Migration and Struggle in Greece

Archive for the ‘Calls to Action, Campaigns, Appeals & Petitions’ Category

A call to all the ones affected by the War that European Union leads against Migrants and Refugees at the External Borders as well as inside its political and social order.

Posted by clandestina on 22 December 2014

On 6 of February 2014, more migrants were trying in collective action to overcome the border of the enclave of Ceuta (one of two borders of the European Union on African soil) across the sea. The Spanish Guardia Civil, fired on the swimming Migrants with rubber bullets and tear gas. Moroccan police, supported by local racists, also participated in the murderous hunt of migrants. At least 15 people were murdered that day, and 50 all together were missing. Dozens more were injured and illegally pushed back to Morocco.

A year after the killings, the families of the victims, witnesses among the road friends and activists for equality of people”s rights, remember this homicides.
It will be occasion for a meeting on the way to the creation of a Transnational Platform of Action of Migrants, Refugees and solidarious Initiatives. We will come together to denounce all crimes and injustices we all are victims.

Do not wait until the people rise up, you are the people!

Read the rest of this entry »

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Against social cannibalism and fascist pogroms

Posted by clandestina on 24 May 2011

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Call for a Common Day of Action

Posted by clandestina on 2 February 2011

On Tuesday 25 of January the historical building of the Law school in Athens that is out of use at the moment- turned to be the place of a fair and democratic struggle; a place, where a lot of social struggles had taken place in the past, had the opportunity to host the struggle of 250 out of the 300 migrants- workers, who are fighting in Athens and Thessaloniki for the unconditional legalization of all migrants. A struggle for equal rights to life, carried out by those who want to be no longer invisible.

From the very beginning political establishment and media put pressure on the migrants’ hunger strike accusing their struggle as an illegal act; legitimizing in this way the violation of the academic asylum and the forced evacuation of the building.

In the afternoon of Thursday 30 of January, police interrupts traffic in central Athens, creating an image of an occupied city, and encircles the building of the Law school. Thousands of people that came in solidarity are obstructed from accessing the area which is surrounded by the police and spontaneously set up gatherings in protest. From 6 o clock in the afternoon until 5 in the morning, hunger strikers are being blackmailed to leave the building. In the middle of this very long night, the hunger strikers along with the people in solidarity finally move to another central Athens building in a 4 a.m. demonstration!

This place (privately owned), however, turned out to be something similar to a refugee camp, as it has not enough space and hygienic infrastructure and many of the hunger strikers are obliged to sleep in tents in the frozen courtyard.
Government and media totally depreciate this migrants’ struggle, which is pictured as motivated by promoters so as to create ‘social unrest in the country’.
It is one of the hunger strikers, though, that gives the answer: “the most frustrating of all is that they cannot understand that the neediness that brought us here is so great that we do not need promoters but supporters”.

In a climate of intimidation and repression 5 companions from the Solidarity Assembly are been called by the state advocate as suspects for the crime of “trafficking”. At the same time the minister of interior denied any possibility of legalization and repealed the decree under which 15 migrants, hunger strikers were legalized back in 2009. In addition to that he called all migrants’ communities in Greece to comply so as “to prevent their members from participating on events that would act as hot spots”.

We, people in solidarity to the fair struggle of the migrants hunger strikers, declare our joint responsibility together with the 5 companions and we also declare being “traffickers” of dignity and solidarity.

In a climate of repression and anti-migrant policies in Greece and all over Europe, we need to act in order to create symbolic cracks in the system and achieve political victories.
It is more urgent than ever to vow the broadest support to the fight of the 300 hunger strikers.
We call for a common day of action on the 11th of February, a day where actions of solidarity will take place in all over Greece. We address our appeal to every association, union, organization and political group and everyone to protest in solidarity to the migrants’ fair struggle.
In solidarity with the 300 migrants, workers, hunger strikers.
We demand the unconditional legalization for all migrants
We support the migrants’ demands for equal political and social rights with all Greek workers


Solidarity Assembly to the Migrants Hunger Strikers

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ZNet: Support the Striking Migrant Workers of Greece

Posted by clandestina on 27 January 2011

Yesterday, January 25, three hundred (300) migrants who work in Greece without papers or any civil rights began what is perhaps the largest hunger strike in Greek history.


The strikers are asking for the “legalization of all migrant men and women,” and for “the same political and social rights and obligations as Greek workers.”


The struggle of these migrants highlight the general crisis of migrants and refugees across Greece and Europe.


The Assembly of Migrant Hunger Strikers explain that they came to Greece “to escape poverty, unemployment, wars and dictatorships.” And that they were left no choice other than to repeatedly risk their own lives “to journey towards Europe’s door.”


“I want papers to be able to go to hospital, to be treated as a human being,” explained a 29-year old Moroccan. “I’m fed up with this life without papers.” He has been working “menial” jobs on the Island of Crete for 5 years.


