Refugees and solidarity supporters of refugees occupied the SYRIZA offices in Mytilene, Lesbos, on Saturday November 25, 2017 after the anti-fascist demonstration in which refugees, members of anti-authoritarian movement, and non-parliamentary leftists participated. The final action of the occupation of SYRIZA offices is the continuation of the struggle that has been taking place for the past one and half months in Sappho square, when a group of refugees decided to leave the Moria detention centre in protest with the declaration that we will not return to Moria or any similar camp. This protest is not an attempt to demand any sort of privilege over other refugees, but solely because we do not feel nor are we safe.
The unacceptable conditions of accommodation, the miserable nutrition provided, the absence of decent and appropriate medical care, the vengeful deprivation of water supply for drinking as well as hygiene due to the participation in mobilizing for protests, the constant police oppression inside Moria, and the violent conflicts erupting between different nationalities which are cultivated by the administration of the camp itself compose the framework of the aggressive imprisonment perpetuated in that environment. Part of the culmination of this cannibalism is also the sexual exploitation of women, homosexuals, and also minors who are forced into these dehumanizing paths, which is caused by the need to survive or because they have become victims of criminal networks. The fabricated divisions created among refugees with categorical distinction as refugees verses migrants creates chronic conflicts between different nationalities because of the privileges granted to some nationalities.
All the above are connected to the EU policies which continuously produce wars that create in turn migration flows, while simultaneously denies free and safe passage of the victims of these wars. These policies include the EU-Turkey deal which was singed by the SYRIZA-ANEL government of Greece. The Mediterranean water graveyard, the islands of the Aegean which have been turned into open air prisons, and the concentration camps in which refugees have been herded are the results of these lethal policies.
It also needs to be mentioned that from the moment we arrived at Sappho Square we became invisible for all the international Non-governmental Organizations a prime example of which is the total absence of any medical and pharmaceutical care or any other type of support and assistance.
Despite the attacks that we endured while at Sappho square we prefer to remain exposed to the cold weather and any other type of threat rather than return to the detention centre called Moria. Threats ranged from the provocative indifference of those directly responsible (such as UNHCR, SYRIZA, and local authorities), the apathy of parts of the local community, all the way to the expression of hate such as it was displayed by the deputy mayor Katzanos who was destroying the banners at the square, the gathering which was called by the mayor S. Galinos, the position taken by the former president of the Business Association Poulelli, and the beating of the refugees by the police.
On the chessboard of the wider socio-political scenario everyone has an active part to play. Having realized this fact we proceeded to the occupation of the local offices of SYRIZA intending to pressure and hold accountable one of the responsible actors complicit in this treaty. This is why through this struggle we abolished the distance between us, proving that charity is an illusion and solidarity is our weapon.
On our part, as refugees, we can only testify to these few people that they broke every border and made us feel part of this society.
To conclude, our demands are:
- THE IMMEDIATE RELEASE OF HESAM SHAERI HESARI – THE IMPRISONED MEMBER OF THE PROTESTING REFUGEES
- THE REMOVAL OF THE GEOGRAPHICAL RESTRICTIONS OF MOVEMENT FOR ALL THE PROTESTING REFUGEES IN ORDER TO PROCEED TO ATHENS AND GOVERNMENTAL GUARANTEE THAT NON OF THE PROTESTERS WILL BE DETAINED AND/OR DEPORTED UPON ARRIVAL IN ATHENS
- THE ACCOMMODATION OF EVERY PROTESTING REFUGEE UPON ARRIVAL IN ATHENS
- NO CAMP IS AN ACCEPTABLE ACCOMMODATION
- ACCOMMODATION MUST BE IN ATHENS
- ACCOMMODATION MUST BE APPROPRIATE FOR HUMANE LIVING CONDITIONS
Refugees and Solidarity supporters