Migration and Struggle in Greece

Posts Tagged ‘Nikaia’

From Anti-Immigrant Summer to Zero Tolerance on Election Bait 

Posted by clandestina on 20 December 2009

Text in Greek available here.

On the occasion of the International Migrants Day

From Anti-Immigrant Summer to Zero Tolerance on Election Bait

Just over a month and half ago Prime Minister Papandreou used the Global Forum on Immigration & Development proceedings in Athens to sketch government measures which would stand for a humanitarian turn compared to the policies and situation of the recent months .  He described as necessary

“[T]o stimulate the participation of immigrants in the political life of the country, through the possibility of Greek citizenship acquisition, particularly of course for the so-called ‘second generation’, in which we are suggesting the acquisition of citizenship by birth for the new person born in our territory.”

For people in Greece, though, the announcement of the Secretary for Home Affairs Theodora Tzakri two weeks later, which made clear that Greek citizenship would be granted only to children born to legal immigrants, came as no surprise.

The doctrine of “Zero tolerance to illegal migration” goes hand in hand with this government’s humanitarian turn… As for what this turn is all about, it aims at incorporating immigrants mostly from Albania, after two decades of overexploitation, and in exchange for votes. A phony exchange indeed.

Along with this, the dividing of immigrants into ‘good’ and ‘bad’, ‘useful’ and ‘superfluous’, ‘legal’ and ‘illegal’ becomes more intense, and the system of exploitation grows deeper roots .

As we wrote in our above linked text on the Global Forum on Immigration & Development:

“The aim of developmental policy is to control migration flows (through the FRONTEX patrols and detention centres) as well as to regulate them (through 5-year rotating work permits, the annulment of asylum rights), in order to keep a stable proportion of productive inhabitants within the increasingly ageing, unproductive populations of Europe. In other words, recycling the migrants will keep the indexes of development in check, development being the systematic and bloodthirsty pillage of lives and resources, time and space.

According to the “UN Population Division report on replacement migration”, if the Europeans want to keep their ratio of older people to active workers at the 1995 levels, the Union will need 135 million immigrants by 2025.

This demographic issue is only part of the story, and maybe not the most important. Neoliberalization inside Europe has meant a weakened, destabilized labor force. It’s not just that capital wants selected migrants because it needs more workers, it wants migrants because they are powerless, unorganized, low-paid workers for whom there will be no job security, no health care and no pensions.In other words, they are far cheaper and less troublesome workers”.

Illegal immigrants are necessary because through them the rights of the legal ones are suppressed (there is of course rotation of people in these roles). At the same time, illegal immigration helps governments maintain a useful xenophobic atmosphere to impose authoritarian policies. “Migration management” includes both authoritarian hysteria and humanitarian logistics. The two seemingly opposite positions are the two sides of the same coin of subjugation.

So let’s outline against this backdrop the government’s humanitarian turn after the elections of October 2009…

The Doctrine “Insulated Greece”

The new doctrine was introduced by Minister of Citizen Protection (= Public Order) M. Chrisochoïdis on Tuesday, December 15, at his meeting with the FRONTEX Executive Director J.Laitinen.   The construction of the Southeast Mediterranean FRONTEX Headquarters at the U.S. base of Aktion or at Piraeus has been a permanent request of the Greek government, which proudly stated that 75% of illegal entry arrests at the sea borders of EU for this year took place in the Aegean sea.

A few days earlier in the frame of FRONTEX operations (on Saturday, December 12) officers in Samos island, on no notice whatsoever and violently, carried out with utmost secrecy the transfer of over 85 Afghan refugees from the local detention center to the island’s airport at Pythagorio.  There the refugees were boarded on an airplane which departed for an unknown destination.

The slaughter in the Aegean Sea continues

In less than two months, 16 migrants have died in the icy waters of the Aegean. Most of them were children.

  • On Tuesday, October 27, 8 immigrants, three adults and five children, drowned in the east part of the Aegean Sea.
  • On Saturday, November 7, the lifeless bodies of six children from Palestine, aged 2 to 12 years, washed up on shore near Bodrum (Alikarnasos), Turkey.  The boat in which 19 Palestinians – half of them children – squeezed themselves on an effort to pass from the Turkish town of Turgutreis to Kos island overturned 500 meters from the shore.
  • On Friday, December 11, a boat carrying undocumented migrants sank near the island of Leros. Fishermen found 25 migrants perched on a rocky island and two more lifeless bodies in the sea.

