. And opening a medical center does not justify street terror in any way!

Today it is the junkies, tomorrow the illegals (also a pretty depressing thing to see, all these homeless people), the hookers, the gays, the gypsies (yes, people are SCARED of them!), etc. The police would love to drive them all to Exarchia so that your gang can hunt them down there.

To me you're just a bunch of thugs, as evil as the police and the system are. Why not legalise drugs in Exarchia and tax the dealers, to use the money to feed all the hungry people and provide shelter for the homeless?

Fucking assholes. I hate your repression mentality! You try to 'solve' problems by getting rid of the people you consider 'problematic'. As I said Golden Dawn will love your action.

Exarchia is dominated by drug

Exarchia is dominated by drug dealers who do not wish a political activity in the district. Protest, demonstration or riot police activity means less business for dealers here's conflict of interest ..

Could you read the fucking

Could you read the fucking post above?

"hostile behavior towards politically active patrons of the area , residents, meeting places will no longer be tolerated."

I think this is a perfectly acceptable practical line. Nobody here is saying ALL drug dealers should be treated like this, or that people should not allowed to do drugs if they want to. This also does not appear in the original news story. What it does say, and give an example of, is that hostile behavior will no longer be tolerated.

If you liberate an area from the police, and/or the police supports criminal elements within that area in order to destabilise it, you need to act against it. If you cannot guarantee you, your friends, neighbor's and co-workers safety and freedom (wherever possible ofcourse with their help), then whatever project you have is doomed to failure, then a 'liberated' area is not possible and you will always have to rely on the police, on the state. One such example is the terrorising/harassing of Occupiers on Beursplein by a handful of gangster-like drunks. Do you want people to simply accept this, because to defend yourself would be authoritarian?

Seriously, what the fuck.

It is not "today the junkies", it is (in the situation of exarcheia) "yesterday the cops, today the gangsters, tomorrow [hopefully] the bureaucrats & capitalists"

Besides, simply because golden dawn would love this action, does not mean that it is a wrong action. Im sure alot of other people (like those threatened and/or attacked by these gangsters) also love this action. In addition, golden dawn members also eat and sleep, does that mean i should be opposed to eating and sleeping??

I've read the fucking headlines

I've read the fucking headlines. It says anarchist 'clean' Exarchia from DEALERS!

Seriously. Of course i have read this insinuations: "hostile behavior towards politically active patrons of the area , residents, meeting places will no longer be tolerated."

If the dealers are behaving hostile towards legitimate activities of the (other) residents you should make their hostile behaviour your focus. But first you should prove this. This is only an insinuation.

Thats why I asked for a documented statement, justifying your drastic action. You only answered that "the situation has gotten pretty bad in exarchia, full of drug addicts and quite undesirable to live or hang around there."

I consider abduction a crime and drugdealing not. Anyway (almost) evrybody will agree that abduction is a BIGGER /worse crime then drugdealing. To me you are thugs. And not because you have your own 'police' (which can be a good thing, if supported by the residents, and working to uphold fair laws), but because this 'anarchist' police is a bad as the normal police.

your are jumping to

your are jumping to conclusions, based on nothing. I also would like to read a more full statement from the people involved in this. But I don't know them (obviously). And as long as there is no bigger statement, "hostile behavior towards politically active patrons of the area , residents, meeting places will no longer be tolerated" is the statement. And if that indeed is the case, the action taken was legitimate. Is this only an insinuation? Yes, from where we are standing, this is all we see. As it is with all 'news' we read. It is my personal judgement however, that it is likely true, cuz among drug dealers there are many bastards. It might not be, but I cannot know.

In addition, I know of no reports of random attacks on drug dealers, junkies etc etc as such. This is the first thing I have ever heard about anarchists in exarcheia, or even greece for that matter, to act against drug dealers. This lends support to my belief that they only target the real fuckers.

