Tag Archives: hunger strike

Δράσεις αλληλεγγύης από Nijmegen

Spandoek in solidariteit met hongerstakers

 

In Nijmegen is gisteravond vroeg een spandoek ontrolt aan de gevel van de Grote Broek met daarop de tekst:

“Solidarity with the 300 migrant hunger strikers in Greece”

In solidariteit met de vluchtelingen in hongerstaking eisen wij legalisatie van en gelijke burger- en sociale rechten voor alle vluchtelingen.

Tegen alle grenzen en staten! – Geen mens is Illegaal!

Yesterday in the early evening in Nijmegen we dropped a banner with the text:

“Solidarity with the 300 migrant hunger strikers in Greece”

In solidarity with the migrants on hunger strike we demand legalisation of, and equal civil/social rights for al migrants.

Against all borders and states – No human being is illegal!

Nijmegen

Nijmegen

Nijmegen

Nijmegen

Nijmegen

Nijmegen

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44 days of psychological war

44 days of psychological war

 

Ι am Ghani, Ι represent the 50 hunger strikers here in Thessaloniki.

 

I will read out to you a chronicle of psychological war against the hunger strikers. It is the story of how the government has employed the tactics of diversion since the beginning of the hunger strike of 300 migrants in Athens and Thessaloniki: In an orchestrated way, the ministries of the Interior, of Health, of Labor & Social Insurance, of Citizens’ Protection, have systematically tried to distort the terms of our struggle, to divert the public discussion away from the hunger strikers’ demands, and also to create confusion not only to the people, the so-called public opinion, not only to the solidarity initiatives, but also to the hunger strikers themselves.

 

Until today, the government has pressed forth its plan to divert attention from the strikers’ demands: regularization and equal rights for people who live and work here.

 

First, already on the 3rd day of the hunger strike, after hours of meaningless negotiations and false promises, they lead the strikers out of the empty and redundant Law School building, and sent them to a mansion with locked up rooms and no heating…The strikers didn’t break.

 

Then they tried to criminalize solidarity and accused 8 people of allegedly trying to “guide” the migrants and “instigate” the hunger strike for their own political purposes… The strikers made it obvious to everyone that they have their own general assembly, and they cannot be told what to do.

 

Then the government launched the mudslinging campaign that the migrants are a public health hazard, that they are an “bomb” for public health, so that the associations with terrorism are created… When that didn’t work, because doctors and solidarity initiatives responded immediately that the only contagious disease the migrants could spread is the disease of struggling for dignity and basic rights, then the government thought of a further attack:

 

They repeated that it is allegedly impossible to order mass regularizations of migrants according to EU legislation. This again is preposterous and plain wrong: Both Belgium and Italy regularized 50,000 and 200,000 migrants respectively in the last two years.

 

Then the government played another card: It encouraged hospitals to instruct their staff to leave trays with food in the hunger strikers’ rooms, thinking that nobody would react. This was part of a campaign in the media that the government is interested in the strikers’ health. Again, they were wrong, since doctors were very well aware that this form of torture is a violation of the international Malta Convention about hunger strikes.

 

A couples of days ago, the government warned that all strikers will be transferred to hospital and that everybody, strikers and solidarity people alike, should cooperate with the government in this operation or else… That didn’t work either…The strikers repeated that they would not leave the building without a residency permit.

 

A few hours later, there were leaks in newspapers by “circles in the government” that all migrants shall be deported if they do not accept the government’s offer (practically non-deportation for six months)».

 

Then, yesterday, two women from the solidarity initiative were arrested at a hospital in Athens, for objecting to trays of food being left next to hunger strikers’ beds…

 

So isn’t this psychological war? What would you call it?

Our demands are clear, and the specific terms have been presented in full detail since the 21st of February. The Text of Thessaloniki is a good start for a serious final arrangement.
The government boasts that it protects human rights. Up to now, its stance towards the hunger strikers has been a moment of shame in the history of human rights in Europe.

URGENT: The government threatens the hunger strikers that they will be evicted if they don’t all agree to be transferred to hospitals.

URGENT: The government threatens the hunger strikers that they will be evicted if they don’t all agree to be transferred to hospitals.

About an hour ago (shortly before 2pm on Monday, March 7), on the 42nd day of the hunger strike of  the 300 migrant workers, the Ministry of Health sent a representative to the hunger strikers staying in the front yard and corridors of the Ypatia mansion in Athens.

 

In its message to the strikers, the Ministry of Health states that “their limits of patience and understanding have been exhausted” and that they ask “with no further delay, that all hunger strikers be transferred to NHS hospitals in Athens (…) so that danger to their health and to their life is avoided.” The text ends in a warning: “We ask the migrants who are staying at Ypatia to cooperate with the ambulance staff so that they are transferred without further delay. We ask the people who accompany them and support their struggle, to not only refrain from obstructing the procedure, but to make every possible effort to persuade all migrants to be transferred to public hospitals.”

 

In other words, under the pretext that they are interested in the hunger strikers’ health condition, the government is prepared to send the police to force the migrant hunger strikers out of the building. This is the first step towards forceful feeding by the hospital staff, i.e. towards breaking the hunger strike with an order by a public prosecutor.

 

The government continues its tactics of disorientation of the public from the strikers’ demands – first they lead the strikers out of the empty and redundant Law School building, sent them to mansion with locked up rooms and no heating, then they launched the mudslinging campaign that the migrants are a public health hazard, then they told hospitals to instruct their staff to leave trays with food in the hunger strikers’ rooms…and now this! Physicians have warned that the strikers’ health condition is at an extremely critical point and the government uses humanist rhetoric and confusion tricks to cover up its cynical stance.

 

The hunger strikers have already decided that they are not leaving the building without a residency permit.

Press Release – DAY 41 of the hunger strike

Press Release

Sunday, March 6, 2011

DAY 41 of the hunger strike

The 50 migrants on the 7th floor of the Labor Centre have been on a hunger strike for 41 days now. They are determined to continue with their struggle until their demands are fulfilled. They are facing critical health issues, as irreparable damage to their vital organs seems almost inevitable, and their life in is danger. At the moment, 16 people are being hospitalized at different hospitals in Thessaloniki. Yesterday 8 hunger strikers were taken to hospital, one of them in a pre-comatose state because of a hypoglycemic episode. He was treated with an intravenous glucose infusion. The rest of the strikers were admitted to hospital with hypoglycemic episodes, low blood pressure, and some with a very low heart rate (bradycardia).

Tomorrow, Monday, March 7, individuals and groups abroad are calling for a European day of solidarity actions for the 300 hunger strikers.

Yesterday, while the centre of Xanthi, a town near the Greco-Turkish border, was reverberating
with the sounds of the carnival, members of the Resistance Initiative of Xanthi called a solidarity meeting
for the 300 hunger strikers. Around 40 people showed up, distributed hundreds of leaflets to the passers-by
and read out announcements in support of the hunger strike. Today, during the carnival parade in Xanthi, a huge
banner was hung across the facade of the University building, visible from the carnival parade, which read
«History is written by workers’ struggles, victory to the struggle of the immigrants» and «Solidarity with the
300 hunger strikers».

The City Council of Kalamaria sent a solidarity message today stating: “We are calling the Greek government to examine the hunger strikers’ demands and immediately respond to them, for these migrants have been living and working within a ‘grey’ zone between legality and illegality, which makes them most vulnerable to exploitation.”

The Italian Federation of Organizations for the Support of the Homeless Fio.PSD expressed its solidarity with the struggle of the 300 hunger strikers with a message on the homepage of their website: www.fiopsd.org

The Program for the Promotion of Self-Help and the Postgraduate Program on Addiction and Dependency is planning a discussion and film screening with the participation of a representative of the hunger strikers, at the New Wing of the Faculty of Philosophy on Wednesday, March 9, at 7pm.

