TEXT FOR THE PRESS CONFERENCE WITH THE DOCTORS
Posted by clandestina on 25 February 2011
The hunger strike has already entered a critical phase. The hunger strikers are not losing hope, but everyday they are losing more and more body mass, they are constantly dizzy, we witness fainting episodes all the time, several of them have been taken to public hospitals.
Often, even there, at the public institutes of medical health, the exhausted immigrants are further humiliated: Just yesterday, the director of an Internal Medicine Unit of a hospital here, ordered the nursing staff to take trays with meals to the striker’s bed and leave them there for half an hour, much to the surprise of the people accompanying the hunger striker, who had described very clearly that the strikers will refuse to be fed! Isn’t this psychological torture, isn’t this a violation of human rights?!!!
Big men, who for years have worked on farms and on building sites all over Greece, fathers and husbands, are now weighing 44, 45 kilograms. They can hardly stand up. Three days ago already, the medical health team, who has been on the side of the hunger strikers from day one, said it very clearly in their public announcement: The strikers “have entered a phase where they are facing irreversible damage to their health”. The strikers’ health is under serious threat. In common terminology, that means that their vital organs will be irreversibly harmed, their memory and eyesight will be seriously challenged. And who knows what else.
The government has still said next to nothing.
–After torturing the immigrants during their first week of the hunger strike with meaningless negotiations and false promises in order to evacuate the empty building site of the redundant Law School,
–after leading them to the wet and cold conditions of the Ypatia building’s front yard and narrow corridors,
–after criminalizing solidarity and sending 8 people to the District Attorney for helping the fighting migrants in their struggle,
–after the mudslinging campaign by the Minister of Health Mr. Loverdos to convince the public that “the hunger strikers are a public health hazard”…
…after all these attempts to break the strike failed completely, the government is still not responding.
After solidarity messages from the hospital doctors union, from bar associations of lawyers, from university professors, from schoolteachers, from students and working people, from City Councils and political groups all over the country, after messages of full support from Trade Union Federations, immigrant groups and intellectuals from around the globe -from Ken Loach to Noam Chomsky and from Alain Badiou to Emmanuel Wallerstein, from Eduardo Galeano to Naomi Klein, from Dario Fo to Slavoj Zizek, and so many others…
…after all this extraordinarily broad and intense expression of support for the strikers’ demands and solidarity with their struggle, the government is still not responding. The government doesn’t seem to understand that their hands may soon be covered in blood.
The struggle for equal rights, the struggle for dignity cannot be broken.
But it is time to send out a message, a message that should be understood as a warning: The health of the 300 hunger strikers, the health of 300 people fighting for all of us, is now in real danger. It is time for our self-defense.