Refugees are not alone – “Broom Operations” are fascism – Stop the pogrom against economic and political refugees in Athens
Posted by clandestina on 14 April 2009
We translate below this article by the Network for Social and Political Rights. The police have continued their attacks on immigrants the last few days. Today, Tuesday, various police forces have been abusing immigrants in the center of Αthens, along with the usual chasing of vendors by the municipal police – info in Greek here.
The “broom-operations” [sudden, mass arrests, detention and/or summary deportation of immigrants – a usual practice of the Greek Police during the first years of immigration influxes, still enforced from time to time with terroristic intentions] launched in recent weeks in Omonia and other parts of Athens are acts of racism and brutality.
Under the doctrine of zero tolerance and collective responsibility, hundreds of refugees aew terrorized, abused and humiliated simply because they are foreigners, just because they are «sans papiers».
It is clear that the most excluded and weak in the Greek society, the economic and political refugees, are used as consumables for the communication campaign of the government to «strengthen the sense of security» among citizens. It is literally on their bodies that the police attempts to «restore its prestige» and «fight criminality».
At a time when rights and freedoms are infringed in the name of «security» and racists gain access to public forums, the victims of a hideous xenophobic policy are incriminated for the misery and the «diminishing of neighborhoods» [local communities].
The government uses refugees as scapegoats to conceal its responsibilities for the violation of rights, the medieval working conditions and the tragic circumstances of living, for the growing poverty and exclusion across the society.
- For the disgrace of the Immigration Department, where the queues for filing asylum applications equals to denial of access to asylum procedures and tramples human dignity, where in recent months three refugees have died during pursuits by the police [see here and here].
- For the denial of welfare structures and hostels for the homeless refugees which forces them in absolute poverty and the inhuman conditions at the «hotels» around Omonia.
- For the complete bankruptcy of the repressive drug policy that incriminates addicts and leads them to exclusion, prison and death.
- For their tolerance to the networks of forced prostitution and exploitation of economic and political refugees, which have been proven to be protected primarily by the police itself.