Archive for the 'Uncategorized' Category

Refugees call for protests against the limitation of family reunifications from Greece to Germany

After a protest which took place on August 2nd, 2017 in front of the German Embassy, more and more refugee families are uniting to demand their immediate transfer to Germany. On August 7th they continued their struggle with dozens of families in the Himalaya offices, the only travel agency responsible to issue them tickets and tomorrow, on Thursday 10th of August 2017, they will protest again in front of the Greek Asylum Service in Katekhaki.

About 2,400 refugees are awaiting currently their transfer. Many have spent already more than 1 ½ years under inhuman conditions in Greece and more than two years far from their beloved. Within the last year, German authorities have made a sharp u-turn from the “welcome” culture of 2015, harshening not only national asylum policies and suspending the possibility of family reunion for refugees with subsidiary protection for two years, but also imposing stricter visa policies in general and showing more reluctance to accept family reunifications while slowing down abruptly the transfers of already accepted applicants. In a time when German news speak of a revival of Dublin returns to Greece, the desperate families who got separated by escaping war struggle for their human right to be with their family.

Read here the refugees`call:

“Let our families reunite now!”

We, the Syrian families from different camps in Greece (i.e. Elaionas, Koutsochero, Ritsona and Skaramangas), who have our beloved relatives in Germany are inviting all refugees who have also their families there and everybody else who wants to join our struggle and stand in solidarity with us, to a peaceful protest on Thursday August 10th at 11 o’clock in front of the offices of the Greek Asylum Service / Dublin Offices near Katekhaki metro station.

We want to express our strong concern and disagreement about the informal agreement between the German and the Greek government, which let to the practice limiting transfers of persons accepted through family reunification to go to Germany to 70 per month.

There are more and more families who have been accepted to go to Germany more than six months ago.
There are grandparents, fathers, mothers and children waiting to join each other after years of separation.
There are elderly, sick, disabled, newborns, victims of torture and other forms of violence or exploitation as well as many other vulnerable persons among us, who are in urgent need of their families.
There are many of us who wait already since more than 1 ½ years under very difficult conditions in Greece.

We have escaped war.
We need our families and a life in peace.

“Let our families reunite now!”

Athens, Greece

See for more information also:

Greek:
huffington post
efymerida twn syndaktwn
cnn
answer from european commission in greek

English:
nrttv
refugee support aegean / pro asyl

German:
pro asyl

Urgent call for solidarity with our dear friend S.

Farewell sister!

We first met S. in December 2015, an 41-year-old woman from Uganda victim of torture in her country. She was waiting in the cold with hundreds of other refugees in the informal tent camp in Idomeni at the border to FYROM, the time when the borders started to gradually close, beginning with refugees who were not from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan (non-SIA countries). Along with many others, she had the hope that the Balkan corridor would re-open for all and she could move forward and later re-unite with her family in a better place. We met her while she was cooking in a big casserole for the group of African refugees she was staying with. We remember her tired and sad smile of those days. Full of stress, she asked us what would happen to her and all the other people if the borders would not re-open. Who would help her if she had to stay in Greece, she asked. Who could support her two children, which got separated from their mother and who had at that time remained back alone in Turkey. 

When S. gave up trying to leave Greece and came back to Athens, we offered her a safe place to stay in the Welcome Island, a solidarity flat run by private donations as a grassroots project. She stayed for more than one year in the apartment, co-living first with people from Somalia and later from Afghanistan and Uganda. Sharing a room with women from another culture, who had their own problems and suffering, was not always easy, but S. was a strong, honest and faithful partner in this flat-sharing project and she has never hesitated to help others or to give us a smile. She brought to the flat her friend who was in advanced pregnancy and alone and supported her to stay in the house and get help.

For months she tried hard to find a job in order to support her family. During the whole period of stay S. suffered not only from her very serious health problems and trauma as a victim of torture, but specifically from the separation from her children. She was supported by friends and volunteers, as well as the Greek Refugee Council (GCR), Medicines Sans Frontiers (MSF), and Babel Day Care Centre until her very last days – even until today.

Tragically, S. finally lost her courageous struggle and died in the early morning of 12th July in a hospital in Athens. Now, we want to say goodbye in dignity and help her on her last journey back to Uganda, where her children have returned to. Her beloved ones, as a last wish for their mother, asked her body to be transferred and buried close to them in Uganda. 

GCR made a solidarity call to collect the amount of 2,100 Euro for the purpose of the transfer of the corpse back home to Uganda. We would like to call for solidarity also from our side and ask you to support the family of S. on these last steps. She never reached her destiny; she could not fulfill her dreams. We want her to be in the arms of her family finally, that this personal fight against the monster Fortress Europe ended for her in Greece. 