In addition "You only answered that "the situation has gotten pretty bad in exarchia, full of drug addicts and quite undesirable to live or hang around there."", it was not me who said that. I will sign my posts from now on with the name here above.

nn "you are as evil as the

nn "you are as evil as the police", who denounces the activist 'law and order' initiative (to start activities against hard drug dealers in the neighborhood) is probably active in some nice well to do town in Holland, where the neighborhood junkie is well kept by neigbors and police and thus thinks he can scorn and yell orders at activists in other places that he calls "fucking assholes". But reality is that if you kick the state out somewhere, you have to find new ways to organise your neighborhood and the safety of its inhabitants. Leaving the floor to the worst maffia is not an option, they will use the neighborhood for their gain and spit it out and move to the next. This is difficult and makes dirty hands, but it is necessary and painful. There will be no utopias within the capitalist system (and probably not even without, if we ever can live that time).

I cannot order anyone

I cannot order anyone to do this or do that. I am only giving my opinion from what I read and that is that someone is applauding abduction here and that there are no reasons (I can agree with) given to justify that.

I started my first comment saying I don't know about the situation in that neigbourhood.

Only in his/her 2nd comment other nn mentioned that this area is apparently "liberated" from the police/ the state. Thats fine with me if the state you make there instead is better then the state that has been kicked out.

That means that if your special hooded police unit is making arrests, you should immediately (and not after 3 days) release a statement that makes it clear to EVERYBODY:
- what your authority is (that can only be that a large proportion of the population is supporting your gvt.)
- what the law is that you uphold (from what I understand that is 'dealers have to go because they attract these awful junkies'. I don't call that "liberated".)
- what the charges are against the people arrested, and what now will happen with them.

Non of that is given, neither in the article or in the comments.

You (Kees) suggest that the dealers who were attacked are the "worst maffia". Other nn refers to them as "gangsters" and "criminals". But neither of you explains what is so bad about them. If it is that they are selling drugs, I don't agree. If you claim they terrorise other residents I need proof of that before I believe it. For now you are (supporting) people who are abducting other people without any serious justification. That's why I call you thugs. Of course you don't have to care about what I think, but if you want to build support for your "liberated zone" you'd better explain it all very clearly.

Does it matter if I know junkie misery first hand? Well actually one of my friends OD'd. And I'm sure this wouldn't have happened if drugs were legal. Yes where I live it is rather safe, except for the police that is harassing evrybody who is in any way 'different' then the 'normal' residents. I would like to see them gone, but not if they are going to be replaced by other thugs who are doing the same thing.

Again ""From now on , hostile

Again
""From now on , hostile behavior towards politically active patrons of the area , residents, meeting places will no longer be tolerated. Do not leave the historic district of Exarchia at the mercy of various sorts of gangsters."
Thats what it says clearly in the statement.

"If you claim they terrorise other residents I need proof of that before I believe it"

The comrades in greece claim this is the case. Yes, i would also like to see proof, but even if there's a ton of proof thats rather hard to see all the way from the netherlands.

In addition, it says that ACCORDING TO LOCAL MEDIA it is not known what happened to the people abducted. That does not know that people who live in the area do not know. Anarchists, especially the exarcheia (literal meaning: outside of power, ex-archeia) -type despise the media and have their own channels of communication.

I can agree that we might be jumping to the conclusion that this is a good thing, that it is self-defense that happened, but then please also admit that you are jumping to the conclusion that this is 'social cleansing' and not legitimate self-defense.

In the end we cannot know because we were not there. All i say is that IF "hostile behavior towards politically active patrons of the area , residents, meeting places" did indeed happen, and it came from the direction of those abducted, what happened is a good thing because exarcheia and its inhabitants should not be left/leave themselves to " the mercy of various sorts of gangsters".

