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Migration and Struggle in Greece

Archive for October, 2009

Arrested for protesting against flagrant brutality. A petition against police violence.

Posted by clandestina on 22 October 2009

source/SIGN THE PETITION AT:

http://www.petitiononline.com/nomadic1/petition.html

To:  The Greek Minister of Citizen Protection

Following the December revolts in Greece, police violence against migrants and activists in Greece is becoming more and more intense. The xenophobic turn of the mainstream media combined with the electoral rise of the extreme right wing party LAOS have played a vital role in legitimizing police violence against both foreigners and citizens who dare to protest. Ironically these tactics are part of an overall plan to “protect the citizen” by openly demonstrating the ability of the state to control those who participated in the December revolts. While “scoop” operations and deportations take place daily all over the country subjecting migrants to different forms of physical and psychological violence, activists who react against it are also becoming subject to the arbitrary violent and terrorizing tactics of the police. Recently Mohamed Kamran Atif, a migrant from Pakistan, has died after being tortured in detention at the police station of Nikaia. During the protest march organized in response, several activists were arrested and imprisoned.

Few days later Dimitris Parsanoglou, a sociologist and anti-racist activist, has been arrested and detained without a legal representative for three days because he protested against the arbitrary arrest and beating by the police of a migrant in a central spot of Athens.

We ask from the Greek government to

– stop police violence against migrants and activists

– stop “scoop” operations and arbitrary deportations of migrants

– stop arbitrary arrests and imprisonment of activists of all nationalities

Sincerely,

The Undersigned

View Current Signatures

The Stop police violence against migrants and activists in Greece Petition to The Greek Minister of Citizen Protection was created by and written by Nomadic Universality(phatzopoulos@gmail.com).  This petition is hosted here at www.PetitionOnline.com as a public service.

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4 of the Nikea marchers released as pressure mounts against the hood-law

Posted by clandestina on 21 October 2009

Submitted by taxikipali on Oct 21 2009, at libcom.org

Five of the eight marchers of Nikea, arrested last Saturday during an anti-torture demo, have been released after court hearing. Meanwhile pressure against the hood-law used against 4 of the 8 for the first time in Greece is mounting with occupations and solidarity.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Event in Eastern Thessaloniki, Kalamaria, on immigration

Posted by clandestina on 21 October 2009

Immigrants Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow.

Event in Theatro Chilis, Kalamaria, 19.00, on Thursday, 22 October, 2009.

Afisa+gia+metanastes



Photo Exhibition
Video Projection
History of Immigration
Open Discussion

Open Assembly of Kalamaria http://protovouliakalamarias.blogspot.com/

Group of Immigrants and Refugees

http://www.clandestina.org/indexa.html


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Political refugees from Iran hunger strike in Athens

Posted by clandestina on 21 October 2009

HUNGER STRIKE UNTIL WE ARE FREE!

We are political refugees from Iran, protected by the special status from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. We cannot return to Iran because we face the danger of imprisonment nor can we go legally to another country.

Although we are re recognised as political refugees, the Greek state refuses to give us our legal rights and at the same time gets funds from the European Union without using this money to support the refugees.

We demand the international regulations to be implemented and the Greek state give us all the required papers (white card, travel documents).

We request the help and the support of individuals and organisations in Greece and all other european countries.

We go on a hunger strike on Monday 19 October, in Propylaia, Athens protesting peacefully until the satisfaction of our demands.

source:athens indymedia

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Events is Nikaia, Athens, following the demonstration in memory ofMohamed Karman Atif and against state murders

Posted by clandestina on 19 October 2009

All texts copied below from libcom.org, submitted by taxiki pali.

