GREECE: Patra: History of Parartima. “Parartima was and will remain liberated land”
06.08.2013 by Occupied London
History of Parartima
Patras) is historically associated to severe social struggles. It was used as a
center of struggle for the first time in 1973, when it was occupied by students,
leftists, anarchists and other parts of society during the November uprising
against the junta (dictatorship). It has been the stronghold of intense
mobilizations, demonstrations, and conflicts against local fascists and it was
registered in the conscience of the local community as the main centre of
resistance against the junta.
During the 1980s, the “Parartima” remained active and has been the center
of various and diverse forms of social resistance. For example, it was occupied
and used as a base during the events following the assassination of Kaltezas,
it gathered large parts of students’ and workers’ movements against factory
foreclosures, such as those of Ladopoulos’ and “Peiraiki Patraiki”, it was used
as a center for counter-propaganda regarding the Tiananmen events in China,
and it hosted the first anarchist conference.
In the following years, the “Parartima” was no longer part of Patras University
and it was granted to the Prefecture of Patras. Patras Prefecture, in its turn, handed
it over to the School Buildings Organization, as “Parartima” shared
the same building with a school. Since, the building was not under the university’s jurisdiction
any longer, it did not constitute a police-free zone[after the junta and
according to the constitution, Greek universities
constitute police-free zones] according to the law. The Parartima occupation
has continued by student unions, leftist groups, anarchists and anti-authoritarians
for a three day period as an anniversary event each year.
Since the early 1990s, the Parartima space has been utilized by various
groups organizing cultural events such as concerts and film projections and
so on. It is still considered a roof for political debates and it is directly
associated to events such as the mobilizations following the assassination
of school teacher N. Temponeras by para-state thugs and massive student movements.
In 1992 a big part of Parartima was destroyed by a fire set under unspecified
In the start of 2000s, the Municipality of Patras attempted to convert
Parartima into a sterile conference space with the assistance of concurrent
negative propaganda through newspaper reports against the squatters
by local mainstream media. Τhe need for re-approaching the space and
turning it into an open political and social center had risen up. As a result,
the assembly for re-occupying the space was created by several groups.
Some of these groups took the responsibility for managing and using the
space under specific conditions (anti-hierarchical, anti-media, anti-commercial) which preserved
the open character of Parartima and promoted this space
as an area of free expression and exchange of ideas. The managing assemblies
that followed adopted these conditions. So, at Parartima, direct democracy processes
are taking place along with events with an anti-commercial DIY features and
a variety of other social activities.“Parartima was and will remain liberated land”:
A few words on the targeting of the “Parartima”* occupation in Patras
Since yesterday, those miserable provincial journalists of our little town have
kept reproducing a ready-made story, of the kind that the police distribute
– and that refers to the two occupations of the city of Patras: Parartima and
It appears that they are unable to abstain from the crescendo of authoritarianism
and narking by which you can tell every loyal servant of the memorandum-led
authority. But then, from that point to the erasure of 40 years’ history of social
struggles, there is much of a distance to cover…
We’ll repeat the story, in the off-chance that they remember it.
It is already 40 years now that Parartima serves as a point of reference for the local
community of Patras. It belongs to no-one. Not, of course, for the mayor, nor to
those currently using it. Parartima belongs to all the people of Patras
who have been resisting since November 1973 up to December 2008, from the student
protests of 1991 and Temponeras’ murder to the events of 1985 thatled to Kalteza’s
murder. It belongs to the hundreds of thousands pupils, students and workers of this
town who have at times turned this space into a place of Struggle, Resistance, Solidarity
– in such a way that it is impossible for any resident of this town to ignore its existence.
This is where tens of events take place at a weekly basis; this is where all those
persecuted migrants – by the police’s ‘Xenios Zeus’ operation –– sought asylum last
autumn, a space from where demonstrations and students protests start and where
the revolted dignity of 2008 was crouched together.
What the older ones call ‘university’ and the youngest ‘Parartima’ is actually a social
and not a university asylum, as the lackeys’ rags would have it back in 2008. This is
why power cannot even touch it. And this is something all those arrogant cronk writers
of the various tabloid websites (dete, thebest) know well – but even more than them,
it is something all those who have ever passed through this place know.
The attempt to transfer the ‘war’ from the metropolis to the periphery is not going to be
an easy one. Memories, struggles, the locality of resistance and the roots of struggle,
the multiple meanings that spaces of resistance acquire – they will all form a barrier
against this Law and Order operation.
We are here and we are waiting for you…
PS: If you wish, we can also talk about those 500 million drachmas [approx 1, 5 million
euros – translator] that were spent supposedly in order to convert the space into
a ‘conference centre’, or for the money spent so as to let it rot: we have kept these
disgraceful invoices that we found in the trash…
PS2: We could also talk about the supposedly “accidental” arson of 1992 that preceded
the regeneration of the building…
Parartima was and will remain liberated land.
More information on the past and the present of the space:
* Parartima (lit. Annex) is a building in central Patras where the city’s university was
originally hosted before its relocation to the suburban campus of Rio. Parartima has
been a long-standing political occupation, as explained in the text.
Source: Occupied London