Migration and Struggle in Greece

Text at the “back-end” of Salaminias Street – by the Initiative of refugees, immigrants and solidarios

Posted by clandestina on 27 April 2009

_mg_8461ghHere is the text in Greek and English at the Initiative’s blog.  Background info here, here and here.




Text at the “back-end” of Salaminias street

While they were waiting here in Petrou Ralli boulevard for the asylum application, like you do right now, three people got killed by the police. Mohamed -aged 24- from Pakistan in October, Mazir -aged 24- from Pakistan in December and Hussein –aged 26- from Bangladesh in January. The police claim that these were accidental incidences but all of you who experience here this situation every Friday know the truth. The police beat the people who wait in the line during the night to put them in order or during the dawn in order to break them up since only few of them will manage to make the asylum application. Many times people get injured from the police night-sticks or get trampled during the chase. This situation is not accidental though.

In Greece only one in a thousand refugees gets papers. With this situation that you experience every Friday, the greek state wants to show you that you are unwanted. That you are a burden that has to be thrown away. On one hand they make your life difficult so that you will leave the country as soon as possible and meanwhile on the other hand by keeping you without papers they allow native bosses to exploit you as much as they want, undisturbed.

But this situation does not exist exclusively in Greece. Thousands of people are trying to reach Italy, Spain and France in order to find a better fortune. On their way there, many of them die. Many others get arrested and are sent to prisons, prisons which the Europeans name as “reception sites for immigrants”, until they get deported. The European states that participate in the war against your countries, those who bomb you, ravage your land and force you to uproot, are trying by all means to stop you from passing through their borders.

However, even if you manage to pass the borders, even if you receive the papers, this doesn’t mean that racism is overcome. There are many problems the solution of which might start even from here. When Mohamed got murdered many people from different countries joined together here in Petrou Ralli boulevard, barring the road and circling the building of Foreign Nationals/Immigrants for many hours, showing our anger for the murder and demanding that all refugees will get their papers. Afterwards, for several weeks, we were meeting each other at the back-end of Salaminias street and we were excluding Petrou Ralli boulevard for hours. While the greek state was trying to hide the line in an alley behind the central department, to hide the same bad situation that you are living right now, we were also trying to go the main road all together, to exclude it and demonstrate so that all the people can see us. In this way the police could not beat the immigrants in the dark and moreover they were pushed to give more papers. This is the reason why the police transferred the line on this side of Salaminias street, on a road that cannot meet with Petrou Ralli boulevard, a road that is like a dark prison far away from society’s eyes, a road which is barred and forbidden every Friday after 6 o’clock.

We are people from various countries, greeks, refugees and immigrants even with no papers. The reason why we are here is to try all together and push the greek state to end this bad situation, to stop raising the police night-sticks against immigrants, to give papers to all immigrants, to make this case known to everyone, to spread all over the greek society a message of solidarity against racism, to fight against borders and states that divide people.

Together, we will find the way. This situation must change and apart from ourselves we owe this to Mohamed, Hussein and Mazir who got killed to no purpose with no one accounting to no one.

Petrou Ralli boulevard 04/13/2009

Initiative of refugees, immigrants and solidarios






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