Migration and Struggle in Greece

Posts Tagged ‘Forum of Immigrants in Crete’

About the death of the Indian immigrant worker in Varipetro, Chania, Jan 31, 2010

Posted by clandestina on 3 February 2010

This is a Forum of Migrants in Crete press release.

For the death of the Indian worker in Varipetro, Chania, on Sunday, 31/1/2010

3 FEB 2010
Labour accidents are tragic, shocking events. But what is more than shocking is what these people die of: inadequate protection measures.
One more spectre that should haunt the sleep of state bureaucracies, trade union bosses, and the business world.

Another worker killed, due to inadequate safety measures.

He fell from scaffolds, from a 6 meters height …

We note that many immigrant workers have already lost their lives in a working regime verging on cruelty. We are not only talking about the labour intense and unsafe conditions, but also about the long shifts, the ridiculous wages and of course the uninsured status. It is the harsh reality, which the Greek politicians do not see and nobody refers to now that the new bill on citizenship and immigration is discussed. It is the hard fact that some Greek people refuse to see, entrenched as they are in insecurity and fear and the conviction that they have discovered the “enemy” of their wealth: immigrants. Yet, it is immigrants -uninsured and underpaid – who build their houses, who look after their elderly relatives and their household, who pick fruit from their fields, who do all those jobs that Greeks refuse to do anymore.

We require that the state protects workers and implements the labour law.

We demand that trade union leaders deter further accidents and deaths by having unions’ and associations’ gates wide open for their immigrants colleagues (with or without papers) who should be fully entitled to the rights of membership

Let us not wait passively for the next “accidental death”.
Greek and foreign workers, united, let us claim now everything that is ours.

Let us push with our actions the employers, who we know very well will never show concern for us.

No more deaths, no more crippled workers.

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One step forward, two steps back! Forum of Migrants in Crete event on the new Immigration Bill

Posted by clandestina on 25 January 2010

This is a translation of a Forum of Migrants in Crete press release.

for debate on the  immigration bill
1 step forward and two steps back

The Forum of Migrants in Crete considers that the proposed amendments to the Code of citizenship and the participation in elections of local government indeed are in the right direction – at any case we would be saying the same thing, even if it was about a single immigrant obtaining his/her rights.

The proposal to grant citizenship to second generation immigrants puts partially an end to the chronic hostage status of the second generation immigrants.  However the bill requires 5 years of lawful and undisrupted residence of their parents in the country, attendance of the first three classes of the primary school or 6 years of attendance at a Greek school.   So, we ask:

  • what about the children whose parents had been legally residing but were at some point unable to renew their residence permits (in most cases because they had not adequate work revenue stamps)?
  • what about the children who have no parents (since many minors come on their own)?
  • what about the children of parents without legal documents?

Concerning the proposal for the participation of all long-term foreign residents in the local authority elections, we ask why the boll excludes them from being candidates for senior posts?

We respond to xenophobic voices that they should not worry, since in any case the bill concerns to only a very small percentage of people from other countries, those who live lawfully and continuously for many years in Greece.

As for the acquisition of Greek citizenship by first generation immigrants, we actually wait to see the concrete and final requirements of the bill; under the pressure of racist critics. though, we expect them to be harsch.

We will continue to struggle for the legalization of all immigrants (the draft law does not say a single word about sans papiers, and legal documents is a prerequisite for everything proposed by the bill).

We will continue to struggle for citizenship for all children born, live and grown-up in this place.

We call for an info, discussion and recommendations event on Tuesday, January 26, 6:00 pm at Agora Sq. Chania.

Chania, Jan. 24, 2010.
Forum of Immigrants in Crete

NOTE: this call by the Forum of Immigrants in Crete is in the frame of a AN ANTIRACIST DEMONSTRATION CALL BY VARIOUS ORGANISATIONS IN CHANIA.  SIMILAR CALLS AHVE BEEN MADE IN OTHER CITIES AS WELL (Herakleion, Ioannina etc.) This is the Chania demonstrations poster:

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45 refugees reach the shore of southern Crete οn boats – solidarity campaign by the Forum of Immigrants in Crete

Posted by clandestina on 22 July 2009

a hand through a window - a photo from an action at Kissamos, Chania, where 113 refugees where detained

a hand through a window - a photo from an action at Kissamos, Chania, where 113 refugees where detained in September, 2006

Around 45 refugees reached yesterday night the shore of Palaiochora and Lafonisi οn boats.   Men, women and children.