Another hunger striker, who said he found it impossible to obtain legal papers, explained “There is no going back for us. … We will win this fight or we will die.”


With no other way to make their voices heard or demand their rights 250 migrants have occupied an unused building in the Law School of Athens where Police are forbidden by the University Asylum law to enter university grounds.


Another building, the 7th floor of the Labor Center of Thessaloniki, has also been occupied by 50 others.


Even during times of “business as usual”—when elite profit, power, and privilege is not in jeopardy, but the everyday lives of everyone else are—migrants are easy targets for blame and exploitation.


However, as material conditions worsen in Greece due to the current financial crisis, so have the lives of migrants worsened—becoming more precarious.


The statement of the Assembly of Migrant Hunger Strikers explains that the lives of migrants have become even more unbearable as workers “salaries and pensions are cut and prices rise.” Migrants have become targets more often and their lives more vulnerable.


“Far right discourse is reproduced through the media when they talk about us. On issues of migration, the propaganda of fascist and racist parties and groups has become the formal language of the State while their ‘proposals’ have already become government policy: the wall in Evros, floating detention centres and a European army in the Aegean, repression in the cities, massive deportations.”


Under these conditions faced by the striking migrants, it is imperative not to remain silent, and to lend support for the demands of the migrants.


Intellectuals of Greece, Europe, and elsewhere must express their solidarity by lending support for the demands of the migrants and participating in their struggle and defense.


Public expressions of solidarity and support are urgently needed as the deadline for striking migrants to leave the Law School of Athens’ is currently under consideration.




We, the authors, wish to express our solidarity with the 300 migrant workers on hunger strike in Greece. Their struggle is an important part of the struggle for migrant justice and human rights all over the world.


(Signatories are listed here in personal capacity only. If you support this statement, please sign the petition.)


Michael Albert (ZNet) – USA

Peter Bohmer (Faculty in Economics at The Evergreen State College, and Olympia Movement for Justice and Peace, Olympia, Washington) – USA

Irina Cerica (Global Balkans Network) – Canada

Andrej Grubacic (Global Balkans Network, ZNet) – USA

Harpreet K Paul (Project for a Participatory Society) – United Kingdom

Nikos Raptis (ZNet) – Greece

Deric Shannon (Worker Solidarity Alliance, Queers Without Borders) – USA

Chris Spannos (ZNet) – USA

Tamara Vukov (Global Balkans Network) – Canada

Abbey Willis (Worker Solidarity Alliance, Queers Without Borders) – USA
(If you support this statement, please sign the petition.)

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Declaration of solidarity with the hunger strikers – Call for a week of action!

Posted by clandestina on 26 January 2011

Declaration of solidarity with the hunger strikers in Greece – Legalisation and equal rights now – Call for a week of action!

The 25th of January is the day on which 300 migrants in Greece started a hunger strike. Their demand is a collective legalisation of all the people excluded from Greek society based on their status – be it asylum seekers, not recognised refugees, illegalised people, exploited migrant labourers. It is not the first hunger strike in Greece where human beings are forced to use such a drastic measure to fight for their rights.


We are migrant men and women from all over Greece. We came here due to poverty, unemployment, wars and dictatorships. The multinational companies and their political servants did not leave another choice for us than risking 10 times our lives to arrive in Europe’s door. […] We came to Greece and we are working to support ourselves and our families. We live without dignity, in the darkness of illegalness so that employers and state’s services can benefit from the harsh exploitation of our labour. We live from our sweat and with the dream, some day, to have equal rights with our Greek fellow workers. […] The answer to the lies and the cruelty has to be given now and it will come from us, from migrant men and women. We are going in the front line, with our own lives to stop this injustice. We ask the legalization of all migrant men and women, we ask for equal political and social rights and obligations with Greek workers.”

(Assembly of migrant hunger strikers, January 2011)


It is not a particular Greek situation that the hunger strikers are denouncing. It is the effect of the European policy of bordering and exclusion. Accessing European territory is often a deadly venture. Refugees and migrants are not welcome in Europe, and fences, border guards and agencies, detention camps and deportation schemes have proliferated only to keep the unwanted at distance. But the dreams and the desires of the unwanted are stronger and enable many to scale the borders. The presence of a migrant population in Europe is a reality and they have come, and are coming to stay.


However, it is not only the fences and borders that are directed against these coming citizens of Europe. In a Europe that promised a homogeneous landscape of rights to its citizens in any country of the Union, non-European migrants often find themselves to be second-class citizens, or even outright excluded from political and social rights at large. This creates an exploitable labour force and a disadvantaged and disenfranchised part of the population. By creating such conditions, Europe profits from the products of migrant labour. In the Southern countries of the EU, the agricultural sector is heavily dependent on migrant labour, while all over Europe, migrants form the backbone of many service industries that are taken for granted.


