Lesvos and Chios: volunteers helping refugees arrested by police and Frontex, involvement of the International Rescue Committee

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Mark.
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Jan 17 2016 12:30
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No solo los pequeños grupos de voluntarios molestan a las autoridades, a las grandes ONGs tb q temen perder parte del pastel q se llevan

Rough translation - The small groups of volunteers don't just bother the authorities but also the big NGOs that are afraid of losing part of the money that's coming in.

source

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Jan 17 2016 12:34

PROACTIVA, the main group of Spanish lifeguards, are being prevented from using their boats. Lives will be lost if this carries on.

Quote:
Las misiones humanitarias son a menudo una carrera de obstáculos.
Desde ayer nuestras embarcaciones permanecen amarradas en puerto hasta nuevo aviso, por decisión de las autoridades portuarias.
La historia se encargará de poner en el sitio a nuestras instituciones y a los que altruistamente nos implicamos en primera línea, incapaces de soportar en la distancia la omisión de nuestros gobiernos. Pero eso será en el futuro

Mientras tanto, la determinación de todos los comprometidos en esta crisis se topa a menudo con muros difíciles de franquear. Pero aquí seguiremos.
..............

The humanitarian missions are often an obstacles race.
Since yesterday our boats remain moored in port until further notice by decision of the port authorities.
History will put on the site our institutions and the ones selflessly are involved in frontline unable to bear in the distance the gap of our governments. But that will be in the future
Meanwhile , the determination of all those involved in this crisis face walls often difficult to overcome. But we will keep on.

source

Mark.
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Jan 24 2016 17:37

Local politics Lesvos style - a long video blog from Eric Kempson about right wing racist business interests opposed to refugees and volunteers. I'm not sure how far decision making on the islands reflects these kinds of very local interests and how far it reflects government diktats from Athens.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3OEguGmaX6c

Edit: some similar views in Greek

The Greek link above is by Stratis Pallis, leftist mayor of Mytilene in the '80s. He gets a mention here:

Transformations of political divides: commerce, culture and sympathy crossing the Greek-Turkish border

Video and report in Greek with elderly residents of Molyvos who came to Lesvos as refugees themselves in 1922 talking about their own experiences and about the refugees arriving now:

«Υπήρξα και εγώ πρόσφυγας και ξέρω...»

Mark.
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Jan 17 2016 16:17
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@noborderkitchen serve meals to #refugeesGr 24/7, often under threat of eviction from cops & local authorities https://twitter.com/mark_wilding/status/686873230448168960

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Jan 18 2016 21:30

Facebook post in Greek on an encounter yesterday between Syriza MPs and volunteers on Lesvos. I may have a go at translating some of this later.

Edit: a very rough translation here - I may have misunderstood some of this but it gives the general idea.

Quote:

Today at 16:00 Syriza deputies Vasiliki Katrivanou and Yiorgos Pallis, along with Syriza Political Secretariat member Panos Lambrou, visited the structure at Platanos. Following a discussion for many minutes, not without disagreements and tension, they asked us to find a "solution" for how to "sort out the chaos with the NGOs and teams of volunteers and solidarity activists" that are acting on the island. We answered that this is a problem that doesn't concern us and we informed them of yesterday's decision of the assembly of Platanos that under no circumstances will we work with the authorities and the ministry and that we refuse any kind of certification of the structure or integration into corporate forms. Some of us, in light of threats before Christmas of court action if we set up the clinic, advised them to bring in the MAT [riot police] to certify us. They left troubled, wishing us good strength.

Solidarity is neither certified nor intimidated.

Some background at solidarityteamplatonosblog - I think 'lesbian' here means 'from Lesvos'.

Mark.
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Jan 18 2016 00:53

End the criminalization of solidarity to refugees NOW!

Quote:

Report (14.1.16) from Chios, which characteristically shows how the situation has exacerbated during the last week:

· The deployment of FRONTEX has begun without any information by the Greek govmt. towards the local politicians or the local population.

· FRONTEX is now present everywhere. Patrols are executed in a permanent way at the spots where the refugee boats land. The FRONTEX policemen sit together with their Greek colleagues in the Greek police cars.

· The coast guard – most likely by order of FRONTEX – doesn't allow anymore fisher boats rented by helping organisations, to leave the harbour and help refugees in the rubber boats to reach the coast.