From the Press Office

Solidarity Initiative of Thessaloniki

allilmap.wordpress.com

Press Release – DAY 40 of the hunger strike

Press Release

Saturday, March 5, 2011

DAY 40 of the hunger strike

 

The 50 migrants on the 7th floor of the Labor Centre have been on a hunger strike for 40 days now. They are determined to continue with their struggle until their demands are fulfilled. They say “a life without dignity is not worth living”.

They are facing critical health issues. As noted in the medical report issued by the team of doctors who tends to the migrants everyday since day one of the hunger strike, there are “frequent fainting episodes due to hypoglycemia, the strikers have lost over an average of 15% of their body mass, their heart rate is alarmingly low, they suffer cramps and muscle pain, difficulty with urination, severe intestinal problems. Mouth- and gum ulcers cause discomfort even when they drink salt water, which is the only thing that keeps them alive. At the moment, 14 people are being hospitalized at different hospitals in Thessaloniki. If the hunger strike continues, irreparable damage to their vital organs will be inevitable, and the threat to their brain function and to their life itself is now concrete.”

Yesterday, the hunger strikers in Athens and Thessaloniki issued an announcement after their meeting with government ministers, who proposed they be temporarily granted a non-deportation “tolerance” status for six months, and that all hunger strikers be transferred to hospitals:

1. We hunger strikers, from the places of our strike in Athens and Thessaloniki and from hospitals, unanimously reject the government’s proposal for a regime of tolerance, because it does not respond to our claim for legalization with freedom of movement, work-based renewal and all other rights that legal immigrants have in Greece and Europe.

2. We reject the request of the minister of Health to transfer all Athens’ hunger strikers to hospitals due to weather conditions’ worsening. As we have done for 39 days with cold and floods, we continue the hunger strike in Hypatia building (Patission Ave, and Ipirou Str.), and of course those who are in critical condition will be transfered to hospitals under our doctors’s orders.

3. We stress once again that the nationwide hunger strike is our struggle, that we take the decisions on all issues, and we demand the lies and slander to be stopped.

Yesterday, representatives of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (the rector, the vice-rector, the president of the committee for health and social policy, the dean of the Faculty of Law, the president of the university teaching and research staff union), the president of the journalists’ union, the president and the secretary of the Labor Centre, the president of the Thessaloniki Union of Workers in the Public Sector, the president of the City Council representing the mayor, responded to an invitation by the Labor Centre and met at the presidents’ office to discuss a solution to propose to the government. In the text they publicized after the meeting they state that there already exists the legal framework for the regularization of the migrants and that in times of crisis it is especially noteworthy that the hunger strikers’ demands are about legitimacy, they are about the respect of legal rights. Any loss of life, which seems highly possible right now, will be destructive on many levels, not only for the strikers, but for society as a whole. Among other points, the text, signed also by the president of the hospital doctors’ union and the bar association of Thessaloniki, contains specific proposals about the regularization of the 300 migrants, the possibility of 6 semesters-2 years of renewable work and residence permits for all sans papiers, the regularization of those who filed for permits but were rejected in 2005, the further reduction of required work credits for a residence permit or the disconnection of work credits from residence permits altogether.

 

Yesterday, the Initiative of Solidarity to the 300 hunger strikers in Greece and the Initiative of Greek Students and Workers in Paris occupied the Greek Embassy in Paris to express their support for the cause of the 300 hunger strikers.

From the Press Office

Solidarity Initiative of Thessaloniki

allilmap.wordpress.com

Press Release – DAY 38 of the hunger strike

Press Release

Thursday, March 3, 2011

DAY 38 of the hunger strike

 

The 300 migrants, 50 of whom are staying at the 7th floor of the Labor Centre, have been on a hunger strike for 38 days now. Apart from having lost over an average of 15% of their body mass the strikers are facing irreparable damage to vital organs. Today another 4 strikers were taken to hospital. Right now 16 hunger strikers are being hospitalized. While all the strikers are physically exhausted and disappointed that there is no response to their demands, they are determined to continue with their struggle.

Support with the hunger strikers’ cause has been tremendously broad. Last night, the town council of Neapolis in Sykies expressed its solidarity with the 300 hunger strikers “who are very justified in demanding rights to dignified living and working conditions”. Moreover, the union of workers at the Papanikolaou hospital also expressed solidarity with the hunger strikers and called the government to “proceed with their regularization, disconnecting the residence permit from work credits, especially in these times of crisis and raging unemployment, so that none of them falls back into illegality because of the employers’ reluctance to cover their social insurance”.

Messages of solidarity from abroad arrive everyday. A few days ago, the Austrian Roof Organisation of Homeless Initiatives-BAWO declared they support the strikers’ demands for regularization and call the government of Greece, as well as all the governments of Europe to support all people who are denied a homeland, a job and their rights.

 

Today, the assembly of the hunger strikers and the Open Solidarity Initiative are calling everyone to a solidarity march, meeting at 6pm at the Venizelou statue.

From the Press Office

Solidarity Initiative of Thessaloniki

allilmap.wordpress.com

PRESS RELEASE – Day 32 of the hunger strike

PRESS RELEASE

FRIDAY 25 February 2011
Day 32 of the hunger strike

The 300 migrants in Athens and Thessaloniki have been on a hunger strike for 32 days now. Their health is deteriorating and everyday, more strikers are being taken to public hospitals for loss  of consciousness. Today, two strikers were admitted to the Hippocration Hospital, (raising the total number to 13), while another three are being hospitalized at Aghios Demetrios Hospital.

This morning, Mr. Stratis Plomaritis, president of the Union of Hospital Doctors of Thessaloniki and a member  of the Medical Health Team on the side of the hunger strikers, Zawat, one of the hunger strikers, Ghani,  a representative of the hunger strikers, and Efi Telli, lawyer and member of the legal team on the side of  the hunger strikers spoke at a Press Conference at the Labor Centre about the emergency health issues of the  hunger strikers, their demands and developments on the legal front.

The Open Solidarity Initiatve is planning an info-campaign over the weekend, as well as:
-a demo with motorcycles on Tuesday, the 1st of March, beginning at the Labor Centre at 6pm
-a solidarity march on Thursday, the 3rd of March, meeting at the Venizelou statue at 6pm

AN ANSWER TO RAGKOUSIS’ STATEMENTS

The hunger strikers are in danger

A “compassionate” politician turns cynical prime-minister, while his government ignores even the EU legislation it uses as a pretext to deny migrants’ regularization

 

1. THE SITUATION OF THE HUNGER STRIKERS ON FEBRUARY 24,  2011

The 300 migrant workers have been abstaining from food for 31 days now, since the 25th of January. In Athens and Thessaloniki, we witness fainting episodes all the time, everyday, all day long. More and more often, the situation of some becomes extremely critical, and the strikers are taken to public hospitals.

Big young men, who for years have worked on farms and on building sites all over Greece, fathers and husbands, are now weighing 44 and 45 kilograms. They can hardly stand up. Three days ago already, the medical health team, who has been on the side of the hunger strikers from day one, spoke clearly: The strikers “have entered a phase where they are facing irreversible damage to their health”. They are in danger. In common terminology, that means that their vital organs will be harmed irreversibly, their memory and eyesight will be seriously under threat.