PS: I also use drugs from time to time, and had periods where I did way too much. The same goes for some of my friends. I do not think all dealers are bad. But some are real bastards. I agree drug trade should be legalised, but as in any kind of trade, those at the top (the capitalists/bosses, whether legal or illegal) tend to be exploitative bastards who live on the backs of others, who got rich by screwing people over. I do not have more sympathy for the illegal version of a boss simply because they are usually at odds with the current state as well (which is, also, not always the case; drugs have been consciously used to undermine social movements on many occasions, and there is also the story about the Mafia and the CIA working together i believe to assassinate Fidel Castro).

And please let's not forget that drugs (as is alcohol and tobacco) are very, very, very bad for your health, both physical and mental. And this comes from a recreational drug user who drinks and smokes.
(yes i can also agree that there are some benefits, even apart from it simply being fun, but this is all in moderation, especially with drugs. They can completely destroy you, if not kill you. And what is in the best interest of the drug dealer? That you do ALOT. More profit for him. The more you destroy yourself, the more he/she profits... although a dead junkie is ofcourse not a profitable junkie, there are ways of existing that I would not really call life either).

Good action. It is not to the

Good action. It is not to the anarchists to decide who does drugs and who doesn't and judge them on this basis. Nor to make a classification of which drugs are o.k. to use by anarchist ideology. The drug dealers are not victims of the war on drugs waged by the state, the only victims here are the junkies and their families and surroundings. The drug dealers are, even if they are forced in illegality by the state and maybe also mainly because of this, the most extreme capitalists around. The whole drug trade system is based only on accumulation. The drugs dealer doesn't add surplus value to anything , he just buys, divides and sells the smaller quantities for bigger prices. It is a big mistake to act as if the drug dealers would be our friends just because they are just as the anarchists actively repressed by the state, they are in it for the profit ,no matter what the cost. I could go on forever about how drug dealers are just illegal capitalists with virtually no limitations on use of force or the damage they do to individuals and society. Funny thing also how people can approve of revolutionary violence to political opponents but at the same time 'tolerate' dealers around them which do a lot more direct and visible damage to them and their friends than any random bonehead of right wing politician.
Thumbs up for exarchia !

"Exarchia is dominated by

"Exarchia is dominated by drug dealers who do not wish a political activity in the district. Protest, demonstration or riot police activity means less business for dealers here's conflict of interest .."

it's obvious.

Any shop-owner is worried about riots.

Any shop-owner is worried about riots.
Though its usually the fault of the police when riots break out, the people who organise demonstrations also have a responsability to keep it safe for everybody.

I still didn't read what the people who are abducted have done wrong.

If you want to act like a gouvernment do it proper and make a law.
Abduction is a serious crime. If you want to make it a legal arrest you need a law, voted for by at least a large proportion of the population.

Still I believe that even a majority has no right to outlaw drugs. I don't know what is so different about your 'free state' that you don't legalise drugs.

First , anarchism doesn't

First , anarchism doesn't believe in a legal system of laws. Like Emma Goldman said: 'why laws ? The good people don't need them and the bad people will break them anyway'. Anarchism also does not believe in the power of the majority. Just the fact that the majority of the people agree with a certain statement/policy/law does not imply anything about the truth of this or if it would be an appropriate mean to a certain end. Referring to the majority is only an instrument in (so called) democratic political discourse to legitimise the state apparatus and its intrusion in daily life. Also anarchism stands for direct action. They don't want to make 'legal arrests' or 'outlaw drugs' , they wanted the two dealers to stop their activities. The action is self explanatory. And now you go troll somewhere else , you stupid legalist commie troll....

you people crazy

you people crazy!!!
this appears to be quite the classic indymedia.nl discussion, where a lot of the responces are trying to shadily discredit the activities of people who live in another world. if thats the response the people in the neighbourhood have taken I would generally trust that the action fitted the reality of the situation before, as per indymedia.nl usual, instantly assuming no they're evil.

to the people who try to see this article in such a negative light;please travel to greece. you can book a nice little hotel see all the old stuff, the birth of hypocritical faux democracy and wander through exarchia and take in the situation there. talk to a few people on the street, maybe wait around till night time and then go back to your nice hotel and think about what you've seen and heard and whether its ok for people from a neighbourhood to take action when they perceive there is a problem.

