Migration and Struggle in Greece

Chania Hunger-strike leaflet in Manchester, UK

Posted by clandestina on 30 November 2008

This text was leafletted and displayed on a billboard, along with more info material, at the opening event (29 Nov.) of the new social center at the Manchester Amateur Photographic Society building, Platt Fields Park, Manchester, UK (many thanks to Manchester No Borders).

~ – ~ – ~

…sea, sun, sex….

It may not sound as exotic as it did in the sixties, yet, Crete is still a popular summer destination for lots of people.   Be it for its beaches or the nightlife, folk music or food, mythology or whatever, millions visit the island every year, rendering tourism the most lucrative sector of the islands economy.   

…and exploitation…..

Who’s doing the dirty jobs? Well, on the bottom, you will find primarily migrants….Behind the flashy lifestyle shopwindow,  in Crete – as in the rest of Greece, and  anywhere within the Fortress Europe walls – there is the severe exploitation of the migrant, under-paid workforce, employed in tourism, in construction, in agriculture, in house-keeping….this is not just about employers who are racist or unrestrained by law…the whole thing is orchestrated by a predator State, the first to take advantage of them economically in the unending series of documents needed for some fragile and provisional legal status, which is never full, which is seen as some extra bonus rather than as a basic right….yes, it is the same State that kills or leaves people die at the border with Turkey, or on uninhabited Aegean islands….

...and hunger-strikers…

Not everyone will comply with the “be afraid and silent and mind your own business, be happy with what you got” attitude the authorities want for migrants….

Since  November 11, 2008, fifteen migrants in Chania, the Cretan city where they have been living and working for years, also as active members of the Crete Forum of Migrants, have been on hunger strike, demanding the legal status they are eligible for and are being unfairly denied.  What they demand is that an unfair law changes,, so that people can prove, commonsensically, how long they’ve been in the country… What they struggle for is dignity and equal rights, for them and their families, for all migrants within Fortress Europe.   

…20 days of hunger – strike, a life of struggle…

The hunger strikers are already facing severe health problems, while the authorities  are denying even to consider their demand.  The hunger strikers have been “offered” some individual examination of their cases, with some vague promise of a possible recognition of asylum status “for humanitarian reasons” for some of them….The hunger strikers denied this.  They are fighting for everyone who’s in the same condition with them, they are fighting against the conviction that the legal walls of Fortress Europe’s are invincible…

….your support and solidarity are very important….

International public statements of support and solidarity, personal, collective or institutional, are very much and urgently needed.  Please, forward them to the Initiative for Solidarity at is the collective established for organizing and promoting the struggle).  Read about the struggle in  Please, circulate, copy and distribute.

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