Migration and Struggle in Greece

Chania Migrants on Hunger Strike – Summary of events 20 – 25 November

Posted by clandestina on 26 November 2008

Group of Migrants and Refugees poster calling at the Nov 25th protest in Thessaloniki

Group of Migrants and Refugees poster calling at the Nov 25th protest in Thessaloniki

“…this will be a crack on the Fortress Europe walls…”

November 20

  • Two hunger-strikers are taken to hospital due to hypoglycemic and low blood pressure shocks.  After receiving first-aid, they joined again the rest hunger-strikers, refusing to give up the hunger-strike….
  • Pericles Korovesis, the Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) MP and a renowned author, torture victim and fighter against the Military Junta has vivisted the hunger-strike site, expressed his support to the migrants and pledged on behalf of all the MPs of his party that more interventions will follow.
  • Chania Amnesty International branch asks for a serious examination and treatment of the hunger-strikers’demand by authorities.
  • Mass Media “discover” the hunger-strike…

Friday, November 21

  • The Initiative for Solidariy met with the general secretary of the ministry of internal affairs, who pledged to inform the Minister and assist in arranging an appointment of the Initiative with him.
  • Hundreds of people visit daily the hunger-strike site, chat with the hunger-strikers and express their humane interest for their health condition and the progress of the struggle…Exactly what government officials are incapable of….

Saturday, November 22

  • The Initiative for Solidarity met with the delegates from the Athens Forum of Migrants, the greek General Confederation of Workers, and more antiracist initiatives, for a coordinated and joint effort for a meeting with the minister of internal affairs.

Sunday, November 23


from the film festival protest "...solidarity with the hunger strikers, thousands of "sans-papiers" are desperate..."

  • The hunger-strike goes on….each day accentuates the risk the hunger-strikers are taking…..The weather is getting really cold, which adds to that….”this will be a crack on the Fortress-Europe walls”, states the Initiative for Solidarity press release…..
  • The Antiracist Initiative in Thessaloniki (www.socialcenter.) protest about the state’s indifference and express their solidarity with the migrants at the 49 Thessaloniki International Film Festival venue….the struggle for dignity is more exciting than movies, anyhow….

Monday, November 24

  • The Initiative for Solidarity public release makes it clear why bureaucracy is never an administrative malaise, but a pretext for state and local authority officials to degrade migrants….and put the hunger-strikers in immediate risk….
  • “The Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Minister himself, Mr P. Pavlopoulos continues to put at risk the lives of these desperate, yet proud people. Despite the fact that their health is in great danger, despite the full support by the local society, the government keeps making a fool out of them. The Mayor of Chania denied any responsibility on the issue whatsoever, shifting all responsibility to the Ministry of Internal Affairs. In its turn, the Ministry shook off their responsibility to the Prefecture council of Crete and back, showing absolutely no willing to solve the problem: The law is unjust and takes financial advantage of people looking for some hope in their lives whilst, at the same time following all the legal procedures in order to obtain a green card”…

Tuesday, November 25

...banners from the 25 Nov. Thessaloniki protest public gathering...

...banners from the 25 Nov. Thessaloniki protest public gathering...

  • This date had been appointed as a whole-Greece day of action and solidarity with migrants.  The Group of Migrant and Refugees ( The Thessaloniki No Border group, comrades and friends, and the Antiracist Initiative in Thessaloniki ( call for a protest at the city centre.  A demonstration also took place in Chania.  Yet, the news are not that good for the hunger-strikers’ demands…..
  • The minister of internal affairs Pavlopoulos refused to meet with the Initiative for Solidarity and stated that the law cannot change.  He also stated that in the next week there might be a case by case examination (individually, that is…) of the hunger strikers demands, in order for the administration to judge whether reasons for granting asylum to any of them apply…

Of course, the hunger-strikers do not beg, and they do not fight merely for some exceptional arrangement of their personal issues, but risk their lives for anyone who’s on the same state and faces the same fate…..

  • Pericles Korovesis, the SYRIZA MP, made an official question in the parliament addressed to the minister about the ministry’s intention with regard to the hunger strikers’ fair and lawful demands….
  • A short term air-waves hijack took place in the morning…two radio-station studios were invaded by the Initiative for Solidarity and used for diffusing info on the hunger-strike….one of the radio-stations (ANTENNA) called the police….
  • Al Jazeera made a reference on the hunger -strike

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