Via mail – message for solidarity

These are the facts, this is what we‘ ve done, this is our political
view! Read this…

Acting in solidarity with the Afghan refugees at Malakasa we have been
at their side from the first hour of their location in the camp. We come
from all municipalities in the vicinity of the camp (Kifissia, Drosia,
Anoixi, Dionysos, Kapandriti, Malakasa, Oropos). Also many people from
other parts of Greece and from all over the world have come to the camp
in solidarity to help. We took upon us the heavy responsibility to
deliver to the refugees the loads that arrived at the site of goods
(clothes, shoes, food, toiletries, medicines, etc.). gifts out of
solidarity from anonymous Greek and foreign people, collected and
shipped by various institutions, associations and collectives …
Daily we gave and give ourselves, our time, whatever we can spare
despite our own want, to relieve their pain. We are not NGOs, we do not
expect to be rewarded for our effort, we have nothing in common with
salaried „solidarity“, the „governmental volunteering“ or the newly
established „governmental solidarity“. We struggled to help the
persecuted to revive the wounded hope fluttering in their soul and will
continue to do so. We feel and express deep respect for each gift in
goods, each volunteer, each of our fellow people, and we tried to
communicate that respect to the Afghan refugees. We built and continue
to build a bridge of friendship and trust with them. And so we chose the
best way of cooperation, recording their needs in joint operation with
their own people and deciding together how to distribute the
necessities. Indeed, because of the overwhelming number of voluntary
donations, we have been able, with the consent of the refugees, to offer
the municipality of Oropos 10 tons of food and clothing to be
distributed to our compatriots who suffer, living in poverty and going
During the whole first 2 months that the refugees were forced to live in
the camp Malakasa the authorities, ministries, institutional asylum
bodies, organizations for the protection of human rights or public
health services were absolutely nowhere !!
Only the solidarity of the Greek and foreign people helped them overcome
the difficulties in adapting to their living conditions and gave hope
and perspective to vulnerable groups of the refugee population like
pregnant women, the disabled, the sick, the elderly, unaccompanied
minors, etc.
After two months the ‚professionals‘ made their appearance in the camp!
Representatives of the Ministry of Immigration Policy accompanied by
„governmental solidarity workers“ with plenty of „experience“ from
Elliniko, where, however, they were denounced for their activities and
from where they were expelled! The refugees‘ and our hope that now
matters will improve, was disillusioned abysmally. The promises to
improve living conditions for better food, to provide better health care
conditions, for the immediate arrival of institutional bodies to record
the asylum seekers and for handling their applications, for immediate
delivery of necessities to meet their needs, was just another hoax.
Instead, what ultimately happened is the management of their needs in an
authoritarian, punitive and inhumane way: ranking their needs using the
logic of whimsical, personal, choice of the „managers“ and applying the
dropper tube method. Thus the refugees-war victims are submitted to the
torment of deprivation and this is being used as means of pressure to
manipulate them and downgrade their rights. No wonder that after four
months no asylum requests have been submitted, not even asylum
intentions have been recorded. On the other hand detentions and arrests
of refugees continue unabated and only for reason of expired expulsion
papers that they have been provided with on the islands under the
responsibility of the Greek State!!
And we? How could we ever agree with all this? We complained, we tried
to come to an understanding with the „managers“, to find solutions for
everything. However, we found that it is a matter of choice and
implementation of the particular governmental policy on refugees. The
„professional managers“ just execute commands from their superiors
adding an extra touch of their sick, personal perception of the refugee
issue! No intention to solve the serious problems of the living
conditions, no intention to recognize their rights, no intention to
build a bridge of understanding, friendship, cooperation and solidarity
between the refugees and the local Greek community. All refugees
awaiting deportation must live through the downgrading of their rights,
step by step, from the rights of refugee into those of illegal
immigrant, They must endure hardships and torture, threats, detentions
and arrests with final destination their expulsion to „safe“ Turkey and
even more „safe“ Afghanistan !!
Our response to all this turned us into a red rag to the „management“!
What are they to do with us now? Especially now that NGOs are turning up
to spend, if they are among the „good“ ones, something of the millions
Euro they have received!! Because a lot of money is involved in the
refugee issue and there are plenty opportunities to coin it! What use do
they have for us? To be a stumbling block in their plans? That is why we
were outlawed and the police at the gate was ordered to prevent our
entering the camp. We are not serving their plans because the driving
force of our actions are those of genuine solidarity, love and support
to a fellow man in need! They did not even hesitate to slap handcuffs on
a member of our solidarity group who wanted to get into the camp,
handing over her ID, to take refugees to a scheduled appointment with an
external solidary doctor! After a while she was released. What they
wanted to achieve was to intimidate us by threat of arrest, exactly as
they do to the refugees! They even found a reason for our expulsion from
the camp: that we aim at political benefit, that we offer the refugees
more than they need, that we “overact” in helping them to live like
„human beings“!
To those who are accusing us, we say that we are not looking for
compensation from anyone, we don’t want money, titles or honours! We
simply feel when bombs are being dropped that we must be on the side of
those who are being hit!
Our crime is that we gave shoes to the barefooted, a blanket to who was
cold, bread to the hungry, medicine to who was hurting, care to helpless.
Our crime is that we stood by those who were reaching out for help,
those who were suffering hardships, those expecting that Europe would
vindicate them…
That is our crime! Anyone who wants to condemn us may do so, but has to
know that we are not the ones who bombed them, we are not the ones who
sent an army „to save them, supposedly, from their sufferings,“ we did
not tear down their homes, we did not kill their loved ones, we were not
involved in modern crusades!
We did not prepare and did not make the murderous imperialist wars
against them, we did not go to their countries to lay our hands on the
public wealth, we are not the ones who are dragging „companies“ behind
us to „rebuild“ their countries that have collapsed, we were not in any
army, we did not throw any bomb, we built no fence, no jail!
We did not use armies to close the borders, we did not built walls, we
are not the ones who robbed them of their money and their dreams, to
sell them fake paradises, we did not let them drown in the sea!
We did not catch those who escaped and got to our shores to shut them up
in new prisons-hot spots, we have not been fooling them when looking
them into their eyes, we have not said that we will recognize their
rights and abandoned them, we have not played with their lives and their
What we have to answer to those who believe in oppression, manipulation,
humiliation, displacement, deprivation of rights, xenophobia and racism,
is that we are and will remain at the side of the bombarded, the
persecuted, the hunted, those who have lost their children, the poor,
the unemployed, the homeless Greeks and foreigners alike. We are with
them, we are part of them and will fight for their vindication.“

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