In these times, when, according to some, the greatest evil society has to deal with are the “sans papiers”, what might be the fate of these wretched souls? The fate of those who, according to some, are not refugees, neither exiled, but clandestine, illegal, criminals, more dangerous, even than the network of gangsters-constructors-authorities who parade through TV screens the last few days, and appear to have been calling government ministers by their surname …

The sea washed 45 “utterly evil” people of this sort, refugees that is, ashore, yesterday, the 20th of July, 2009 on the south of the Prefecture of Hania.  These refugees have escaped some country of terror and death, presumably Iraq. Families with children, a pregnant woman… Wage labourers, mothers and children, who made it out of war, poverty and juntas… The politics that wants them illegal, clandestine, will detain them for months in prison cells, though they’ve commited no crime, it ‘ll keep them unemployed, it’ll force them work for 2 euros an hour. This politics goes against society’s interests.

The interests of us all working people, lay in the granting of asylum to all these people, so that they live in dignity with their families, to join unions, to join common struggles with their Greek colleagues against the real enemy: the cartel of political and economic power-holders, who set “criseis” up, who create unemployment, in order to cut down wages.

The 45 refugees are in a hotel in Georgioupolis.  The next days we will try to contact them, along with the Medecins du Monde and Amnesty International. Some first aid in clothes, especially underwear, would be very much appreciated. The office of the Forum of Immigrants in Crete (Chatzimihali Daliani 67, Chania) will be open for anyone who wishes to aid.



Χατζημιχάλη Νταλιάνη 67 , Chania, Crete, 73100

tel. 00302821058851, mobile. 00306973525049- 00306982445088

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A prosecutory fiasco adds to the police vengeful campaign against immigrants in Chania, Crete

Posted by clandestina on 17 June 2009

Surveillance and prosecutions in the town of Chania against struggling immigrants and their organisations continue. The police in the town after the two day networking and action event by the Forum of Immigrants in Crete launched a campaign of intimidation against the rise of immigrant assertive activity (see this post: Police campaign to intimidate struggling immigrants and communities in Chania, Crete). Among the arrestees of the days was Farahat Gabri, active in the migrant movement since years, whose health was in a bad condtion and remains so after his detention and the police denial of  access to medical care (instead of some hospital, he was transferred to Athens, away from his support networks – see this Chania Haunt of Immigrants – Social Haunt press release about this case – in Greek).

Yesterday though, the situation in the town took a bleaker and at the same time ridiculous – as regards the police’s “master plans” – twist.   After the arson attack against a police vehicle at the Souda district the police invaded the houses of immigrants well known from their year long residence in the town and their affiliations with the social struggle for rights.   Two of them were supposedly witnessed to be near the spot of the arson attack.

They were brought to court yesterday.  The witness was a junky, absolutely depended on state benefits support and intermingled with the undercover police in Chania.  The Courts of Chania were filled and surrounded with all sorts of police, who kept encouraging the “witness” to “say everything, and f*ck them”….

The Forum of Immigrants in Crete called the people who had been with the two immigrants that night to confer their testimonies to the court. Along with the Athens Indymedia post of some group assuming responsibility for the arsonist assault, and the rapid response by lawyers in Chania, the pressures culminated and led the court to to downgrade the charges (the accused immigrants would be otherwise trialled under the “terrorism-law”) and then release them until some DNA tests are carried out on supposedly found evidence.  The court will resume in ten days.

The Forum of Immigrants in Crete calls for vigilance.  This last police fiasco is not an isolated incident. It is not only part of the general terroristic “sweep operations” rush of the last days, but also – and crucially so -part of the vengeful campaign of the minister of public order Markoyannakis against the self – organized assertive initiatives of the Forum – the police and pertinent ministries will not forget and will not forgive the local community support and the momentum of  the last winter’s hunger strike.

Tomorrow (Thursday) an open discussion with the town’s associations, trade unions and political organisations is to take place at Papadopetrou building in the center of Chania.

(most info from Forum of Immigrants in Crete release).

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