Call for Solidarity to the 300 Migrants Hunger Strikers in Greece

From: Solidarity Initiative for the 300 Immigrant hunger strikers

On January 25, 300 migrant workers went on hunger strike in Athens and Thessaloniki, Greece.

Their main demand is to be legalized.

At this moment, when the financial crisis has violently erupted and ultra-right political forces have come to the fore, this may sound as a maximalist demand.

For this reason, we need to pay attention to their demands so as to create symbolic cracks in the system and achieve political victories.

-The political establishment and mainstream media in Greece have already started putting pressure to the migrants’ struggle and to those in solidarity.

It is urgent to vow now the broadest support possible!

Below the call for signatures.

Those that wish to sign are welcome to send their name and profession in the following address:

Solidarity to the struggle of the 300 hunger strikers

How many times do they have to risk their lives in order to confirm their and our existence?

In order to have the right to live with dignity and hope, in a country that seeks for scapegoats in those who are the most vulnerable and weak.

For the migrant who, with his/her own blood, his/her poorly paid work and his/her creativity, make the country’s economic machine move on.

For those who’re seeking for freedom and fleeing from neediness, war or some other short of «peaceful» occupation, cross the borders in search of a better life.

For the migrants who lost their lives at the national borders of the European countries, for the 13.000 certified victims of the security doctrine since 1993 and the thousands of persons still missing.

For the migrants’ children who from their early age grow with legal and social constraints and exclusions.

In order to bring forward and establish to the common consciousness, as struggle and cause, the joint social interests of Greeks and migrants who produce the social wealth in every short of services, in constructions, in factories, in the fields, in domestic works – as well as the common social interests of the unemployed people.

For the reasons mentioned above and other unmentioned here:

– We express our solidarity to the 300 migrants, hunger strikers

– We demand the unconditional legalization for all migrants

– We support the migrants’ demands for equal political and social rights and duties with the Greek workers

January 2011

Solidarity Assembly to the Migrants Hunger Strikers

It is also important that individuals, assemblies, groups and organizations express their support through letters of support, press releases and actions of solidarity.

Press Release February 18th 2011:

Press Conference of Solidarity Initiative for the 300 Immigrant hunger strikers 18/2
Φεβρουαρίου 18, 2011

«We’re not afraid to die»

Immigrant hunger strike Hassan collapsed during the press conference. Dr.
Thanasis Karabelis, immediately confronting the hunger striker’s fainting
incident, then informed supporters and journalists present. Hassan
sufferedhypoglycaemic shock and unconsciousness, accompanied by
convulsions, as a
result of extended hunger strike and long-term exposure to the cold. The
incident illustrates the extreme situation of the strikers who have been on
austere hunger strike for 25 days now, taking only water, sugar and salt.

Earlier, Hassan with a trembling voice had said: «As you well know, today is
the 25th day of our hunger strike. So far we have had no response from the
Government. No one has spoken. What is the Government waiting for? Is it
waiting for us to die? Then let it leave us to die peacefully. Death does
not frighten us, at least we have fought. We already have four people in the
hospital …

Thanasis Karabelas, a member of the medical team supporting the hunger
strikers, said that on this the 25th day the strikers were facing very
serious problems. Four people are hospitalized in Athens – one in
Efangelismos Hospital with a serious heart condition, and three people in
the General State Hospital of Nikaia with severe dehydration, including one
with symptoms of gastroenteritis, receiving treatment and antibiotics.

The occurrence of the immigrant hunger striker’s fainting today shows,
according to Mr. Karabelas, the hunger strikers’ dire situation – which
will worsen the upcoming days. «The Government will shortly find itself
confronting a serious humanitarian catastrophe. They’re facing the hunger
strikers with superficiality, thinking that they can avoid the issue.»

Continuing, Thanasis Karabelas said: «The Government, despite presenting
itself as «the guardian of legitimacy» has chosen illegality. Immigrants are
presented as being ‘outlaws’ claiming legitimacy.» The restrictions faced by
illegal labor, which the immigrants’ struggle has placed in the spotlight,
is foreseen in the European Directive 52/2009, which must be incorporated
into national legislation.

He added: «The bomber Minister Loverdos’ bomb would be a joke if it were not
tragic. He should be ashamed. He’s been spreading false reports knowing full
well that no striker has flu.»

And in closing: «We urge the Government to intervene immediately to satisfy the
the hunger strikers’ demands, and to take all measures for their protection,
because a serious humanitarian catastrophe is imminent.»**

Peter Yiotis, of the Solidarity Initiative, made reference to the Prime
Minister’s hypocritical stance – who, as opposition leader in November 2008,
supported the 15 immigrant workers’ hunger strike in Chania and their demand
for legalization. «The Minister of the Interior continues to refuse to find
a solution, while the wave of support for the hunger strikers has become
enormous: from institutional members, to unions, hundreds of artists and
intellectuals, thousands of supporters in Greece and abroad.» «Mr. Ragousis
must intervene immediately. To lead the hunger strikers to hardships and
sufferings in hospitals is tantamount to mass torture.»

Finally, P. Yiotis called upon everyone to participate in the afternoon
gathering and march at 6.00 pm from Mouseio to the Ministry of the Interior

Lastly, Hajj Abdul, also of Solidarity Initiative, said: «We are sending a
message to the Prime Minister, who has said that he was a cleaner in Sweden
and has experienced racism. It is time to intervene before it’s too late. So
that we not have any dead.»

Athens, 18th February 2011, 25th day of the hunger strike

Solidarity Initiative for the 300 Immigrant hunger strikers