i believe taking steps to kick these vile human beings away from your front door step is a perfectly reasonable response. its not like they're just selling a bit of hash. they're making people or reinforcing their dependancy on these drugs, taking people away from the shit reality they're living in and ulimately pacifying a section of the population and causing misery to the drug addicts and their families.

if someone wants to take drugs then thats their choice, the same as abortion but someone who wants to facilitate the someone destroying their own life. maybe thats not such a good thing.

finally sameone says

finally sameone says samething real in this fucking site .. well done

I'm not a troll

You guessed right that I'm a 'commie' (socialist), but I'm not a troll. I'm just writing my opinion here like you do. Indeed I am a 'legalist'. I believe that people have rights, including: - the right to make a living, - the right to use and buy drugs, - the right not to be abducted, and yes - the right to proportional self-defence. If someone hits you you may block, if they do it again you may hit back with the same force.

Of course I know that dealer-networks often have a gang- or even 'maffia' organisation structure. Of course I'm against it as well if they would impose their power on neighboorhoods without consent of the residents. But I'm not convinced that its them who started this gang war with the anarchists because there is too much "(hard-)drugs are VERY VERY VERY bad" in the comments.

I am not in favour of a "status quo" with the capitalist system and -state. But actually there is no status quo because the system is becoming more and more dictatorial, despite the fact that still a majority votes. (Because you need more democratic rights then only voting to justify the authority of a state.)

I believe that the system can be defeated by the majority, or at least a mass movement. I blame anarchists for refusing to organise in a proper way, that is democratic and open to everybody. I blame people who do individual terrorism like abducting opponents. We can only win the struggle with a mass movement. So everything we do as a left movement should be to get more people involved, (of course without giving up our demands).

Streetfighting can be necessary in selfdefence, but must be avoided as much as possible, because most people don't want a war unless they trust they can win it.

I don't have to go to Greece and see for myself. I'm just responding to the article and the comments. I have an opinion on south-africa and haven't been there either. I also have an opinion on events that happend before I was born, and about groups (like f.ex. gays, who have sexual rights like anybody else) I don't belong to personally.

I do believe that most anarchists are serious in the meaning that they are motivated. And I respect their courage. (When they don't run from police repression f. ex.) But I can not take their political ideas serious. There is always power, so you CAN NOT BE "outside-power". If you control a neighbourhood you are enforcing that power with police. Also if you don't want to call it that. There is nothing wrong with exercising power like this, if you do it in a fair way, based on a fair law, respecting human rights, and justified by the will of at least a large part of the population. If you don't think that is nessecary you are a 'maffia'-gang yourself.

1. You are judging the

1. You are judging the situation and an event in Exarchia based on comments made on a dutch website? What sense does that make?

2. You rip my statement that drugs are very bad out of context. I use them myself. I believe people should be able to buy them (this by definition also t sell). I believe this should be legal/not prevented by others. But they are very bad, as well.

3. People here know the various differences of opinion between communists and anarchists. I don't think this is the place to go over all of them again. As short as possible: we blame you for organising in a way which destroys the revolution, and has lead to the death of millions. Partly because your tactics/strategy take away the confidence, strength and independence of people to act for themselves, having them put their trust in insitutions outside of them (alienated/ing from them), with these institutions in the end turning on them. Leaving them without the confidence, strength and independence to resist them.
Apart from that " everything we do as a left movement should be to get more people involved", begs the question: involved in what? That statement does not actually lay out a strategy, or even a "what is to be done", it just says "more people more people more people": obviously we want to have more people on our side. In fact, i think standing up against thugs also gets more people on our side. But that is not the reason we should stand up to thugs, we should stand up to them because they threaten, intimidate, attack and harass us and those we love.