· The Greek police together with the FRONTEX cops ask for the ID cards of all helpers at the beaches on the pretext to prevent robbing of the refugees, plundering the boats or the stealing of the outboard engines.

· Today (14.01.) some custom officers went to a small harbour to control the boxes with clothes etc. which are sent by citizens to the organizations and groups that provide the first aid to the arriving refugees.

· The Spanish volunteer who took pictures of the Dutch FRONTEX boat in the harbour and was arrested, will probably be charged for "spying".

· The two Swiss volunteers who where caught with some hashish were sentenced to 8 month prison on bail each.

· It seems that the situation has worsened also on the Turkish coast. Patrol boats are all day long present on the straight between Turkey and Chios so that no refugee boat can pass. Even though the weather today (14.01.) was very good and the sea quiet no refugee boat come until late in the evening.

....

With the time passing we learn to expect everything from the "first time left" government of SYRIZA, but we stand shocked in front of the criminalization of solidarity to refugees, a policy which resembles increasingly the policy of its predecessors and the one of its European partners.

Last week started the implementation of the announced upgrading of the Frontex policemen, who now have the authority to control Greek and foreign citizens or members of social and political organizations that offer support to refugees, either by rescuing either on the proceedings of reception and solidarity (social kitchens, clothing distribution) with the arrival of the people on the islands. In Chios a solidarity Spaniard is on trial for espionage because of photographing a Frontex vessel. In Mytilini, solidarity NGO members from Denmark and Spain who towed a boat to the coast of Lesvos to rescue the people onboard are prosecuted on felony charges for help with entry of illegal foreigners.

....

Mark.
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Jan 17 2016 18:28

Video in Spanish on the work of PROEMAID

Mark.
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Jan 18 2016 01:12

Some background on Frontex in the Aegean - report from May 2014

Frontex between Greece and Turkey: at the border of denial

Mark.
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Jan 18 2016 01:24

Update from Lesvos, 12th Jan 2016

Quote:
....
We are being threatened on several layers, from eviction of the whole camp, to being arrested for working as non-registered “volunteers” and radical Salafists coming over to police our camp. The local authorities are gathering german Frontex and polish policemen and they seem to prepare a huge raid on the Greek islands to get rid of self-organized and non-registered supporters, as well as illegalized migrants.
....
Mark.
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Jan 18 2016 15:09

It's snowing on Lesvos, no refugees arriving for the last couple of days. The consequences of lifeguards being prevented from taking boats out will become clearer when the weather calms down.

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Jan 18 2016 22:31
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I can't believe I'm writing this but I've been going to Lesvos for many years now and it's a place I love, however, I am totally disappointed with what is happening there at the moment.

Last year I went as usual to take a holiday and took some clothes with me because I'd been reading about the refugee crisis.

While I was there the first weekend I met Eric and Philippa Kempson and was so impressed with the work they were doing rescuing the refugees that I became involved. It was the most rewarding holiday that I'd ever had.

The Kempson family, the small charity groups and volunteers still do some wonderful work with the refugees, rescuing, looking after their welfare, feeding them and showing them compassion and warmth that is so welcome.

In April, I am going to Lesvos again with my family to help in any way we can and taking some supplies.

My disappointment is that 'the Powers That Be' on the island are doing everything they can to thwart the rescue attempts by these wonderful people. The high and mighty in Molyvos have always made it difficult for the rescue attempts but now have joined forces with International Rescue to try and enforce permits to rescue from the shores of northern Lesvos.

International Rescue in attempt to curry favour with the public and collect donations has set up an inaccessible camp out of sight of the tourists, where the tents have been blown down by the rough winter weather. The police are now arresting members of volunteer groups who are spending time in cells and having to pay bail, charged with 'human trafficking'. Further more their rescue boats are being impounded.

What the hell is going on here....all these measures will not stop these people fleeing from war in Syria. They are desperate people who just want a peaceful fulfilling life like the rest of us.

Okay, listen the Greek goverment, the hierarchy of Molyvos and International Rescue it will be YOU who stop the tourists from coming to Lesvos. If this heartless attitude continues then I for one won't continue to visit my favourite island. People like me and my family who have been countless times will consider very carefully whether we book another visit not because of the refugees but because of our disgust at the way you're treating the refugees at the moment.

source

More at Lesvos Refugee Updates

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Jan 19 2016 00:02
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I would personally like to thank everybody for their support. Thank you for you concern, phone calls and messages. It means the world to us having your support and you having our backs. What happened to us is not fair and I would like to have the opportunity to show the world that we fight for peace and not human trafficking!

We got arrested for something we didn't do. You know and I know. We were out patrolling and looking for the sinking boat, which we got informed of, so we could save these drowning people and not to smuggle people! We are against this, we want people to be and feel safe and give them a better life. So why this unfair treatment?

This doesn't mean I will stop doing my work. I can not sit and watch people die and screaming for help, while they cry and are scared to death, cause it's death they see with their eyes. I will still - with my feet and body in the water wait for boats with families, women and children and carry them safe on land. This is what I do. This is what we do. We give them a warm welcome, we make them feel save. We show them humanity.

Thank you!

Salam Aldeen & Team Humanity

Team Humanity

Mark.
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Jan 19 2016 00:22
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....

The national and international “.orgs” on the spot on Lesbos have never really got going because they are hanging on the strings of the whiners and have to act accordingly. The result is that the “organised irresponsibility” (“die organisierte Unverantwortlichkeit”) of the national and transnational entities confronts a “transatlantic union of volunteers” (“Transatlantische Union von Freiwilligen” > Both article coming soon in English) of private groups and NGOs. Having never waited for a mandate or instructions it is they which shoulder the main responsibility on the refugee front (“The Responsibles” > Coming soon in English.).

The recognition of this contradistinction is both frightening and fascinating: The aid system on Lesbos is kept going mainly by the efforts of volunteers – for months, seven days a week, night and day. These volunteers from Europe, America, Australasia and Asia are largely aged between 20 and 35, perhaps 40; middle aged up to 55 or 60 are seldom, which may have to do with family responsibilities; pensioners, again independent, make a formidable contribution. When the helpers are asked what motivates them to work here without pay, one dominant aspect crystallises out: All are driven essentially by the PRINCIPLE OF HUMANITY. “Be human” is the unpretentious but not so simple answer.

As someone present on Lesbos, who himself works, observes, photographs and writes, I find myself, probably like many others, in a dilemma:

Should I rejoice because here a younger generation is training itself towards an empathic and humane world perspective, where solidarity is written large.

Is the frustration, sometimes the naked anger at the inhumane rules and laws and their executive institutions (police, army, Frontex, authorities …), so great and daily that it threatens to consume me?

The following description may help the reader to understand this frustration and anger: The Greek harbour authorities have made it clear that any help for the boat refugees while they are still on the water will be considered as assisting illegal entry. This means that anyone on the shore who gives a light signal to the refugees showing where they may safely land, is LIABLE TO PROSECUTION. Anyone who stands in the water and helps refugees from the boat to the shore is acting ILLEGALLY. The Spanish and Greek lifesavers (swimmers) – “Proactiva Open Arms” and “Lifeguard Hellas” – with their speedboats and water skis as well as “Sea Watch” with their speedboats are acting ILLEGALLY when they try to pilot overloaded refugee boats to a safe shore in order not to endanger lives. Volunteers and locals on shore act ILLEGALLY when they transport the refugees – wet, frightened, bodily injured and/or emotionally damaged, even when this transport is to a transit camp. All these actions are considered to be HUMAN TRAFFICKING. Refugees are not allowed to book a hotel room, but have to hold out in the cold and wet in completely unsuitable tents in Camp Moria.

How absurd can a legislative process be, whether national or international, which not only conceives but even, as law in force, codifies that survival help is illegal? What flawed idea of humanity can be the foundation of such policies and jurisprudence? How glad all the helpers are that the police, although they regularly check passports, otherwise look the other way. Civil disobedience, because in the real situation the application of the existing laws simply cannot be justified? Even Frontex on the water now acts the same way. However, what will happen when the EU Commission and the European heads of state (complete with the Swiss Federal Council knowing that it has the Swiss parliament breathing down its neck) carry out their threat to tighten up the border checks on the so-called outer borders? We are just waiting for an example to be made, and some rescuer, who has just saved a life, to be charged with human trafficking.

Will such a tightening up lead to even more boats being slashed (see “Mhd “ZIKOS” story” > Coming soon in English.)? Should one watch as young people, young families with their babies and small children drown before one’s very eyes – simply let them go down – or at best increase dramatically the dangers to which they are already exposed, simply because they are denied the possibility of applying for asylum at the Schengen Area border? Is this the 21st Century we want? What kind of world can it be when primordial human actions are illegal?

....

From a longer article at refugeelesbos.wordpress.com, Thom Held©2016

Mark.
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Jan 19 2016 00:36

El País - “They treated us like terrorists,” claims freed Spanish aid worker

Mark.
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Jan 19 2016 12:27

Radio interview in Spanish with Alicia Armesto

Lesvos is getting a lot of coverage in Spain in the wake of the arrests of Spanish volunteers. I think this interview, with a journalist who has stayed on as a volunteer, covers some of the issues better than mainstream media in English, in particular around this central point:

Quote:
Alicia Armesto, al igual que otros voluntarios que hemos entrevistado, ha denunciado la carencia absoluta de apoyo de gobiernos e instituciones, "no hay ningún tipo de ayuda institucional, todo depende de voluntarios y ONG pequeñas".

'Alicia Armesto, as with other volunteers we've interviewed, has denounced the absolute lack of support from governments and institutions, "there isn't any type of institutional help, everything depends on volunteers and small NGOs".'

And this is what is now coming under attack, from an alliance of the island authorities, Frontex, the Syriza government and some of the larger NGOs.

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Jan 19 2016 16:07

AJE - Greek anarchists organise for refugees as 'state fails'

Notara26 on twitter

Mark.
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Jan 19 2016 16:44

It will be interesting to see which of the larger NGOs are willing to speak out against the current direction of Greek government policy. Here's MSF.

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On #Lesvos, volunteers have stepped in to provide care where #Europe has failed. #Greece, let them do their job!

#Greece, if you won't allow volunteers to do their job, you better be prepared to step up and do the work yourself!

https://mobile.twitter.com/MSF_Sea

Here's a transcript of a talk by Eric Kempson last year. Amongst other things it gives an insight into the behaviour of NGOs on Lesvos.

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Jan 19 2016 20:13

Children on Syrian refugee route could freeze to death: U.N.

Quote:

The U.N. weather agency said it forecast below-normal temperatures and heavy snowfall in the next two weeks in the eastern Balkan peninsula, Turkey, the eastern Mediterranean and Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan.

"Many children on the move do not have adequate clothing or access to the right nutrition," said Christophe Boulierac, spokesman for the U.N. children's agency UNICEF.

Asked if children could freeze to death, he told a news briefing: "The risk is clearly very, very high."

Children were coming ashore on the Greek island of Lesbos wearing only T-shirts and soaking wet after traveling on unseaworthy rubber dinghies, the charity Save the Children said in a statement.

"Aid workers at the border reception center in Presevo say there is six inches of snow on the ground and children are arriving with blue lips, distressed and shaking from the cold," it said.

It said temperatures were forecast to drop to -20 degrees Celsius (-4°F) in Presevo in Serbia and -13 degrees (9°F) on the Greek border with Macedonia.

MSF wrote:

Of course, our camp at #Idomeni border is empty. It's -12 & the authorities will force families to wait outside

UPDATE: The #Greece #FYROM border and the #Serbia #Croatia border are now closed. Tonight 1000s will be stranded in sub zero temperatures.

Quote:

Greek-FYR Macedonian border closed at #Idomeni. #Refugees taking shelter in @MSF tents kicked out by Greek police, sent to local gas station

#Idomeni border crossing now closed for "techical" reasons by FYR Macedonia, expected to remain closed till tomorrow morning

Seriously, Greece's "left-wing" #Syriza govt officials are just as racist as their far right predecessors when it comes to #refugees

In practical terms there is little or no difference between #Syriza and previous far right govt's treatment of #refugees.

Volunteer groups & NGOs helping #refugees on Greek islands and at #Idomeni crossing face harassment from authorities. Govt turns blind eye

It's not enough for Greek authorities to ignore deperate plight of #refugee, often actively hostile to those who are trying to help

https://mobile.twitter.com/teacherdude

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Jan 19 2016 20:50
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The Eidomeni - Skopje border has closed and will remain closed until tomorrow morning due to technical reasons. It had been decided to keep the refugees in one of the heated MSF tents for the night up until the Greek police arrived, instructed them and put them back on the buses and drove them to the famous gas station Eko until tomorrow morning!!!!!

video

Quote:
Οταν στους -12 διωχνεις πρόσφυγες από τη σκηνη των ΓΧΣ και τους στέλνεις στο βενζινάδικο, τότε μπορούμε να μιλάμε για 1η φορά φασιστερά.