2. THE HUNGER STRIKERS’ SPECIFIC DEMANDS

And why are they risking their lives? Is it because the 300 migrant workers somehow decided that they don’t fancy Greek souvlaki any more? No, they are putting their own lives in danger because they have repeated their arguments one too many times. After years of being derided and reproached, after years of working for no pay, after years of torture, incarceration, beatings and humiliation, after years of official non-existence, right now they are asking for a very specific thing: They are asking for their existence to be recognized. They want legalization. They say: For us, legalisation is neither a generic nor an abstract slogan.

We demand the issuing – since we are entitled to it – of a proper residence and labor permit to us, the 300 hunger strikers, who demand what should be a given for everyone by putting our lives on the line

As well as:

– that residence permits are no longer connected to work credits

– that all who lost their permits because of the above reason are legalised again

– the vindication of everyone whose application was rejected in 2005, after their application submission had been accepted and after they were forced to pay thousands of euros each

– the establishment of a permanent and open procedure for complete legalisation, which will process applications constantly

-the abandonment of any idea of criminalising any of our comrades in solidarity with us, who have been called as suspects of committing criminal acts by the authorities

3. THE MINISTER’S RESPONSE TODAY and the prime-minister’s views in 2008

The above demands were made public on the 21st of February. Three days later, what is the response of the government?

Minister of the Interior Mr. Ragousis announced to the newspapers today that the legalization of the hunger strikers would “put Greece in great danger”, especially now the country is facing “the possibility of a migrant wave from North Africa”. Echoing the deeply racist, and by now stereotypically populist rhetoric, he added: “Could Greece endure that?” He even repeated that the government would be ready to grant them “tolerance status”, meaning a six-month permit given for exceptional reasons of health, family condition or other obstacles to deportation. In other words, he is saying that the government might allow for some of the hunger strikers to be officially tolerated for a short period of time, and probably feels the strikers should be negotiating his offer!

Just two years ago, in November 2008, when 15 migrants were on hunger strike in Chania, Crete, George Papandreou, then the leader of the oppositional PASOK Party, now Mr. Ragousis’ and Greece’s Prime Minister, was writing on his blog, for all voters to read: “We should respect the axiomatic truth that it is not easy to be a refugee and an immigrant. Our handling of the issue should begin by seeing every person as an equal. We relate to every human being as a fellow citizen of the world and we want all to have equal rights, we recognize the right to a peaceful coexistence, to respect, to dignity, to humane behavior. (…) There are significant practical and institutional problems, as well as problems of understanding, mentality, reception of immigrants, and acceptance of them. The best thing that could be done, that could contribute towards overcoming this problematic picture, would the integration of immigrants into society.”

This turn towards cynicism is not merely a contradiction caused by Realpolitik concerns, it seems to be the result of a brain transplantation, and an unsuccessful one at that.

Another one of the favourite government phrases, which the Minister repeated today, is that “migration is a European problem” and speaking about EU legislation showed that he has a few gaps in his information apparatus…

4. IS THE GOVERNMENT NOT UP-TO-DATE WITH EUROPEAN LEGISLATION?

Today, the 24th of February 2011, the Minster of the Interior Yannis Ragousis added that “he excludes the possibility of an illegal mass regularization”, echoing the Minister of Citizens’ Protection (Public Order) Christos Papoutsis, who, on the 8th of February had announced in the parliamentary committee for issues of migration that “the demand for mass, general regularization, cannot be substantiated, it is unheard of and not allowed in the European Union”…On the 28th of January, the Deputy Minister of Labor Anna Dalara had said: “in any case, mass regularizations are against the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum”.

However, all three government politicians seem to be dangerously misinformed. Indeed, on the15th of October 2008, EU heads of state and government endorsed the ‘European Pact on Immigration and Asylum’. However hideous the European Pact was, “a ban on the mass regularization of illegal immigrants had to be dropped during negotiations in Cannes (July 2008), in order to win the necessary support of the Spanish government” http://www.euractiv.com/en/socialeurope/european-pact-immigration-asylum/article-175489

In the last two years, there have been two cases, that of Italy and of Belgium, where EU governments granted hundreds of thousands of permits at once:

1. In Italy, despite strong rhetoric against irregular migrants, the government had to launch a regularization procedure in 2009. By July 2010, around 200.000 permits were granted.

http://www1.interno.it/mininterno/export/sites/default/it/sezioni/sala_stampa/notizie/immigrazione/0076_2010_07_12_colf_badanti.html

2. On the 20th of July 2009, Belgian Prime Minister Herman Van Rompuy released details of the federal government’s agreement on regularizing illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants who had lived in Belgium for at least five years were able to apply to regularize their situation between 15 September and 15 December 2009. Around 50.000 permits were granted.

The move was not called a «mass regularization», according to government officials.

http://www.euractiv.com/en/socialeurope/belgium-legalise-25000-immigrants/article-184257

The new 2009 EU multi-annual program in the area of Justice and Home Affairs for the years 2010-2014, known as the Stockholm program, does not prohibit large-scale regularizations of migrants, and only refers to the need to improve the exchange of information on regularizations at the national level.

So who is the Greek government kidding?

5. VICTORY TO THE HUNGER STRIKE – VICTORY TO LIFE

The hunger strike of the 300 migrant workers in Greece is now at a very critical turn. The hunger strikers are in danger. We cannot tolerate any more lies. The demands of the hunger strikers are just. As the Forum of Migrants in Crete have written: “They have turned life into a cheap commodity. We shall not allow anyone make life cheaper. We shall make life priceless so that death becomes unthinkable. Victory to the hunger strike, victory to life”.

PRESS RELEASE – DAY 31 of the hunger strike

PRESS RELEASE

THURSDAY, 24th of February

DAY 31 of the hunger strike

 

The 300 migrants (250 in Athens, 50 on the 7th floor of the Labor Centre in Thessaloniki) have been on a hunger strike for 31 days now. They are living strictly on water and small quantities of salt and sugar. They have entered a phase in fasting, in which they are being directly threatened by irreversible damage to their health. 4 of the 5 hunger strikers who were admitted to hospital for fainting two days ago, are still being hospitalized (3 at the Aghios Demetrios hospital, one at the Hippocration).

 

Members of the Solidarity Initiative who accompanied them to hospital mentioned that the strikers were being offered food by the nursing staff, despite the fact that it had been made clear to them that the strikers refuse to be fed. The head of the ward replied that she was following the orders of the Director of the 2nd Internal Medicine Division to bring food to the strikers’ rooms and leave it there for half an hour. The Solidarity Initiative condemns this act as a breach of human rights and as psychological torture and will consider what action to take in response.

 

The medical health team is calling a Press conference on Friday, February 25 at 11am at the Labor Centre of Thessaloniki in order to inform the public about the emergency health condition of the hunger strikers.

Yesterday, the Open Solidarity Initiative of Thessaloniki marched the streets of the town as part of the general strike rally. The massive bloc of the Solidarity Initiative was reverberating with slogans for the legalization of all immigrants. It should be noted that the representative of the hunger strikers spoke at all three meetings before the demo (i.e. the meetings of the Workers’ Front-PAME, of the Labor Centre, and of the First Degree Unions).

 

The bloc of the Open Solidarity Initiative faced an unprovoked and uncalled for attack by the police, which injured demonstrators. The demonstration continued despite the repeated efforts by the police to dissolve it. During the march a student was beaten up and arrested by the police. The demo continued to the General Police HQ and this morning there was a protest meeting, with the participation of the Open Solidarity Initiative, outside the Courts, where the arrested student would be tried in flagrante delicto. The student was released and will be examined by the DA tomorrow.

 

Who provokes violence? The image of a riot police officer with an axe in his pocket (a photo from yesterday’s attacks that has circulated widely) is the best answer to the question.