More updates and photos at http://www.occupiedlondon.org/blog/

Athens anti-torture demo leads to clashes and occupation of city hall

The city hall of Nikea, an industrial and prominently communist suburb of Athens, is under occupation since Saturday 17/10 afternoon by anarchists demanding the release of people arrested during clashes with riot police outside the police department where a Pakistani immigrant, Mohamed Karman Atif, was tortured by beating and electric shocks ileading to his death last week

The demo, organised by several anarchist collectives, marched to the police station, where it was confronted by strong riot police forces. The protesters tried to break through the blockade by throwing stones to the police. In the clashes that ensued several people were detained, out of which some are being reported as arrested and charged.

The protesters then regathered and occupied the city hall in a surprise move. The mayor of the suburb, a Communist Party (KKE) cadre, has visited the occupied city hall and has declared that the police should by no means attempt to evacuate the 300 protesters who remain in it, nor arrest anyone leaving the premises.

What follows is the first communique of the occupied city hall:

Communique of the Occupied City Hall of Nikea
400 protesters gathered today October 17 in the streets of Nikea in a march of rage against the recent assassination of the 25 year old pakistani immigrant Mohamed Karman Atif by torture in the police station of Nikea, a march called by anarchist collectives and a local assembly of the area. We crossed the main streets of the area, from the house of the murdered man and moved towards the police station. Strong riot police forces (MAT) and motorised police forces (Z-team) that “accompanied the demo have proved the official stance of the now Socialist Ministry of Public Order (Ministry of Citizens Protection): whitewashing and protecting torturers murderers, the police occupation of the area. All that was happening will continue as normal: beatings, torture, humiliations in all the police stations of the country. During the protest march there was strong rain. But what rained near the police station of Nikea was not just water drops. The riot police brigade blocking the way to the police station received a rain of stones. The organised continuation of the march and the retreat from the hot-spot was hampered by a combined force of riot policemen at the back and on the sides of the march. Our defenses held, while locals from the sidewalks swore and verbally attacked the police army of occupation. Yet, in a cloud of tear gas and glob attacks some got cut off from the march and as a result they were detained. The march was completed in the location perivolaki, as planned and given the detentions a great number of the protesters moved to occupy the city hall demanding the immediate release of the hostage comrades. Some people who decided to leave were stopped by motorised police forces and were also detained. The exact number of detentions is yet not known, but is certainly double-digit. The process of arrest has already started for some. This is the apex of the new state dogma of “democracy and strength” as announced by the new minster of Public Order Michalis Chrisochoidis against the world of the insurgency and anyone potentially resisting. It is like two days ago during the demo of the Perama shipyard workers and unemployed at the Ministry of Labour. It is like the now police-occupied Exarcheia. It is like the recent persecutions of high-school occupations. It will be the same with the dockworkers of Peiraeus who are against the sell-out to COSCO, or the 1,400 workers of the Skaramangas shipyards threatened to be sacked.Police barbarity is only the repressive side of state-capitalist barbarity: oppression, exploitation, subjugation, death. The new political management’s main role is to manage the social dimension of the crisis of our times: the all-expanding disobedience to and clash with the demands of political and economic power. There is no place for illusions. No change will come from no new government. This has always been the case.State terrorism continues and with it continues the struggle for social and individual liberation, for a free world without power.

Immediate release of detained protesters!
Removal of all accusations against them!
Immediate retreat of all police forces from the neighborhoods of Nikea and from around the city hall!
The assembly of the occupied city hall of Nikea.

An update:

5 out of the 8 arrested protesters who were led to the courts today are being charged under the “anti-hood” law of the previous government which transforms any breach of the law into a criminal offence if the court accepts that the protesters were wearing hoods or covering their faces. This means that any breach of the law “under a hood” can be punished by maximum 10 years imprisonment. Given that many anarchists in greece wear hoods as a symbol of their ideology this is considered to be a re-activation of the 1930s “idionimo” which imprisoned and exiled people of communist convictions. The parody of justice is even more apparent by the fact that in the day of the march it was raining, so penalising wearing a hood is more or less a conviction to illness or a prohibition of protest in winter conditions.

It is the first time that the onerous anti-hood law is being applied.

