On Friday March 18, a military patrol discovered the dead bodies of 3 immigrants in the area Petalo of river Evros. The dead immigrants were men, between 25 and 30 years old.
Archive for March, 2011
Posted by clandestina on 20 March 2011
Posted by clandestina on 13 March 2011
The struggle is complete. With the documents in hand and our heads up high, we return to our homes and our work vindicated, after 44 days on hunger strike.
The struggle continues. The announcements for an 8-year limit and the increase of work credit as prerequisites for the issuing and renewal of residence permits must become law immediately.
The struggle is the only option. The struggle against the daily exploitation and racism’s walls, the struggles for the legalisation of all migrants with no prerequisites, for equal rights between local and foreign workers, for a life with values and dignity, these are our next steps. Together with the anti-racist and migrant movement we will walk along this difficult path, the path of struggle.
The struggle unites us. With the documents in hand and the head up high we salute and wish farewell to everyone who supports us. To the people in solidarity in Greece and all other countries in the world, the doctors and their colleagues, all who stood by our side in these days of the hunger strike, in all days when our lives and our deaths demanded vindication and freedom.
See you at the struggles!
- Protest gathering, Monday 14/03, at the Ypatia building
- Protest gathering, Monday 14/03, 7pm at the Piraeus port (Agios Dionisios)
The 300 migrant hunger strikers
The hunger strike of the three-hundred migrant workers has ended. The struggle for a world of equality, solidarity and freedom continues
Posted by clandestina on 13 March 2011
On January 25th, 2011 three-hundred migrants in Athens and Thessaloniki commenced a fierce hunger strike, claiming the most basic things: equal rights with the local workers and the legalization of all migrants living, working and moving across the country.
44 days later and after more than 100 strikers were hospitalized with serious health issues, the state was forced to drop its intransigent attitude along with previous threats of deportation of the strikers and to negotiate officially with them, meeting a significant part of their demands:
Decrease of the required residence time of migrants in the country in order to submit applications for residence permits to 8 years, down from 12 years before (this applies to every single migrant living in the Greek territory)
Decrease of the required work credits to 120, from 200 before (same as for local workers)
Decrease of the work credits required for insurance cover to 50, from 80 before (this applies to all workers, local and migrant)
For the three-hundred hunger strikers in particular, the allowance has been given for them to indefinitely renew their 6-month “state of tolerance” status until the time when they reach the time and conditions to receive a residence permit. During that time they will be allowed to travel freely to and from their country of origin. The three-hundred migrant strikers risked their lives not on the basis of individualistic or utilitarian motives but for a collective right, in a struggle that asserted rights concerning the dignity of the entire working class. This hunger strike is a social struggle against the illegality of all migrants, a struggle addressing the entire class of workers. It comes as a continuation of struggles of the recent past, from the farmer-migrants in Manoliada, Ilia and Skala, Lakonia to the strike of the fishermen-migrants in Michaniona, Thessaloniki. The struggle of the three-hundred migrant workers proves nothing is impossible.
Assembly of solidarity of anarchists/anti-authoritarians/libertarians/comrades
Posted by clandestina on 9 March 2011
From this morning press conference in Thessaloniki:
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.
Posted by clandestina on 9 March 2011
Tuesday, March 8, 2011
DAY 43 of the hunger strike
The 50 migrants on the 7th floor of the Labor Centre have been on a hunger strike for 43 days now. At the moment, all strikers are experiencing the consequences of extreme fasting: They feel dizzy when walking and have difficulty standing up, while 17 of them are being hospitalized at different hospitals in Thessaloniki. According to yesterday’s medical report, “they are suffering liver malfunction, delay in coagulation times due to lack of vitamin C intake, low heart rate with occasional arrhythmia, hypoglycemia and reduced white blood cell count. Their immune system is particularly vulnerable. From now on, their health condition could take an unexpected turn, since it is highly probable that complications will occur. For this reason, the presence of physicians at the Labor Centre in Thessaloniki is constant, and the hunger strikers who need further treatment or hospitalization are immediately sent to the public hospitals on duty.”
Tomorrow at 11am there will be a Press conference at the Labor Centre of Thessaloniki, where the University authorities, the hospital doctors’ union, the public sector workers’ union, the journalists’ union and the barristers’ association will officially present the proposal they signed after their meeting at the Labor Centre on Friday, the 4th of March.
