In Greece, where years of unsustainable government spending have driven the state to bankruptcy, the economic crisis shows no sign of abating. So local anarchists are looking to pick up where the state left off, offering state-like services and even claiming the be behind a state-like crackdown.
About 250 “self-managing social centers” have popped up around Greece in the last nine years, according to The New York Times, which reports that the centers have been handing out food and medicine to the poor. (Reason’s Jesse Walker blogged about Exarchia, one of the neighborhoods The Times covered, back in 2008.) Their funding comes entirely from private donations and from for-profit activities, such as concerts, exhibitions, and several anarchist-run bars. One major focus is housing refugees, who otherwise would be stuck in substandard, government-run camps. In Athens, The Times reports, around 3,000 refugees now live in 15 abandoned buildings refurbished by the anarchists