A community experience free of merchantilism and autoritharism: Mikropolis

Post by Jeremie Cravatte CADTM Belgium & Emma Avilés PACD Spain, Bcn

During the times of social conflict in Greece 2008, a collective space was created for the new movement liberated by society: Mikropolis, a Social Centre (not occupied) next to Tsimiski Street in Thessaloniki. A place packed with cultural and political initiatives.

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It is handled by people organised in assemblies, renting the building with the sale of their products, and offering its space for a large panel of initiatives and collectives: a biological and solidarity cooperative shop, a library, a bookshop, a play area for children, a first aid bird vet centre (that also attends other animals), meeting spaces for political groups and a bunch of other activities such as a bar and live music hall, cinema, free-shop, kitchen, furniture restoring workshop, kick boxing gym, etc. Each activity has its own assembly and Mikropolis is run through a general assembly where all the big decisions are taken. The consumer cooperative can cover the basics but it does not give benefits because these are destined to social causes in the community.

Mikropolis 3The crisis has brought a tremendous growth of the social and solidarity economy, with alternatives to production and consumption blooming, what has meant that now Mikropolis is the most vibrant community in the city. A bridge between projects, with a very political nature, but that still haven’t entered support networks. A geographical centre for other struggles such as Viome, Initiative 136 or the Gold Mining battle: building a community around initiatives and also a part of a national and international social and occupied centres’ network.

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In this period of austerity and seek for alternative spaces in Greece, Mikropolis is a place worth to be in and look after: a free space for people to meet and enjoy living together, offering a community experience free of mercantilism and authoritarianism.

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