Police violence

Incidents of abuse and humiliation by the police amount to dozens, and most of them never reach the public attention. We report the following characteristic cases:

Para-state violence

The para-state mechanism was launched last summer against immigrants and since then it has been working relentlessly despite the supposed change of policy.

Para-state organized violence encourages and feeds the diffuse social one.

  • Thus, on November 8, four immigrants who had been working at olive fields in Messolongi, Western Greece, were attacked with crowbars and clubs and beaten savagely by circa 15 people. The immigrants were transferred to the emergency dept. of the Messolongi hospital. The immigrants had been asking their wages from the owner of the fields in which they had been working.  They were ambushed and beaten in an old warehouse, where they had an appointment with their employer to get their money.

Institutional violence

  • In late November the trial of 25 immigrants (mainly Arabs and one Afghan) took place; they had been arrested during the events of December 2008 and had been detained ever since.  All this period they were considered missing.  All of them were sentenced to imprisonment from 7 months to 3 years.  It is characteristic for the fairness of the trial that only one interpreter had been assigned , who translated simultaneously for 24 defendants who were divided in three groups in the court’s room.  The Afghan who did not understand Arabic was seated on the last bench of the room…
  • On Friday, December 11, in Thessaloniki, a report was issued by the Hellenic League for Human Rights, about the detention centers in Evros and Rodopi.  The survey took place from the 25th to the 29th of November 2009 and states:

In many cases there is inadequate lighting, ventilation and heating (…)  At virtually none of the premises visited have the possibility to go outdoors on some yard. Even in detention centers where there is an adequate yard, the large number of detainees on the one hand and the lack of personnel on the other allows usually only for some prisoners to have outdoor breaks for a minimum period and not on a daily basis (…)  Food in many cases is inadequate, the quantity and quality in general varies (..). The care taken for sanitation and hygiene conditions varies from inexistent to inadequate (…) The availability of medical and nursing staff is poor and at all cases occasional (…) The detainees were in total confusion regarding their rights, the time of their detention and ill-informed as to asylum procedures; interpreters were not available.

December 18, 2009

Clandestina Network

Group of Immigrants and Refugees, Thessaloniki

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4 of the Nikea marchers released as pressure mounts against the hood-law

Posted by clandestina on 21 October 2009

Submitted by taxikipali on Oct 21 2009, at

Five of the eight marchers of Nikea, arrested last Saturday during an anti-torture demo, have been released after court hearing. Meanwhile pressure against the hood-law used against 4 of the 8 for the first time in Greece is mounting with occupations and solidarity.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Events is Nikaia, Athens, following the demonstration in memory ofMohamed Karman Atif and against state murders

Posted by clandestina on 19 October 2009

All texts copied below from, submitted by taxiki pali.

More updates and photos at

Athens anti-torture demo leads to clashes and occupation of city hall

The city hall of Nikea, an industrial and prominently communist suburb of Athens, is under occupation since Saturday 17/10 afternoon by anarchists demanding the release of people arrested during clashes with riot police outside the police department where a Pakistani immigrant, Mohamed Karman Atif, was tortured by beating and electric shocks ileading to his death last week

The demo, organised by several anarchist collectives, marched to the police station, where it was confronted by strong riot police forces. The protesters tried to break through the blockade by throwing stones to the police. In the clashes that ensued several people were detained, out of which some are being reported as arrested and charged.

The protesters then regathered and occupied the city hall in a surprise move. The mayor of the suburb, a Communist Party (KKE) cadre, has visited the occupied city hall and has declared that the police should by no means attempt to evacuate the 300 protesters who remain in it, nor arrest anyone leaving the premises.

What follows is the first communique of the occupied city hall:

Communique of the Occupied City Hall of Nikea
400 protesters gathered today October 17 in the streets of Nikea in a march of rage against the recent assassination of the 25 year old pakistani immigrant Mohamed Karman Atif by torture in the police station of Nikea, a march called by anarchist collectives and a local assembly of the area. We crossed the main streets of the area, from the house of the murdered man and moved towards the police station. Strong riot police forces (MAT) and motorised police forces (Z-team) that “accompanied the demo have proved the official stance of the now Socialist Ministry of Public Order (Ministry of Citizens Protection): whitewashing and protecting torturers murderers, the police occupation of the area. All that was happening will continue as normal: beatings, torture, humiliations in all the police stations of the country. During the protest march there was strong rain. But what rained near the police station of Nikea was not just water drops. The riot police brigade blocking the way to the police station received a rain of stones. The organised continuation of the march and the retreat from the hot-spot was hampered by a combined force of riot policemen at the back and on the sides of the march. Our defenses held, while locals from the sidewalks swore and verbally attacked the police army of occupation. Yet, in a cloud of tear gas and glob attacks some got cut off from the march and as a result they were detained. The march was completed in the location perivolaki, as planned and given the detentions a great number of the protesters moved to occupy the city hall demanding the immediate release of the hostage comrades. Some people who decided to leave were stopped by motorised police forces and were also detained. The exact number of detentions is yet not known, but is certainly double-digit. The process of arrest has already started for some. This is the apex of the new state dogma of “democracy and strength” as announced by the new minster of Public Order Michalis Chrisochoidis against the world of the insurgency and anyone potentially resisting. It is like two days ago during the demo of the Perama shipyard workers and unemployed at the Ministry of Labour. It is like the now police-occupied Exarcheia. It is like the recent persecutions of high-school occupations. It will be the same with the dockworkers of Peiraeus who are against the sell-out to COSCO, or the 1,400 workers of the Skaramangas shipyards threatened to be sacked.Police barbarity is only the repressive side of state-capitalist barbarity: oppression, exploitation, subjugation, death. The new political management’s main role is to manage the social dimension of the crisis of our times: the all-expanding disobedience to and clash with the demands of political and economic power. There is no place for illusions. No change will come from no new government. This has always been the case.State terrorism continues and with it continues the struggle for social and individual liberation, for a free world without power.

Immediate release of detained protesters!
Removal of all accusations against them!
Immediate retreat of all police forces from the neighborhoods of Nikea and from around the city hall!
The assembly of the occupied city hall of Nikea.

An update:

5 out of the 8 arrested protesters who were led to the courts today are being charged under the “anti-hood” law of the previous government which transforms any breach of the law into a criminal offence if the court accepts that the protesters were wearing hoods or covering their faces. This means that any breach of the law “under a hood” can be punished by maximum 10 years imprisonment. Given that many anarchists in greece wear hoods as a symbol of their ideology this is considered to be a re-activation of the 1930s “idionimo” which imprisoned and exiled people of communist convictions. The parody of justice is even more apparent by the fact that in the day of the march it was raining, so penalising wearing a hood is more or less a conviction to illness or a prohibition of protest in winter conditions.

It is the first time that the onerous anti-hood law is being applied.

As a result, the occupation of the Nikea city hall holds strong.
It must be noted that bourgeois media have imposed a total black-out on the events, pointing out that the Minister of Public Order, who was decorated by the CIA in 2003 for his anti-guerrilla operations, has activated his old methods of “media guidelines”, i.e. censorship on issues of human rights and civil order that might be harmful to the government.

Workers support city hall occupation in Nikea

The municipal workers association of Nikea stand in solidarity with anarchists occupying the city hall since Saturday.

As the occupation of the city hall of Nikea enters its third day, the support of locals so visual during the protest march regarding the police torture and death of Mohamed Karman Atif, which led to serious clashes with the police and 8 arrests last Saturday 17/10, has been expressed in a communique by the municipal worker’s association of Nikea.

Communique of Workers Association of the municipality of Nikea about murder–detentions-occupation

Nikea City Hall is occupied by anarchist groups from the afternoon of Saturday after a protest, for the death of the unfortunate Pakistani immigrant that took place in the Police Station of Nikea.

The Workers Association demands that the forces of repression leave from within the boundaries of the historic City of Nikea. The occupation of the City Hall by the protesters is a political act, and the attempt to criminalise it is unacceptable and undemocratic.

The workers of Kokkinia [red neighborhood] disapprove strongly the attack of the forces of repression against the demonstrators and the mindless use of chemical gasses in a densely populated area. The police rule imposed cannot intimidate protesters and workers.

We demand the immediate clarification of the case of the death of our fellow human being, the immigrant. We call the Minister of Protection of Citizens [Minister of Public Order] to deal himself with this dark case and not attempt to conceal or whitewash this tragic case.

The Association of Workers protests strongly against xenophobia and racism that extreme-right centers and para-centers are trying to impose on Greek society.






