Greek Hunger Strikers On The Edge…Act Now !

Posted in Uncategorized on Wednesday, 23 February, 2011 by bristolnoborders


Medical report

22nd February 2011

The hunger strikers have been refusing to eat for 29 days now. All of them are suffering considerable loss of body mass and

the signs of fatigue and advanced exhaustion are apparent.

Four people have been hospitalized for having lost consciousness.

The majority show symptoms of frequently recurring postural hypotension, muscle pain, hypoglycemia,

difficulty with moving, while some of them already have palpitations and cardiac dysrhythmia.

As doctors we are obliged to note that the hunger strikers are entering a phase where the continuation of fasting

may cause irreversible damage to their health.

The Medical Health Team

Emergency Press Release

22nd February 2011

Today another 4 people were sent to hospital, raising the number of fainting episodes to 7.

Today is the 29th day of the hunger strike.

28-year-old Radwan fainted with a fall.

http://clandestinenglish.wordpress.com/

+++ THIS IS WHAT YOU CAN DO +++

Send letters, fax and emails of protest to the Greek ministries of interior, of citizen protection and of health and to your local Greek embassy and consulate!
Help spread the word to media, and send press releases to your local, regional, national and european media. Here you find the press release we sent out http://w2eu.net/2011/02/20/300-it-is-time-to-act-now/#p…lease
Send copies of your press release and solidarity declarations to: hungerstrike300@espiv.net

Pass this message on in your networks and urge other people to act, too!

Below you find a sample fax/emailing greek and english language that you can send to the relevant authorities – also listed below. Please do note that it is always better if you compose a text on your own. It doesn’t need to be long! If you do so, please post your letter as a comment on http://w2eu.net/2011/02/20/300-it-is-time-to-act-now/, so that we can collect our voices.

Please act and help spread the this – solidarity is the proverbial weapon these days. The hunger strikers are asking for your support!!!

e-mails:
dialogue@politicalforum.gr
ypourgos@ypes.gov.gr
info@ypes.gr
papoutsi@otenet.gr
pressoffice@yptp.gr
Louka.katseli@parliament.gr
anna.dalaras@gmail.com
hungerstrike300@gmail.com

fax numbers:
Ministry of Interior, fax: 0030 2103665089,
Ministry of Citizen Protection, fax: 0030 2103387708
Ministry of Labour, fax: 2105249805, 0030 2103213688

Brigitte, Barnard and Family Safe

Posted in Uncategorized on Tuesday, 6 January, 2009 by bristolnoborders

UPDATE 31/01/10: FAMILY GRANTED LEAVE TO REMAIN ON CHRISTMAS EVE !

Story from 2009 for background:

30 People escorted brigitte signing today

As many Refugees do in Bristol, brigitte signed at Trinity Police station with 30 people willing to get in the way of any immigration officers.

People from Bristol refugee rights, The drop-in centre and Bristol No borders insured that Brigitte was not detained at Trinity Rd Police station this morning. However, Brigitte now has to sign there weekly, so anyonme who is free next tuesday at 10.00am, please meet at Trinity rd Police station just before 10.00am. thanks

Background:

Brigitte and Bernard are from Cameroon and have been living in Bristol for years, making their asylum claims. In that time they have become part of the Bristol Refugee Rights community and they have a young daughter, Lizzie, who was born in Bristol.
Last year they were snatched and taken to Yarl’s Wood for several weeks, which was traumatic for the family and for everyone around them.

They are threatened with removal on January 8th. Their solicitor has passed the case to a barrister to make grounds for a judicial review, to be loged as soon as possible. Their MP is also actively taking an interest in the case.
Return to Cameroon would be dangerous for them. Hopefully, if they are not snatched in the next few days, they will have time to submit their application for a judicial review, and the danger will be averted.

