Category Archives: Griechenland

[Athen] Repressionswelle und Räumungen von Refugee-Squats in Exarcheia

Artikel zuerst veröffentlicht auf enough is enough 14 am 27. August 2017:

Greek territory: #Exarcheia under police occupation!

Athens, August 26. Alert! What we have been announcing to you for a month and a half has just begun this morning (yesterday morning, Enough 14), just before dawn. Athens’ famous rebel and supportive neighbourhood is completely surrounded by huge police forces: many riot police buses (MAT), anti-terrorist untis (OPKE), police on motorbikes (DIAS), members of the secret police (asfalitès), as well as a helicopter and several drones.

Originally published by BlogYY. Written by Yannis Youlountas. Translated by Squat Net.

A unique place in Europe for its high concentration of squats and other self-managed spaces, but also for its resistance against repression and its solidarity with precarious and migrants, Exarcheia has been in the sight of the right-wing government since its election on 7 July. The new Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis had made it a personal affair, especially since he had been mocked in early August for failing to achieve his goal of “cleaning Exarcheia in a month” as he had announced with great fanfare.

This morning, 4 squats were evicted: Spirou Trikoupi 17, Transito, Rosa de Foc and Gare. The offensive currently concerns the north-western part of the district, with the notable exception of the Notara 26 squat, which is considered better guarded and very symbolically important for the district as the first historical squat of the “refugee crisis” in downtown Athens.

There are currently about 100 arrests, including than brutal attacks on people trying to film. Only the mass media in the service of power are allowed to cover the event.

In total, there are 23 squats in Exarcheia plus 26 others around the district, for a total of 49 concentrated in a relatively small area. 49 squats to which other types of self-managed sites must be added, including some rented (Espace Social Libre Nosotros, free shop Skoros, etc.) as well as dozens of private homes groups of activists, often near the terraces to allow access above the streets.

On the squats that are precisely inside Exarcheia, 12 are accommodation squats for refugees and migrants and the 11 others are squats of anarchist and anti-authoritarian collectives (although most refugee squats are also obviously very political, starting with Notara 26 and Spirou Trikoupi 17 with direct assemblies and many links with the rest of the movement).

In the squats of Spirou Trikoupi 17 and Transito (on which servants of power are now bricking up windows), more than fifteen children have been torn from a peaceful and happy existence in order to suddenly being sent to camps. These sinister camps are unhealthy and overcrowded, migrants are malnourished and suffer from temperature variations, humiliation, and sometimes torture, and Mitsotakis also demands that they all be well closed and, in the future, completely cut off from the rest of the territory.

The face of Europe is constantly hardening, the same process is happening in other continents. This evolution increasing authoritarian capitalism leads us to question what the coming times will bring: the offensive against the pockets of utopias coupled with the confinement of the scapegoats reminds us of the dark hours of History.

The whole world is becoming fascist and Greece is once again one of them, one of the laboratories.

But nothing is over. September is coming soon. Seasonal jobs are about to end. The social movement gathers and organizes itself again. Places like Notara 26 and K*Vox are under high surveillance. Answers are being prepared, as well as several major events mobilizers. Autumn will be hot in Athens.

Resistance!

Yannis Youlountas, August 26, 2019

Today, Tuesday August 27, there wull be several protests and solidarity actions:

[Ägäis] Interview on theEU`s fight against “smuggling” – Wieso es nicht nur um Carola Rackete geht

Interview zur Situation der “smuggling cases” – zuerst veröffentlicht von dm aegean:

Not only European sea rescue organizations are criminalized. Hundreds of migrants seeking protection in Europe are immediately arrested after their arrival by boat on the Greek Islands. They are accused of human smuggling.

The police is looking for the people who were driving the boat. These people are either refugees who could not afford their journey in a rubber dinghy and accept to steer the boat or Turkish citizen not knowing the risk they occur.

One trial against a “smuggler” lasts less than half an hour. In nearly all cases, the accused migrants are found guilty. Their average sentence is about 44 years in prison that is to be served for about 19 years. The average fines imposed are over 370.000 Euros.