As a result, the occupation of the Nikea city hall holds strong.
It must be noted that bourgeois media have imposed a total black-out on the events, pointing out that the Minister of Public Order, who was decorated by the CIA in 2003 for his anti-guerrilla operations, has activated his old methods of “media guidelines”, i.e. censorship on issues of human rights and civil order that might be harmful to the government.

Workers support city hall occupation in Nikea

The municipal workers association of Nikea stand in solidarity with anarchists occupying the city hall since Saturday.

As the occupation of the city hall of Nikea enters its third day, the support of locals so visual during the protest march regarding the police torture and death of Mohamed Karman Atif, which led to serious clashes with the police and 8 arrests last Saturday 17/10, has been expressed in a communique by the municipal worker’s association of Nikea.

Communique of Workers Association of the municipality of Nikea about murder–detentions-occupation

Nikea City Hall is occupied by anarchist groups from the afternoon of Saturday after a protest, for the death of the unfortunate Pakistani immigrant that took place in the Police Station of Nikea.

The Workers Association demands that the forces of repression leave from within the boundaries of the historic City of Nikea. The occupation of the City Hall by the protesters is a political act, and the attempt to criminalise it is unacceptable and undemocratic.

The workers of Kokkinia [red neighborhood] disapprove strongly the attack of the forces of repression against the demonstrators and the mindless use of chemical gasses in a densely populated area. The police rule imposed cannot intimidate protesters and workers.

We demand the immediate clarification of the case of the death of our fellow human being, the immigrant. We call the Minister of Protection of Citizens [Minister of Public Order] to deal himself with this dark case and not attempt to conceal or whitewash this tragic case.

The Association of Workers protests strongly against xenophobia and racism that extreme-right centers and para-centers are trying to impose on Greek society.

WE DEMAND

-THE REPRESSION FORCES NOT TO RAID THE NIKEA CITY HALL.

-THE IMMEDIATE WITHDRAWAL OF THE POLICE FORCES FROM WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES OF THE CITY OF NIKEA.

-THE CLARIFICATION OF THE CASE OF THE DEATH OF THE PAKISTANI IMMIGRANT.

-THE DEMOCRATIZATION OF GREEK POLICE AND THE FIRING OF EXTREME-RIGHT ELEMENTS IN ITS RANKS.

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Demonstration for Mohammed Kamran Atif’s death

Posted by clandestina on 16 October 2009

Thersitis call for the demo

Thersitis call for the demo

assembly of rebels from Salamina, Perama, Keratsini, Drapetsona, Nikaia & Resalto

assembly of rebels from Salamina, Perama, Keratsini, Drapetsona, Nikaia & Resalto

20020129024620066_0001

Demo for Mohammed Kamran Atif’s death, Davaki sq. Perivolaki, Nikaia, Athens, Sat. 17 Oct. 12.00

http://thersitis.gr/

http://anarxiko-resalto.blogspot.com/

TEXT BY INITIATIVE OF IMMIGRANTS, REFUGEES, AND PEOPLE IN SOLIDARITY

KAMRAN Mohamed ATIF

25 YEARS OLD IMMIGRANT FROM PAKISTAN

MURDERED IN NIKAIA’S POLICE DEPARTMENT AFTER TORTURES, ELECTROSHOCK…

September 26, 1:30 am, 15 cops invaded at the house of Pakistani workers in street Heliopolis 82, Nikaia (area of Pireas). Mohammed Atif Kamran and his relatives and roommates were beaten up by the caps and afterwards Mohammed Atif Kamran was led to the police department of Nikaia as a suspect of beating an underage person. There (at the police station) the savage beating continued. Tied his hands and hit with truncheon. They did electroshock at his knees and hands…

The complainant did not recognize him and withdraw the complaint and finally cops released him after they forced his brother to sign that he received Mohamment without any single bruise.

On October 9, Mohammed Kamran died because of the special police “care” which had “accepted” few days ago.

