Message from Migrants concerning sweep in Patras

November 10th, 2012

We are a group of immigrants, illegal ones, who managed to avoid arrest during the “Xenios Zeus” operations that took place in Patras on the 1st of October. During this operation many of our friends were arrested and are now being held for no reason whatsoever in concentration camps (prisons). The reason for writing these words is because our wish is that our message will reach everyone who lives in Greece so that we can make certain things clear, because the State has molded a much distorted image of us.

Most of the people that the “Xenios Zeus” operation is targeting are a part of Greek society and have been living in the country since 2008. That means that they have been here before the crisis.

We are asking the Greek State and the police to allow us to eat garbage off the bins in peace, rather than imprisoning us in concentration camps.

We are asking for everyone’s solidarity so that we can put an end to the “Xenios Zeus”; so that we can demand the liberation of our friends who are held in the camps.

The broom was something invented to sweep garbage and not people, and we are sure that in this country people are not happy when others are being treated as garbage.

Money is being spent in herding immigrants in camps, when they could provide us with documents so that we could decide whether to stay or migrate to other countries, the same thing that the Greeks are doing now because of the crisis.

We thank you for your time.


“Xenios Zeus”: The name euphemistically given by the State for propaganda purposes to ongoing police operations targeting immigrants/refugees. According to mythology, Zeus was the patron god of hospitality and any wrongdoing against strangers, travelers, immigrants was a major offence.

“Broom (skupa)”: Massive sweep operation by the police.

translation: by Contra Info

The infomobile

... is like a “paper boat”. We chose this as a metaphor for what we want to create and for the situation of refugees and migrants in Greece. The paper boat is a folded boat able to swim – for a while. Then you have to build a new one to go on travelling. A paper boat is symbolic for the journey of life, vulnerable but in your own hands and to be recreated again and again. It is simple, but it carries many hopes and dreams. It can dance on a turbulent sea. It belongs to everybody. And it might become the small version – like a first draft – of a welcome-space.

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