[Ägäis] The war against smuggling

Artikel zuerst veröffentlicht von dm aegean und V.H.

The following short report is based on data collected by the organization Christian Peacemaker Teams Lesvos (CPT-Lesvos) who has been monitoring smuggling trials since 2014. All graphs have been made by CPT-Lesvos. An in-depth analysis of the data collected will be published in autumn 2019.

Criminalizing Migration and Escape Aid

Many people who reach the Greek islands in rubber dinghies have been travelling for months or years to find freedom and safety in the European Union. But surviving the crossing of the Aegean Sea from Turkey to Greece does not mean that they eventually reached safety.

On the Greek hotspot islands, some migrants are regularly arrested from their boats and directly detained and accused of human smuggling. The European Union claims:

“Fighting and preventing human smuggling and trafficking is one of the priorities of the European Union and crucial to address irregular migration in a comprehensive way.”

European Union, 15.10.2018[1]

Jamil from Afghanistan (name changed) experienced what this means. He was sentenced to 90 years in prison of which he will have to serve 25 years and was also convicted to a 13,000 Euro penalty. Jamil was captured driving a refugee boat from Greece to Lesvos. He could not afford to pay for his wife’s and his own journey, so he accepted the offer from the smuggler who asked him to drive the boat and return to get a free ride with his wife. He did not know that driving a boat would be considered a crime. While his wife now lives in Germany, he is still imprisoned – he appealed the court decision but was again convicted.

His example shows that the maxim of fighting human smuggling is not only used to criminalize civilian sea rescue as in the cases of the recent accusations against the captain of the Sea Watch 3 and the crew of the rescue boat Iuventa. It however impacts people who do not hold European passports much more directly. Many of them come as refugees themselves, intending to seek asylum in Europe. While European sea rescuers have so far only been accused for crimes but not convicted, hundreds of migrants have been sentenced to decades in prison with excessive charges.

Arresting “smugglers”

The organization Christian Peacemaker Teams Lesvos (CPT-Lesvos) has been monitoring the smuggling trials since 2014. They found that most of the people accused of smuggling are Turkish citizens and some of them migrants from other countries seeking protection in Europe. All people arrested are male. CPT-Lesvos member Rûnbîr Serkepkanî explains:

“What is common among most of them is that they are poor, they are students, they are migrants who couldn’t afford paying for the travel to the Aegean islands. (…) If you are a Turkish citizen – we have many migrants who are Turkish who have applied for asylum here in Greece – you are automatically accused of being the smuggler or the driver of the boat.”

Rûnbîr Serkepkanî, CPT-Lesvos, March 2019

Dariusz Firla from CPT-Lesvos describes how people labelled as “smugglers” are often identified:

“When the Coast Guard or FRONTEX pick up refugees at sea, they usually ask directly: “Who drove the boat?”. Sometimes people even say, “That was me,” because they don’t know it’s a crime. In some cases, it is simply a matter of refugees who paid less and drive the boat for this, but often it is Turks from poor regions who, for example, had no work and were hired by the smugglers for some pocket money to go and return the boat. Sometimes they are beaten bloody after their arrest until they arrive at the port.”

Dariusz Firla, CPT Lesvos, June 2017

The Greek Coast Guards in the port of Mytilene, Lesvos. Photo: March 2018

CPT-Lesvos interviewed Tarek (name changed) from Syria who has been detained in Chios prison for 14 months. He explained: “I was beaten from the moment I was arrested at sea until arriving at the police station. I was bleeding.”

After their arrest, people are held in pre-trial detention. CPT-Lesvos found that migrants are on average detained for 7 months before their first trial. There were also cases where the trial was postponed twice, leading to 29 months of pre-detention.

A farce of a court case

One of the major problems in court is a shocking lack of deep processing. CPT-Lesvos timed the duration of 28 trials and found that the average duration of an individual trial was only 28.5 minutes, while the average duration of a joint trial was 43 minutes. Obviously, this makes a thorough investigation of the question of guilt impossible. Furthermore, the translation within the trials is extremely poor.