Rough translation - 'When it's -12 and you throw refugees out of the MSF tent and send them to the gas station then for the first time we can talk of fascism.'

source

Mark.
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Jan 20 2016 00:53

In Greek

The moves against volunteers on Lesvos

«Στη μπάντα» εθελοντές και ΜΚΟ λόγω Frontex;

'We are all illegal' from an activist on Chios

Είμαστε όλοι παράνομοι!

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Jan 20 2016 01:22

Refugees were arriving on Lesvos again yesterday as the weather improved. It seems the Spanish lifeguards from Proactiva have been allowed to take their boats out. This follows the previous instructions to leave them moored in the harbour until further notice.

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Jan 20 2016 11:26

Vice News report on Lesvos

The people who made 2015 a safer year for migrants to cross the Mediterranean

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Jan 20 2016 11:41

Irin News report which tbh doesn't quite get it

Is Greece right to rein in refugee volunteerism?

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Jan 20 2016 14:57

Two deaths from hypothermia on the crossing to Lesvos

Report on this from Team Platanos

Quote:

Two dead so far today, at the port of Skala Sikamias.

Between 7.30 and 8.00 am, a rescuers' boat brought to the port of Skala, a 3-4 year old boy with his father. The boy was unconscious and had abnormal skin color and the father was in a state of collapse. Volunteers saw the boy in the hands of a group of organization members, asked if any help was needed and received a negative response. They brought the boy to the community clinic at the port which was found locked. The door was forced open by a resident of the village, who was nearby and the boy was brought inside the clinic in order to diagnose his condition. Soon after, it was announced that the boy arrived dead at the harbor, and the possible cause of death was hypothermia. Much later, an ambulance arrived at Skala to collect the body. It should be noted that, the rest of the family members were brought to the port of Petra (several kilometres north of Skala) by a boat of the port authority.

An hour earlier a Frontex vessel brought to the port of Scala a group of children and women who seemed to have been collected from within the sea (wet to the bone). Among them was a 35-40 year old woman with obvious signs of hypothermia. She was moved to the community clinic at the harbor from where her death was announced later.

The remaining refugees were not allowed to go to Platanos, which is a common practice for their reception and care, due to the intervention of a group of port authority officials that ordered that no one was allowed to leave the point until the registration process of all was complete.

The women changed clothes in the restaurant at the port and chaos ensued.

At this moment, we limit our description to the account of the events and will not comment on them – we lack the emotional capacity to comment.

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Jan 20 2016 16:41
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BREAKING: We have FINALLY been allowed to access the camp at #Idomeni. Buses drop people off and they're warming up in the heated MSF tents!

UPDATE: The border is NOT open. No one is crossing but the authorities are allowing all nationalities to enter.

Apparently it is just an "extraordinary" measure and will not be permanent. Let's see!

https://mobile.twitter.com/MSF_Sea

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Jan 20 2016 19:57

Spanish volunteers on Lesvos reporting that they are being stopped from giving out dry clothes to refugees arriving on the beaches (in Spanish)

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Jan 20 2016 20:19
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To whom it may concern.

As people of solidarity who have been operating for three months at the Platanos self-organized structure for refugee reception at Skala Sykamnias, and prompted by the arrival in the last few days of an accreditation hunt on the NE Aegean islands, we want to avoid any misunderstandings by making our position towards this game of impressions clear.

The structure of Platanos is an endeavour based on the principles of self-organization, solidarity and dignity.

We describe ourselves as self-organized because no political party, business or organization is standing behind us; all decisions and actions arise from open public assemblies and the responsibility of their implementation is shared equally. Mistakes are corrected collectively and every success is shared collectively. There are no leaders, only coordinators that are appointed by the assembly and alternated periodically. Above all the responsibility of the presence of everyone here is a clear, conscious, individual choice, not dictated by a governmental organisation or any other plan.

We act in Solidarity because we are here to give active support to refugees and migrants arriving from the opposite shore; recognising the injustice that pushed them to this choice and not to draw surplus humanitarian value from the pain of ”these poor people” or exert politics on their backs, or worse, on their dead bodies. We make the conscious choice of grassroots solidarity and networking in contrast with both the current dictates of a society that demands philanthropic consumers and inhumane workers, and with the ruling class and the suffering it causes.