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Demonstration for Mohammed Kamran Atif’s death

Posted by clandestina on 16 October 2009

Thersitis call for the demo

Thersitis call for the demo

assembly of rebels from Salamina, Perama, Keratsini, Drapetsona, Nikaia & Resalto

assembly of rebels from Salamina, Perama, Keratsini, Drapetsona, Nikaia & Resalto


Demo for Mohammed Kamran Atif’s death, Davaki sq. Perivolaki, Nikaia, Athens, Sat. 17 Oct. 12.00





September 26, 1:30 am, 15 cops invaded at the house of Pakistani workers in street Heliopolis 82, Nikaia (area of Pireas). Mohammed Atif Kamran and his relatives and roommates were beaten up by the caps and afterwards Mohammed Atif Kamran was led to the police department of Nikaia as a suspect of beating an underage person. There (at the police station) the savage beating continued. Tied his hands and hit with truncheon. They did electroshock at his knees and hands…

The complainant did not recognize him and withdraw the complaint and finally cops released him after they forced his brother to sign that he received Mohamment without any single bruise.

On October 9, Mohammed Kamran died because of the special police “care” which had “accepted” few days ago.

The democratic hilarity of “human rights” can not conceal that Life in capitalism doesn’t worth the same for everyone. Modern “fugitives” (immigrants, refugees) considered as expendable for this intensive exploitation and bloody repression.

Every Mohammed is an everyday target. At the borders, in minefields, at sea, in the concentration camps, in queues for an asylum claim, to police “cleaning” operations, to racist pogroms, in fascist attacks, at the extreme-right rhetorics, in media…

The system rhetoric about “isolated incidents” and “unfortunate incidents” can not convince anyone anymore, not even the most naive. Especially after last year’s murder of 15 year-old Alexander Grigoropoulos. Democracy murders. Police brutality is only the expression of the repressive state-capitalist barbarism: oppression, exploitation, subjugation and death. And all these do not change with government changes but only with social revolution and the advent of a free world without any power.


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Immigrant victim of police torture passes away in Athens

Posted by clandestina on 10 October 2009

source: tvxs

An immigrant fell victim of police brutality

A brutal incident of police violence occurred on the evening of September 26 in Nikaia, Athens.   The victim a 25 year old immigrant, who died yesterday of his wounds. Petros Constantinou of the movement “Together against racism and the fascist threat”, talked to tvxs about the events that caused Pakistanis’ Mohammed Kamran Atif death.

On 26 September,  at01.30 at night, 15 police officers raided the house of the young immigrant at 82 Ilioupoleos str., Nikaia, shouting and beating both himself and his family. The neighboors who witnessed the incident say that the deceased was just semi-conscious,  and that while he was being carried out of his house his head kept banging on the stairs while he and his family were getting off the house crawling.   Against him there was a complaint for child beating.

He was then taken to the Nicaia police station, which turned into a torture chamber.   Kamran remained in detention for two days.  The charge against him remained ungrounded, and the complainant withdrew his charge .  Kamran was then released and he himself described to his family the horrific moments he had gone through.   “He was tied hand and foot and banged with clubs and then subjected to electroshock  with wires on his hands and knees” is the testimony of  Kamran’s amily.

Both the family and the neighbors knew about the abuse Kamran had suffered . Fear kept him away from the hospital since Kamran had no documents.

The police tried to cover up the incident.   Kamran’s brother was pressured and misled to testify that his brother brought no bruises when he left the police station.

Tomorrow on (Sunday 11 Oct) at 16:00 in the house of Mohammed Atif Kamran  an interview and a protest wil take place organised by the Pakistani community in Greece,  “United Against Racism and the Fascist Threat” and ” ANTARSYA.

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Immigrant workers degradation practices: boss’ thugs assault Pakistanis asking their wages in Nikaea, Athens

Posted by clandestina on 24 June 2009

Two Pakistani builders in Nikaia, Athens, fell victims of their employer on Sunday. When they went to get the wages a cafe owner owed them, theywere  faced with … shooting and a wild beating!

These are Waseem Akram and Imran Qaser, who have been for long claiming their wages from the owner of the café.  On Sunday at 3.30 pm, they had an appointment in some square of the area , in order to get the money.

Instead, however, for the money, the bosses thugs appeared, firing into the air.  They assaulted and brutally beat the immigrants, shouting «lousy pakistanis, go back to your country».  They even threatened that they would report   Ouasim Akram to the police to deport him for not having documents.

info: tvxs article

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