Table 1: Duration of Trials

In many cases, the defendants are sentenced even if there is hardly any evidence against them. Dariusz Firla explains:

“Sometimes there is only the Coast Guard as witness. For the judges, it can be sufficient if the witness identifies the defendant as the driver of the boat. In one case, the Coast Guard even stated that he had not been present at the rescue operation himself, but that his colleague had told him that the defendant was guilty.”

Dariusz Firla, CPT Lesvos, June 2017

On top of the lack of deep processing by the judges, the quality of the court-appointed lawyers poses a major problem, especially since most lawyers are only appointed at the day of the trial and have no means to do any investigation for the defence. Sometimes, state or private lawyers also do not appear before the court, as in the case of Tarek (name changed), who had spent 14 months in pre-trial detention. Tarek’s family sold whatever they could to pay for a Greek lawyer, but the lawyer failed to show up on the day of the trial and he was sentenced to 45 years in prison.

Life long sentences

In nearly all cases, the accused migrants are found guilty of human smuggling and in some cases also of entry to Greece without permission and disobedience. Rûnbîr Serkepkanî states:

“The punishment of people who are accused with or charged with smuggling is higher than murder in Greece. So it is more serious to drive a boat which carries migrants to the Greek islands than murdering people.”

Rûnbîr Serkepkanî, CPT-Lesvos, March 2019

The sentences are calculated adding factors such as the number of people transported, transport without life vests, and if their lives were put in danger (e.g. through capsizing of the boat), which is why the sentence can exceed 100 years. Since the maximum period of factual imprisonment in Greece is 25 years, the sentences is then reduced accordingly. In some cases, mitigating circumstances are taken into account, reducing the penalty to about ten years. Sometimes the deportation of the convicted person is ordered directly after the release. In fact, looking at 41 cases between 2016 and 2017, CPT-Lesvos found that the average sentence of the trials they monitored was about 44 years in prison with an expected actual duration in prison of about 19 years. In addition, there are huge fines imposed, on average more than 370.000 Euros.

Charge Average Sentence
(41 cases)
Average time the sentence is to be served (41 cases)
(1) human smuggling (illegal transportation in order to earn money) 48 years 18 years
(1) human smuggling (illegal transportation in order to earn money)
(2) entry to Greece without permission
51 years 19 years
(1) human smuggling (illegal transportation in order to earn money)
(2) entry to Greece without permission
(3) disobedience
32 years 19.5 years
Table 3: Sentence and incarceration
Table 4: Sentence, Incarceration and Money Penalty

The European incarceration of the marginalized

The necessity to prevent human smuggling has been normalized in the European Union. Arrests are supported by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency FRONTEX and hardly any politician would question the necessity to prevent human smuggling at the EU external borders. The actions of the Greek state and courts are either tacitly supported or ignored.

The EU Commission, FRONTEX and interior ministries tend to mention the need to fight human smuggling in one breath with the necessity to save lives and ensure protection of humans. This was especially made possible through the convergence of discourses around human trafficking, human smuggling and escape aid.[4] The EU claims:

“While trafficking in human beings and migrant smuggling are two different crimes subject to different legal frameworks they are closely interlinked.”

European Union, 15.10.2018[5]

Trafficking and smuggling may overlap in some cases, however, they are in fact two completely different issues. Trafficking is a forced transfer of people, connected to kidnapping, exploitation and modern slavery, while human smuggling is a response on the restrictive border policies preventing even refugees to be able to cross borders in a legal way.

For the majority of the worldwide population, there is no safe passage and no legal way to enter an EU country and seek asylum or receive a working visa. People are forced to embark on illegalized deadly routes and have no other option but to use the service of facilitators that are in many cases excessively overpriced and risky. The facilitation of people’s journeys is illegalized even if their right to stay is approved through an asylum decision afterwards. Destroying smuggling networks will not save lives – people rely on them to save their own lives.

As the example of Greece shows, the people who are arrested in the fight against human smuggling are exactly those already suffering most from the EU border policies. In many cases, they had no choice and are themselves seeking protection. The anti-smuggling policies at the external border of Greece only hit the smallest link in a chain. Since people often have neither information on the risks they undergo nor a choice, these policies do not even have a deterring effect and only follow a senseless ideology of punishment. Without any need, the lives of marginalized people are destroyed in devastating ways. It is migrants and refugees seeking protection – unheard and without any lobby – who have to pay with their lives and dreams for these misguided and inhumane European policies.