Stand by the side of this family now so that S. can reach her children and they can say a last goodbye. Her corpse needs to be transferred soon, so any solidarity is urgent.

Dear S.,

You will be our good friend always and in our hearts forever!

With all our love,

Your room-mates and your support family from infomobile / w2eu

For solidarity donations please use the following GCR account:

National Bank of Greece: GR5301101160000011629606464
Piraeus Bank: GR8001720320005032016706911

Welcome Islands Report 2016/2017

The story of the welcome islands…

Since 2011 a small group of activists from Welcome to Europe (http:w2eu.info) who are involved in the Infomobile
Greece grassroots project, and some refugee friends recognized an urgent need to create solidarity shelters for
emergency housing of refugees who were not covered by the official shelters. At the time, the number of places in
state-founded refugee accommodation was nearly non-existing and did not reach 1,000 in total – half of which were
used specifically to house unaccompanied minors….

Welcome Islands 2016/2017. Read the whole story here!

Freedom for Gabriele del Grande!

Our dear friend Gabriele del Grande, human rights activist, journalist and documentary filmmaker, was arrested on April 10, in Hatay / Turkey. He was doing a research for his new book-project about Syrian refugees. Since four days now, he is on a hunger strike, struggling for his freedom.

Photo: Jacques Berset

Gabriele has been active since years, monitoring deaths of refugees in the Mediterranean, on his blog ‘Fortress Europe’ and later focussing on the complexities of the war in Syria and its effects on the Syrian civil society and the refugees in Europe. All of us loved his documentary “On the bride’s side” in which he combined documentary filming with activism in his own way, struggling for another world. Continue reading ‘Freedom for Gabriele del Grande!’

Happy Birthday City Plaza!

On April 22, 2017 we celebrate together one year of solidarity with our CP-family

City Plaza today is everywhere:
In Greece, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Austria, Serbia, Sweden … !
It is not just a building, but a home defined by its people. From here solidarity is spread like seeds we carry in our small luggage to continue the struggle for equal rights everywhere we’ll go.

Former residents now living in other countries have collected songs and wishes as a present for City Plazas birthday. Their thoughts were brought together once more in a small booklet. It is dedicated to the ones who are still on their journey, as well as to the ones that are struggling to arrive and the ones who stand with them. It is dedicated also to the ones we lost on this road but who will be in our hearts forever!

We will stand always together and we shall never give up!

OPEN HOUSES! SMASH BORDERS!
FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT FOR ALL!

download the booklet here

Detained refugees and migrants in pre-removal centres in mainland Greece left to survive

The situation in the pre-removal centers in Greece is becoming more and more tragic. While the big NGOs focus on helping refugees in the open camps, about 2,000 other refugees – most of which are asylum seekers – are suffering inhuman conditions in silence as they do not receive sufficient aid and have to endure inhuman and degrading detention conditions. Recent photos from sick persons lacking proper treatment inside the pre-removal center of Corinth are shocking.

Corinth pre-removal detention centre is a 1 ½ hour drive from Athens an has a capacity of 768. While it had been used extensively in the past and was considered by the new SYRIZA-led government in beginning of 2015 as closed for a while, it was “re-opened” in December 2015 with the re-use and transfer of more than 150 Morroccans planned to be deported. On the background of a closing Balkan corridor, the government at that time chose return to all infamous policies of systematic detention starting with the Maghreb nationalities who as a total were not considered to belong to the classical refugee producing nations, but are generally seen as migrants.
Continue reading ‘Detained refugees and migrants in pre-removal centres in mainland Greece left to survive’

No re-instalation of Dublin returns to Greece! Solidarity to all squats!

One year after the closure of the Balkan Route – One year after the EU-Turkey Deal – Six years after the halt of Dublin returns to Greece: 62,000 and more refugees are stuck in limbo in Greece merely able to survive

copyright: noborder

Two days ago, two squats in Athens got attacked and raided by Greek police on March 13, 2017. In one of the squats 127 refugees were hosted. This repressive measure comes one year after the closure of the Balkan Route when more than 57,000 refugees got trapped in Greece and were transferred in provisory tent camps without any assistance, which were set up ad hoc over the night were run in the majority of cases by the army. It is a period where still 23,000-30,000 refugees have no adequate housing but stay under inhuman conditions in state run camps – some of which still are in tents! Among them are hundreds of highly vulnerable people placed at the margins of Greek society without adequate support and any survival perspective on the long run.