But we are talking about human beings, with dreams and hopes, with plenty of reasons to go and to move. But as they arrive in Europe, they find themselves deprived of their rights as human beings, at the mercy of an asylum system, and at the fringes of society. It is exactly this social exclusion and disfranchisement, it is the lack of political and social rights that leads to the often unbearable conditions that are then denounced as the “migration problem”, used to justify repression, further exclusion, and deportation.


Migration is neither a crime nor a problem, but the European Union’s response is criminal and highly problematic. The 2008 European Pact on Immigration and Asylum has cemented this inhuman policy pursued for many years. While mentioning necessary advances in asylum and legal migration legislation, it has foremost served as a political initiative to harden the borders, further exclusion and deportation and is a declaration of war on migration. It lengthily talks about the solidarity between the EU member states, but it robbed especially the southern states of the only sensible answer to migration: it contains an explicit ban on collective legalisation.


The hunger strikers in Greece have decided to struggle for their rights, and rightly so. In a climate of increased repression and anti-migrant rhetoric, we have to act. Not only in Greece, all over Europe and indeed all over the world, we need to struggle for equal rights for everybody. We express our explicit solidarity with the hunger strikers in Greece, and we call to activists all over Europe to join the cause for a complete and unconditional legalisation.


We call for a week of action from the 7th to the 13th of February 2011 in solidarity with the hunger strikers!


Legalisation now!

Equal rights now!

For the abolition of borders!



January 2011 | Welcome to Europe Network

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Statement of Solidarity from Afrique-Europe-Interact

Posted by clandestina on 26 January 2011

Statement of Solidarity from Afrique-Europe-Interact to the Hungerstrike of Refugees and Migrants in Greece

Bamako, 25th of January 2010

To the assembly of migrant hunger strikers

Today, simultanously with your struggle for legalisation in Greece we start a protest-caravan for freedom of movement and fair development in Westafrica.

You desribed the risks of flight and migration to Europe due to poverty and unemployment, to wars and dictatorships, and due to the oppression of the multinational companies and their political servants. That are exactly the injust realities in Africa, which we tackle and critizise with our caravan.
You fight against the EU-borderregime and the modern apartheid – as we do the same!
You fight against exploitation and scapegoating and you demand equal rights – as we do the same!

We will bring these common demands from Bamako during our two weeks-tour through Westafrica and afterwards to the World Social Forum in Dakar. And we will – if necessary – promote your struggle in Dakar again and call for more transnational solidarity.

The network Afrique-Europe-Interact wishes you strength and sucess in your resistance.

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Support for Afghanian Asylum Seekers in Greece

Posted by clandestina on 11 December 2010

Join us in supporting the cause of Afghanian Refugees in Greece by signing this petition and spreading the information.

We demand that the Greek government and UN high commissioner accede to the demands of Afghanian refugees in Greece to prevent a great humanitarian disaster.

All we refugees from Afghanistan came to Europe because we couldn’t live any more in refugee camps in our country.

We can’t live any more in villages that are bombed by NATO airplanes or are ravaged by the army and its tanks. We can’t live us and our families not only because there is no freedom or democracy, but also because the economy is non existent.

We can’t live in the neighboring countries like Pakistan as war has reached it also destructive floodings that had made a new wave of poverty, hunger and refugees. We were chased in Iran, in Turkey and in many other countries.

We don’t want anyone to take advantage of our right to live and stay away from the various battlefields. No more people drowned on Aegean sea or in Evros river. Neither to be sent back by the European countries in the name of the Dublin 2 treaty, to be again on the run and homeless facing the police, fascists and racists.

We want peace, which is more valuable and all the people around the world want it. Lets make the countries stop their wars and bring back the occupation armies and give the money they spend for education or for health.

We have the right for political asylum for all the refugees and the Greek government must give it to us.
We call the Greek citizens to support our struggle.


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Seggregation and manhunts in Igoumenitsa

Posted by clandestina on 24 July 2010

In gateway-to-Italy Ionian Sea town of Igoumenitsa (see here for previous reports) the situation gets harsher. Immigrants are seen searching for food and clothing in rubish cans. The nearby area of Ladochori has been turned informally into a containment area by the police, which guards there immigrants not allowing them even to walk through to the town of Igoumenitsa. Locals now demand that immigrants leave their village because they “steal and cause trouble”. At the same time the local branch of the DIA supermarket brand denies entry to immigrant customers for security reasons. The politics of seggregation have given rise to a culture of xenophobia.

There are also reports of an immigrant head injured by a track driver at the port area.

What’s more, the police thugs of DI.AS. force, infamous for their tactic to raid demonstration lines on their motorbikes and injure people, have arrived in Igoumenitsa town. They can now be seen on their bikes hunting immigrants.

