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

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Ed
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Dec 28 2016 13:43
Mark.
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Dec 31 2016 00:15

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=HqdnJEjJqyw

#FreeMikelandBego, Basque couple helping refugees exercise their freedom of movement

Quote:

Joint statement from Greek organisations, in solidarity with the Basque activists detained in Igoumenitsa:

Refugees drowning in the Mediterranean and the construction of detention centres are the real crimes, not civil disobedience and solidarity.

At dawn on Wednesday, December 28, 2016, at the Port of Igumenitsa, Mikel Zuloaga and Begoña Huarte (both of Basque origin) were arrested as they were trying to travel back to the Basque Country with eight refugees in their camper-van. This action was part of a major campaign to secure freedom of movement, decent housing and work for refugees, as well as a life free of discrimination and exclusion.

This is an act of gross injustice.

The two Basques are being detained in Igoumenitsa on serious charges. Six of the eight refugees were released, whilst two others are being held in custody in appalling conditions due to not having papers.

Mikel and Begoña, in a statement released shortly after their arrest, fully clarified their motives and revealed the strength of their solidarity: “… This was a non-profit action, self-funded by various individuals belonging to social movements, and has as its only goal the solidarity between people and political denunciation (…) If States do not respect human rights, civil disobedience guaranteeing these rights are respected is not only legitimate but also absolutely necessary…”

The organisations that sign this text wholeheartedly embrace the initiative of our Basque comrades, and we express our full solidarity both with them and with the detained refugees.

We strongly believe that this act of civil disobedience against a Europe of terror, exclusion, racism, and violations of refugees’ fundamental rights, is a model of internationalism, dignity and humanity.

The grassroots, labour and anti-racist movements will continue to fight for the immediate release and dismissal of any charges against these four people who stood up against closed borders, deportations and brutality. We will also continue to work for decent conditions of housing and education for refugees, for open borders, and to be free of racist agreements and imperialist wars.

Solidarity is our weapon.

Αναρχοσυνδικαλιστική Πρωτοβουλία Ροσινάντε
Ανασύνθεση ΟΝΡΑ
ΑΝΤΑΡΣΥΑ
Αντιρατσιστική πρωτοβουλία Θεσσαλονίκης
ΑΡΚ
Δίκτυο για τα Πολιτικά και Κοινωνικά Δικαιώματα
Δίκτυο Κοινωνικής Υποστήριξης Προσφύγων και Μεταναστών
Δικτύωση για τη Ριζοσπαστική Αριστερά
Επιτροπή Αλληλεγγύης στου Πολιτικούς Κρατούμενους στην Τουρκία και το Κουρδιστάν
Κίνηση Απελάστε τον Ρατσισμό
Κουζίνα Αλληλεγγύης Θεσσαλονίκης
Κυριακάτικο Σχολείο Μεταναστών
Λαϊκή Ενότητα (ΛΑΕ)

Translated by members of the Lower Left Network

Mikel and Begoña have now been released, on bail I think - I'm not sure with what conditions.

Edit: Twitter thread and news report in Spanish

https://mobile.twitter.com/Hibai_/status/814749585889431552

https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=MATU8DOeZxk

AFP report: http://www.ekathimerini.com/214946/article/ekathimerini/news/spaniards-arrested-for-transporting-migrants-released

El País report: http://elpais.com/elpais/2016/12/29/inenglish/1483006400_033827.html

Interview (in Spanish):
https://m.youtube.com/watch?feature=youtu.be&v=lvLuIhkjk3Y

potrokin
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Feb 15 2017 10:43

Lesvos villagers save thousands of lives http://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/even-though-villagers-poor-saved-thousands-lives/

Mark.
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Jul 20 2017 18:18

https://samoschronicles.wordpress.com/2017/07/12/samos-notes-july-2017/

Quote:

Samos Notes July 2017

Last week we asked a friend whose son works as a policeman in the port why he thought the police were so violent in searching out the refugees who tired of waiting and fearing a negative response to their asylum application tried to leave the island clandestinely – without the necessary papers. They do this in a variety of ways usually by hiding in or on the trucks leaving Samos for Pireaus. If they are discovered they are routinely given a beating before being released back to the camp. It appears from what he replied that the port police on Samos are penalised by losing wages if any unauthorised refugees from Samos are caught in Athens or Pireaus. In other words this threat to their livelihoods drives them towards violence in the hope that it will deter the refugees trying to escape Samos.

In the first week of July the police launched a major sweep to locate refugees who had exhausted the asylum process and are to be deported. 138 such refugees were caught although many more are thought to be in hiding. When refugees are in this position they do all they can to evade capture. The police routines are predictable. For example they tend to come into the sleeping cabins in the camp at around 6am looking for those who have been refused asylum. The refugees in turn move around the cabins and don’t stay in their allocated places. It is a life lived on the edge, always vigilant and always insecure.

The police presence on Samos is now significant. The island is rapidly losing those laid back characteristics which were commonplace on Greek islands. For the refugees in particular as well as for those local people still offering help and solidarity to refugees there is a tangible sense of being under police surveillance, including being photographed and stopped and questioned. It is a presence evident in the many new police vehicles of all kinds especially in Samos town where the camp is located. Less obvious are the many plain clothes police who wander the streets and bars and especially at the ports when the ferries arrive and depart.

A couple of our friends with their new born baby visited last week from Athens. Before leaving from Piraeus their papers were checked three times at the ferry by different plain clothes police. The same happened when they returned a week later. They are from Algeria and Somalia. We were standing with them waiting to board the ferry when a young guy in shorts and tee shirt sidled up to us and asked them for their papers. He identified himself as a policeman. This happened again 10 minutes later when another plain clothes policeman demanded to see their papers. And all these additional checks come after being checked at the gates to the terminal by private security workers before allowed access to the ferry area.

