Villa Amalias – Athens -Greece : “Two years after…” the re-occupation! (from ‘slitzi’)
Villa Amalias: “Two years after…” the re-occupation! (from ‘slitzi’)
Two years after … (For the re-occupation of Villa Amalias and what followed, two years later)
– I wrote this text about 1.5 years ago and now I’ve just made a few alterations.
(«Background info»: This time, exactly two years ago, those who intended to re-occupy Villa Amalias (squat) made their last ‘preparations’. Villa Amalias had been occupied from 1990 until mid-late December 2012, when it was invaded and evacuated by the police. The squatters had entered the empty and almost deserted – until then – building, organizing various collective groups and events and renovating it, while many had settled there permanently. At dawn of Wednesday 9 January 2013, approximately 20 days after the police invasion, 93 people managed to sneak into the building without being noticed by the police officers guarding it, knowing that obviously they would be arrested. On Saturday 12 January, the demonstration organized in solidarity with the arrested and occupations in general, was attended by over 10,000 people who came outside the Courthouse, at the time when the people arrested on Wednesday were released. The photo is through the police van, just after the arrest, and it has been the best picture for quite some time.)
We had made the decision on the previous afternoon.
That night I did not sleep at all.
On the one hand, I was looking forward to the next morning.
On the other hand, I thought all I had lived in the Villa.
There was no way I could sleep.
At around five, I left and went to her house.
We would go there together in the morning.
I opened the door with my keys not to wake her up.
I lay down beside her.
I hugged her, kissed her gently not to wake her up, but still could not sleep.
I recalled everything we had lived in the Villa.
I met her there.
And in the morning we were going to get her (the Villa) back.
20 days in their hands, it was unbearable.
I knew that I would be caught.
I did not mind.
She (the Villa) had been 20 days in their hands.
I couldn’t take it any longer.
I did not care about the arrest, the detention, the punishment.
The only thing I was thinking about was the same I thought when I was caught for the first time.
That I would go back in some day.
At any cost.
Some day, I would go back in.
And I did it.
And A. was with me.
And 91 more people.
I will undervalue my feelings if I try to put them on paper.
My feelings when we first opened the door.
When we went up to the roof and opened the banner.
When I had my first stroll around the Villa after 20 days.
And then they came in.
We knew it.
We expected them.
We were all arrested.
We did not bother at all.
We went out shouting loudly and raising our fists.
My one hand was holding hers while the other was raised.
I think this is the best use of hands.
On the vans we went on shouting.
In a while people gathered outside.
They began to shout, too.
We arrived at the police headquarters.
They separated men from women.
We were parted.
I saw her again 3 days later, at the magistrate’s office.
She was outside.
She was let free.
At that moment I was getting in.
I made a move to hug her, but they kept me.
She smiled to me.
One of the best smiles I’ve ever seen.
I go into the magistrate’s office.
After a while, I am also free.
I open the door of the Courthouse.
I see thousands of people rocking the place with their shouts.
I catch a glimpse of her a little further aside.
I rush to her.
Our tongues mix together.
Once again, I take a look at the people.
They are everywhere, as far as I can see.
I have never felt like that before.
I start shouting together with them.
I kiss her again.
We stay there for several hours.
Until everyone is released.
Late at night, I go back home.
I try to realize what I had experienced.
Emotions flood in.
Thousands of feelings.
Above all, however, a huge “I LOVE YOU”.
I LOVE YOU, freedom.
I LOVE YOU, A.
I LOVE YOU, comrade.
I LOVE YOU.
I am very tired.
I lie down and try to sleep.
I get up again.
I open the bag, I get the black spray, go out and fill the walls:
THE PASSION FOR FREEDOM IS STRONGER THAN ALL CELLS.
For the end, four photos from ’91, inside the squat: