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