PRESS RELEASE – 26 FEBRUARY 2011
Posted by clandestina on 27 February 2011
Saturday, February 26, 2011
DAY 33 of the hunger strike
The 300 migrants, 50 of which are staying at the 7th floor of the Labor Centre, have been on a hunger strike for 33 days now. On average, they have lost 15% body mass and they are physically exhausted. However, they are still teaching us lessons of dignity through their example and they are determined to continue with their struggle until the end, until their demands are fulfilled.
As the doctors of the medical team have noted, their health conditions are deteriorating day by day and they are facing the threat of irreparable damage to their vital organs. Today, two more hunger strikers were taken to the hospital, one of them for fainting, another for precordial pain. Up to now, 15 hunger strikers have been admitted to hospitals, while right now 3 hunger strikers are at the Hippocration and one at Aghios Demetrios.
This morning members of the Open Solidarity Initiative organized an info-event at the Kamara area, with PA-systems, flyposted banners with slogans in support of the hunger strikers’ demands on local buses, read out texts to the passers-by and distributed leaflets.
For next week, the Open Solidarity Initiative has planned a demo with motorcycles on Tuesday, March 1 (meeting at 6pm at the Labor Centre), and a solidarity march on Thursday, March 3 (meeting at 6pm at the Venizelou statue).
The hunger strikers receive solidarity messages everyday. The Hospital Doctor’s Union, the Bar Associations of Lawyers in Thessaloniki, university professors, schoolteachers, students and working people, the Thessaloniki City Councils and political groups all over the country, as well as 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 othes, have expressed their support to the demands and the struggle of the hunger strikers. Yesterday, 35 university professors from Crete sent a solidarity message stating that: “the hunger strike of 300 people does not threaten democratic institutions, on the contrary it is an effort to broaden democracy by defending human rights. The rhetoric of the government, of politicians and of journalists that the hunger strike was allegedly instigated by scheming political groups and parties, reveals their truly racist view of immigrants as people who lack the capacity to think and act autonomously. However, it is they, the government, the politicians and the journalists who exploited the presence of the hunger strikers at the Law School in order to distract public opinion from the policies of the Memorandum as well as from the country’s political system that is seeped in scandals of corruption and bribery. We declare our full support to the struggle of the migrants hunger strikers and are calling upon the Greek Parliament to prepare the legal framework for migration that will respect universal human and social rights”.