The struggle is complete. With the documents in hand and our heads up high, we return to our homes and our work vindicated, after 44 days on hunger strike.
The struggle continues. The announcements for an 8-year limit and the increase of work credit as prerequisites for the issuing and renewal of residence permits must become law immediately.
The struggle is the only option. The struggle against the daily exploitation and racism’s walls, the struggles for the legalisation of all migrants with no prerequisites, for equal rights between local and foreign workers, for a life with values and dignity, these are our next steps. Together with the anti-racist and migrant movement we will walk along this difficult path, the path of struggle.
The struggle unites us. With the documents in hand and the head up high we salute and wish farewell to everyone who supports us. To the people in solidarity in Greece and all other countries in the world, the doctors and their colleagues, all who stood by our side in these days of the hunger strike, in all days when our lives and our deaths demanded vindication and freedom.
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. Continue reading ‘Statement by the 300 hunger strikers March 7, 2011’
The 10th of March will be the 45th day of their hunger strike, but the Greek State has not yet responded to their rightful claims!
We call people in Greece and throughout the world to carry out civil disobedience actions on the 10th of March in solidarity with the 300 hunger strikers.
Announcement – Response to the government’s proposal, after the meeting (of the immigrants-workers hunger strikers) with the ministers:
1. We hunger strikers, from the places of our strike in Athens and Thessaloniki and from hospitals, unanimously reject the government’s proposal for a regime of tolerance, because it does not respond to our claim for legalization with freedom of movement, work-based renewal and all other rights that legal immigrants have in Greece and Europe.
2. We reject the request of the minister of Health to transfer all Athens’ hunger strikers to hospitals due to weather conditions’ worsening. As we have done for 39 days with cold and floods, we continue the hunger strike in Hypatia building (Patission Ave, and Ipirou Str.), and of course those who are in critical condition will be transfered to hospitals under our doctors’s orders.
3. We stress once again that the nationwide hunger strike is our struggle, that we take the decisions on all issues, and we demand the lies and slander to be stopped.
The 300 hunger strikers in Athens and Thessaloniki, 4 March 2011
On Wednesday the 2nd of March 2011 beginning at 11:00 a.m. Greek time a worldwide act of solidarity is planned by Elecronic Civil Disobedience against the Greek state!
This action was chosen to demonstrate the solidarity with the 300 labourers-migrants hungerstrikers who decided to fight back with their own body and life against a system of exploitation and oppression that capitalism sets up for migrants.
The attack works by loading images of the Greek State web-pages, overloading their servers and making them unfunctional and useless for some time.
For more information in different languages check out the call at:
Today (28th of February), on the 35 day of hunger strike solidarity groups occupied the Ministery of Labour in Athens to protest against the unwillingness of the Greek government to comply with the demands for legalisation by the 300 migrant hunger strikers. In December 2010 an egyptian man, who was working as a cleaner at the Ministry of Labour, due to lack of security measures fell to his death from the 3 floor of the building while cleaning the windows. The solidarity groups call for a gathering at 2 p.m. in the Platia Korai, in front of the ministery.
On the response by the Greek government to the demands of the hunger strikers:
A “compassionate” politician turns cynical prime-minister, while his government ignores even the EU legislation it uses as a pretext to deny migrants’ regularization
1. THE SITUATION OF THE HUNGER STRIKERS ON FEBRUARY 24, 2011
The 300 migrant workers have been abstaining from food for 31 days now, since the 25th of January. In Athens and Thessaloniki, we witness fainting episodes all the time, everyday, all day long. More and more often, the situation of some becomes extremely critical, and the strikers are taken to public hospitals.
Big young men, who for years have worked on farms and on building sites all over Greece, fathers and husbands, are now weighing 44 and 45 kilograms. They can hardly stand up. Three days ago already, the medical health team, who has been on the side of the hunger strikers from day one, spoke clearly: The strikers “have entered a phase where they are facing irreversible damage to their health”. They are in danger. In common terminology, that means that their vital organs will be harmed irreversibly, their memory and eyesight will be seriously under threat.
2. THE HUNGER STRIKERS’ SPECIFIC DEMANDS
And why are they risking their lives? Is it because the 300 migrant workers somehow decided that they don’t fancy Greek souvlaki any more? No, they are putting their own lives in danger because they have repeated their arguments one too many times. After years of being derided and reproached, after years of working for no pay, after years of torture, incarceration, beatings and humiliation, after years of official non-existence, right now they are asking for a very specific thing: They are asking for their existence to be recognized. They want legalization. They say: Continue reading ‘The hunger strikers are in danger’
Today 24th of February is the 31st day of hunger strike for the 300 migrant hunger strikers in Athens and Thessaloniki. Entering in the 5th week of hunger strike, consuming only water, sugar and salt, the health condition of the 300 hunger strikers is becoming very critical. There are approximately 6 persons in hospitals in Athens and about 4 in Thessaloniki. Next week is probably the most important for the migrants’ struggle.
On the political level we have developments which show the political pressure on the greek government, which reacts both in hardening of its public declarations and an attempt to threaten the hunger strikers and the solidarity movement by legal prosecutions -but it also keeps open the possibility of negotiation which can end to an agreement. The mass media after a period of “silence” are returning in an aggressive discourse against the solidarity movement and the migrants in general.
Today minister of interior Ragousis announced publicly a proposal of granting a 6month “tolerance status” to the hunger strikers, and declared also measures for the illigalized migrants of long residence. At the same time he said that any kind of collective regularization is out of question and he accused the “supporters” for the bringing in danger the hunger strikers. Of course the minister proposal cannot be accepted by the hunger strikers who announced 3 days ago their demands:
For us, legalisation is neither a generic nor an abstract slogan. We don’t want proposals to be heard without us. For us legalisation means many and very specific things. Between those, first and foremost:
The issuing – since we are entitled to it – of a proper residence and labor permit to us, the 300 hunger strikers, who demand what should be a given for everyone by putting our lives on the line
As well as:
that residence permits are no longer connected to work credits
that all who lost their permits because of the above reason are legalised again
the vindication of everyone whose application was rejected in 2005, after their application submission had been accepted and after they were forced to pay thousands of euros each
the establishment of a permanent and open procedure for complete legalisation, which will process applications constantly
the abandonment of any idea of criminalising any of our comrades in solidarity with us, who have been called as suspects of committing criminal acts by the authorities
And many more…
Anyone who wants to seriously engage with our strike and avoid a humanitarian crisis in Greece, should officially and directly contact us and whatever discussion must be focused on meeting the above demands.
Every human is worth a dignified life and labor
The hunger strike shall win!
Athens – Thessaloniki
21-2-2011 / 28th day on hunger strike
The 300 hunger strikers
This is the blog of the antiracist network Welcome to Europe. It was formerly known as lesvos09.antira.info.
The name Welcome to Europe expresses the discontent and anger we feel when looking at the fatal realities of the European external border: the long documented deaths and suffering have continued for years, and no end is in sight. We stand for a grassroots movement that embraces migration and wants to create a Europe of hospitality.
We maintain our focus on the European external border in Greece, but will not limit ourselves to that geographical area. The right of freely roaming the globe has to be fought for everywhere. Join us!