Greek Hunger Strikers – Update

Posted in Uncategorized on Tuesday, 1 March, 2011 by bristolnoborders


Tuesday, March 1 at 12.00 (Parliament), multi-voiced solidarity with the righteous struggle of the 300 immigrant hunger strikers
Φεβρουαρίου 27, 2011

*The period of tolerance of the Government has expired*

36 days of hunger strike. 36 days fight to the bitter end until the final
vindication of the 300 immigrant workers. 36 days of solidarity with 300 of
our fellowmen (as also with so many ‘others’ unseen) who put their lives on
an irreversible path for a meaningful life, for the right to dignity and
dreams. 36 days of smearing, corruption, criminalizing the only choice for
all those who do not accept the humiliation of their existence and the
evacuation of the vision for a just society: The choice of struggle and
solidarity with those who resist and reject the logic of terror and the
doctrine of ‘all against all’.

36 days, however, of State insensitivity. 36 days unfolding before our eyes,
frame by frame the scenario of an incompetent and degenerate Government
(hence prone to both oppressive measures and ‘royal decrees’) – who confront
the 300 hunger strikers, as well as the total immigrant population, as a
‘necessary evil’ to strengthen the Greek economy, as well as being
disposable in terms of life and their natural rights. 36 days of ridicule
and bookie-treatment of people who exhaust the limits of their natural, but
not ethical, strength, claiming the obvious: The right to have a face.

After 36 days of hunger strike, the Government, through the Mass Media and
without having bothered to speak to the hunger strikers, chooses a forked
tongue, the collapse of the 300 immigrant workers’ health, and proposing a
vague ‘regulation’ of the 300 with ‘State tolerance ‘, whereas they could
very well give a proper solution within the existing institutional
framework.

On our part, we would like to convey to the Government that for years
*it*has been under the established tolerance of immigrants as of us
all, and
that our tolerance deadline has expired.

On Tuesday, March 1 at 12.00 noon in Syntagma (Parliament) we call upon all
collective bodies that have expressed their solidarity with this just
struggle to unite their voices.

– For the vindication of the 300 immigrants on hunger
strike.

– For the vindication of each and every immigrant

– For the vindication of all of us

– For the vindication of life itself.

Solidarity Initiative for the 300 hunger strikers

Tags: press conference, δελτίο τύπου, πρωτοβουλία αλληλεγγύης Αθήνα, συνέντευξη τύπου

New blog!

Posted in Uncategorized on Sunday, 27 February, 2011 by bristolnoborders

We have a lovely new blog and are in the process of “migrating” to it

Greek Migrant Hunger Strike Enters Day 30

Posted in Uncategorized on Monday, 21 February, 2011 by bristolnoborders

+++ As hunger strike of 300 approaches day 30, strikers are in dire
need of transnational support! +++ It is time to ACT NOW! +++ Fax,
E-Mail and phone the Greek authorities and demand immediate
legalisation NOW +++

Here you find a sample fax/email that you can send to the relevant
authorities. Please do note that it is always better if you compose a
text on your own. It doesn’t need to be long! If you do so, please
post your letter as a comment below, so that we can collect our
voices.

e-mails:

dialogue@politicalforum.gr, ypourgos@ypes.gov.gr, info@ypes.gr,
papoutsi@otenet.gr, pressoffice@yptp.gr, Louka.katseli@parliament.gr,
anna.dalaras@gmail.com, hungerstrike300@gmail.com

fax numbers:

MInistry of Interior, fax: 0030 2103665089,
Ministry of Citizen Protection, fax: 0030 2103387708
Ministry of Labour, fax: 2105249805, 0030 2103213688

Greek:

To:
Greek Emabssy/Consulate in [insert the consulate next to you!!]

Ministry of Citizen Protection of the Hellenic Republic
Ministry of Interior, Decentralisation and E-Government of the Hellenic Republic
Ministry of Health of the Hellenic Republic

Hunger strike of 300 migrants in Athens and Thessaloníki: Legalisation Now!

English

To
Greek Emabssy/Consulate in [insert the consulate next to you!!]
Ministry of Citizen Protection of the Hellenic Republic
Ministry of Interior, Decentralisation and E-Government of the Hellenic Republic
Ministry of Health of the Hellenic Republic

Hunger strike of 300 migrants in Athens and Thessaloníki: Legalisation Now!

xx of February 2011

Ladies and Gentlemen,

we are writing to you on the occasion of the hunger strike of 300
migrants which is currently taking place in Athens and Thessaloníki.
We have followed the situation of refugees and migrants in Greece. We
are not surprised that – again – migrants feel compelled to choose
such a strong measure to campaign for their rights: putting their
lives at risk. We express our solidarity with their cause.

