Gang-style police raid migrants’ houses, robs them from valuables and cash – statement by the “movement united against racism and the fascist threat”
The “movement united against racism and the fascist threat” has issued the following statement in response to the near-inconceivable events taking place in the neighbourhoods around the axis of Acharnon Street in central Athens (including the neighbourhoods of Agios Panteleimonas, Attikis Sq, Victoria and Amerikis Sq) over the course of the past few months.
A gang of police and ‘local residents’ has been profiting on a regular basis within the past few months in the wider area around Acharnon Str, storming into houses and looting whatever they can get their hands on. The same gang, in fact, appeared three times immediately prior to cleaning-up operations by the national and the municipal police, demanding money from the street traders in order to avoid the coming police attack against them.
Two examples of the gang’s operations:
- On Wednesday, January 11th, they stormed into a house by breaking down its door. Five policemen took part in this operation. Once in the house, they started smashing cupboards while the tenants told them ‘we have the keys for you to open them up’. They found boxes of cigarettes and 600 euros — they took it all without filling in any confiscation form. They also took credit cards with their pin numbers and immediately after that they withdrew 700 euros from an ATM. They injured an individual in their eye with a fist blow. This was the third time they demanded money from them in the past month alone.
- On November 9th, the same group entered another house and demanded they were handed over 1500 euros. One of the migrant tenants, alarmed, started collecting money from all those present and reached the sum of 1145 euros. Then, they took him downstairs, handcuffed, put him into a car and started driving him around to allow time for the others to collect the remainder of the sum they had demanded! While en route, the policemen where particularly talkative and showed him spots where they collect money from selling heroin, hashish, etc.
The name of one of the policemen as well as the number plates of their cars are known to our group.
I am convinced that this denouncing statement will fall in deaf ears, judging from the immunity that these criminal racist gangs of the area seem to enjoy, with everyday pogroms that begin at around 6.30 pm in Attikis Square and commence five hours later with baseball bat blows and the robbing of personal items of migrants on the doorstep of the church in Agios Pantaleimonas. The identification of extremely well-known people participating in these criminal acts daily has yet to take place [by the police].
You might issue all the fines you want, but you cannot silently legalise so obvious cases of illegal police activity. If these people are not police, then who is it covering up for them, and accompanying them in such a systematic and uncontrollable activity?
On behalf of the ‘movement united against racism and the fascist threat’,
Petros Konstantinou, member of the municipal council of Athens, tel. 6932828964