[1]European Union (2018): The EU’s global engagement to counter smuggling and trafficking networks, 15.10.2018.

[2] For a recent arrest, see e.g.: Ekathimerini.com, 11.07.2019: Three arrested for migrant smuggling in as many incidents.

[3] See also: CPT Europe, 01.12.2016: Seeing in the Greek Courtroom.

[4] For an in-depth analysis see: Bellezza, Sara; Calandrino, Tiziana, March 2017: Criminalization of Flight and Escape Aid. Borderline-europe.

[5]European Union (2018): The EU’s global engagement to counter smuggling and trafficking networks, 15.10.2018.

 

[Griechenland] Der Tod der Träume – Eine Stimme aus dem Gefängnis

Veröffentlicht am 13. Mai 2019 von Deportation Monitoring Aegean https://dm-aegean.bordermonitoring.eu/2019/05/13/the-death-of-dreams-a-voice-from-prison/

Viele Menschen, die nach Europa kommen, um Freiheit und Sicherheit zu suchen, befinden sich im Gefängnis. Während die EU-Politik Menschen gewaltsam in überfüllten und mit Stacheldraht versehenen Lagern auf den griechischen Inseln gefangen hält, setzt die griechische Polizei harte Repressionsstrategien ein, um Konflikte und Proteste aufgrund der unerträglichen Lebensbedingungen in den Lagern zu unterdrücken.

Migranten auf den griechischen Inseln befinden sich in einer Situation der Inhaftierung – unabhängig davon, ob sie eine Straftat begangen haben oder nicht, sie müssen nicht nur die ständige Unsicherheit des Lagers ertragen, sondern auch unter der ständigen Gefahr leben, verhaftet und festgehalten zu werden.

Im Folgenden geben wir den Bericht von Aftab Mohammadi (Name geändert), der im Juli 2018 im Lager Moria verhaftet wurde. Es ist eine von vielen Geschichten über eine  grausame Inhaftierungspraxis.

Nachricht eines Gefangenen aus dem Knast in Chios: Vor neun Monaten war es eine Nacht wie andere Nächte. Es gab einen Kampf im Lager zwischen einigen wenigen Leuten, der mehr als zwei Stunden dauerte. Der Kampf begann zwischen zwei Leuten und nach einer Weile wurden andere im Lager involviert. Es begann alles mit den schlechten Bedingungen, die im Lager leben müssen. Einige haben mentale Probleme, weil sie unter diesen schrecklichen Bedingungen leben und keine mentale Unterstützung haben.

Die Polizei war anwesend und sie sahen, was passiert war. Ich fühlte mich in dieser Nacht schrecklich, besonders als ich sah, dass die Kinder ihre Mütter festhielten, sie hatten große Angst und weinten. Die Polizisten lachten über die Leute. Für sie war es wie ein Online-Film. Wir baten sie um Hilfe, aber sie lachten uns nur aus, machten Fotos und nahmen uns auf.

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[Lesbos] Freispruch für die angeklagten Betroffenen des Pogroms auf Lesbos von April 2018