Apart from the philosophical discussion whether or not we can be outside power (inevitably winding up to be more about semantics than content), I agree that these things should be organised as well as possible. Perhaps, even, it was organised like that (as i said, it is impossible to know from where we are, especially considering anarchists in exarcheia dont talk to the media - you know, that instrument in the hands of the ruling class we refer to when we talk about the places where we are not).
But, in any case, the situation where this organisation is not present, that does not mean you should not stand up to thugs. It also does not preclude it from being a 'self-acting arm of the working class' (to quote lenin for your commie sensitivities).

cleaning Tokio from christians

If I'd read here about someone "cleaning Tokio from christians" I would also protest, even when it was added "hostile actions will no longer be tolerated". (That could also mean: singing psalms.) If it was written that some people (who happen to be christians) have attacked their neighbours [+explanation: what, when, where], and that their neighbours have taken a proportional counteraction I probably wouldn't object. The headline then should be something like "Tokio residents selfdefense against street terror".

I expect poster to know the situation. He/she can always react. You, Kees and nn's seem to speak on behalf of the Exarchia anarchists. You admitted that you also would want to see more proof. (And hey, I'm not asking for proof like fingerprints or pictures, just a clear and believeable statement.) But you are going along with a totally unspecified and indirect accusation to support abduction. So even if the people abducted are indeed the bad guys, then I still think its very wrong to undertake such an action without a solid explanation.

But I must admit that I also wrote it a bit untrue because of course what I wrote about anarchists in general is not a conclusion from only this article. But instead mostly from experience with Dutch anarchists. I've thought about it and maybe nn is right calling me a troll because my agenda is propaganda against anarchism (not against anarchists though), as you are right that my discussion attitude is not too good. Also I should have searched for more information myself first, to speak with more knowledge. (As you can see I added some info about Exarchia from searchresults. But I've still only read half of it.)

I'm not a leninist or stalinist and I agree with your critique (apparently at the sovjetunion and china). I believe the Bolsheviks were right to overthrow the Czar regime, but they should have given the power to the sovjets (councils) as they had promised, not installing a one-party(-elite)-dictatorship.

More people involved for what? I added: "(of course without giving up our demands)" I didn't specify that indeed. My goal is a more equal distribution of wealth, more chances for everybody, and personal (and political) freedom. Therefor I am f. ex. supporting the demand for free immigration = against the detention, exclusion and deportation of undocumented migrants. It is on the one hand very good of the anarchists that they try to put these demands on the agenda. But on the other hand they are excluding most people who might want to join, because often actions are organised explicitly under the black flag and even if not the organisation-structures are still informal, only accessible to people who have the skills and the will to make the right friends in squat café's or whereever. Squat café's that you can get thrown of out because of UNSPECIFIED accusations. Because their law says: 'Accused is guilty'. And apparently that's an anarchist law, because its the same that you say to support this abduction.

One more thing: you indeed agreed with legalisation of drugs, but still drugs being very bad or not is not relevant for the discussion if abduction is justified, neither the fact that the top-bosses in the business are CIA-connected members of the topelite.

nn 3-4 - 11:32 though defends the action because "i believe taking steps to kick these vile human beings away from your front door step is a perfectly reasonable response. its not like they're just selling a bit of hash. they're making people or reinforcing their dependancy on these drugs, taking people away from the shit reality they're living in and ulimately pacifying a section of the population and causing misery to the drug addicts and their families. if someone wants to take drugs then thats their choice, the same as abortion but someone who wants to facilitate the someone destroying their own life. maybe thats not such a good thing."

So even though taking drugs is someones own choice this nn thinks its right to stop someone else from facilitating that choice. But that is the same as taking the choice away. And apparently (?) not only using (hard)drugs but also to have an abortion is a choice he/she wants to take away.

I still have the impression that the Exarchia anarchists' fight against the dealers is in the first place about them being DEALERS. And only in the second place about what else they might have done.
As it is written in the headline.

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