A pattern is developing: refugee centres in Greece organised by anarchists are being raided by police and/or set on fire by fascists – probably Golden Dawn. The latest attack has been on Cafe Soli, on the island of Chios. The centre was set alight and later the police arrested the occupants. Collusion between police and Golden Dawn is well known. Below are stories from several sources.
Some of the many grassroots migrant solidarity initiatives that have sprung up in Greece over the past year are in the process of being attacked by the country’s socialist government. In particular, the past week has seen the pressure ratcheted up against activists on two of the island ‘hotspots’ (refugee ‘processing’ sites with overcrowded detention camps). In Lesvos, the No Borders kitchen – an autonomous camp which has been running for five months – was evicted last Wednesday, a few days after the Pope’s visit to the island. Pipka, another self-organised camp in Lesvos, is next in line for destruction if the authorities have their way.
Cafe Soli organisers arrested…
Last Tuesday police raided Soli Cafe, a squatted social space, info centre, clothes distribution point and kitchen, and arrested all the people present, including refugees. Most people were still imprisoned on Wednesday, awaiting trial on charges that are not yet clear, and there have been no updates since. Then, on Saturday, there was a fire at Soli Cafe. The cause is not yet clear, but arson is suspected, particularly since it was molotoved by fascists a couple of weeks previously. See statement from Cafe Soli below. See also a reminder of an earlier attack by fascists and police on Cafe Soli
Lesvos – eviction of the No Border Kitchen Camp in Tsamakia, Mytilene (source: mpalothia.net)…
At 6 o’clock in the morning Wednesday, April 20, 2016 the camp in Tsamakia of Mytilene was violently evicted by strong police forces. Policemen and undercover cops, in cooperation with the coastguard, invaded the camp and forced the immigrants to enter buses, while undergoing physical and verbal threats, as well as sexist and racist comments. During this violent pogram, the immigrants were not given time to collect their documents and belongings and were not informed about their rights or the destination of the buses. After the eviction of the immigrants, 19 solidarity members were detained without any accusation or explanation and were finally released after being held for 3 hours in the police station. Legal representation was invaluable in mitigating the bullying tactics of the police. During this time, solidarity members were denied permission to care for their pets and all structures and tents were destroyed by the municipality.
“During the past 5 months the No Border Kitchen has been active in Tsamakia beach, promoting open borders for all humans by providing food to more than 1000 people that passed through Mytilene in search of freedom and opportunity. Last month, after Moria, the former registration center became a prison, many people decided to camp around the kitchen in order to enjoy freedom of movement, self-determination and the family atmosphere. Solidarity members have been working, cooking and living together with the migrants in an effort to overcome petty nationalism and racism. NBK also provided legal and medical advice, first aid and supplied humanitarian needs. Destroying NBK camp is part of a continuing effort on the part of authorities to impede and even stamp out the self-organized solidarity movement of Lesbos which has been active in recent months. Police, the mayor and many authority figures have shown prejudice and discrimination against these solidarity activities as is evident in the threats NBK has received with arrests and eviction since it started.
We as solidarity members choose not to respond to the ridiculous and sensational rumors spread by the press which posted a video of a dead dog to influence public opinion against refugees that killing or eating dogs ocurred in our camp. NBK is a vegetarian kitchen that chooses not to sacrifice any life, let alone cherished pets. NBK will continue to support the refugees in their struggle to enjoy freedom of movement with human dignity.” No Border Kitchen Lesvos.
Threatened Eviction of Pipka, Lesvos Solidarity Camp (From comrades involved in Pipka)…
Lesvos Solidarity Camp (ex-PIKPA) was created in 2012 and is now under threat of closure.Following the EU Turkey Deal, the Mayor of Lesvos announced the closure of the camp, along with other solidarity built structures. Refugees will instead be held in closed detention centres akin to prisons, run by the army and police.
PIKPA Camp hosts vulnerable refugees, including people with disabilities, lone women and children, and the families of shipwreck survivors. Over the past six months, around 2000 people have been sheltered at the camp. Residents receive the care, information and protection that they deserve, including medical care, psychosocial support, information and legal advice.
In a situation where more than 50,000 thousand refugees are trapped in Greece, a country facing an economic and humanitarian crisis, the decision announced by the Mayor to close the camp is illogical and short sighted – and a tragedy for the people who have been relying on its support.