From the Press Office

Solidarity Initiative of Thessaloniki

allilmap.wordpress.com

Emergency Press Release – 22nd February 2011

Emergency Press Release

22nd February 2011

 

Today another 4 people were sent to hospital, raising the number of fainting episodes to  7.

Today is the 29th day of the hunger strike.

28-year-old Radwan fainted with a fall.

Medical report – 22nd February 2011

Medical report

22nd February 2011

 

The hunger strikers have been refusing to eat for 29 days now. All of them are suffering considerable loss of body mass and the signs of fatigue and advanced exhaustion are apparent.

Four people have been hospitalized for having lost consciousness.

The majority show symptoms of frequently recurring postural hypotension, muscle pain, hypoglycemia, difficulty with moving, while some of them already have palpitations and cardiac dysrhythmia.

As doctors we are obliged to note that the hunger strikers are entering a phase where the continuation of fasting may cause irreversible damage to their health.

The Medical Health Team

PRESS RELEASE – DAY 28 of the hunger strike

Monday 21 February 2011

DAY 28 of the hunger strike

Τhe 50 migrant workers on the 7th floor of the Labor Centre in Thessaloniki (and their 250 comrades in Athens) have been on hunger strike for 28 days now. The signs of exhaustion and physical weakness are becoming more apparent every day, and the incidences of temporary loss of consciousness among the strikers are becoming increasingly frequent. (In Athens yesterday another two strikers fainted and were taken to a hospital). 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.

This morning members of the Open Solidarity Initiative of Thessaloniki interrupted the program of the municipal radio station FM100 and for half and hour broadcasted news about the struggle of the 300 migrant hunger strikers, interview with artists expressing their solidarity as well as with member of the medical and legal teams.

The solidarity concert planned for tonight will take place at the Functions Hall of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki campus, and not at the Venizelou Statue due to a discouraging weather forecast. Many solo artists and bands will participate, so we urge people to be there by 8:30pm.

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 by the Student Union of the Theatre Studies Department, by the Citizensʼ Movement for Lamia and the Union of Workers at the Town Council of Kallithea.

The Open Solidarity Initiative is calling everyone to participate at the General Strike announced for Wednesday the 23rd of February and is meeting at the Labor Center at 10am on that day to join the strike marches.

More interventions and actions will be announced in the following days.

Press Release – DAY 27 of the hunger strike

Press Release

Sunday 20 February 2011

DAY 27 of the hunger strike

 

Τhe 50 migrant workers on the 7th floor of the Labor Centre in Thessaloniki (and their 250 comrades in Athens) have been on hunger strike for 27 days now. The signs of exhaustion and physical weakness are now apparent. 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.

The assembly of hunger strikers in Thessaloniki receives messages of solidarity everyday by groups and individuals from Greece and abroad. The latest declaration of solidarity was by the Student Union of the Dept for Music Studies of the University of Macedonia. In their text of support we read: “We identify with the migrants’ just struggle and we support their demand for legalization. Their choice of such an extreme method of action, the hunger strike, is a measure of their depth of sincerity and strength of inspiration.”

The Open Solidarity Initiative is planning a series of solidarity actions, interventions and events for the next days, which will be announced soon.

On Monday, February 21, the Open Solidarity Initiative is organizing an open solidarity concert, 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). 12 artists and bands have already confirmed their participation.

From the Press Office

Solidarity Initiative of Thessaloniki

allilmap.wordpress.com

PRESS RELEASE – Friday 18th February 2011 – 25th day of the hunger strike

Press Release

FRIDAY 18th FEBRUARY

DAY 25 of the hunger strike

The 50 migrant workers on the 7th floor of the Labor Centre in Thessaloniki have been on hunger strike for 25 days now. The signs of exhaustion are now apparent and temporary loss of consciousness is a regular occurrence. In Athens, one hunger striker fainted in the middle of a Press conference. In Thessaloniki, the hunger striker who had been admitted to the Agios Pavlos Hospital on Wednesday night (the third fainting incident in Thessaloniki), is being released today. All 300 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.

Yesterday, members of the Open Initiative of Thessaloniki occupied the KEELPNO offices of the department of the Ministry of Health that visited the hunger strikers in Athens and helped the minister A. Loverdos orchestrate a goebbelist provocation, presenting, in the most racist way, the hunger strikers as a ‘bomb’ threatening public health. During the occupation of the KEELPNO, faxes were sent from the office machine, texts were read out and leaflets were distributed informing the public about the hunger strikers’ demands and the reasons for the occupation. The main slogan of their banner held was “the only infectious disease we could catch from the migrant hunger strikers is the struggle for dignity”.

Last night four people fly-posting material related to the solidarity campaign of the 300 hunger strikers were stopped by the police and taken to the Ano Poli Police Station. In minutes, many people were mobilized to gather and protest outside the Ano Poli Police Station demanding immediate release of their comrades. Soon after, the detainees were set free.

The assembly of hunger strikers in Thessaloniki receives messages of solidarity everyday by groups and individuals from Greece and abroad. Yesterday, the “Sans Papiers of Saint Denis” sent a solidarity message, and informed us that they are collecting signatures of solidarity by antiracist and sans papiers organizations, as well as preparing a protest outside the Greek Embassy, among other actions. Free Radio Dreyeckland from Freiburg, following an extensive radio-program on the issue, also sent a solidarity message signed by the general assembly of the radio, expressing the hope that the struggle of the 300 migrants will win. Also, the hunger strikers received a message of support by 130 trade-unionists from unions, federations, labor centres, from the General Confederation of Labor Unions and from the Superior Administration of Unions of Public Sector Workers which ends with the following words: “We consider the working migrants the most vulnerable and most harshly exploited section of our class. We have common interests. We ask of the government to satisfy their demands.” The Union of Workers at the Call Centres of the Telecommunications Company of Greece (SETKE-OTE) also sent a message of support to the 300 hunger strikers, and donated a sum to help fund the ongoing struggle.

The Open Solidarity Initiative invites everyone to the interventions and solidarity actions planned for the next days:

  • Today Friday, February 18, at 6pm, the Open Solidarity Initiative is organizing a solidarity march, beginning at Kamara.
  • At 8pm, the Open Assembly of the Upper Town is holding an info-meeting at their social centre at the Koule Kahfe square
  • On Saturday, February 19, 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.
  • On Monday, February 21, at 8pm, 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.

From the Press Office

Solidarity Initiative of Thessaloniki

allilmap.wordpress.com

Support to the movement of the 300 hunger strikers

Support to the movement of the 300 hunger strikers

La Marmite aux Idées is working for the promotion of the migrants’ rights in the north of France, at the British border. Most of the migrants we meet spent a time in Greece, short or long, before continuing their way in Europe, looking for a country were they could find a better life or a legal protection.

Your struggle is linked with those European problematics. We give you all our support.

La Marmite aux Idées

Maison pour Tous

81, boulevard Jacquard

62100 Calais – France

lamarmiteauxidees@orange.fr

 

Ψήφισμα Συμπαράστασης του Ελεύθερου Ραδιοφώνου Radio Dreyeckland, Φράιμπουργκ

SOLIDARITY FROM RADIO DREYECKLAND, FREIBURG

«Radio Dreyeckland, the free radio station of Freiburg (Germany), shows its full solidarity with the hunger strikers in Ahtens and Thessaloniki and hope that their struggle for all the migrants’ rights will be successful!

