Once, a long time ago, but not so far so as to pretend we have forgotten about it, thousands of people – familiar faces, and even more familiar names – began their trail seeking a better tomorrow. They were crammed up in trains, welcomed by hostile police squads, registered by authorities, slept in areas unfit even for animals, worked the worst jobs – and to top it all, they were branded as subhumans, scum and blackheads, so they would be belittled as workers, and become dispossessed as human beings.
Presently, the history of refugees and immigrants – which never ceased to exist, since states, nations and wars are ever present – is going through a revival, only this time, we are on the other side of the sea, awaiting the arrival of scores of thousands of migrants, risking their lives to cross the borders of Europe; a Europe that is culpable for what goes on in the lands these people left behind. With its army scattered all over the world, and in league with every authoritative powers-that-be residing in these areas, usurping resources and soils for centuries, Europe remembers its security whenever there is a price to pay for the choices it has made. How else could it be, when its policy, stretching from the English Channel to the shores of the Dodecanese, aims to devaluate human existence until it reaches bottom, and to promote a denigrated workforce in order to fill in the vacancies of its hemorrhaging industry?
In this context, it is not at all surprising that the “first time left” government passes the buck further away, being essentially indifferent to what will become of the immigrants, and attempting – in vain – to put on a charitable face. The hollow labors of this government, and mostly the attitude of its police (see police violence, money paid under the table, cover-ups of illegal acts in the process of looking after its own etc.), proves that all the above are true beyond any shadow of doubt. Besides, the Greek army continues, even in financially difficult times, to maintain its presence in twelve countries, based on the strategic needs of a state that never strays far from its militaristic humble beginnings.
The expression of a misanthropic and racist speech from the part of the municipal authorities is also unsurprising; whenever their façade cracks, all rhetoric about human rights disappears, the city’s public toilets are closed, the water is turned off, and their previous attitude is replaced by a far right discourse (“recapturing the city”, “there will be blood”, “not even water…”) typical of European governments; and neonazis, bulked-up thugs and other invertebrates are being paid to clean up the parks by force, dispersing threats all around.
We are also unfazed by the fact that countless tales of extortion at the expense of immigrants have been buried by both governing bodies and the local media. The entire system of local interests may very well cry its eyes out before the cameras for the evil that has befallen this blessed place, yet it turns huge profits from desperate people, renting them flophouses at five star hotel prices (such as 35 Euros for a room with four beds), asking them money even to charge their cellphones (3 Euros per charge), selling them water at 1,5 Euros per bottle, stealing the engines from traffickers’ boats, even offering to transport immigrants to Kalymnos – for a modest price of 400 Euros – where police can have their papers done more quickly.
Maybe the only thing that’s a little bit surprising – and mostly disgusting to acknowledge – is the utterance of a xenophobic and racist discourse from a large part of denizens of Kos. They even dare to talk about illegal and irregular people – when their grandfathers were rushing, with only a ticket in hand, to reach Australia, Canada and the United States. They dare to say that the island is small, claiming that there is a shortage of reception areas, at the same moment when hundreds of thousands of tourists are given rooms every summer, while there are numerous rundown and abandoned spaces even at the very center of the city.
We should also note the lack of presence of NGO’s and other “sensitive” organizations on the island – despite the fact that they are supposedly being paid to help refugees and immigrants – and also the more recent events of cops coexisting with fascists, penning thousands of immigrants in the sports field of Antagoras and locking them in, keeping them under harsh conditions (no water, no food, toilets or shade), and the unprovoked attacks from local death squads, as was the case on August 11th and 12th. What we are left with is the entire grim setting experienced by thousands of fellow human beings, who had the misfortune to be born a little further from this place and speak a different language. We will not abandon them to the whims of contemporary cannibalism. No provocation will be left unanswered, and no voice expressing solidarity and support will be silenced by the vulgarity consuming our days against immigrants and refugees.
Immigrants are the damned of the earth
We are all foreigners in this world of bosses…
Solidarity initiative to refugees and immigrants
PS: The text was distributed to over a thousand copies in Kos town
Also It is posted by local media as a text that was distributed in the city