On Tuesday, July 27, people in Igoumenitsa will gather to offer immigrants clothing and other needed stuff in solidarity.


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Afghan refugees in Greece on the Patissia bomb explosion.

Posted by clandestina on 1 April 2010

Yesterday, Wednesday 31, at 8:00 pm circa 200 Afghan refugees made a silent and peaceful protest in front of the Greek Parliament in Syntagma Square, lighting candles and honouring the 15 year old Afghan refugee’s memory (traditionally) on the third night after his tragic death .  This is a translation of the text calling to the protest. The original text has been posted at  As athens indymedia users have reported this critical text was not reported by mass media and mass circulation newspapers.

Call for a peaceful and silent protest

We choose a silent protest, not because we are not hurt by the unjust and tragic loss of our innocent fellow Afghan, who perished just as bad as he might have perished in Afghanistan, if he had not fled the country with his family. If we choose a silent protest, its not beacuse we are not angry with the state of refugees in Europe in general and especially in Greece. Its not as if we are not angry with the medieval conditions at concentration camps of refugees and immigrants, which entrap our children and our families; its not as if we are not angry with the daily opppressive treatment in the street, in squares, in our homes, in government services for foreigners, for all  we are subjected to for the crime of being refugees.

We choose a silent protest because we respect our fellow man who died, and we protest against the conditions he lived under with his family as refugees. We respect his family, especially his mother, a woman who experiences the shock of the tragic loss of her son and probably the loss of her daughter’s sight. And finally, we respect the Holy Week and Easter holiday period of our fellow citizens in the country that “hosts” us. All those that the corporate media and the government institutions did not observe by ridiculing all human dignity and by encroaching and violating fundamental human and refugee rights respectively.

Najafi family with the tragic loss of their 15 year-old son and the loss of her 11 year old daughter’s sight in the bomb explosion of March 28 in Patissia adds to the long list of victims of the Greek-European inhuman and repressive policy towards economic and political refugees . There is no doubt that the young Afghan refugee Hamidoullah killed in the bomb explosion at Patissia and his little sister who is in danger of losing her sight suffered these due to the lack of asylum system in the country.  We believe that there are political responsibilities, and we urge the Government to assume them to prevent such tragedies of innocent people from happening again.

We wonder, how comes that suddenly all the ministries now show their “interest” for the family, offering gifts and promotions and making (false?) promises? Or is it that the government is only trying in this way to disguise their zero policy, which is implemented in the daily sweep operations, expulsions, hellish torture and detention of refugees and immigrants everywhere? We also wonder how comes that suddenly for all the media yesterday’s “illegal immigrants [lathrometanastes=clandestine immigrants]” are today’s “refugees”?

We are refugees of a war that has been exported against us and we demand all the rights we are entitled to in accordance with international treaties on refugees. Those rights are: asylum for all refugees, protection of our lives, shelter for families and for unaccompanied minors, medical care for all etc.

We also demand:

  • that the government stops playing the philanthroper and assumes its obligations towards refugees and immigrants.
  • that particualr media stop disturbing the troubled and shocked family in the hospital and respect their situation.

March 31, 2010, Athens

Afghan refugees in Greece

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Rome immigration prison set on fire by detainees

Posted by clandestina on 31 March 2010

source: UK INDYMEDIA, Anti-racists from Rome | 31.03.2010

Rome immigration prison set on fire by detainees

«Total chaos!» At midnight on 30th March, this text message was sent from one of the detainees inside Ponte Galeria, the immigration prison in Rome, Italy. An hour prior to the text, a riot inside the detention centre had started: mattresses were burnt and two huge fires reached the infirmary. Some of the detainees were on the roof, while others broke three or four doors and reached the outer fence. The detention centre was soon full of riot police. Gunshots were heard around 1.20am.

There riot has allegedly caused €200,000 worth of damage; a hydraulic and electric system was put out of order; four people escaped and an unknown number of detainees were moved to other detention centres, while 17 were arrested. They are due in court on 31st March.

Since the 1st March, when the Red Cross handed over the management of the detention centre to another organisation, detainees have been on hunger strike and several riots have taken place over since then. They were rebelling against the use of violence and the daily abuse at the hands of the police with the complicity of the centre’s management.

The detainees are forced to live in unbearable conditions: unsanitary and unhealthy environment, off food, drugs (including Valium) put in the food and drinks. The riots and other forms of protest, such as self-harm, are the desperate response of people who have been imprisoned for up to six months only because they do not have the right documents.

On Wendsday, 31 March, at 8:30 am, there will be a sit-in at piazzale Clodio, in front of the court, in solidarity with the detainees who tried to rebel.

At 19:00, there will be a meeting at the Forte Prenestino squat for organising an immediate collective response to what is happening at Ponte Galeria and beyond.

There is a lager (detention camp) in your city!
Close all the immigration prisons!

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