The arrests of people in solidarity and the threats of deportation will not break the hunger strike! In Athens today, Tuesday, March 8, two students from the solidarity initiative were arrested, when they reacted to hospital staff leaving trays of food in hunger strikers’ rooms. Moreover, since this morning, rumors have been leaking from state sources into the Press that the government will deport the hunger strikers if they do not accept the government’s proposal for a six-month ‘tolerance status’ card. The Solidarity Initiative in Athens released a statement saying: “The struggle did not break despite the hardships and the slander campaigns, so now the government is mobilizing its mechanisms of State violence”.
This morning, members of the solidarity initiative occupied the central offices of the governing Party PASOK in Ioannina, Western Greece, to express their support for the hunger strikers’ demands. Thursday, March 10, day 45 of the hunger strike, is an international day of actions of political disobedience in support of the 300 hunger strikers.
The Open Solidarity Initiative of Thessaloniki invites everyone to the following events and actions:
Tomorrow, at 7:30pm, the Rector of the Aristotle University and Program for the Promotion of Self-Help and the Postgraduate Program on Addiction and Dependency of the Dept of Psychology are co-organizing a discussion and film screening with the participation of a representative of the hunger strikers at the Functions Hall of the University.
On Thursday, March 10, the Solidarity Initiative is calling a meeting outside the General Secretariat of Macedonia and Thrace at 6pm.
Posted by clandestina on 8 March 2011
March 8, 2011
Greek government spreads rumors that all hunger strikers will be deported if they do not accept the offered 6-months “tolerance status”. We remind that yesterday the government demanded all hunger strikers to be transferred to hospitals and to abandon the site of their struggle. On Tuesday morning, 2 women who were escorting hunger strikers at an Athens hospital were arrested, accused of preventing the strikers from eating. In the afternoon, a public prosecutor held the doctors legally responsible for the health of the hunger strikers!
Posted by clandestina on 8 March 2011
Monday, March 7, 2011
DAY 42 of the hunger strike
The 50 migrants on the 7th floor of the Labor Centre have been on a hunger strike for 42 days now. They are determined to continue with their struggle until their demands are fulfilled and they get equal rights with Greek workers. At the moment, all strikers are experiencing the consequences of extreme fasting: They feel dizzy when walking and have difficulty standing up, while 17 of them are being hospitalized at different hospitals in Thessaloniki. According to the medical report today, “they are suffering liver malfunction, delay in coagulation times due to lack of vitamin C intake, low heart rate with occasional arrhythmia, hypoglycemia and reduced white blood cell count. Their immune system is particularly vulnerable.
From now on, their health condition could take an unexpected turn, since it is highly probable that complications will occur. For this reason, the presence of physicians at the Labor Centre in Thessaloniki is constant, and the hunger strikers who need further treatment or hospitalization are immediately sent to the public hospitals on duty.”
The hunger strikers would like to express their grief with the death of the 3 Bangladeshi migrants as well as their concern for the 11 who are still missing after yesterday’s tragedy at Souda Bay in Crete. The full-heartedly support their Bangladeshi brothers. The strikers call people and groups to show their solidarity to the surviving Bangladeshis at Souda.
Yesterday the president and the vice-president of the Hellenic Medical Association visited the hunger strikers at Ypatia and stated among other things that: “From a medical and a humanitarian point of view, things have come to a head”. They added: “The government can and should offer a solution so that no life is lost. Within the existing legal framework, the government can grant them residency permits on humanitarian grounds”.
Women against the Debt and the Austerity Measures also expressed their solidarity with the 300 hunger strikers stating that “at this crucial moment we demand that the government meet the demands of the 300 migrant hunger strikers which are the demands of all migrants who live and work in our country under the worst conditions (undeclared and uninsured labor, bosses’ terrorism etc.)
Solidarity messages from all over the world keep pouring in. Representatives of political parties in France made an appeal to the Greek government: The Socialist Party (PS), the Communist Party of France (PCF), the New Anticapitalist Party (ΝPA), the Left Party (PdG), the Workers’ Struggle (Lutte Ouvrière), the Greens and the Solidaires Union call “the Greek government to intervene immediately and prevent the tragedy from happening, by offering papers to the migrants, so that they can find a job again in this country where they have lived, often with their families, for many years.”
