Villa Amalia (Athens)

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Villa Amalia, exterior view, March 2019

Villa Amalia is the name of the building that hosted the former Second High School of Athens in Greece. It is located on the corner of Acharnon and Heiden streets, near Victoria metro station. It was an anarchist squat before its eviction in 2012. It reopened as a school in 2016.

Social centre[edit]

Villa Amalia was occupied since 1990, making it one of the oldest Greek squats.[1]

In its lifetime as a squat, the centre organised cultural events such as political debates and film screenings. The authorities claimed that violent protesters were protected within the villa after anti-austerity demonstrations.[2]

Villa Amalia was evicted in December 2012.[3] The police claimed to have found materials to make 1500 molotov cocktails. [4] The centre was one target in a police campaign to evict up to 40 known squats throughout Greece.[5] SYRIZA was critical of the eviction, blaming the government for using it as a distraction from bigger scandals.[4]

150 anarchists attempted to reoccupy the building on January 9, 2013.[6] They regained possession and were then evicted again by the police with 92 arrests. Protesters gathered with banners pledging solidarity and occupied the offices of Greek social-democratic party DIMAR. The police then raided another squat nearby and in response people blockaded the entrance of a building where Prime Minister Antonis Samaras was supposed to give a talk.[4]

Thousands of people soon took to the streets in support of the arrestees. The crowd, estimated at 8,000 people by the organizers and at 3,000 by the police, marched through central Athens to the law courts. All 92 arrestees were charged with trespassing on public property and then released.[7]

School[edit]

The Mayor of the City of Athens Giorgos Kaminis announced in February 2013 that the building would be transformed back into a school or cultural center. It had been sealed off to prevent reoccupation by anarchists.[8]

It reopened as a high school in September 2016.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Article about the squat in Athens Indymedia (in Greek)
  2. ^ Dabilis, Andy. "Greek Police Arrest 100 Squatter Protesters". Greek Reporter. Retrieved 19 April 2014.
  3. ^ Thrasybulus (20 December 2012). "Ongoing raid on Villa Amalias squat in Athens". Libcom. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  4. ^ a b c "Police raid Villa Amalia squat". Ekathimerini. 20 December 2012. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  5. ^ "Σχέδιο εκκένωσης των καταλήψεων θα εφαρμόσει η ΕΛ.ΑΣ". in.gr. Retrieved 19 April 2014. (in Greek)
  6. ^ Thrasybulus (9 January 2013). "Attempted reoccupation of Villa Amalias". Libcom. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  7. ^ Dabilis, Andy (12 January 2013). "Anarchists Rally Supports Squatters Rights". Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  8. ^ "Villa Amalia to be revamped with EU funds, mayor says". Ekathimerini. 8 February 2013. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  9. ^ "Renovated squat Villa Amalia reopens as Athens high school". Ekathimerini. 9 September 2016. Retrieved 20 April 2019.

External links[edit]


Coordinates: 37°59′36.77″N 23°43′37.51″E / 37.9935472°N 23.7270861°E / 37.9935472; 23.7270861