Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Today City Plaza Hotel Is One And a Half Years Old.

         Having spent a considerable time in Greece over the years, some of that time on some of the islands, but mainly in Athens, I have great admiration for the activists there. They seem to be able to mobilise in numbers, and to hold onto what they have won, of course it is the numbers and the solidarity they show to each other, that brings them victories.
        One such action which I consider a remarkable achievement is the City Plaza Hotel. Back in 2008, when the financial Mafia went with demand notices to the various states, insisting in getting back their gambling losses, the following "austerity" ideology decimated lots of countries, in Europe, Greece was the worst hit. unemployment rocketed, hotels, shops and workplaces closed their doors, evictions mushroomed, plus Greece was facing a vast influx of refugees. That's when the local activists stepped in, occupied a large empty hotel in the centre of Athens, and housed lots of refugees. That was in April 2016, they are still there today.
      The logistics to keep such an enterprise going over this period of time is a considerable achievement, but they have done it, and are still doing it. The City Plaza Hotel is home to hundreds of refugees, in the centre of Athens, thanks to the local activists, refugees and their supporters.

        On April 22, 2016, 250 activists and refugees took over the hotel City Plaza in the center of Athens. A hotel which like many other businesses stood closed for 6 years after the economic collapse and the government’s policies of austerity. This abandoned hotel was transformed into a Refugee Accommodation and Solidarity Space. Since then the solidarity initiative has, for more than 500 days, provided free and decent housing to over 1700 people in the center of Athens, irrespective of their nationality and residence status. These people are housed in the hotel’s 120 rooms, 350-400 persons at a time, a third of whom are children.
       There are other ways you can measure what’s been happening here over the past 18 months; with the 385,000 warm meals served by the kitchen group or with the 35,000 working hours spent at security posts by the hotel’s entrance and on the balconies of the building. With the 13,560 hours of shifts at the reception desk or with the more than 32,700 rolls of toilet paper distributed by the warehouse team. It can also be counted in 156 full van-loads of fresh vegetables and meat; or in the countless hours spent cleaning the building, or in the medical center, in the hours spent teaching in the two classrooms, or in the women space and in the playground or with the 18 tons of heating oil used in the boilers and radiators.
Read the full story of this wonderful achievement:
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1 comment:

  1. All our solidarity with the struggle of the Greek comrades.