Migration and Struggle in Greece

Posts Tagged ‘Athens. Aghios Panteleimonas’

Prestigious bullshit: the Economist’s report on recent immigration events

Posted by clandestina on 14 June 2009

This is what “the Economist” magazine reports about the situation in Greece.  We will comment on the most infuriating of all.

Twenty years ago Greeks welcomed more than 600,000 Albanians who walked over the border to start a new life. These days Albanian families have credit cards, mortgages and residency permits.

What a welcome it was! Some people have memory, though.  People remember how in the 90s one could shoot an Albanian immigrant for stealing a water melon and get away with it.  People remember the “sweep operations” and the concentration of immigrants in football fields.  People remember all those dead on the border, frozen, shot by border police, those who starved.  They remember how themsleves passed more than once the border and they were deported.  The exploitation for so many years, those who died in the construction sites for the Athens Olympic Games.  People remember the pogrom of the September 4, 2004….*  So many things to remember.

The Economist does not suffer from amnesia.  It is the power’s strategy to divide immigrants.  Immigrants of various gears.  Scared, silent, happy with what they have (not) got.  Along with collective memory loss.  This is what they want.

source of the following article here

Fear and loathing in Athens

Once hospitable Greeks are turning against immigrants

THE ancient Greek tradition of hospitality to strangers is dying out. Twenty years ago Greeks welcomed more than 600,000 Albanians who walked over the border to start a new life. These days Albanian families have credit cards, mortgages and residency permits. Smaller numbers of Bulgarians, Romanians, Moldovans, Ukrainians, Georgians and Russians also have a toehold in Greece. But a new wave of immigrants from places like Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iraq, Sudan and Somalia has met indifference or even outright hostility.

AFP A court can be a home for some

On May 9th far-right protesters tried to storm a former court building in Athens that is a squalid home for 600 immigrants. One resident, Moncef, a mechanic from Morocco, says: “The police stood there and did nothing.” It took a group of Greek anarchists to come to the rescue. More than a dozen policemen were injured and four protesters were arrested—but the immigrants stayed.

Their numbers keep growing. Last year more than 146,000 illegal immigrants arrived, mostly via Turkey, up from 100,000 in 2007. Most end up in Athens because the Turks no longer respect a bilateral agreement to return illegal immigrants, say Greek officials. The half-dozen reception facilities on the Greek islands are overwhelmed; desperate local officials resort to handing out free tickets for the ferry to Piraeus.

The government’s policy is to discourage immigrants from staying. In 2005 it stopped issuing temporary permits allowing immigrants to work, pay social-security contributions and, eventually, become legal residents. Those found without papers are detained for three months, then told to leave the country within four weeks. Last year 88,000 exit orders were issued; but only 18,000 people left.

Those who seek asylum also receive short shrift. In 2008 less than 1% of applicants were granted refugee status immediately, although 11% of those who appealed were successful. Thomas Hemmerberger, a Council of Europe human-rights official, has accused Greece of failing to live up to its responsibilities to protect asylum-seekers.

Thanos Kourkoulis of Greece’s Anti-Racism Movement, who runs a school where volunteers teach Greek to immigrants, says tensions are rising. “Immigrants feel more intimidated, Greeks feel more at risk,” he says. Human-rights groups and local residents oppose plans to use an old military base outside Athens as a detention centre. Yet the flow of arrivals shows no sign of slowing.

* After the albanian national football team’s victory over the greek
team in a match that took place in Albania, on September 4 2004,
hundreds of Albanian immigrants went out in the streets of many greek
cities to celebrate. They faced a pogrom by cops and fascists/
nationalists. A 21year-old Albanian worker, Gramos Palusi, was murdered
and two of his friends seriously injured in Zakinthos island by a
fascist who attacked them with a knife. In Athens at least 70 immigrants
were taken to hospital, and in the rest of the country the wounded
Albanian immigrants were more than 300.

See here about this and more about the Greek state’s shift of strategy after the olympic games.  And about the history of Aghios Panteleimonas police station.

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Yesterday’s pogrom in Athens….

Posted by clandestina on 12 June 2009

This is a translation of the “Red Anti-Reporters” [Kokkinoi Anti-Reporters] report published at the athens indymedia.  50 people were arrested yesterday, only hours after the Governement annnouned its plans.


The Police encircled Athens facing no resistance…

It is the first time we intervene in this way about the pogrom against immigrants the state machine and the deep state fascist bastards of Golden Dawn have launched.

Because the reality – either we like it or not – is a long way from the platforms, the revolutionary keyboard verbalisms and the solidarity, resistance and disobedience to the police that DID NOT TAKE PLACE YESTERDAY against the encirclement of the streets of Socratous, Sofokleous, Agios Konstantinou and Piraeos.

The Police occupied the area since 20.00. A similar police operation was set up in the square of Aghios Panteleimonos, manned by riot squad, Golden Dawn fascists and people shrieking gibberish.

The wider area from Omonoia square to the Larissis train station was occupied by the police. Cops in groups of 4 or 5 patroled and did checks in shops as well in the street, in Omonoia and Aghios Konstantinou Ave. (they entered a coffee shop in the ground floor of the building of the left newspaper Avgi. A journalist had a verbal conflict with the cops).

In the Court of Appeals building people had not taken notice of what was going on around, since no one had informed them about. Police forces of various types and police vans were patrolling in nearby streets since 20.30.

Other vans were parked in Omonia Square along with dozens of police motorists and undercover cops. The traffick police station at the train station Larissis as well as the section Patisia police station were shielded.

Cops with bulletproof vests were guarding outside the Aghios Panteleimonas police station, and had small talks with the fat pig-headed “indignant citizens” [the Golden Dawn fascists].

The same situation at the Aghios Panteleimon square as well: the fascist killers of Golden Dawn hanging out with the cops, the riot police, the undercover police… In other parts of the area extending from Omonoia to Aghios Panteleimonas big motorcycles with their plates covered were waiting.

Immigrants: Solidarity does not fit in steelyards.

In yesterday’s pogrom in Athens against immigrants and… undesirables, the first part of the summer project of repression took place. They will keep doing that, clearing people, and will be announcing the numbers “50 illegal immigrants arrested today”. Tomorrow, 50 more. Tomorrow 50 more and so on.

Still, comrades, do not fear. Police terror will be embedded.

The immigrants left in the Court of Appeals building are few. They will leave; gradually the government troops of the new junta will be invading the building; they will find it empty; the cops will be arresting the immigrants in the small allleys around. And we will not take notice or we will underrate the news….

Until then, the police will be arresting people and without us taking notice, the refugee camps (in Aspropyrgos, in Schisto) will be operating….

Then operations will take place against our haunts, squats and free space, laws agains the weraing of hoods and university asylum, and then … then we will wear hoods and be sent in small new Guantanamos in the burnt pine forests of the mountains … already set on fire for the new season… or in the operational refugee camps’ hell….

No one did anything against the pogrom yesterday. This was an effective plan by the police, with a very large police force, the armored vehicles and motorcycles of the Greek democracy. In full cooperation with the deep state and the fascists of the Golden Dawn.

When a whole area in Attiki is occupied by the police and the deep state, let us not just sit on our keyboards and write bullshit.

No one did anything yesterday and the cops roamed loosely performing a major “sweep operation”at ease … As if this is nothing special. As if this is something natural to happen…

PS: In the Aghios Panteleimonas square fascists and riot squads expelled two news agencies photoreporrters.

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