On March 13th, the Athens police raided in the early morning hours two squats in the capital one of which in Alkiviadou Street (near Aharnon) was hosting more than 120 refugees since February, who all got apprehended. The other squat which got raided was “Villa Zografou”, an alternative social space and one of the oldest squats in Athens. More then 120 persons were arrested in Alkiviadou Squat and eight persons in Villa Zografou. After one day detention at the Central Aliens Police Departement Petrou Ralli only 31 got transferred to Skaramangas Camp. All the rest of the arrested refugees were left in the middle of the nights on the streets with anywhere to go, while the activists had been released quickly after the apprehension. Many of them are families and people with medical problems from Syria (according to activists there were two people diagnosed with diabetes, one pregnant woman, a man in a wheelchair and one woman who had recently had surgery on her back with severe pain). They finally found emergency housing in other squats and through volunteers. People who were arrested in the squats and who did not have papers, were taken to detention in Amygdaleza pre-removal detention centre where they will stay until their registration. In the meantime more than 1,500 people protested in the evening against the eviction of the two squats. The next day the refugees tried to pick up their belongings from piles outside of the evicted building in Alkiviadou but they were soon stopped by the police and their belongings got thrown in the garbage. Even documents or other important things like medicines got lost this way. The building which was squatted belongs to the Red Cross, which announced that they had planned to open a reception centre for unaccompanied minors there. Continue reading ‘No re-instalation of Dublin returns to Greece! Solidarity to all squats!’

Evacuate the camps, not the squats!

Despite appalling conditions in state-run camps, the government is taking repressive measures against refugee squats where specifically vulnerable persons have found refuge since the closure of the Balkan corridor

copyright: Khora

23,000-30,000 refugees currently still stay under appalling conditions in state-run mass camps in Greece. They live in tents in Moria Hot Spot, in Derveni camp in Northern Greece or Elliniko camp in Athens, in prefabricated houses in Koutsochero (18km out of Larissa City), Malakassa (Attiki) or Skaramangas Dock (Attiki).

Almost the same amount of people – 23,487 refugees – have been transferred mostly over the last months to alternative housing, i.e. in private homes, reception centres, hotels, and in host families co-ordinated and run by NGOs and funded by UNHCR mainly after having suffered in state run camps before.

Meanwhile a total of 13% of refugees in Greece have taken care themselves of their accommodation or found refugee in homes created by solidarity people for them and in refugee squats. 7,850 are estimated by the government to live in self-settled and self-financed private homes or squats out of which about 3,000 are hosted in squats – all run by solidarity and the refugees own resources.

“We tired of ruins and tired of tents. We don’t want to see anymore war, bombs, soldiers and police. We want to live in peace and not fear another loss of home. Because what we found here is home!” – refugee living in City Plaza


copyright: Marios Lolos & Liska Bernet

Declaration of the comittee of the refugees squats

On Monday 13th, early in the morning, the repressive forces of the State invaded the social space of Villa Zografou and arrested eight persons. In the same time the evacuated in a violent way the refugees squat of the Hospital in Alkibiadou street, while arresting around 120 refugees, that they transfered to the Foreigners police station – despite the horror of the tragedy already lived by refugees.
The State, while revealing its true face, goes towards a demonstration of its repression power, as he already did in Thessaloniki during the summer when he invaded the squats.

copyright: Khora

The government forgets, as expected, its leftist past, while applying the classical dogma of “sécurity and order”, following its predecessors road – the road of austerity as well as of repression. And all this play is played on the lives of the people who left their country in order to escape from the barbary and the war with the hope for a better and digner life.
“First time left”, so, and first time that this Ithaca is so full of racism, exclusion and lack of rights. Finally, if this is the Europe of the human rights, why all these people did leave the hell they were living in?

copyright: Khora

We are on the side of the nomad proletariate. For us all this demonstration of strength constitutes a casus belli. The movement, against the State and the government’s repression, will be solidar with the refugees as well as
with any self organisation initiative. Because all these initiatives actually prove that people can and want to live together, without discriminations and prejudices, within antihierarchical structures.
Finally, Toscas, Kaminis and their omoiodeatis should not forget that this kind of repression is linked with the darkest hours of repression, and they should know that when History repeats itself, it is as a joke.

Solidarity is the people’s weapon
Solidarity to the squats vila Zografou and Alkibiadou

Ps1 it would be interesting if the Red Cross that koptetai for the use of the building of Alkibiadou street as a hosting centre for minors, could explain what happened to the 19 yeaes Old syrian Sabri Belhat, who is missing since seven months whereas he was under the institutions custody
Ps2 The State kicked out of Alkibiadou squat 120 refugees, exercizing so its repressive power, kept them for 17 hours at the Foreigners station and then, exercizing its antirefugee duty, left them in Omonoia at midnight.

