Statement by the 300 hunger strikers March 7, 2011

This morning Mr. Mousionis, representative of the hospitals administration, “visited” the Ipatia building [where the hunger strike takes place] three times. The first without any document whatsoever, the second time with a document with no signature and only on the third time did he manage to bring the “correct” document.

He came to pass on to us the government demand for all hunger strikers to be transferred to hospitals and to abandon the site of their struggle. Hunger strikers-representatives of ours responded that if he came to tell us that the generous government can offer us a bed in a hospital in order to die on it, he should tell them that a struggle is a struggle, even when death looms. This means that we only go to hospital because those who sent us there continue robbing us off dignity, resulting in our collapse. If they care about our health, they should meet our demands, so that we can return to our homes and to our jobs. In other words: us hunger strikers will only go to hospital when our doctors deem it necessary.

We the hunger strikers want to emphasize yet another time that when we decide something, we do so alone and in our own assemblies, exclusively.

We insist on continuing our struggle until reaching our target. This target comprises the meeting of certain demands, the most important of which have been co-signed by GSEE and ADEDY [the largest mainstream trade unions in the country] as well as many other social bodies supporting us from across Greece – including all the main social bodies of Thessaloniki (the city’s mayoral assembly, the dean of its university, the barristers’ union, the journalist union, the labour union etc) with a collective letter sent to the prime minister on March 4.

We repeat our specific demands that the government refuses to meet (taking the risk of the death of people in struggle) but that are nevertheless supported by social bodies in Greece but also thousands of other unions, organisations and groups across the world:

– The issuing of a residence permit in accordance to article 21, par. 4 of Law 3907/2011

– The review and issuing of a residence permit to all who lost their legal status despite the existence of substantial grounds, combined with the reduction or disconnection of the residence permit to the work credits, as this is a time of financial crisis.

– Reduction of the required residence period of those without papers to 5 years (down from 12 years today) for the issuing of the special residence permit of the new article 44 of Law 3386/05

– Issuing of a residence permit to all those who had their application rejected during the last legalisation process of 2005

The 300 Migrant Hunger Strikers in Athens and Thessaloniki

March 7, 2001, 42nd day on hunger strike

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