The democratic hilarity of “human rights” can not conceal that Life in capitalism doesn’t worth the same for everyone. Modern “fugitives” (immigrants, refugees) considered as expendable for this intensive exploitation and bloody repression.

Every Mohammed is an everyday target. At the borders, in minefields, at sea, in the concentration camps, in queues for an asylum claim, to police “cleaning” operations, to racist pogroms, in fascist attacks, at the extreme-right rhetorics, in media…

The system rhetoric about “isolated incidents” and “unfortunate incidents” can not convince anyone anymore, not even the most naive. Especially after last year’s murder of 15 year-old Alexander Grigoropoulos. Democracy murders. Police brutality is only the expression of the repressive state-capitalist barbarism: oppression, exploitation, subjugation and death. And all these do not change with government changes but only with social revolution and the advent of a free world without any power.

INSIDE THE CELLS OF DEMOCRACY, POLICE MURDERS

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No Deportations to Baghdad campaigns

Posted by clandestina on 16 October 2009

source: http://no-racism.net/article/3143

No Deportations to Baghdad

On Thursday, 15. Oct 2009, early morning, a specially chartered plane provided by Air Italy deported 39 people from London to Baghdad. Activists call for a demonstration on Saturday and a campaign against Air Italy.

Message from the campaigning group Stop Deportation

The first deportation to Baghdad deported around forty people early on Thursday the 15th October on a specially chartered plane provided by Air Italy. This marks a shift in government policy which since 2005 has sent people back to Iraqi Kurdistan but not to Iraq. Now they have begun, deportations to Iraq are sure to continue putting the lives of many in danger.

Demonstrate on Saturday to build
resistance to deportations to Iraq!
Saturday 17 October 2009, 2pm
Parliament Square, London

Deporting people to a war zone like Iraq puts the lives of many deportees at risk. As recently as the 11th October, three car bombs exploded in the western Iraqi city of Ramadi, killing at least 19 people. Violence and bloodshed continue throughout the country, which saw 1,891 civilian deaths in the first six months of this year alone. There are also widespread food shortages, lack of access to clean drinking water and other grave humanitarian crises in many areas.

The British government, through its participation in the war on and occupation of Iraq since 2003, is responsible for these crises and the consequent displacement of millions of Iraqis. Instead of helping accommodate refugees fleeing war and violence, it is now sending them back en masse to face their possible death. Charter flight deportations in particular limit detainees legal recourse and are especially violent – see :: stopdeportation.net for more information.

We call upon all groups, organisations and individuals opposed to this brutal action by the UK government to stand with us in calling for all deportations to Iraq to be stopped. Join us to demonstrate against mass deportations to Iraq this Saturday the 17th October, at 2pm, at Parliament Square.

If you would like to add your or your organisation’s name to a :: statement against deportations to Iraq, or for any further information, please emailstopdeportation (at) riseup.net.

Campaign Against Air Italy

Air Italy was involved in the forcible removal by a charter flight leased to UK Border Agency of 39 Iraqi’s who had sought asylum in the UK, to an unknown destination in Iraq on Wednesday 14th October from Stansted Airport in the United Kingdom.

The :: National Coalition of Anti-Deportation Campaigns call for protests against the deportation airline. :: Details and model letter here.

print version

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Revolt in Pagani last Saturday

Posted by clandestina on 16 October 2009

from no border lesvos 09

Revolts, revolts

After the last revolt, we didn’t receive much news from Pagani. But now, there is this bit which we would like to share with you:

Last Saturday there was a revolt in Pagani. The prisonners set fire in their cell and the police was forced to open the door and put out the fire, so that the prisoners would not suffocate. 3 prisoners had to be brought to hospital. The prisoners’ demands are to be registered and to be set free and not to be kept imprisonned some more and some less long.

went tolast night 14/10 there was once more a revolt in pagani. Women and men started it. The prisononers said that the police hit two prisoners and took them away, probably to the police jail. The policemen told the prisnoners that everytime a revolt starts they will take two
people out of them to prison. Even if they did not take part in the revolt.

