The building that houses checkpoint managed by our member organisation Positive Voice in the centre of Athens was the target of an attack with obvious homophobic motives at dawn on Monday, 11 March. The fire broke out on the first floor of the structure located in Monastiraki quarter and caused extensive material damage. However, the early intervention of the fire brigade prevented its spread to the upper floors, as well as to adjacent buildings in an extremely densely populated area.
Luckily, there were no people in the structure because volunteers of Positive Voice had left the building at 12:30 in the evening to implement the club’s external action and the attack took place about an hour and a half later.
According to the fire service, the attackers came from the balcony on the first floor and caused the fire by throwing gasoline. They threw the rainbow flag from the façade, revealing so the homophobic characteristics of the attack.
The Checkpoint as a Positive Voice initiative and AHF Europe, have conducted over 100,000 free tests and diagnosed about 30% of new HIV cases each year in Greece. The confidence of society and vulnerable groups in this effort and the international recognition of its success is due to the fact that it is as high as the value of health, dignity, equality and respect for human rights.
Through the operation of Checkpoint, Positive Voice are leading the elimination of discrimination, stereotypes and prejudices that push entire social groups into the margins and threaten social cohesion. In this way, they serve health by focusing on human beings, regardless of gender expression, identity, gender, race, age, sexual orientation, social status, religion and financial status.
The attack will not prevent Positive Voice from fulfilling their Mission nor stop its operation for a moment. Recipients of our services will be temporarily admitted to the mobile unit that is parked outside the building.
Positive Voice calls on all social partners, public bodies, institutions, civil society organizations, businesses and every citizen to raise their rainbow flag on their buildings as a symbolic response against such intimidation.
DPNSEE and it members fully support our colleagues and stand with them!