Freiburg, February 16th

Radio Dreyeckland General Assembly»

 

Ψήφισμα Συμπαράστασης του Ελεύθερου Ραδιοφώνου Radio Dreyeckland, Φράιμπουργκ

Το Radio Dreyckland, o ελεύθερος ραδιοφωνικός σταθμός στο Φράιμπουργκ της Γερμανίας, δηλώνει ότι συμπαρίσταται πλήρως στους απεργούς πείνας στην Αθήνα και τη Θεσσαλονίκη και ελπίζει ότι αγώνας τους για τα δικαιώματα όλων των μεταναστών θα είναι νικηφόρος

Φράιμπουργκ, 16 Φεβρουαρίου 2011

Γενική Συνέλευση του Radio Dreyeckland

Press Release – day 23 of the hunger strike

Press Release

16th February 2011

DAY 23 of the hunger strike

 

Τhe 50 migrant workers on the 7th floor of the Labor Centre in Thessaloniki have been on hunger strike for 23 days now. Despite their fatigue, their spirits are high and they are determined to continue the hunger strike. The two hunger strikers who had been admitted to the Internal medicine Division of the public hospital on duty two days ago, on their 21st day of fasting, are being released today.

At 10am this morning, members of the Open Solidarity Initiative distributed leaflets and read out texts on the hunger strike and its demands with a PA system outside the General Administration Office of the Prefecture of Central Macedonia in Kalamaria, where everyday dozens of migrants go for the renewal of their residence permits.

The assembly of hunger strikers in Thessaloniki receives messages of solidarity everyday. Following their decision on Monday, the City Council of Thessaloniki voted for and released a text of support with the struggle of the migrant hunger strikers. Nine intellectuals from abroad, among them Noam Chomsky and Étienne Balibar, signed a message of support to the struggle of the 300 hunger strikers. The message concludes: “We express our support to their struggle for human dignity and basic civil rights. Elementary social justice dictates to legalize migrant workers and abrogate their penal and bureaucratic persecution”. A long list of Greek writers, playwrights, actors and musicians issued a text demanding the legalization of all immigrants who live and work in Greece, equal rights and equal access for all to work, education, health and culture, stating that the struggle of the 300 migrant hunger strikers is “the struggle of the whole of society for freedom, equality and justice”.

Today, Wednesday, the 16th of February 2011, at 7pm, the Antiracist Initiative and the First Degree Trade Unions Coordination are organizing an open discussion at the Labor Centre with speeches by representatives of the hunger strikers, by Nikos Paraskevopoulos, dean of the Law Faculty of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki,  by Konstandinos Tsitselikis, vice-president of the Ηellenic League for Human Rights, as well as by the organizers.
The Open Solidarity Initiative invites everyone to the interventions and solidarity actions planned for the next days:

 

  • On Friday, February 18, at 6pm, the Open Solidarity Initiative is organizing a solidarity march, beginning at Kamara.
  • On Friday, February 18, at 8pm, the Open Assembly of the Upper Town is planning an info-meeting at their social centre at the Koule Kahfe square
  • On Saturday, February 19, the Yfanet squat is planning 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.

From the Press Office

Solidarity Initiative of Thessaloniki

allilmap.wordpress.com

ANOUNCEMENT OF THE SOLIDARITY INITIATIVE TO THE IMMIGRANTS (ΧΑΝΤΗΙ-ISKETCHE)

‘GREEK BROTHERS WE SEEK FOR YOUR SUPPORT’

…is what is written on the banners of 300 immigrants who are on a hunger strike in Athens and Salonika, since January 25, claiming the legalization of all immigrants and the consolidation of equal and social rights. This mass hunger strike consists a desperate, but also determined answer to the choices, the attitude and the practices on the authority’s as well as the society’s part, against immigrants.

The so far practiced Greek immigration politics has shown a series of laws and measures, which are in fridge of human rights and contribute to the distinction of working hands. Concisely: Armed repulsion chasing of uniformed against debased people, in land and water boarders, ports and transference stations, Keeping new coming immigrants in modern concentration camps, where full police arbitrariness, cold , fear, illnesses, dirt, crush and ignorance preponderate, Thousands of unexamined asylum applications, Wild pogroms and ‘cleaning’ operations, including beating, prosecutions and deportations, Xenophobic and racist propaganda of media, aiming at the public opinion guidance, Huge, as well as unspecified, number of murdered immigrants from ‘accidental detonations’, ‘unspecified conditions’, ‘pathological causes’, ‘inexplicable suicides’, ‘land mines in Ebro’, ‘droughts in Aegean Sea’ , ‘industrial accidents’, ‘mighty and armed locals’.

The present government intentions are…is what is written on the banners of 300 immigrants who are on a hunger strike in Athens and Salonika, since January 25, claiming the legalization of all immigrants and the consolidation of equal and social rights. This mass hunger strike consists a desperate, but also determined answer to the choices, the attitude and the practices on the authority’s as well as the society’s part, against immigrants.

The so far practiced Greek immigration politics has shown a series of laws and measures, which are in fridge of human rights and contribute to the distinction of working hands. Concisely: Armed repulsion chasing of uniformed against debased people, in land and water boarders, ports and transfere the following: ‘Only the legal immigrants will stay in Greece’ (pure and simple derision, as the amount of impetration concerning refuge applicants in Greece is just 1 %!). ‘The boarder security is a matter of national dominance’ (Papoutsis’ declaration in the parliament during the discussion of the bill for the new regime of asylum supply). The differentiation of workers in Greeks and foreigners with –so to say- different goods, contributes to the disorientation of the working class from its real enemy; the system.

The recent action of the pan European, pan armed and hypermodern boarder security, Frontex, in S.E Aegean Sea and the Greek Turkish land boarders, as well as the proclamation for the creation of a fence in Ebro, have in
view the materialization of all these political intentions.

The majority of Greek society seems to consent with the legislative and executive commands against the immigrants, as the government ,the political mouthpieces and the media ‘parrots’ present them. Commands that
not only contrast the common sense, but also undermine the human dignity. The unjudicial acceptance and use of the terms-senses ‘illegal’ and ‘smuggled’ immigrants, concerning the people who don’t have credentials, not only verify the former ascertainment , but also undermine the social consciousness, disguise, preserve and turn the social hypocrisy into idealism.

The people who travel from the depths of east and south, that is the depths of poverty, war, dictatorships, hunger, come to the north and the west of ‘higher subsistence level’; the west of ‘respect of human rights’ for a better life. Even if the south itself and the west itself are the culprits of the mainstream situation in their countries.

The majority of Greek society has forgotten its own, not so distant, history of immigration. Recognizing the differentiations of the immigration phenomena , in the way they are fixed from the social and historical conditions of past and present, we ought to, non the less, show off that this history of Greek immigration has been hushed from the school books; it is not shown on TV; it has fallen asleep under the collective unconscious of Albano phobia and Islam phobia; it takes revenge for its luck in the modern slave market of Manolada; it consists a notoriety for the hot headed that scrape along Attiki Square and Igoumenitsa; it accomplishes its moral duty through church commons; it pays off the political duty with symbolic concerts and humanitarian proclamations.

If –taking as possible the validity and credibility of the recent polls- we believe that the social acquiescence for the creation of the fence in Ebro has been assured; if we see the immigrants, the most weak in the social pyramid, as financial competitors in the sphere of capital crisis; if the police state boasts our democracy; if we find rest to the fascists for the comedown of our debased neighborhood, by the political facors that we chose; if we put the struggles for the dismantlement of the Berlin and Israel Walls to the shelve of our political archive; if we boast for our academic society that prizes the extreme right chauvinist educators; if we abide Nazi greetings in our borough councils; if our social and class struggle is confined in claiming rights only for the syndicalistic and political horizontals, then there is only one feeling that we will be carrying to our graves and we will bequeath to our children as well: SHAME. Individual, collective, national, European, social, cultural; no matter how we classify it, it won’t stop being shame. The only way to wash out this shame is by at long last listening to the immigrants’ voice, by learning their rights and by fighting with them.

