City at a Time of Crisis

 

 

Tracing and researching crisis-ridden urban public spaces

in Athens, Greece.

By Statewatch.org

The city at a time of crisis: Mapping racist attacks in Athens

Since the onset of the financial crisis and subsequent economic policies introduced by the EU, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund in Greece, racism and incidents of racist violence in the country have risen sharply. During 2012, the Racist Violence Recording Network (RVRN) recorded 154 incidents of racist violence. In 91 cases, victims said they believed that the perpetrators belonged to an extremist group. In "at least 8 cases, the victims or witnesses to the attacks reported that they recognised persons associated to Golden Dawn among the perpetrators." The RVRN also reported that "there is a distinct category of 25 incidents where police and racist violence are interlinked," with some attacks taking place in detention centres and police stations, while in others "the involvement of law enforcement officials in racist attacks was also reported." [1]

 

The aim of this map is to provide up-to-date information about racist attacks taking place in Athens and other Greek cities. The map is accessible here:

map.crisis-scape.net

Being constantly updated, it will become an ongoing reference point where the quantity and scale of attacks, their location and severity can be grasped at a glance. The map will highlight and prioritise first-hand reports, yet it will nevertheless include information submitted by individuals, witnesses, mainstream or independent media –– as long as it meets a minimal verification level.

Given the complexity of the legal status and story of each migrant individual identities will remain hidden unless they have already been publicised elsewhere or the person explicitly wishes to publish their identity. This of course also counts for anyone else that might risk police persecution or fascist violence.


Our aspiration is for the map to become a tool for anti-racist and anti-fascist organising locally and for raising international awareness and pressure.

 

Ο στόχος αυτού του χάρτη είναι να παρέχει πληροφορίες σχετικά με τις ρατσιστικές επιθέσεις που λαμβάνουν χώρα στην Αθήνα και σε άλλες ελληνικές πόλεις.

Ο χάρτης είναι προσβάσιμος εδώ:
map.crisis-scape.net

Ο χάρτης ενημερώνεται συνεχώς σε αληθινό χρόνο, και η επιδίωξη είναι να γίνει ένα τρέχων σημείο αναφοράς, όπου η έκταση και ο αριθμός των επιθέσεων, η τοποθεσία και η σοβαρότητά θα είναι ορατή με μια ματιά. Ο χάρτης θα αναδείξει και θα έχει ως προτεραιότητα τις αναφορές, από παθόντες/ούσες, τους/τις γνωστούς/ες φίλους/ες ή συγγενείς τους. Αλλά θα περιλαμβάνει και πληροφορίες που υποβάλλονται από άλλα άτομα, που είτε υπήρξαν μάρτυρες περιστατικών, είτε επιθυμούν να καταγράψουν ένα περιστατικό που είδαν σε επίσημα ή ανεξάρτητα μέσα ενημέρωσης - εφ 'όσον πληροί ένα ελάχιστο επίπεδο επαλήθευσης.

Δεδομένης της πολυπλοκότητας του νομικού καθεστώτος και της εκάστοτε προσωπικής περίπτωσης του κάθε μετανάστη, τα στοιχεία της ατομικής ταυτότητας θα παραμείνουν ανώνυμα. Εκτός εάν έχουν ήδη δημοσιοποιηθεί αλλού ή το θύμα επιθυμεί ρητά να δημοσιεύει η ταυτότητά του/της. Η αρχή της ανωνυμίας μετράει επίσης για οποιονδήποτε άλλο θα μπορούσε να κινδυνεύει από αστυνομική δίωξη ή φασιστικής βία.

Επιδίωξη είναι ο χάρτης να γίνει ένα εργαλείο για την καταπολέμηση του ρατσισμού και να βοηθήσει την κατά τόπους αντι-φασιστική δράση, αλλά και να συμβάλλει στην διεθνή ευαισθητοποίηση και πίεση.

I. The metro is the quintessential blood-line of the metropolis. It traverses it, just like the veins traverse the human body. This, then, becomes one of the fastest rule-of-thumb we have in understanding whether a city holds a metropolitan calibre: is it big enough to have a metro? And so, it seemed perfectly fitting for Athens to acquire its metro system at that exact moment when it had also believed, momentarily, that it gained metropolitan status... the Olympics, the construction boom, the apparent prosperity (for some) –– and the relentless exploitation to match it (for most): somehow, without anyone really ever being able to explain how or why, Athens appeared to be making it; it seemed like it was firmly standing with both feet in the West. For a fleeting moment, Athens had become a Metropolis.

The 11414 phone-line is a widely publicised initiative established by the Greek Ministry of Public Order and Citizen Protection in response to international and domestic criticism of police handling of racist violence, an example of which is a damning report by the Racist Violence Recording Network[1] (henceforth RVRN). Their criticisms included that the police are often more likely to turn people away, beat or arrest them under the pretext of lack of immigration documents than they are of investigating the attacks. Bearing in mind these conditions and the ongoing stream of horror stories that emerge in the Greek media of migrants being attacked and tortured[2], a few things become apparent: that understanding and communicating the actual extent of the issue of racist violence in Greece is very important; that doing this is also very tricky; and that to do it in a manner that will have any effect on the situation is extremely difficult. This is, therefore, a tentative text, written as an introduction to an attempt that might very well fail: to map, on a rolling basis, the attacks on migrants taking place in Athens. The aim is for this mapping to raise awareness of the situation internationally and to act as a tool for counter-action locally. There have been attempts and failures to do similar things before, yet each failure has nevertheless revealed new important details about the rise of fascist violence in Greece, drawing connections to the extent of far right wing support amongst the police, local employment relations, legacies from the Greek dictatorship, national and European immigration policies, austerity and international conflict, particularly with the wars in Syria as well as most of North Africa and Afghanistan. In other words, this issue is not merely a national one but has ties and relevance far beyond the Greek borders.

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About Us

City at the Time of Crisis is a research project tracing and researching the effects of the ongoing financial crisis on urban public spaces in Athens, Greece. Read more...