correspondence from concentration camp of Katsikas [Ioannina] and solidarity actions to immigrants and refugees

Updating week 21/03 – 25/03

On Monday 21/3 we moved massively (almost 100 people) in the concentration camps on Katsika in attempt to
to come in contact with immigrants / refugees who were there. The first who reached the entrance met a small number of cops, who tried to prevent them, but watching the amount of people, they stood aside. So we diffused in the place and went from camp to camp to know each other. On the one side, we had to listen to them and their needs and on the other, we had to inform them about issues like where they are located exactly, which is the situation on the borders, issues on which they were deliberately misinformed.Meanwhile, we had with us translated texts that explained who we are and what we are fighting for. We stayed there for a long time and managed to do the start for a meaningful relationship. When it got dark, people there greeted us cordially and went inside their tents while we were ready to go. For his own bad luck, the man in charge of Epirus Kahrimanis appeared just in time. Went out of his big car, wearing his expensive suit, with an apparent intention to complete his visit standing at the entrance, doing the small talk with the cops, of course without stepping on the rocks and dust where the immigrants/ refugees were forced to sleep, without even attempting to get in touch with them. So some of us spoke to him with the manner he deserved, while others rushed to inform the immigrants/refugees about his presence there. As rational as it is, a few of them reached the entrance and surrounded him. Some were trying to speak to him in english, while he, with a bluntly racist way, refused to speak english saying that he is greek and so he speaks only in greek, and that he has no responsibility on the situation, as to avoid them. So he came to leave the camp, terrified and multi-spitted from immigrants/refugees and local people. Some of them were shouting slogans for freedom, others were asking for solutions and others expressed their rage with insults and jeers.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bg0Gfub0HNI

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Our next station was in the centre of Katsika, where, as we decided, we scattered and shared a text addressing to the local people.
One group of comrades which was wandering και sharing texts in the main street, found outside of the offices of Syriza. Much to their surprise it was not locked with shutters as usually, but open and from the glass partition it seemed like there were some people inside, talking. The group of 
people that found there, stood for some minutes outside to agree how they would get inside in order to  deride the people of syriza party for their “anti-racist” migratory political line of Syriza. As well as for their ridiculous attitude who collect things as philanthropists for the immigrants/ refugees of Katsika and alongside support, like dociles, the government that brought them, against their will, to these miserable conditions. However, before they get inside, people of the Syriza political party gathered at the entrance and one of them went outside, right before the glazed door insulting the people who were there. So he began in an hysterical state to push the people and grab some of them by the hair. And so he managed alone, to bring down the glass door behind him. When the people departed from the square, people of Dias team(police) stopped a motorcycle with two comrades and without even giving an explanation, they were trying to adduct them. Some of the people that had been informed rushed to the place. Some of them with cops’ orders, some others willingly as to not leave the comrades alone, they were transferred to the police department. So at the end of the day, there were 18 adductions at the P.D. Katsika. A bit later and while the cops pluck a call to the driver and passenger of the motorcycle and were avoiding to explain what it was going to happen with the people who were gathering it the corridor of the P.D., arrived a platoon and two girls of the Syriza party. These two were talking about their wounded comrade (the one who broke the glass door), who however, even five minutes away from the P.D., did never show up to confirm the bloody descriptions the two ladies made. Alongside, they were pointing people saying that they had insulted them in the past during protests that took place in the city and were asking of the cops to protect them from being targets and generally were demanding to have the glass door paid by the adducted people. So having, on the one hand, the dumb Syriza girls who could not decide if they want to sue and for what reason and on the other hand the stupid cops who were detuned and were doing identifications two and three times to the same people, it ended up with the adduction to last three hours. The final result was a call for helmet and a call for the motorcycle. And all of this happened because the local Syriza party considers, as all of the governments do, that they will enjoy respect and acceptance having the cops by their side. For us, they are responsible both for the overall management of the subject of immigrants/ refugees from the greek state and for the wretchedness of people in Katsika. It’s them who keep the borders closed, them who maintain the dam in Evros, them who drown in the Aegean, them who create clientele for the exploitation and trafficking circuits. They will find us against them.

On the next morning, a protesting procession took place with over 200 immigrants/ refugees from the camp of P.D Katsikas. There, they brought their requirements without any intensity defied. Their requirements, as they are written by them are listed in the text below, which came of the exact translation of a manuscript they gave us and asked for it to be published.

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This is the piece of paper that talks for all of us.

1. We are humans
2. Please take us somewhere better
3. We just want warm water to bathe
4. What are we going to do if it rains?
5. Give us some good food
6. Can you walk on these rocks?
7. What will it happen to us in the future?

Please, we beg of you, we’re humans just like you. Can you help us?
Please. We came from war to your country to be saved, if you have a human heart you will take us from this place to a better one. Thank you for reading this text. We just want some essential things.

We thank the greek government.

As it looks from their requirements, the living conditions in Katsika are wretched. The cover that has been offered to those poor people are tents, open from the bottom which means that their floor is soil and coarse gravel and this is exactly just how the place is out of the tents. Of course, the days it rained the tents were filled with water and in different parts there was stagnant water surrounding the tents or drowning some parts of them. Needless to mention that neither beds nor mattresses were given to them, and so they are trying with nylon or cartons to evade the direct contact with the wet floor. There is lack of blankets as well as there is lack of clothes and shoes. The number of chemical toilets and showers is extremely small for the amount of people that uses them, while there is no warm water and the kinds of personal hygiene are not enough. The food is daily little in quantity and in bad quality, while milk is not enough for the children. The medical care is terribly inadequate and is covered mainly by volunteers. The conditions are inhuman, so much more if we think that these people lived war and hardships. Many of them are wounded, a big part of them are small children, while there are pregnant women and infants. In a region where most days of the year it’s raining, it was chosen for these people to be “accommodated” in an open place, while dozens of buildings in the centre of the city are left to rot.

Solidarity with immigrants/refugees

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