Last week a woman was brought to Pagani after giving birth, and was set free after three days only because of the pressure from outside.

Today the jungest prisoner is a mere30 days old.

The police together with the local authorities is responsible for the punishing attitude towards the prisoners, responsible for the imprisonment of minors and women and children.

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Release for 1,200 illegal migrants from police holding cells, no deportation for immigrant’s children announced the Government

Posted by clandestina on 16 October 2009

source: Kathimerini

Release for 1,200 illegal migrants

Citizens’ Protection Minister Michalis Chrysochoidis yesterday announced the impending release of 1,200 illegal immigrants from police holding cells around the country while also heralding a overhaul of the coast guard and police force to deter traffickers from bringing would-be migrants to Greece.

The freed immigrants would be given a month to leave the country and offered financial incentives for their repatriation, the minister said, noting that migrants facing trial on criminal charges would not be subject to release.

Chrysochoidis said that more measures were in the pipeline, including the reform of legislation to ensure greater rights for the children of migrants. “Child migrants who have grown up in Greece and merit protection status will not be subject to deportation,” he said.

“First and foremost we want to discourage illegal entry but we must also drastically improve our country’s human rights record,” Chrysochoidis told reporters following talks with top police and navy officials. The minister added that Greece would “no longer be a free-for-all but neither a hell pit for human souls.” To this end, and in an apparent reaction to complaints lodged against Greece by international rights groups earlier this week, Chrysochoidis also heralded the creation of a police department that would probe alleged rights violations by officers. The plan is for the unit to operate in cooperation with the Ombudsman, Giorgos Kaminis, who last week highlighted the problem of illegal immigration when he appeared at the new government’s first ministerial meeting.

Chrysochoidis said another priority would be reorganizing the coast guard with the aim of intensifying sea patrols and curbing a relentless influx of migrants to islands in the eastern Aegean.

Earlier this week, the European Union’s border-monitoring agency Frontex reported a 47 percent increase in the number of illegal immigrants entering Greece through its sea border with Turkey. This sharp increase came even as Italy and Spain, also external EU border states, reported a 60 percent drop in illegal arrivals partly due to repatriation agreements signed with Libya and Senegal respectively.

and a short announcement commenting on this at Athens Indymedia

“Amnesty” a ploy by “antiauthoritarian” PASOK

“Amnesty” for 1200 administratively detained immigrants  promised the minister “protector of citizens” M. Chrisochoïdis; they will be given one month to leave the country as well as financial incentives!

The “sensitive” and “humanitarian” measures can not hide the real intentions of the dominants.   This is in principle the implementation of plans of their predecessors, Pavlopoulos-Markogiannakis, which is done with the knowledge that, among other things, for many immigrant detainees deportation was impossible or their detention would have to cease with legal acrtion and in that case as well they would have to leave the country within one month all the same.

At the same time “virtue operations” [police raids] are still conducted on a large scale in many areas of Attica, which leaves no doubt that  this will be transferred in the so-called historic center of Athens with intensity.  The detention centers, then, are drained only to be quickly refilled, when the center of Athens will be evacuated this time for good from the immigrant  “taint”.

The idea is to directly demonstrate the “effectiveness” of a government which strugges from the early start to look “different”.  This is  “amnesty” to “criminal” undocumented migrants, which ensures social approval for broader repressive approaches that appear to be in the pipeline.

The same trick of  “social amnesty” was applied by PASOK and A. Papandreou in 1981 who released many prisoners of minor penalties.