Wir veröffentlichen einen Bericht von Genoss*innen von Lesbos:
110 der Betroffenen des faschistischen Pogroms, das am 22. April 2018 auf dem zentralen Platz in Mytilini stattgefunden hat sind am 9ten Mai 2019 in allen Punkten freigesprochen worden.
Ihnen wurde Widerstand gegen die Staatsgewalt und illegale Besetzung oeffentlicher Raeume vorgeworfen. Der Ausgang dieses Prozesses ist sehr erfreulich- wenn auch der einzig logische, denn wie so viele Faelle von Kriminalisierung von Migrant*Innen haette er gar nicht erst vor Gericht gehen duerfen. *
Waehrend der Verhandlung wurde durch Aussagen von ZeugInnen und Angeklagten klar, dass von Seiten des Staates versucht wurde das Recht der MigrantInnen auf friedliche Versammlung zu kriminalisieren. Dies geschah unter anderem durch die Trennung der Besetzung des Platzes von den faschistischen Angriffen in jener Nacht. Gerade einmal 17 der 200-300 FaschistInnen sind nach den Geschehnissen auf dem Sapfos Square festgenommen worden, der Prozess gegen sie steht noch aus. Es wurde ausserdem offensichtlich, dass es keine Beweislage dafuer gibt dass von Seiten der BesetzerInnen Verbrechen begangen worden sind, so ist dieser Freispruch eine wichtige Anerkennung des Gerichts des Rechts auf friedliche Versammlung, das dem behaupteten Verbrechen – illegale Besetzung eines oeffentlichen Platzes- uebersteht.
* Am 22. April 2018 zogen ca. 180 MigrantInnen auf den Sappho Square, den zentralen Platz in Mytilini, um gegen die anhaltenden schlechten Zustände in Moria, unzureichende medizinische Versorgung, Inhaftierung auf der Insel und die langen Wartezeiten im Asylprozess (momentan gibt es Menschen auf der Insel, die ihren Termin zur Asylanhörung im Jahre 2023 haben). Konkreter Auslöser der Mobilisierung war der Tod eines Asylsuchenden mit schweren gesundheitlichen Problemen. Vor Ort wurden die Protestierenden über Stunden von Dutzenden Faschisten angegriffen, mit Pyro beschossen und mit Steinen beworfen ohne dass die Polizei einschritt. Es gab Dutzende Verletzte.

[Lesbos] Pogrom auf Lesbos 2018: Angeklagt sind jetzt die Angegriffenen…

Aus Anlass des Prozesstermins am bergangenen Donnerstag auf Lesbos veröffentlichen wir erneut einen Artikel von Freund*innen aus Lesbos. Aktuelle Infos zum Prozesstermin veröffentlichen wir die kommenden Tage:

In der Nacht vom 22. April 2018 griffen eine Gruppe von 200-300 Faschisten eine große Gruppe von Geflüchteten auf dem zentralen öffentlichen Platz in Mytilini auf der griechischen Insel Lesbos an. Der Pogrom dauert die ganze Nacht an und ließ eine Reihe von Verletzten zurück. An Ende wurden nicht die Nazis, sondern die attackierten 120 Geflüchteten verhaftet.

Einige Tage zuvor war eine Gruppe geflüchteter Menschen aus dem überfüllten Lager Moria auf den Sappho Square umgezogen. Die Gruppe besetzte den zentralen Platz in Mytilini und blieb dort Tag und Nacht. Aktueller Anlass war, dass aufgrund mangelnder medizinischer Versorgung im Lager ein Mensch (im Krankenhaus) starb. Der Protest richtete sich aber auch generell gegen die gefängnisartige Situation im Lager Moria.

Jeden Sonntag findet an der Stadthalle in Mytilini eine kleine Militärparade mit Flaggenhissen statt. Am Sonntag, den 22. April kamen die Faschisten aus ganz Griechenland zur Parade und zogen dann zum Sappho Square. Die Cops waren bereits dort und formierten eine Absperrung zwischen den Menschen auf dem Platz und den Faschisten. Etwa um 21 Uhr gab es den ersten Angriff: aus den Reihen der Faschisten flogen Fackeln und Steine auf die Protestierenden. Diese waren vorbereitet und hatten zusammen mit Dutzenden griechischen und internationalen Unterstützer_innen einen Kreis um Kinder, Frauen und Alte gebildet und zum Schutz ein Zelt aus Decken errichtet.

Die Cops verhandelten mit beiden Gruppen. Die Protestierenden waren entschlossen zu bleiben, die Faschisten wollten dies um jeden Preis verhindern. Geflüchtete, die zur Unterstützung der Protestierenden aus dem Lager Moria hinzukommen wollten, wurden durch die Cops gestoppt und zum Lager zurückgebracht. Das Lager wurde geschlossen.

Ein neuer Angriff folgte, diesmal wurden Böller geworfen, brennende Mülltonnen wurden durch die Polizeiabsperrung geschoben. Faschisten versuchten immer wieder durch die Polizeireihen zu brechen.

