Mirmigi started to operate in 2012 by people active in various social and political movements. Most of them were engaged in other regional initiatives such as the conquest of the market of Kypseli and most of them were residents of the 6th district of the city of Athens.
Every day, we experience the abandonment and poverty in our neighborhood, Kypseli. More and more of us are experiencing difficulty to get by, to live with dignity and secure our daily necessities. More and more families, neighbors, friends, relatives are being driven to hopelessness, deprivation, poverty and alienation. We are neighbors and we believe that all of us together, united and in solidarity, we can effectively overcome the huge problems of the economic crisis that has been imposed on us. For this reason we formed the Solidarity Network of the 6th District, “to Mirmigi” (the Ant). Our network operates on two principles:
Solidarity derives from all towards to all people with no discriminations or exclusions. It is our weapon against their crisis. Together we claim our right to dignity.
Decisions are made directly by the same people who are actively involved in this endeavor, in the basis of self-management.The coordinating body of Mirmigi arranges its meetings on a weekly basis and it is based on the principle of equality. The meetings are open to everyone. This body decides on the special meeting which takes place every last Sunday of the month. The Mirmingi is self-organized and self-managed. Everyone who wishes to be a part of the venture is welcome.
Our space is located at the cross of Eptanisou and Tenedou St, in the area of Kipseli. We regularly organize movie screenings, parties and gatherings, discussions and other cultural events. We collect food through the donations made from the people of the neighborhood or the Mirmingi friends from all over the world. The food we gather is given out to people who are in need. We also gather clothes, shoes, blankets, bed sheets etc. for our free, permanent bazaar, toys and children’s books, as well as medicines for the supply of social pharmacies and healthcare centers. What is more, we provide legal support for families heavily in debt, consulting by social workers and psychologists, lessons for children in primary school. Since April 2013, we have been organizing on a monthly basis a Market without Intermediaries event which has open food market in our neighborhood, offering low-price and high-quality products sold directly by producers and collectivities from all over Greece. With the food we collect we already support more than 500 families.
Mirmigi has three food and clothing distribution shifts: Monday 18.00-20.00, Wednesday 10.00-12.00 and Thursday 18.00-20.00. Every Tuesday the meeting of the coordinating body takes place. In addition, every Wednesday and Saturday we hand out flyers outside the supermarkets of the neighborhood and ask for the neighbors’ contribution by buying something for our weekly food distribution.
In July 2013 we had one of the most moving moments for Mirmigi when a targeted fascist arson attack took place in our space and the neighborhood reacted and mobilized directly by extinguishing the fire and participating in a mass antifascist march of Mirmigi. Additionally, another precious moment which highlights the importance and the recognition of Mirmigi was when the municipality authorities asked the police to stop the operation of the Market without Intermediaries. Mirmigi managed in the next few hours to gather thousands of signatures from people opposed to this unfair act.
The “Mirmingi” is not a framework of the government, neither is it subsidized by the government. Rather, it is supported solely by the efforts and the solidarity of all those supporting the network. The bags containing food or the clothes come a long way before they get to the hands of the people supported. For our efforts to have continuity and stability we need the involvement of everybody in the neighborhood who can help in any way. Let’s meet.
Mirmigi, Solidarity Network of the 6th Community of Athens: Eptanisou and Tenedou St, Kipseli, Athens
- Published in Solidarity Networks