RESPECT AND SOLIDARITY TO THE STRUGGLE OF 300 HUNGER STRIKERS
CANCELLATION OF PLAN FOR THE CREATION OF FENCE IN EBRO
REPEAL OF FRONTEX
CLOSURE OF MODERN CONCENTRATION CAMPS
OPENING OF BOARDERS FOR ALL THE PEOPLE WHO NEED DISPLACEMENT.
FACTUAL SOLIDARITY TO ALL IMMIGRANTS

INITIATIVE SOLIDARITY TO THE IMMIGRANTS (ΧΑΝΤΗΙ-ISKETCHE), 27-1-11

Doctors’ Press Release 14 February 2011 Thessaloniki

Doctors’ Press Release
14 February 2011
Thessaloniki

The 50 immigrants at the Labor Centre of Thessaloniki have been on hunger strike for 21 days now, consuming only water, salt and small quantities of sugar.

Many of them show symptoms of physical weakness, difficulty in standing up, dizziness, postural hypotension, cramps, hypoglycemia.

Today, two of the hunger strikers were admitted to the Division of Internal Medicine of the Public Hospital on duty, due to temporary loss of consciousness. Both remain hospitalized.

The examination of the body mass index of the hunger strikers and of their vital points reveals the expected amount of weight loss and the corresponding consequences for their health.

The Medical Health Team

PRESS RELEASE – DAY 21 of the hunger strike

PRESS RELEASE

Monday, 14th February 2011

DAY 21 of the hunger strike

Τhe 50 migrant workers on the 7th floor of the Labor Centre in Thessaloniki have been on hunger strike for 21 days now. Despite their fatigue and physical exhaustion their spirits are high and they are determined to continue the hunger strike.

Yesterday, members of the Open Solidarity Initiative of Thessaloniki, intervened at the beginning of a famous theatrical performance at the Municipal Theatre of Kalamaria, (a play about an immigrant woman), informed the audience about the hunger strikers and their struggle and read out the text written by the assembly of hunger strikers.

The assembly of hunger strikers in Thessaloniki receives messages of solidarity everyday. Yesterday the Association of Victims of the Nazi Regime in Freiburg sent a message of support calling the government to follow the Geneva Convention and the Declaration of Human Rights, and to thus fulfill the demands of the immigrants. The Union of Postgraduate Students of the Philosophy and Education Department at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki hung a banner supporting the struggle of the 300 migrant workers at the entrance of the building of the Faculty of Philosophy. In their statement of support they declare that “the struggle of the migrants is our struggle too.”

Over 500 trade unionists who met at the Liverpool Trade Union Council on the 10th of February sent a message of solidarity to the 300 migrants on hunger strike in Greece: “We support your demands. Your struggles are our struggles. Your struggles are every worker’s struggle for social justice!” Ken Loach, the socialist film director and Ricky Tomlinson, the socialist actor, also signed the petition of solidarity to the 300 immigrant hunger strikers.

The Open Solidarity Initiative invites everyone to the interventions and solidarity actions planned for the next days:

Wednesday, February 16 at 10am – Intervention/info-action at the General Administration Office of the Prefecture of Central Macedonia (Oikonomidi and Rossidi street, Kalamaria)

Friday, February 18 at 6pmSolidarity march (meeting point: Kamara)

MESSAGE BY THE ASSEMBLY OF FIFTY HUNGER STRIKERS IN THESSALONIKI TO THE MAYOR AND THE MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

MESSAGE BY THE ASSEMBLY OF FIFTY HUNGER STRIKERS IN THESSALONIKI TO THE MAYOR AND THE MEMBERS OF THE CITY COUNCIL

 

Dear Mr.Yannis Boutaris, Mayor of Thessaloniki

Esteemed ladies and gentlemen of the City Council

 

First of all we would like to thank your town for its hospitality and its support. We, the 50 hunger strikers who are staying on the 7th floor of the Labor Centre of Thessaloniki, have been visited and have received messages of support by the president and the secretary of the Labor Centre, as well as by numerous of the unions there. We have been visited by and received messages of support by PAME, by the Open City party and by the Ecologists-Greens.  Our demands and our struggle have been embraced by the hospital doctors of the town (the ΕΝΙΤΗ union), by the lawers of the town (the Bar Association, DSTH), and by the union of university professors (DS/ESDEP).

Novelists and thinkers, like Noam Chomsky and Eduardo Galeano, have expressed their solidarity with our struggle from all parts of the world. But here, in Thessaloniki, a town where for centuries many different populations have coexisted, with different religions, ethnicities and customs, it seems that most people are sensitive to our struggle. People here have immediately felt that the 300 migrant workers are fighting a struggle that is proud and justified: a struggle for the working and social rights, for the education of our children, for the dignity of all who live and work in this country. We have been here for many years. This is the twenty first day of our hunger strike. We are tired, but we are determined to continue.

We are here because we are doubly oppressed, to repeat the phrase used by the philosopher Alain Badiou in his solidarity message to us. In our countries we experience dictatorship and poverty. The peoples of Algeria, Tunesia, Egypt have already risen. Here we experience devaluation, humiliation and repression. Our existence is not recognized, our work is not paid, we are being persecuted, beaten up, left at the mercy of traffickers and of police violence.

Mr. Mayor, we ask of you to stand by our struggle. We ask of you to prove that you are indeed interested in change. Our struggle is just and we are certain you are aware of that. We ask of you to promote our demand for the legalization of all immigrants to the responsible ministries, to declare your intention to help us and to realize your intention. A visit by you and a note of support will honour you and help our struggle. You are welcome, we are expecting you.

Solidarity action in Istanbul upon the call of the 300 migrants hunger strikers in Greece

Solidarity action in Istanbul upon the call of the 300 migrants hunger strikers in Greece

In Greece, 300 migrants have been on a hunger strike for the past 18 days. Having been forced to live in the country deprived of documents and social security they have started a hunger strike in the Faculty of Law School in Athens to attract public attention for their rights. Riot police forcefully intervened and threw migrants out of the university space while at the same time attempted to terrorize people who gathered outside the Law School in solidarity of migrants.

Yesterday, protests were organized throughout Greece supporting migrants who have been continuing their struggle under difficult circumstances.

Why are migrants on hunger strike?

As an outcome of capitalism and economic globalization, over the last years thousands of people escape from their countries migrating to “West” in hope of a better life. Those of them who eventually cross the borders suffer from exclusion and discriminations inherent in the political system. This is the case for our Kumkapi, the migrants’ detention center. Those who get arrested, too, are deprived all their rights and they are doomed to oblivion, a life in constant fear.

What’s more, due to their distressful conditions, they have been an easy target for extreme right-wingers’ hate discourses, mainstream media propaganda and racists’ physical assaults.

These policies of migrants’ persecution and contempt eventually lead to their economic exclusion.
At the end, states of the West exploit financially migrants as a way to overcome their financial crisis.

We condemn the Greek Government

We, the Migrants’ Solidarity Network, believing that migration is a problem that has to be dealt, not discriminating anyone in terms of age or gender, condemn the Janus-faced policies of Greece and EU. Not only they deny accepting migrants, but they identify them as illegal and present them as the scapegoats of the current financial and political crisis.

No borders, no fences, no walls built can obstruct and tackle people from opting for a better life.

For us, migration is a reality of our lives, it is not just a problem.

This is why we support the demands of all migrants who live and work in Greece being deprived of any social or political right.

We are calling for every socially sensitive citizen to stand up and support this struggle.

