Tag Archives: struggle for legalization

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

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Press Release – DAY 29 of the hunger strike

Press Release

TUESDAY, 22nd of February

DAY 29 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 29 days now. Nine of the hunger strikers in Thessaloniki (of which 5 today) have been sent to hospital for fainting. According to the report of the medical health team: All of them are suffering considerable weight loss and the signs of fatigue and advanced exhaustion are apparent… The majority of them 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 in which the continuation of fasting may cause irreversible damage to their health.

Yesterday, the 300 hunger strikers issued an official announcement in which they state their specific demands:

For us, legalisation is neither a generic nor an abstract slogan. We don’t want proposals to be heard without us. For us legalisation means many and very specific things. Between those, first and foremost:

The issuing – since we are entitled to it – of a proper residence and labour 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

At the end of their announcement they add:

Anyone who wants to seriously engage with our strike and avoid a humanitarian crisis in Greece, should officially and directly contact us and whatever discussion must be focused on meeting the above demands.

Every human is worth a dignified life and labour

The hunger strike shall win

This morning the Open Solidarity Initiative of Thessaloniki occupied the offices of the General Secretariat of Youth, a department of the Ministry of Labor, to protest the stance of the government. Their banner read: “1 MONTH OF HUNGER STRIKE – THE PASOK GOVERNMENT EXTERMINATES PEOPLE-VICTORY TO THE STRUGGLE OF THE 300 IMMIGRANTS”. The text distributed to people working there as well as to passers by stated, among other things, that “the only ones who will lose from the legalization are the big industrialists, the big contractors, the landowners, the shipowners…all those who, with generous help from professional politicians of every tendency, plundered natural and social resources and are now selling off scorched land”. The text was sent to the Minister of Justice, the Minister and Deputy Minister of Interior Affairs and the Deputy Minister of Labor.

Yesterday, the solidarity concert was held at the Functions Hall of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki with the participation of numerous artists and was enjoyed by a massive audience, which did not stop cheering and shouting slogans of support to the hunger strikers, proving once again the broadness and intensity of solidarity. After the concert, a crowd of over 1000 people spontaneously decided to leave in a demonstration, which marched to the Labor Centre.

Yesterday, Naomi Klein, author of The Shock Doctrine and the historian of the Left Geoff Eley, expressed their support with the struggle of the hunger strikers.

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.

From the Press Office

Solidarity Initiative of Thessaloniki

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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 26 of the hunger strike

PRESS RELEASE

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

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

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

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

Solidarity with the 300 Migrant Workers on Hunger Strike in Greece

Solidarity with the 300 Migrant Workers on Hunger Strike in Greece

Migrant workers come to developed countries hoping to survive, or escape from political and social persecution, but they fall prey to wild exploitation, and today they are the first to experience the consequences of the current economic and social crisis.

The 300 hundred migrant workers who are on hunger strike in Athens and Thessaloniki have been living and working in Greece for years. However, they are deprived of basic rights of the Greek workers; they have no right to free movement, to decent terms of employment, to health insurance, to personal dignity, to life as such!

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.

Étienne Balibar

Emeritus professor of philosophy, Université Paris-Ouest

Distinguished Professor, School of Humanities, University of California, Irvine

Renate Bridenthal

Emerita Professor of History
Brooklyn College, The City University of New York

Noam Chomsky

MIT Department of Linguistics

Institute Professor & Professor of Linguistics (Emeritus)
Marta Harnecker

Psychologist, Writer (Chile)

 

David Laibman

Professor, Economics, City University of New York

 

Michael A Lebowitz

Professor emeritus of Economics at Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, Canada

 

Peter McLaren

Professor, UCLAΜ, Graduate School of Education

 

Michael Perelman
Economics Department, California State University

 

Immanuel Wallerstein

Senior Research Scholar, Yale University

Press Release – Day 22 of hunger strike

Press Release

15 February 2011

Day 22 of hunger strike

The 50 immigrants at the Labor Centre of Thessaloniki have been on hunger strike for 22 days now. According to the doctors’ press release (Monday, February 14), “they consume 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,[14th of February] 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 their vital points reveals the expected amount of weight loss and the corresponding consequences for their health.”

The 300 hunger strikers in Athens and Thessaloniki are teaching the whole of society lessons of dignity and struggle, as they are fighting for equal civil, social and working rights for all people.

 

MESSAGES OF SOLIDARITY AND SUPPORT

The assembly of hunger strikers in Thessaloniki receives messages of solidarity everyday. Last night, the Thessaloniki City Council issued a statement of support for the struggle of the hunger strikers. In the statement, we read, among other things, that “the Council of Thessaloniki, a city that has historically been a multicolored and multicultural melting pot, expresses its solidarity to the struggle of the hunger strikers. This is a struggle for a life of dignity and for the unquestionable right to the free movement of people, in an age where speculative capital travels with the velocity of electricity. We ask for the legalization of migrants and for the disconnection of this procedure from the number of collected workstamps.”