The 10th of March 2011, which will be the 45th day of the hunger strike, is an international day of solidarity and actions of disobedience for the 300 hunger strikers. A solidarity initiative from the US is calling for “actions against establishments connected to Greek tourism: 15% of the GNP of Greece comes from tourism and in fact, tourism and migration are the two s
Posted by clandestina on 8 March 2011
Statement-response to today’s developments, by the 300 hunger strikers March 7, 2011
This morning Mr. Mousionis, representative of the hospitals administration, “visited” the Ipatia building [where the hunger strike takes place] three times. The first without any document whatsoever, the second time with a document with no signature and only on the third time did he manage to bring the “correct” document.
He came to pass on to us the government demand for all hunger strikers to be transferred to hospitals and to abandon the site of their struggle. Hunger strikers-representatives of ours responded that if he came to tell us that the generous government can offer us a bed in a hospital in order to die on it, he should tell them that a struggle is a struggle, even when death looms. This means that we only go to hospital because those who sent us there continue robbing us off dignity, resulting in our collapse. If they care about our health, they should meet our demands, so that we can return to our homes and to our jobs. In other words: us hunger strikers will only go to hospital when our doctors deem it necessary.
We the hunger strikers want to emphasize yet another time that when we decide something, we do so alone and in our own assemblies, exclusively.
We insist on continuing our struggle until reaching our target. This target comprises the meeting of certain demands, the most important of which have been co-signed by GSEE and ADEDY [the largest mainstream trade unions in the country] as well as many other social bodies supporting us from across Greece – including all the main social bodies of Thessaloniki (the city’s mayoral assembly, the dean of its university, the barristers’ union, the journalist union, the labour union etc) with a collective letter sent to the prime minister on March 4.
We repeat our specific demands that the government refuses to meet (taking the risk of the death of people in struggle) but that are nevertheless supported by social bodies in Greece but also thousands of other unions, organisations and groups across the world:
- The issuing of a residence permit in accordance to article 21, par. 4 of Law 3907/2011
- The review and issuing of a residence permit to all who lost their legal status despite the existence of substantial grounds, combined with the reduction or disconnection of the residence permit to the work credits, as this is a time of financial crisis.
- Reduction of the required residence period of those without papers to 5 years (down from 12 years today) for the issuing of the special residence permit of the new article 44 of Law 3386/05
- Issuing of a residence permit to all those who had their application rejected during the last legalisation process of 2005
The 300 Migrant Hunger Strikers in Athens and Thessaloniki
March 7, 2001, 42nd day on hunger strike
Posted by clandestina on 7 March 2011
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.
A brief chronicle of the hunger strike, through the texts of the hunger strikers and the solidarity initiatives in Athens and Thessaloniki
Posted by clandestina on 6 March 2011
The 300 hunger strikers begin their hunger strike in Athens and Thessaloniki (25 JANUARY 2011) and formulate their demands: REGULARIZATION and EQUAL RIGHTS for ALL IMMIGRANTS LIVING AND WORKING HERE
People in solidarity respond with an analysis of the recent crisis and explain why it is essential to support the migrants’ demands:
What the hunger strikers said when the government wanted to change the location of the strike (an empty University building) after the strike had already started (27 January):
THE GREEK STATE TORTURES HUNGER STRIKERS, explains the Solidarity Initiative (27 January) after a series
of meaningless negotiations with the government and false promises that they will be relocated somewhere better:
Despite the hardships, the hunger strikers declare that they are determined to continue (29 January):
The hunger strikers’ message to the assembly of the City Council in Thessaloniki, which later voted in full support of the strike (12 February):
Intellectuals (Noam Chomsky, Emmanuel Wallerstein, Eduardo Galeano, Slavoj Zizek, Alain Badiou, Naomi Klein), immigrants’ and worker organizations from all over the world express their solidarity with the hunger strikers:
The hunger strikers’ specific demands (21 February)
Meanwhile their health is deteriorating (22 February)
The government, through Minister Ragoussis, repeats its position that “there will be no regularisations” and the Solidarity Initiative with the strikers respond:
The hunger strikers’ health is in danger:
It is high time the hunger strikers’ demands were met before it is too late.