WE ARE DEMANDING:

–         To put a definite end to the human drama that migrants face in Greece

–         To legalize without conditions all hunger strikers

–         To put an end to the modern racist policies which condemn people to live under inhuman conditions

–         To put an end to the shameful arrests and deportations of countries bordering with EU, such as Turkey,

–         To open borders

NO HUMAN IS ILLEGAL

Migrants’ Solidarity Network

Message of solidarity to hunger strikers in Greece DIE LINKE – Germany

Message of solidarity to hunger strikers in Greece

DIE LINKE – Germany

No person is illegal

On occasion of the day of solidarity with the refugees in Greece being on hunger strike Caren Lay and Werner Dreibus, MPs, National Secretaries of DIE LINKE state:

Also in the light of the fact that the European Court just banned the deportation of refugees to Greece, European and German public must no longer close its eyes to the living conditions of the people, stranded at the borders of the fortress Europe in the allegedly secure Greece. We demand that the Greek authorities abolish the direct danger for life and health of the people on hunger strike and assure them a humane treatment and a speedy processing of their demands according to the rule of the laws – national and international. Furthermore, the treatment of refugees in the European Union has to be changed fundamentally. The Dublin II system must be replaced by a system that sets a humane treatment of refugees in the place of the fortress Europe. No human being leaves his or her country without need and no human being is illegal. This is what European refugee policy has to bear in mind.

Caren Lay, MP Werner Dreibus, MP

National Secretaries of DIE LINKE

25 Ευρωβουλευτές εκφράζουν την αλληλεγγύη τους

25 Ευρωβουλευτές εκφράζουν την αλληλεγγύη τους

25 Euro-parliamentarians express their solidarity


Support to the 300 immigrants on Hunger Strike in Greece

We express our concern for the health and life of the 300 immigrants that are on a hunger strike since the 25th of January, in Athens and Thessaloniki.

They are immigrants that live and work for many years in Greece and they request equal rights with the Greek and European workers.

We request the modification of the migratory policies of the EU in order to respect the rights of the immigrants. We declare our solidarity to the struggle of the 300 immigrants for dignity and we ask the Greek Government to carefully listen to their demands and give a solution to the problem.

Υποστήριξη στον αγώνα των μεταναστών απεργών πείνας στην Ελλάδα

Εκφράζουμε την ανησυχία μας για την υγεία και τη ζωή των 300 μεταναστών που κάνουν απεργία πείνας από τις 25 Ιανουαρίου σε Αθήνα και Θεσσαλονίκη.

Πρόκειται για μετανάστες που ζουν και εργάζονται επί σειρά ετών στην Ελλάδα και διεκδικούν ίσα δικαιώματα με τους Έλληνες και Ευρωπαίους εργαζόμενους.

Zητάμε να αλλάξει η μεταναστευτική πολιτική της Ένωσης ώστε να γίνονται σεβαστά τα δικαιώματα των μεταναστών και μεταναστριών. Εκφράζουμε την υποστήριξή μας στον αγώνα των 300 μεταναστών για αξιοπρέπεια και καλούμε την Ελληνική Κυβέρνηση να ακούσει προσεκτικά τα αιτήματά τους και να δώσει λύση στο πρόβλημα.

 

Πρώτες Υπογραφές:

1. Rui Tavares (MEP GUE/NGL, PORTUGAL)

2. Ulrike Lunacek (Co-Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs Committee in the European Parliament, MEP GREENS/EFA, AUSTRIA)

3. Νικόλαος Χουντής (MEP GUE/NGL, GREECE)

4. Μιχάλης Τρεμόπουλος (MEP GREENS/EFA, GREECE)

5. Patrick Le Hyaric (MEP GUE/NGL, FRANCE)

6. Jacky Henin (MEP GUE/NGL, FRANCE)

7. Joe Higgins (MEP GUE/NGL, IRELAND)

8. Marisa Matias (MEP GUE/NGL, PORTUGAL)

9. Eva – Britt Svensson (Chairwoman of the European Parliament FEMME Committee, MEP GUE/NGL SWEDEN)

10. Helene Flautre (MEP GREENS/EFA, FRANCE)

11. Willy Meyer (MEP GUE/NGL, SPAIN)

12. Bairbre de Brún (GUE/NGL, IRELAND)

13. Marie Christine Vergiat (MEP GUE/NGL, FRANCE)

14. Sabine Lösing (MEP GUE/NGL, GERMANY)

15. Takis Hadjigeorgiou (MEP GUE/NGL, CYPRUS)

16. Sabine Wills, (MEP GUE/NGL, GERMANY)

17. Nicole Kiil – Nielsen (MEP GREENS/EFA, FRANCE)

18. Heidi Ruehle (MEP GREENS/EFA, GERMANY)

19. Isabelle Durant (Vice-president of the European Parliament, MEP GREENS/EFA, BELGIUM)

20. Jean Luc Mélenchon (Vice President of Foreign Affairs Committe of the European Parliament, MEP GUE/NGL, FRANCE)

21. Kartika Liotard (MEP GUE/NGL, NETHERLANDS)

22.  Jurgen Klute (MEP GUE/NGL, GERMANY)

23. Dennis de Jong (MEP GUE/NGL, NETHERLANDS)

24. Canfin Pascal ((MEP GREENS/EFA, FRANCE)

25. Catherine Grèze ((MEP GREENS/EFA, FRANCE)

 

Μήνυμα αλληλεγγύης απο τη Δανία

On the 25th of January 2011 300 migrant workers began a hunger-strike in Athens. They are fighting for equal rights for all workers in Greece, with or without papers, and for their own right to live wherever they want.

Tonight (11/2), as part of the European Day of Solidarity, we furnished the Greek embassy in Copenhagen with a message of international solidarity: WE ARE 300.

Greece will have to give residence and work permits to all 300 strikers, and cease the criminalization of their supporters. The Greek State must accept the fact that everybody has the right to live and work where they please.

We’re hoping that the migrants’ struggle will proliferate all over Europe – and win. The racist war that EU is leading against all migrants must come to an end: No one is illegal!

With love,
from comrades in Denmark

 

Solidarity action in Denmark in from of greek embassy: We are 300

Solidarity action in Denmark in from of greek embassy: We are 300

PRESS RELEASE – 17th day of hunger strike

PRESS RELEASE

10 February 2011

17th day of hunger strike

 

The 50 migrant workers on the 7th floor of the Labor Centre in Thessaloniki have been on hunger strike for 17 days now. They are determined to continue the hunger strike. Following their comrades in Athens, for two days now they have stopped drinking tea. Their spirits are high.

They are in continuous contact with their comrades in Athens and fully support their comrades’ decision to stay at the building where they are staying now. They sent a message to the owner of the building in Athens (s. yesterday’s press release), who has issued an ultimatum for the evacuation of his property by the hunger strikers.

In the early evening there was a protest march to the General Secretariate of Macedonia and Thrace by migrant organizations, teachers’ unions and many locals.

The hunger strikers receive solidarity messages everyday. The Managing Council of the Association of Teaching Staff (ESDEP) at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, in a text supporting the demands of the 300 hunger strikers note that “the migrants are not ‘illegal’ because they choose to be. It is the State itself that wants them in the black market, with no insurance or welfare, suffering double exploitation, in the margins of society, with no papers, no rights, no identity, persecuted and piled in ‘humilition facilities’. The said Association has decided to visit the hunger strikers at the Labor Centre.

The Bar Association (Lawyers Union) of Thessaloniki decided to offer financial support to the hunger strikers. Teachers from Voluntary Migrants’ Schools expressed their solidarity with the hunger strikers.