Im Laufe der Nacht wurde viele Verletzte weggetragen, teils bewusstlos oder mit blutenden Kopfwunden nach Steinwürfen. In einem nahliegenden Gebäude versorgten solidarische Menschen Verletzte. Es dauerte lange bis der erste Krankenwagen eintraf. Dank der solidarischen Strukturen auf der Insel waren schnell Ärzt_innen vor Ort.

Der Mob der Faschisten wuchs auf mehrere 100 Leute an. Zwei Polizeibusse hatten die Sicht zwischen den Protestierenden auf dem Platz und den Faschisten abgesperrt. Die Decken gaben zwar den Kindern und alten Leuten einen gewissen Schutz, aber die Knallkörper explodierten immer wieder zwischen den Menschen. Es flogen immer weiter Steine etc. auf die Leute auf dem Platz. Trotz der großen Gefahr und den vielen Verletzten blieben die Leute auf dem Platz beeindruckend ruhig und gefasst und schmissen nicht zurück. Sie wollten um keinen Preis zurück nach Moria.

Kleine Gruppen von Faschisten versuchten von allen Seiten näher an die Protestierenden heranzukommen. Es flogen permanent Gegenstände darunter große Steine, Molotowcocktails und große Böller. Die Faschisten nahmen den gewaltsamen Tod von Protestierenden in Kauf.

Die Cops nutzen dann Tränengas, Pfefferspray und ihre Knüppel, um die Rassisten/Faschisten auf Distanz zu halten. Dazu waren aber nur sehr wenig Cops vor Ort. Viele von ihnen waren damit beschäftigt, Geflüchtete in Moria festzuhalten. (Diese Nacht enttarnte das rassistische Gesicht der griechischen Cops.)

Um 4 Uhr morgens begannen die Cops, die Menschen auf dem Platz zusammenzutreiben und Unterstützer_innen mit Pfefferspray zu attackieren. Da die Geflüchteten nicht freiwillig in die bereitgestellten Polizeibusse einsteigen wollten, setzten die Cops Pfefferspray und physische Gewalt ein. Das führte zu brutalen Szenen: Die Cops traten Leute oder zog sie an ihren Haaren über den Platz. Unfassbar – nachdem die Menschen 8 Stunden von Faschisten attackiert wurden, wurden sie von den Cops verhaftet und ins Gefängnis gebracht.

Alle 122 Personen (120 protestierenden Geflüchtete und zwei solidarische Griech_innen wurden noch am selben Tag freigelassen. Es gibt drei Anklagepunkte: Besetzung eines öffentlichen Platzes, Widerstand gegen die Staatsgewalt und Aufruhr.

Die Verhandlung soll am 9. Mai 2019 stattfinden.

Genoss_innen beschrieben die Nacht als brutale Niederlage. Umso stärkender war die wenige Tage stattfindende Antifaschistische Demo mit 500 solidarischen Leuten. (Verglichen mit der Zahl der Einwohner_innen entspricht dies einer Demo in Hamburg mit rund 20.000 Leuten)

In den Wochen nach dem brutalen Überfall werteten Antifaschist_innen zusammen mit solidarischen Anwält_innen unzähliges Bildmaterial aus und erstattet Anzeige gegen die Angreifer.

Nach Medienangaben haben erst Anfang November 2018 Polizeifahnder 26 Griechen identifiziert, die im April Migranten und Polizisten auf der Insel Lesbos attackiert hatten. Laut Angaben der griechischen Polizei wird den Beschuldigten unter anderem Widerstand gegen die Staatsgewalt und schwere Körperverletzung vorgeworfen.

[Athen] FOR THE RIGHT TO A SAFE HOME: Four refugee squats evicted in Athens

Quelle: http://infomobile.w2eu.net/2019/04/19/four-refugee-squats-evicted-in-athens/

‘FOR THE RIGHT TO A SAFE HOME’: Four refugee squats evicted in Athens

Within just one week Greek police forces in April 2019 have evicted four refugee squats in Athens all located in Exarchia area leaving around 200-300 refugees homeless. While authorities are politically framing the operation as ‘a step forward in an anti-drug campaign’ in the area, their efforts have hit the ones in need of protection instead and criminalize the refuee squats. Refugee families, many with kids, are left ever since on the streets. They are now not only again unprotected and with empty hands but also (re–)traumatized. Around 60 refugees are protesting since two days at Syndaghma Square.