Last week there was a fire in cell where refugees are detained awaiting deportation. Sometimes they are held in the cell for weeks. This single room has 4 toilets and a shower. The floor is covered with foam mattresses. The only windows are high so there is no view of the outside world. There are no exercise facilities and they are locked in 24/7. The cell is on the ground floor of the police station and is under constant camera surveillance. At the time of the fire there were 33 people held in the cell and the day time temperatures had risen to over 40c. Fortunately there were no deaths but four refugees plus 6 police officers needed hospital treatment for smoke inhalation.

On July 9th the Samos police workers issued a statement saying that it was by sheer luck that there were no fatalities and demanded to know who preciselywas responsible for imprisoning so many refugees in such a small space and complaining that they were being damaged by being expected to manage an inhumane policy.

The fact is that police cells all over Greece are being used in this way: cells which at best were expected to house detainees for a few days and never intended for long term incarceration. Greek prisons are not known for their positive qualities but the police cells go well beyond anything you will find in prison. The appalling conditions and the lack of basic rights are well known and have been the subject of endless condemnatory reports but nothing changes.

All of this taking place under a Syriza government that claims to be progressive and humane. It is nothing less than shameful.

Nymphalis Antiopa
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Jul 21 2017 08:27

"asylum seekers in greece and germany (TPTG, March 2017)": http://dialectical-delinquents.com/articles/war-politics/asylum-seekers-in-greece-and-germany/

Quote:
...Migrant populations, whether they are refugees or not, or whether they have left a middle class life behind or not, are part of the global working class, driven away (mainly) by local or global devalorization policies. Therefore, an analysis of their use or non-use by capital should be placed within a broader analysis of global, supra-national and national processes of capital accumulation. Consequently, any analysis which is dominated by a discourse on “anti-immigrant” or “pro-immigrant” state policies is quite misleading and irrelevant – in the same way that it would be misleading and pointless to claim that the state could be either “anti-worker” or “pro-worker”.

On the other hand, if it is true that each capitalist state needs and breeds divisive or even racist ideologies (that may also emanate from below) to keep the working class fragmented and trapped within national, racial or gender categories, it is equally true that it cannot allow civil wars among the separated parts of the working class. That is why it uses unifying, integrationist and antiracist practices to further the accumulation process. It’s obvious that the tension between its conflicting policies are contingent in a given period upon several factors, both economic and political.

More concretely now, while the vast majority of the left and anti-authoritarian analyses regarding the state management of immigration focuses on physical or geographical exclusion (mainly through an excessive use of the term “borders”), we are more inclined to look into the differentiated capitalist strategies adopted for the inclusion, control, regulation and exploitation of those migratory populations who are superfluous in the countries of origin to suit the needs of capital accumulation in the countries of their destination.1 Therefore, within the EU hierarchical structure of divergent capitalist policies, the varied management of the recent migration influx reflected different and even conflicting aims of the separate nation-states....

el psy congroo
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Jul 21 2017 15:28

Motherfuck the TPTG with a capital M.

Last I checked, they were defending someone who is self-admittedly guilty of sexual harassment and other kinds of abuse. The linked article is decent reporting, though, I guess...

Nymphalis Antiopa
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Jul 21 2017 15:43
Quote:
Motherfuck the TPTG with a capital M.

Last I checked, they were defending someone who is self-admittedly guilty of sexual harassment and other kinds of abuse

Check again, because you're talking ignorant crap.
In this conflict from just under a year ago, the TPTG took no sides in what was a very confused conflict between 2 men, one accusing the other of sexual harassment, which the other one admitted, but did not admit to some aspects of the harassed guy's version of events, which aspects were also contested by a 3rd party (a woman), the only witness to the events. They did not "defend" the sexual harassment. And did all they could to keep a distance from the harasser, who was clearly going through a prolonged breakdown.

Besides, this is an ad hominem attack that has nothing to do with the text. So Motherfuck you with a capital M.

el psy congroo
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Jul 21 2017 20:35

You're right, this wasn't the place for it. But let it be known the person was not 'kept at a distance'. And the person at the ass-end of the abuse was completely alienated and left to fend for themselves. So, whatever, if I see articles they post I'm gonna say something because they are not without blame.

Nymphalis Antiopa
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Jul 21 2017 20:58

Like the events themselves, no-one unfamiliar with the discourse surrounding them is able to make any judgment whatsoever about them, which obviously includes anyone reading this or any of the above.

Besides, it was not "TPTG" but 2 people in it - not TPTG itself, which never took a collective line on it.

Whatever the rights and wrongs of your opinion about them, your put-down of them in this precise situation is no way of assessing anything they write publicly, and to take every opportunity to attack them for their articles on a site which has censored and lied about them in the past shows merely that a very narrow (and probably personal) grudge you hold about them takes precedent over any clear judgment concerning more blatant and public complicity with this sick world. Besides, it is self-contradictory to say " if I see articles they post I'm gonna say something because they are not without blame" at the same time as saying "this wasn't the place for it" - it will never be the place for it as long as the articles posted do not refer to these events, articles which will never be written by them because they have no interest to anyone including them.

el psy congroo
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Jul 22 2017 12:50

The TPTG are like two people. Plus a cat, that makes three.

Nymphalis Antiopa
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Jul 22 2017 13:21

Wrong - the cat was excluded sometime ago for its obsession with the former leader of China, whose name he constantly repeated regardless of any relevant context.