The Open Solidarity Initiative invites everyone to a demo today, meeting at the Aghia Varvara square in Toumba at 6pm and to the solidarity rally on Friday the 11th of February, as part of the countrywide and European day of solidarity actions. The meeting tomorrow is at 6pm at the Venizelou statue.

From the Press Office

Solidarity Initiative of Thessaloniki

allilmap.wordpress.com

PRESS RELEASE 16th day of the hunger strike

Press Release

9 February 2011

16th day of the hunger strike

 

 

The immigrant workers on the 7th floor of the Labor Centre in Thessaloniki have been on hunger strike since the 25th of January 2011. They are determined to continue the hunger strike.

 

Today at a press conference, organized by the Antiracist Initiative on the 1st floor of the Labor Center in Thessaloniki, the Teachers’ Unions, the Bar Association, The Hospital Doctors Union, the Committee for Social Welfare and Health Policy of the Rectorate of the University of Thessaloniki, as well as the Albanian Immigrants’ Association ‘Mother Tereza’, the Movement against Racism and the Fascist Threat, and the Association of Nigerians in Thessaloniki and the Antiracist Initiative expressed their solidarity to the hunger strikers and in a common announcement noted that “solidarity is the most effective weapon of all working people and of the oppressed…and  all participating organizations support the demands of the migrants for legalization and equal rights of all immigrants who live and work in Greece”.

 

The representative of the hunger strikers said that there is no point of contact in communications with the government and emphasized that the authorities will be responsible for whatever happens.

 

Ms Kostantziki, the representative of the Bar Association said that there are no illegal human beings, only illegal and inhuman policies. Stratis Plomaritis, president of the Hospital Doctors Union said that human life cannot be outweighed against any other value. Alexis Benos of the Committee for Social Welfare noted that especially in today’s crisis the migrants’ demands should be all workers’ demands, he reminded Greeks that historically they have been a people of refugees and immigrants, and stated that all people working in education ought to teach fundamental human values and support the right to life. Migrants from the Association of Nigerians in Thessaloniki and the Albanian Immigrants’ Association said that they support the hunger strikers’ demands 100%.

 

The assembly of hunger strikers issued the following MESSAGE TO THE OWNER OF THE HYPATIA BUILDING IN ATHENS

 

8 FEBRUARY 2011

We saw pictures from the place where our comrades are staying in Athens. The conditions do not help with our struggle and do not ensure its continuity. We understand you are worried about your property. We would like to tell you that we are educated people, we are on strike because we are fighters, and we are not interested in destroying your building or your furniture. Until now, there has been absolutely no damage to your property and you can check that again, as you do everyday.

You say you want to help us. You made a first step by hosting us as strikers and not as homeless beggars. But if you really want to help us, and not create more obstacles to our hunger strike, we are asking you to decide what value is more important to you: the “safety” of your building, or a very serious struggle for human dignity? Our request is clear and simple: We ask you to unlock more rooms and open up more space for our comrades to protect them from bad weather and allow them to pursue their hunger strike until their victory.

 

From the Press Office

Solidarity Initiative of Thessaloniki

allilmap.wordpress.com

PRESS RELEASE – 14th day of the hunger strike

PRESS RELEASE

Monday, 7 FEBRUARY,  2011

14th day of the hunger strike

Τhe 50 migrant workers on the 7th floor of the Labor Centre in Thessaloniki have been on hunger strike for 13 days now. The signs of fatigue and physical response to the fasting are now apparent. They are determined to continue the hunger strike. Their spirits are high.

Today, there was an assembly of immigrant organizations and the hunger strikers. Among other things, they discussed the practicalities of the protest outside the Local Government General Secretariat of Macedonia and Thrace planned for Wednesday, February 9. The meeting is set for 6pm on that day at the Labor Centre.

Today, among other messages of support, we received texts of solidarity to the 300 hunger strikers demanding the legalization of all immigrants and equal rights for all workers by the Local Initiative of Toumba Residents and by the Volunteer Veterinary Doctors group “Action for Wildlife”.

The Open Solidarity Initiative invites everyone to the interventions and solidarity actions planned for the next days:

On Tuesday, Feb 8, a march in the Western neighborhoods will depart at 6pm from the Ambelokipi Square.

On Thursday, Feb 10, a march in the Toumba area will depart at 6pm from Aghia Varvara church.

On Friday, Feb 11, a solidarity rally will start at 6pm from the Venizelou statue, as part of the countrywide and European day of solidarity actions.

From the Press Office

Solidarity Initiative of Thessaloniki

allilmap.wordpress.com

PRESS RELEASE – 13th day of hunger strike

PRESS RELEASE

Sunday 6th February

13th day of hunger strike

The hunger strike of the 300 immigrant workers (50 of whom have been sheltered at the 7th floor of the Center for the Worker Unions of Thessaloniki) is on the 13th day. Despite their heavy struggle, they retain a high morale and a strong will, along with an admirable militancy.

The Open Solidarity Initiative of Thessaloniki calls for the following actions during the upcoming days:

• Tuesday 8th February, at 18.00 at Ampelokipi Sq.: Rally and march in the west districts of Thessaloniki
• Thursday 10th February, at 18:00 at Aghia Varvara: Rally and march in Toumba
• Friday 11th February, at 18:00 at Venizelos’ Statue: Solidarity Demonstration

The Solidarity Demonstration of the Friday, 11th February is part of the day for European-wide actions and events, as specified by the Initiatives for Solidarity to the hunger-strikers all over Greece. Similar demonstrations, actions and events will take place in many cities around Greece and abroad.

The Open Solidarity Initiative of Thessaloniki and the immigrants on hunger-strike call the local society to support the solidarity actions .

In case of changes or additions, the action plan will be updated via new press releases.

The blog operated by the Open Solidarity Initiative of Thessaloniki (allilmap.wordpress.com) features the full history of the the hunger-strike by the 300 immigrants, along with solidarity votes and statements by institutions, unions, organisations and collectives.

You can contact Solidarity Initiative via:
allilmet_ap@espiv.net

From the Press Office

Solidarity Initiative of Thessaloniki

allilmap.wordpress.com

PRESS RELEASE – 12th day of hunger strike

PRESS RELEASE

Saturday, 5 FEBRUARY,  2011

12th day of hunger strike

Τhe 50 migrant workers on the 7th floor of the Labor Centre in Thessaloniki have been on hunger strike for 12 days now. Τhe first signs of fatigue are now becoming apparent. They are determined to continue the hunger strike. Their spirits are high.

In the morning, texts were read out and leaflets were distributed around an infopoint set up to publicize the hunger strike with a PA system at the Anargyron square in the upper town. In the evening solidarity concert at the square in front of the Labor Centre was very successful. One of the hunger strikers borrowed the guitar of one of the bands and played two songs composed during the hunger strike. One of them said: The night is falling, the match is going out, we are still holding on.

Tomorrow, on Sunday February 6, on the 1st floor of the Labor Centre there will be an open meeting of information and coordination of solidarity actions called by first degree trade unions of hire-work engineers and technicians, education workers, precarious workers in education and exclusive nurses.

The Open Solidarity Initiative invites everyone to the interventions and solidarity actions in the next days:

On Tuesday, Feb 8, a march in the Western neighborhoods will depart at 6pm from the Ambelokipi Square.

On Thursday, Feb 10, a march in the Toumba area will depart at 6pm from Aghia Varvara church.

On Friday, Feb 11, a solidarity rally will start at 6pm from the Venizelou statue, as part of the EUROPEAN DAY OF SOLIDARITY ACTIONS TO THE 300 MIGRANT HUNGER STRIKERS

From the Press Office

Solidarity Initiative of Thessaloniki

allilmap.wordpress.com