On 18 April 2019 two refugee squats in Exarchia (Athens) got raided in the early morning hours around 5am. People residing respectively in Clandestina and Cyclopi squats got evicted with a massive police presence. In total 68 refugees (among them 25 kids) were arrested and after more than 4 hours released to the streets of Athens. Among the homeless are refugees from Afghanistan, Iran and Eritrea amongst others. There are many families, single mothers and small children. A pregnant lady had to be transferred to the hospital after the terror of the eviction. She is in danger to suffer a miscarriage. Sick refugees lost track of their medicines, prescriptions and attestations.

Everything I had is in that locked building now: My tax number, by social insurance documents, medical papers… I am at zero again. They didn’t let us take anything.

In the early afternoon of the same day mothers, fathers and children from different countries started together a protest in Syndaghma Square in the centre of Athens demanding dignified housing and safety from the Greek state. Despite the strong cold, they remained over night in a dozen tents set up in opposite side to the Greek parliament. The only ‘offer’ by the police until now was to find ‘shelter’ in the pre-removal detention centre in Amygdaleza, which refugees denied to accept.

I suffer from psychological problems. My doctor instructed me to not stress myself. Yesterday in the morning we woke up by the sound of shouting and suddenly a lot of police entered the place we were sleeping in. Some of us got pushed. I had two panic attacks the last two days. Half of my body got paralysed from the fear. I am still under shock. Where should we go now?

I was sleeping with my children, when I suddenly woke up with guns being held in front of my eyes. There was police everywhere. I tried to collect our most important belongings. The police was shouting: ‘Fast, fast!’ Two of my kids have heart problems. One of them has Asthma. … It is six months I am trying to call the asylum service from Skype without success. Without the asylum seeker card, I can not apply for housing.

Only a few days earlier, on 11 April 2019 Azadi squat and neighboring Babylon had also been raided by the police. Around 200 cops were reported on site that day. Refugees stated, that the police forces evaded the place suddenly at dawn. Approx. 90 persons got arrested and transferred to Amygdaleza pre-removal detention centre. The buildings were locked while their personal belongings were thrown on the street.

On 19 April the evicted families are remaining in Syndaghma square. They prepare to sleep one more night in the cold lacking any alternative. Authorities still have not found any solution for their accommodation. The protesting refugee stated, there were 20 kids among them and they would stay until there was a real solution found for them all.

We just demand a safe place for us and our kids!

Meanwhile, more than 70,000 refugees are estimated to live in Greece currently. Approx. 23,000 are sheltered in flats by UNHCRs’ ESTIA program (March 2019), another 28,000 are being provisory placed under deplorable conditions in temporary accommodation sites in mainland Greece (15,000) or the six infamous ‘hotspots’ on the Aegean Islands and in Fylakio (in Evros region) (13,000) and 6,000 stay in short-term housing provided by the International Organisation of Migration (IOM) in 54 hotels all over Greece.

At the same time, an unknown number of protection seekers remains without an official shelter sleeping rough in public spaces or staying unofficially in the states’ refugee camps. They remain without access to the monthly allowances provided for by the Cash-Card system of ESTIA housing scheme or the Social Solidarity Fund (KEA), which people with refugee status can apply for along with Greek citizens. Without a roof over their head, without money to buy food or medicines, they would be exposed to life-threatening conditions, if not their self-organisation in around 12 refugee squats in Athens and other solidarity spaces would create the ‘welcoming and protective spaces’ that the state fails to secure.

Two days ago we experienced the second act of operation “target refugees to harvest votes”. Heavily armed squadrons of MAT and EKAM riot police units invaded two refugee squats in the neighborhood of Exarchia. As with the previous police operations, no links were found between the refugee squats and the local mafias. In addition, no refugee was arrested for any criminal act. Drugs displayed by the police were found in another irrelevant apartment.

