New refugees are arriving in Mytilini every day. Currently 900 people are inside the “welcome center” (= detention centre) Pagani. The intended capacity of the prison is 250 people. Since the new act from June 2009, the refugees are held inside Pagani for at least 6 month. The only “way” to get out of the prison is to be deported. Because the prison is that crowded, a deportation is expected this weekend.
In Vathy of Samos, the mobilization of local initiatives was successful. After 3 hours of seizure of the catapult, the ship departed for Theofilos to Kavala without the deportation of 60 refugees (Afghans and Somalis). The mobilization was very exiting with the refugees being synchronized through the crates with the collateral shouting “freedom”.
The greek government has this “six point plan” about how to deal with what they refer to as illegal migration. You can read more about it at the website of our friends from Thessaloniki.
The first point reads as follows:
A ship of sufficient tonnage to be used as a first reception and transport centre. This ship will sail near the islands of the Aegean where illegal migrants have been arrested, it will take them on board and carry them to the reception centres already in, or due to be put into, operation. The ship must be equipped with the necessary logistics infrastructure so as to ensure a complete health check of illegal migrants and to cross-check their identification data in order to ascertain their country of origin reliably and in a timely manner.
Apparently, this ship has already been chartered, but is still in the process of being refitted: they need to build cells and such. The plan however is clear, the greek government wants to centralise the internment of refugees. A couple of days ago, there was the attempted deportation of 62 refugees from Lesvos to a detention centre in mainland Greece. As you can read at occupiedlondon blog, this failed miserably due to intervention of antiracist activists.
As soon as embarkation started, the guards created a cordon around the migrants and started to lead them on foot toward the catapult of the boat. The sixty of us who were there jumped in front of them, blocking with banners and with our bodies their entrance to the boat. At the same time, we shouted slogans and handed out texts to the people that continued entering and exiting the boat. Following an initial surprise, the return of the migrants back to the bus that transferred them was decided. We held our positions exchanging slogans with the migrants who slowly started to realise what was going on and in turn started to shout and to wave.
You can find more pictures at Athens Indymedia.