PRESS RELEASE – DAY 26 of the hunger strike


Saturday, February 19, 2011

DAY 26 of the hunger strike

Τhe 50 migrant workers on the 7th floor of the Labor Centre in Thessaloniki have been on hunger strike for 26 days now. The signs of exhaustion are now apparent and temporary loss of consciousness is a regular occurrence. Yesterday in Athens, one hunger striker fainted in the middle of a Press conference at the Ypatia building. In Thessaloniki, the hunger striker who had been admitted to the Agios Pavlos Hospital on Wednesday night (the third fainting incident in Thessaloniki), was released yesterday in the afternoon. All the hunger strikers are determined to continue the hunger strike until they win. Their strength derives from their deep conviction that their demands are just and from their will to live and to live with dignity.


On Monday, February 21, an open solidarity concert is being planned, with the participation of many well-known artists who have expressed their solidarity with the migrant hunger strikers. The concert will take place at the Venizelou statue (or at the Polytechnic School in case of rain).


Tonight, the Yfanet squat is holding a discussion and fund-raising event at Yfanet with the participation of a member of the Forum of Migrants in Crete who is accompanying the hunger strikers.


The assembly of hunger strikers in Thessaloniki receives messages of solidarity everyday by groups and individuals from Greece and abroad. The latest declarations of solidarity were sent by intellectuals like Frances Fox Piven of the CUNY Graduate Center, New York, Costas Douzinas of the  University of London, Jacques Bidet of the Universite de Paris X-Nanterre, Michel Vakaloulis of the Universite Paris VIII St Denis and Slavoj Zizek. Slavoj Zizek sent the following message: “My full solidarity with you – you are fighting for much more than just your rights. You are fighting for what Europe will become. Those who ignore or oppose you are a real threat to the European legacy of universal emancipation. In our times of nationalist xenophobia, movements like yours offer a hope that emancipation is not a dead word.” Costas Douzinas wrote: “There is an internal and strong link between the revolutions in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Libya and elsewhere in North Africa and the struggle of the hunger strikers in Greece. There is no much difference between fighting for democracy and demanding dignity, between striking for basic political rights and striking for basic human recognition. There are no ‘illegal’ people only illegitimate and unjust governments. Every person who lives in Greece should have the same rights as everyone else. This is a common struggle on which our future depends.” Manolis Glezos, a well-known left wing politician and activist, in an interview to a radio station called the government to “solve the problems of the working migrants before there are victims” and added: “Some people believe that the hunger strikers are playing with their lives. They are not playing. They are offering their lives, offering their death for the very right to life.”

From the Press Office

Solidarity Initiative of Thessaloniki


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