We act in dignity because we choose to stand beside them in a human, not humanitarian way. We recognise the other's existence when our eyes meet and the need to treat them with the dignity they deserve, acknowledging the causes that led them to this point and promising not to stop fighting against those causes. We are against the easy humanitarian approach that averts its gaze from the real cause of the problem and in complacency hides behind phoney charities and "good deeds" that numb your conscience.

These are the principles through which it is made clear that our action so far, and as long as our forces allow us to continue, will remain without guardians and be uncompromising against the dictates of the killer states and their executive bodies – in or out of uniform.

It is therefore natural that any scheme for our legitimisation through associations, organizations and any other legal entities leaves us completely indifferent, since this condition is already achieved in everyone’s conscience.

It has been achieved through the selfless support that we receive from thousands of people around the world, demonstrated through their participation and endorsement, and through the recognition of the struggle that has been withstood all these months and its dissemination.
At the same time the state remains completely indifferent to providing assistance to these people while wasting thousands of resources to shift the responsibilities of its absence to those who rushed to replace it.

Self-organization is an act that fits neither in the system's registries, nor of course in the narrow framework of politicians that access everything through statutes. It is a continuous experiment which through its development and dissemination searches for the realisation of a free, consciously defined society; to each according to his needs, from everyone according to their capabilities.

Solidarity is not an accreditable product nor a theoretical discussion, but an act that is recognisable through its support and continuation.

Dignity is not negotiated in the halls of the courts and ruling institutions, but is determined through the daily struggle against injustice that these same institutions impose.

These are the principles of Platanos, and with these we will continue to move on, as long as the structure remains alive.

Self-organized Structure Platanos, Skala Sykamnias, 2016

source

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Jan 20 2016 20:39

'Syriza is a leftist political force the way Donald Trump is'

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Jan 21 2016 01:31

From an article on Algerians and Moroccans locked up on Samos

Quote:

The key agencies responsible for managing the refugees coming through the Greek frontier islands were thrown into chaos and confusion by the 2015 exodus. Now half a year later we are beginning to see the authorities regroup and try and regain control. One aspect is the clear division of tasks between the big NGOs which have arrived since Autumn 2015 and the state agencies with the former responsible for meeting basic food and shelter needs of the refugees and the state agencies focusing on data collection and processing. But this relationship is not easy nor by any means unproblematic as the Greek authorities are jealous to maintain their control of what goes on in their country. The fractiousness which characterised this relationship is not likely to go away soon for the central authorities of the EU have determined that tightening up the EU’s external borders, especially the Greek islands is a priority. This will not be left to the Greeks to manage.

One thing which is clear in all this confusion is that the outcomes are not going to be good for refugees...

.
From the same blog: Let them pass: refugees and Europe December 2015

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Jan 21 2016 12:37

This article gives some background on the situation at Idomeni and the detention and deportation of North Africans.

Restrictions and segregation on the Balkan route: Fences, detention and push-backs

Quote:

....
On Wednesday 9th December, 400 Greek riot police officers were deployed to evict the people who were waiting in Idomeni. The police surrounded the camp, and started pushing people out of their tents and into buses to Athens, 6 hours away from the border. Around 300 people refused to enter the buses, there were protests and several arrests, while media and independent observers were denied access to the camp. Tents of people refusing to leave were cut open and those inside removed.
....
Most of the people who had been waiting and protesting at the Greek-Macedonian border were temporarily brought to the TaekWonDo stadium in Athens. The stadium was closed after a few days. The 'options‘ given by authorities to people with Moroccan nationality were detention, deportation, or 'voluntary‘ return. Around 400 people were detained in the Corinth detention center close to Athens. There were soon protests in the detention center in Corinth.
....
On the 3rd of January, there were more protests still and several people tried to break out whilst the Greek police intervened. Then, on January the 5th, what many had feared would start to happen, happened: around 100 Moroccans who had recently been detained in Corinth were taken back to Turkey by Greek authorities. There are reports though, that Turkey did not accept them, and that they are now back in Greece. Currently, smaller groups are being returned to Morocco on IOM-organized flights. Their places are refilled quickly, with around 400 people detained in Corinth all the time. This week, two Moroccans attempted suicide and 100 more detainees began a hunger strike. They are asking for their release and the opening of the border, so that they can continue onwards.
....

The IOM is the International Organization for Migration. It seems to be a player in Greece's refugee crisis, handling deportations. Greece has also asked for Frontex to organise deportations by boat from the islands to Turkey, and the IOM may not be involved in this.