The National Confederation of Labor (CNT-AIT) of Spain sent a message of solidarity to the 300 migrant workers stating: “The working men and women of the CNT would like to express our solidarity to the hunger strikers in Greece and our support for their demands. As is usual when there is a crisis of capital, a recurrent and cyclical phenomenon in capitalism, the bosses try to divert public attention, to blame the weak and the vulnerable, to intensify their nationalist and racist rhetoric and to turn foreigners into scapegoats for all evil. With this lie, they hope to disclose the obvious reality that capital and states are the only ones responsible for the situation today.”

 

SOLIDARITY ACTIONS

On 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 representatives of the hunger strikers, Nikos Paraskevopoulos, dean of the Law Faculty of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Konstandinos Tsitselikis, vice-president of the National Commission for Human Rights, as well as the organizers.

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 6pm – Solidarity march (meeting point: Kamara)

From the Press Office

Solidarity Initiative of Thessaloniki

allilmap.wordpress.com

Press Release – 20th day of the hunger strike

Press Release

13th February 2011

20th 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 20 days now. The signs of fatigue and physical weakness are apparent. They are determined to continue the hunger strike. The 300 hunger strikers in Athens and Thessaloniki are teaching the whole of society lessons of dignity and struggle.

The assembly of hunger strikers in Thessaloniki receives messages of solidarity everyday. Yesterday they were visited by a member of the Doctors of the World and a Sudanese doctor. Socrates, the Association of Teachers in the Berlin area, sent a solidarity message, noting “We support the struggle of the 300 hunger strikers, because it is the struggle of the whole of society for freedom, equality and justice”.

The Superior Administration of Unions of Public Sector Workers (ADEDY) and the General Federation Of Labor Unions (GSEE) issued a press release where they state that they asked the government to “offer a solution to the migrants’ problem that is in accordance to their real conditions, namely the fact that have been living and working here for years…Even the existing legislation allows for the possibility of legaization, i.e. the fulfillment of the migrants’ basic demand…The general issue of migration can only be solved through changes in the legal framework of the EU and of Greece, ensuring the recognition and the full working and social rights of immigrants”.

Interventions and demos as part of the countrywide and European days of solidarity to the 300 hunger strikers continued yesterday with actions in Athens, Patras, Mytilene, Sofia, Istanbul. In Istanbul, at a protest outside the Greek consulate, the Network for Solidarity to Migrants read out a text where ,among other things, they note that “no border, no fence, no wall can stop people from wanting a better life…We support the demands of all migrants who live and work in Greece”.

On Monday, February 14, there will be a solidarity football match between a team of journalists and the ecological and humanist football team Hasta la Victoria Siempre. The organizers of the match say that “together we shall destroy the idea that migrants are to blame for everything”.

The Open Initiative of Solidarity is planning several solidarity and protest actions for the following week, the fourth week of the hunger strike.

From the Press Office

Solidarity Initiative of Thessaloniki

allilmap.wordpress.com

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

Solidarity with the migrants in hunger strike in Greece

Solidarity with the migrants in hunger strike in Greece

On 25th of January 2011, 300 migrants started with a hunger strike. It is a struggle for equal rights to life, carried out by those who want to be no longer invisible. The preparation meeting for the transnational migrants strike on 1st of March in Vienna declares it’s solidarity with the hunger strikers. We are on your side!

From the greek government we claim the immediate end of the repression against a legitim protest and an end of the everyday’s exclusion. Moreover we condemn the criminalisation of supporters, which only happens as attempt at intimidation and to hold off people to join the protests.

We claim the immediate realization of the demands of the migrants in greece and all over Europe. It’s time to stop the racist exclusion as well in the interior as on the borders. It’s time to start a turning: In driection to the point of equal rights and privileges for anyone.

A transnational migrants strike is called for 1st of March 2011 – like one year before.  To show the common interests of migrants, their struggles will be bundled on this day. And we want to point: This struggles are everyday struggles for many people – and can’t be reduced to one day.

The dream of the hungerstriking migrants, «some day, to have equal rights with our Greek fellow workers», has to become reality!

The preparation meeting for the transnational migrants strike on 1st of March in Vienna

….

Solidarity statement in german:
Solidarität mit den hungerstreikenden Migrant_innen in Griechenland:

http://no-racism.net/article/3671

1maerz-streik.net

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 – 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

Announcement to the society

Announcement to the society

We, the 300 migrants hunger strikers, we demand legalization of all migrants living and working in Greece and we declare the following:

–        We, 300, took the initiative for that kind of struggle, without the intervention of political parties, organizations and individuals.

–        We believe that the country that we live in is a democracy and as such must respect human rights and international agreements.

–        We are committed and we continue the hunger strike; despite all the pressure and the bad conditions of the place that, by force, we accepted to move.

–        We call every free thinking person in Greece or abroad to stand in solidarity with our fair struggle in order to live with dignity.

