A few blocks north of Exarcheion square, the residents of Kypseli and Gyzi are attempting to “save” yet another open space from the… sheets of “Attiko Metro”. Next Sunday (November 12) they are organizing a multifaceted festival (from 11.00 to 17.30) that will include educational activities, discussions and cuisine.
This is the “salvation festival” – as mentioned in the relevant poster – of Protomagia Square, which is located between the Courts of Justice and the Areos Field (above the bridge of Moustoksydi Street). It is a square that offers necessary “respite” to the residents of the surrounding densely built-up neighborhoods and accommodates everyone: children, elderly, locals and immigrants. The necessity of the square for the neighborhood was proven during the pandemic.
Construction work has begun on the “Dikastiria” Metro station on neighboring Evelpidon Street. Last May, an attempt was made to fence off almost the entire square. Unofficial answers from “Attiko Metro” to questions from residents said that the space will be used for the needs of placing containers and the offices of the site’s engineers, even for storage of heavy machinery and iron structures.
The mobilizations of residents and parents’ associations and teachers’ unions in the area managed to put a brake on the sheets: their development was limited, but the concrete bases remained in a large part of the square.
Residents have been informed that “Attiko Metro” has decided to continue developing metal sheets that will fence off the area, making it inaccessible to the public.
“Free spaces have a positive effect on mental health because people have an innate desire to connect with each other and they do this in free spaces. This connection can induce feelings of peace and contentment, neutralizing the stressors of urban life. Urban free spaces are the gathering points of the community, promoting social interaction and cohesion”, is emphasized in a call-invitation for the re-appropriation festival of the square co-organised by: People’s Assembly Gyzi, We in the Field of Ares, To Myrmigi, Pedagogical group ” The Skasiarheio”, Movement for the Mental Health of Families and Friends, Popular Solidarity, Association of Parents of the 27th and 133rd Primary Schools of Athens.