Anti-torture demo, over death of electroshocked immigrant, leads to clashes with riot police, arrests and occupation of city hall, in Nikea, an industrial suburb of Athens.
The city hall of Nikea, an industrial and prominently communist suburb of Athens, is under occupation since Saturday 17/10 afternoon by anarchists demanding the release of people arrested during clashes with riot police outside the police department where a Pakistani immigrant, Mohamed Karman Atif, was tortured by beating and electric shocks ileading to his death last week
The demo, organised by several anarchist collectives, marched to the police station, where it was confronted by strong riot police forces. The protesters tried to break through the blockade by throwing stones to the police. In the clashes that ensued several people were detained, out of which some are being reported as arrested and charged.
The protesters then regathered and occupied the city hall in a surprise move. The mayor of the suburb, a Communist Party (KKE) cadre, has visited the occupied city hall and has declared that the police should by no means attempt to evacuate the 300 protesters who remain in it, nor arrest anyone leaving the premises.
What follows is the first communique of the occupied city hall:
Communique of the Occupied City Hall of Nikea
400 protesters gathered today October 17 in the streets of Nikea in a march of rage against the recent assassination of the 25 year old pakistani immigrant Mohamed Karman Atif by torture in the police station of Nikea, a march called by anarchist collectives and a local assembly of the area. We crossed the main streets of the area, from the house of the murdered man and moved towards the police station. Strong riot police forces (MAT) and motorised police forces (Z-team) that “accompanied the demo have proved the official stance of the now Socialist Ministry of Public Order (Ministry of Citizens Protection): whitewashing and protecting torturers murderers, the police occupation of the area. All that was happening will continue as normal: beatings, torture, humiliations in all the police stations of the country. During the protest march there was strong rain. But what rained near the police station of Nikea was not just water drops. The riot police brigade blocking the way to the police station received a rain of stones. The organised continuation of the march and the retreat from the hot-spot was hampered by a combined force of riot policemen at the back and on the sides of the march. Our defenses held, while locals from the sidewalks swore and verbally attacked the police army of occupation. Yet, in a cloud of tear gas and glob attacks some got cut off from the march and as a result they were detained. The march was completed in the location perivolaki, as planned and given the detentions a great number of the protesters moved to occupy the city hall demanding the immediate release of the hostage comrades. Some people who decided to leave were stopped by motorised police forces and were also detained. The exact number of detentions is yet not known, but is certainly double-digit. The process of arrest has already started for some. This is the apex of the new state dogma of “democracy and strength” as announced by the new minster of Public Order Michalis Chrisochoidis against the world of the insurgency and anyone potentially resisting. It is like two days ago during the demo of the Perama shipyard workers and unemployed at the Ministry of Labour. It is like the now police-occupied Exarcheia. It is like the recent persecutions of high-school occupations. It will be the same with the dockworkers of Peiraeus who are against the sell-out to COSCO, or the 1,400 workers of the Skaramangas shipyards threatened to be sacked.Police barbarity is only the repressive side of state-capitalist barbarity: oppression, exploitation, subjugation, death. The new political management’s main role is to manage the social dimension of the crisis of our times: the all-expanding disobedience to and clash with the demands of political and economic power. There is no place for illusions. No change will come from no new government. This has always been the case.State terrorism continues and with it continues the struggle for social and individual liberation, for a free world without power.
Immediate release of detained protesters!
Removal of all accusations against them!
Immediate retreat of all police forces from the neighborhoods of Nikea and from around the city hall!
The assembly of the occupied city hall of Nikea.
The municipal workers association of Nikea stand in solidarity with anarchists occupying the city hall since Saturday
As the occupation of the city hall of Nikea enters its third day, the support of locals so visual during the protest march regarding the police torture and death of Mohamed Karman Atif, which led to serious clashes with the police and 8 arrests last Saturday 17/10, has been expressed in a communique by the municipal worker’s association of Nikea.
Communique of Workers Association of the municipality of Nikea about murder–detentions-occupation
Nikea City Hall is occupied by anarchist groups from the afternoon of Saturday after a protest, for the death of the unfortunate Pakistani immigrant that took place in the Police Station of Nikea.
The Workers Association demands that the forces of repression leave from within the boundaries of the historic City of Nikea. The occupation of the City Hall by the protesters is a political act, and the attempt to criminalise it is unacceptable and undemocratic.
The workers of Kokkinia [red neighborhood] disapprove strongly the attack of the forces of repression against the demonstrators and the mindless use of chemical gasses in a densely populated area. The police rule imposed cannot intimidate protesters and workers.
We demand the immediate clarification of the case of the death of our fellow human being, the immigrant. We call the Minister of Protection of Citizens [Minister of Public Order] to deal himself with this dark case and not attempt to conceal or whitewash this tragic case.
The Association of Workers protests strongly against xenophobia and racism that extreme-right centers and para-centers are trying to impose on Greek society.