Coordination of Refugee Squats
Νοταρά 26 / Notara 26
‘Ονειρο / Oniro
City Plaza
Σπύρου Τρικούπη / Spirou Trikoupi
Αραχώβης / Arachovis
Κάννιγος / Kanigos
5ο Λύκειο / 5. School
2ο Φιλοξενείο / 2. Filoksenio
Jasmin school
Υπουργείο Αχαρνών 22 / Ministry Acharnon


copyright: Hibai Arbide AzaVerified @Hibai_

“90€” – A Poem by Ahmed Al-Mouhmad

No food for them save bitter thorn-fruit, which does not nourish nor release from hunger.

The UNHCR has announced on several occasions that it intends to begin distributing money to refugees in Greece. On Monday, officers of the UNHCR informed me that my friends and I would be included in this new scheme. We expect a roll-back in services provided by volunteers, as well as UNHCR as they will say we are now able to ‘support ourselves, as they have provided 90 euros a month per person.’ They have continually treated us badly and left us in inhumane conditions, all we want is to get out of these camps and move on with our lives; to have jobs, education, relationships and a life; everyone reading this knows 90 euros is hardly enough to support yourself for a week in Europe, let alone a month.

“90€”

how to earn ninety euro a month?
sell your humanity
to earn ninety euro
let your human rights be employed
to the highest bidder
they will be sold
your feelings, them too
and in return: ninety euro
yes, you could sell these things
if you had nothing but them
but here, we don’t have the right to choose
we take ninety euro
instead of our humanity
after all, it’s useless
if you’re living life as a refugee
let me tell you how
how to ‘earn’ 90 euros a month
without even working at all:
simply live your life like a sheep
just eat
and sleep
and drink
and wait
then you will take ninety euro
while others store millions in your name
UNHCR, European authorities, European governments that is theirs
simply be a that person who the others call a
refugee
then you will take ninety euros
each and every month
you want to?
simply run away from war
save your life from death
and you will receive ninety euros
simply seek asylum
even better: in one of the European countries
no more, no less
no rights, no love
but, here, have 90 euros
instead
I’m a refugee
I’m in Greece
so now I’m 90 euros better off
each month
but
every day
Europe drops our rights in the ocean
where little baby bodies rot
drowned on the way to your lands
the little ones you all forgot
tell, me, please
what can we buy with 90 euros?
our humanity back
our feelings back
our human rights back
oh, wait: my mistake…
no store that stocks humanity
no shelf with feelings
no aisle of human rights
they were bought from us
with weapons, and oil and all the band things in-between
now you bask in your millions and strip us of our humanity
what you can buy with 90 euros?
let me tell you:
a new T-shirt or
new shoes
that’s it, then the money’s gone; no roof, no food and no life
maybe we can go to a pub
sit on a chair like a normal person
call the waiter:
‘’excuse me, two drinks please,’’
he tells you they are quite expensive
he sees through your eyes
knows your really a refugee
‘’oh, don’t worry, i reply: i just got 90 euros.’’
even now we can invite a partner for a drink
but don’t tell them nothing
case they find out your a refugee
because thats what we’ve learnt from humans
care more for euros
than for life
more for things
than a wife
my suggestion is,
anyone with 90 euros
or even with 9
buy yourself a book
on human rights
read it, cover to cover
don’t leave it on the shelf
out of sight
like me and my friends
I don’t like to take without giving
but my hands are tied
behind my back
breaking under your inhumanity
make a line
make a line
everybody get in line
you earned ninety euros
congratulations
it’s distribution time.

Source: Are you Syrious

AI: Deep concerns over bad conditions in Elliniko Camp

Following a research visit in Elliniko on February 4th, Lia Gogou (researcher for Amnesty International in Greece and Cyprus) expressed her deep concern about the miserable conditions in Elliniko Camp and the lack of alternatives for refugees staying there.

“The refugees are stuck here since one year. Our researcher during their visit last Saturday documented big problems inthe sanitary infrastructure, the lack of fresh air and sufficient toilettes and showers. They saw people sleeping in tents, exposed to the cold and rain. Refugees themselves mentioned they were worried about the quality of the food and the limited access to hot water. Among people interviewed were highly vulnerable persons such as unaccompanied minor boys and single mothers. They said they were not feeling safe in the camp, and they were desperate due to bad living conditions and the lack of alternatives.”

Many Afghan refugees, of whom AI has taken interviews are excluded from the relocation scheme merely by their nationality and from family reunification as their relatives might not belong to the close definition of a family unit. There are many highly vulnerable refugees that should be legally moved with Humanitarian Visas to other EU-states as their survival cannot be secured in Greece.

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.

Get in touch

email: infomobile.w2eu@gmail.com

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