But the government’s goal was achieved. That is to say, a large quantity of “law and order” style TV show material was produced. Refugees were once again targeted as criminals. SYRIZA sent out the message that there is no need to vote for New Democracy since they too can act out the role of a police state.

The fact that some dozens of refugees have nowhere to sleep is a minor detail which politicians and the media couldn’t show any less interest for.

The police operation that took place 2 days ago in Exarchia, against the two refugee squats was not directed against the mafia in the neighbourhood. Despite the propaganda, they did not find anything in the squats to link them with mafia. The goal of the government and the police was a show of power. Refugees have been turned into scapegoats for pre-election purposes. Refugee targeting does not harm mafia, but it strengthens the racist stereotype of identifying “foreigners/refugees” with criminal activity and of course, opens the way to fascist violence.

We remind them that the squats are the voices against the failed policies of the state on “migration management”. The housing problem is more acute than ever, for both refugees and locals. Instead of finding solutions for the housing problems, government and the oppositions are turning against those who have no shelter and hope. The recipe is classic: Instead of limiting poverty, targeting and criminalising poverty.

Do not let them impose the policy of fear and hatred.

Refugees Accommodation and Solidarity Space City Plaza

[Soli-Shirts] Frische Soli-Shirts für die Kampagne und das Ubuntu-Wahhada-Hausprojekt in Thessaloniki gegen Spende!

Wir haben jetzt schicke 2 verschiedene Soli-Shirts gegen Spende für euch:

(vorne) (hinten)

  • Für unsere Kampagne “You cant evict Solidarity”, alle Spenden gehen in unsere Anti-Repressions-Arbeit an den EU-Grenzen; verschiedene Größen und Farben möglich

Holt euch ein Shirt oder mehrere, spendet jeweils so viel ihr geben könnt (gerne zwischen 10-15 Euro), wir freuen uns vone uch zu hören. Dazu gibts auch frische Broschüren und neue Flyer.

 

[Broschüre] Holt euch die neue Bulletin-Broschüre von Genoss*innen aus Thessaloniki!

Wir freuen uns euch die neue BULLETIN-Broschüre (ein Projekt von Freund*innen aus Thessaloniki) präsentieren zu können!

Die Texte, Interviews und Artikel von Menschen mit und ohne Fluchhthintergrund aus Griechenland sind in arabisch, englisch, albanisch und türkisch und beschäftigen sich mit der Situation von Geflüchteten und Migrant*innen in Griechenland, es gibt auch /Kurz)Berichte von Solidaritäts- und Repressionsfällen entlang der Balkanroute.

Wir haben einige Exemplare da und schicken sie euch gerne zu! Schreibt uns dazu einfach eine Mail an cantevictsolidarity@riseup.net.

(Es gibt auch neue Kampagnen-Flyer und frische Soli-T-Shirts für ein Hausprojekt in Thessaloniki und für die Kampagne…)

[Athen] Räumung von zwei migrantischen Hausbesetzungen

EVICTION OF 2 MIGRANT SQUATS IN ATHENS!

Thursay, 11.04.2019

This morning, 2 migrant squats in Exarchia, Athens were evicted
violently by 200 cops. They broke in the building around 5 am in the
morning. After the eviction, they closed the doors with metal constructions.

The squats Babylon and Azadi are housing, shelter- and social projects
run by a community of international people, among them many migrant
families.

In rage and solidarity, we stand with the people, who lost their home
this morning. The eviction is especially cruel, facing that end of
march, the Greek authorities proclaimed that they will kick out migrants
out of the official accomondations, who stayed there more than 6 months.
Those people have few other options but living on the streets, while
lots of buildings in the cities are empty and abandonned due to the
economical crisis in Greece.

Squatting those builings offers people shelter, giving them the option
of selforganizing their lives while at the same time fighting against
the vacancy rates in the cities.

For more information and pictures see:

https://www.facebook.com/AzadiSquatAthens/

#Athens #Exarchia: #Babylon and #Azadi #RefugeesGR squats evicted

Mehr Infos unter: https://www.facebook.com/nobordersnetwork