29 January 2011

5th day of hunger strike

Declaration of solidarity with the hunger strikers in Greece – Legalisation and equal rights now – Call for a week of action!

Declaration of solidarity with the hunger strikers in Greece – Legalisation and equal rights now – Call for a week of action!

The 25th of January is the day on which 300 migrants in Greece started a hunger strike. Their demand is a collective legalisation of all the people excluded from Greek society based on their status – be it asylum seekers, not recognised refugees, illegalised people, exploited migrant labourers. It is not the first hunger strike in Greece where human beings are forced to use such a drastic measure to fight for their rights.

 

We are migrant men and women from all over Greece. We came here due to poverty, unemployment, wars and dictatorships. The multinational companies and their political servants did not leave another choice for us than risking 10 times our lives to arrive in Europe’s door. […] We came to Greece and we are working to support ourselves and our families. We live without dignity, in the darkness of illegalness so that employers and state’s services can benefit from the harsh exploitation of our labour. We live from our sweat and with the dream, some day, to have equal rights with our Greek fellow workers. […] The answer to the lies and the cruelty has to be given now and it will come from us, from migrant men and women. We are going in the front line, with our own lives to stop this injustice. We ask the legalization of all migrant men and women, we ask for equal political and social rights and obligations with Greek workers.”

(Assembly of migrant hunger strikers, January 2011)

 

It is not a particular Greek situation that the hunger strikers are denouncing. It is the effect of the European policy of bordering and exclusion. Accessing European territory is often a deadly venture. Refugees and migrants are not welcome in Europe, and fences, border guards and agencies, detention camps and deportation schemes have proliferated only to keep the unwanted at distance. But the dreams and the desires of the unwanted are stronger and enable many to scale the borders. The presence of a migrant population in Europe is a reality and they have come, and are coming to stay.

 

However, it is not only the fences and borders that are directed against these coming citizens of Europe. In a Europe that promised a homogeneous landscape of rights to its citizens in any country of the Union, non-European migrants often find themselves to be second-class citizens, or even outright excluded from political and social rights at large. This creates an exploitable labour force and a disadvantaged and disenfranchised part of the population. By creating such conditions, Europe profits from the products of migrant labour. In the Southern countries of the EU, the agricultural sector is heavily dependent on migrant labour, while all over Europe, migrants form the backbone of many service industries that are taken for granted.

 

But we are talking about human beings, with dreams and hopes, with plenty of reasons to go and to move. But as they arrive in Europe, they find themselves deprived of their rights as human beings, at the mercy of an asylum system, and at the fringes of society. It is exactly this social exclusion and disfranchisement, it is the lack of political and social rights that leads to the often unbearable conditions that are then denounced as the «migration problem», used to justify repression, further exclusion, and deportation.

 

Migration is neither a crime nor a problem, but the European Union’s response is criminal and highly problematic. The 2008 European Pact on Immigration and Asylum has cemented this inhuman policy pursued for many years. While mentioning necessary advances in asylum and legal migration legislation, it has foremost served as a political initiative to harden the borders, further exclusion and deportation and is a declaration of war on migration. It lengthily talks about the solidarity between the EU member states, but it robbed especially the southern states of the only sensible answer to migration: it contains an explicit ban on collective legalisation.

 

The hunger strikers in Greece have decided to struggle for their rights, and rightly so. In a climate of increased repression and anti-migrant rhetoric, we have to act. Not only in Greece, all over Europe and indeed all over the world, we need to struggle for equal rights for everybody. We express our explicit solidarity with the hunger strikers in Greece, and we call to activists all over Europe to join the cause for a complete and unconditional legalisation.

 

We call for a week of action from the 7th to the 13th of February 2011 in solidarity with the hunger strikers!

 

Legalisation now!

Equal rights now!

For the abolition of borders!

 

January 2011

Welcome to Europe Network

Statement of Solidarity from Afrique-Europe-Interact to the Hungerstrike of Refugees and Migrants in Greece

Statement of Solidarity from Afrique-Europe-Interact to the Hungerstrike of Refugees and Migrants in Greece

Bamako, 25th of January 2010

To the assembly of migrant hunger strikers

Today, simultaneously with your struggle for legalization in Greece we start a protest-caravan for freedom of movement and fair development in West Africa.

You described the risks of flight and migration to Europe due to poverty and unemployment, to wars and dictatorships, and due to the oppression of the multinational companies and their political servants. That are exactly the injust realities in Africa, which we tackle and criticize with our caravan.
You fight against the EU-borderregime and the modern apartheid – as we do the same!
You fight against exploitation and scapegoating and you demand equal rights – as we do the same!

We will bring these common demands from Bamako during our two weeks-tour through West Africa and afterwards to the World Social Forum in Dakar. And we will – if necessary – promote your struggle in Dakar again and call for more transnational solidarity.

The network Afrique-Europe-Interact wishes you strength and sucess in your resistance.