Tag Archive for 'thessaloniki'

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.
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2.500 people in the streets of Thessaloniki

In Thessaloniki 2.500 people attended the demonstration in solidarity with the 300 hunger strikers last thursday (03/03/2011). Check out pictures and video!

Ministery of Labour occupied by solidarity groups

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.

The hunger strikers are in danger

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

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.


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:
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Declaration of solidarity with the hunger strikers in Greece – Legalisation and equal rights now – Call for a week of action

The 25th of January is the day on which 300 migrants in Greece started a hunger strike. Their demand is a collective legalisation of all the people excluded from Greek society based on their status – be it asylum seekers, not recognised refugees, illegalised people, exploited migrant labourers. It is not the first hunger strike in Greece where human beings are forced to use such a drastic measure to fight for their rights.

Hunger strikers in Thessaloniki

Hunger strikers in Thessaloniki

Continue reading ‘Declaration of solidarity with the hunger strikers in Greece – Legalisation and equal rights now – Call for a week of action’

About w2eu

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!


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Voices from the Inside of Pagani (2009)

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