At Notara 26, in the radical neighborhood of Exarchia, Athens, a five-storey house has been occupied to provide living quarters for refugees. There, families and adolescents are provided with accomodation, food, wi-fi and clothes.
Volunteers regularly go out to Viktoria square, in front of the eponymous subway station, to notify refugees of the facilities. These days, most of the people there are Afghans. They come from Piraeus port, wait for money to be wired from home, and then they leave by the nearby busses for the border post of Idomeni. At the moment, only Afghans, Iraqis and Syrians are allowed to pass through to Macedonia.
This morning a group of about 30 people came along from Viktoria square to the squat, bringing its occupant count above 50 people. The capacity of the house is above 100. It is run on donations and voluntary work. Among the jobs there are cleaning the sleeping quarters, washing and sorting clothes and translating for refugees. Food is cooked at several nearby places. There’s also a pharmacy and food collection.
At the squat, children have expressed themselves through art. The pictures provide a grim reminder of what they are running away from. However bad their reception in Europe may be, at least it is mostly free of the brutalities refugees are trying to escape.