(Published by Syspeirosi Anarchikon)

www.anarchypress.gr

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BBC journalist on Samos, immigrants in Greece and the UK

Posted by clandestina on 15 October 2009

original article at http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/thereporters/gavinhewitt/2009/10/greeces_immigrants_in_limbo.html

Greece’s immigrants in limbo

by Gavin Hewitt

Thursday, 15 October 2009

at BBC

photo appeared on the original article

photo appeared on the original article

On a hill above the town of Samos in eastern Greece are a series of long buildings with grey walls and red roofs. They could be a barracks but this is a detention centre for immigrants. It was built to hold 300 people. Today, 473 are held there. Fifty-three are women and 10 are under the age of 18. They live behind barbed wire and wait. They stay for between one and three months, their frustration gnawing away at them. These are people who have made long, often dangerous journeys to reach the shores of Europe.

Within minutes of us starting to film through the wire a young man in a red football shirt detached himself from a group and shouted out to us. Clinging to the wire fence he said he was from Somalia but looked as if he had come from West Africa. He demands to know why he is being locked up. “Why?” he pleads with me. In a refugee centre in town someone has written on a wall: “They don’t let us come. They don’t let us stay. They don’t let us go.”

A few claim asylum but that is no longer a popular option. It can tie up a migrant for months. In Greece only 0.1% of asylum seekers are successful compared to 76% in Finland.

The common story is that after a month or so they are transferred to a detention centre elsewhere in Greece. They are eventually freed and told they must leave the country within a month. The vast majority head west to other European destinations.

The UK remains the favourite country. In London they can find their own community which will provide them with work often in the underground economy. It is an abiding belief that the British will eventually allow them to stay. There is another factor that drives them west: Money. Those from Afghanistan are often in the hands of powerful and dangerous traffickers. Some in the camp here in Samos say that it costs the equivalent of £16,000 to get from Afghanistan to Britain.

Often their families back home have sold houses to pay the people smugglers. Some will have to pay the networks from whatever they earn in London or other European cities. Without work they and their families are at risk from the traffickers. They owe a debt and will not be deterred by officials or laws. One lawyer looked at this camp and said there could be £4m of business right there.

The Greeks know that they are, in effect, just passing on the problem but, in their view, they are overwhelmed. They want the rest of Europe to start taking a share of those who arrive on Greek shores. That is unlikely to happen soon. It is difficult for any country to take a quota of immigrants determined by others. In any event some fear that a quota system would only encourage others to head to Europe.

Immigration is a major issue for the European Union. The current plan is called the Stockholm programme and the aim is to have it approved by the end of the year. The

intention is to beef up border patrols by giving more money to Frontex, the relatively new body that operates planes and ships.

Certainly here in Greece there is little evidence that Frontex patrols have a deterrent effect. The traffickers tell the migrants that if a Frontex boat appears to jump in the water and they’ll have to rescue you.

Measures are being considered to make it harder to grant mass amnesties for illegal migrants but that leaves open the question of what should be done with them. The EU is also working on what it calls a “Return Directive”. It is expected to become law by December 2010 and is supposed to make it easier to send home illegal immigrants but the law only applies once a decision has been taken to deport an immigrant.

The UK has opted out of this. If it is intended to deter migrants it is unlikely to be successful. Detainees will have the right to appeal against deportation, to see legal advisers, family members and get medical attention.

It is a directive that will provide a lot of work for lawyers. It is the view of the UK that it could make returning illegal immigrants more difficult because detainees will have more power to challenge deportation.

When economies were growing fast and there were gaps in the labour markets some countries were relatively relaxed about these arrivals but with 22 million people out of work across the EU the mood is changing. There were 238,000 asylum applications last year and just over a third were approved. As to the number of illegal immigrants no one knows. There may be a decline in those trying to get to Malta or Italy from Africa. This is partly because of an agreement with Libya to restrict the crossings. But the numbers have edged up in Greece and Southern Spain.

The reality is that in the midst of a severe recession the migrants have not been deterred. Many fear for their lives if they return home owning money. Currently there is no common European approach to this problem. There are moves and initiatives but, for the time being, Europe is like a trip wire. It makes live difficult for the migrants but it does not seriously put them off coming and neither does it help them settle.

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