With this letter, we want to urge you to fulfil the demands of the
hunger striking migrants, i.e. the unconditional legalisation of all
migrants in Greece, before it is too late. We are acutely aware that
the hunger strike is approaching its 30th day, and already, many
hunger strikers had to be hospitalised. Their health and indeed their
lives are at risk here, and it is the responsibility of the Greek
government to resolve the situation immediately by decreeing a
legalisation. In our understanding, this constitutes the only
permanent and viable solution to the despicable situation of refugees
and migrants in Greece, a political issue various Greek governments
have struggled with unsuccessfully.

By following the migrants’ demands, the Greek government can send
powerful political signals. A legalisation would be the strongest
communication to the other EU member states that the current system of
delegating responsibility to the fringes of Europe cannot continue and
needs a courageous solution. A legalisation would also finally end the
years of uncertainty migrants have been facing in Greece and attribute
them their rights as part of the society that they have long earned by
their labour in the Greek economy and the life they have led in
Greece. A legalisation would also send a clear political message that
it is necessary to deal with the new and (be)coming citizens in a
fair, respectful and dignified way and that xenophobia and racism are
damnable attitudes that better belong to the past.

The European answer of bordering and exclusion has no future, it only
creates pain and violations of rights.

Demo, revolt, fire and escape at Brussels detention centre yesterday

Posted in Uncategorized on Monday, 21 February, 2011 by bristolnoborders

The group “Voices Without Borders” organised a solidarity action this afternoon at the 127 bis detention centre in Steenockerzeel, Brussels this afternoon starting at 16.30 on Sunday. The action was a show of solidarity with prisoners in the immigration prison who have been on hunger strike for more than ten days after an 18 year old Egyption migrant was tied up and beaten by guards.

The demonstrators arrived at the centre with music, shouts and banners, including one showing a telephone number which prisoners could call to relay testimonies and messages. The lively demo was met with lots of interaction from the people inside shouting and banging on windows, clearly in a resistant mood. People inside and out shouted messages of solidarity and defiance to each other whilst a line of riot cops looked on. Whilst demonstrators banged on the outer line of five meter steel fences prisoners inside began to throw objects out of the windows.

After some time a fire broke out in one cell and people were led out of the wing into the courtyard near the fences close to the demonstration while the fire began to rage. Guards began pushing prisoners on the fire escape.

One prisoner managed to climb the fences out of the centre to freedom, where he then disappeared into mid air. Others occupied the rooftop.

As more police arrived to “pacify” the revolt, activists showed solidarity, staying close to the centre in support.

The roads were blocked with police surrounding the centre and cordoning off traffic in the nearby village of Steenockerzeel. The train station has also been closed down. As of late evening, TV crews from the Belgian networks were still in the area. Recent reports say that one wing has been destroyed, with prisoners moved to other dention centres.

Solidarité avec les revoltés. In solidarity with the fighting spirit of the immigration prisoners of Steenockerzeel, locked up for no crime in the “Capital of Europe”. No borders, No nations.

See the main steam media video of today’s events here: http://video.rtlinfo.be/GED_vp/00230000/237200/237206.swf?bEmbed=1&bHideInfo=0&VideoID=278151
NOTE — images from capitalist media, too late to blur faces.

brussels indymedia:

http://bxl.indymedia.org/articles/1072

http://bxl.indymedia.org/articles/1079

http://bxl.indymedia.org/articles/1081

articles in capitalist press with more images:

http://www.rtbf.be/info/article/detail?id=5648463&cat=BELGIQUE

http://www.lesoir.be/actualite/belgique/2011-02-20/tensions-tres-vives-au-centre-127bis-823347.php

http://www.lalibre.be/actu/belgique/article/643995/tensions-tres-vives-au-centre-127bis-a-steenokkerzeel.html

arnaud borderer
– Homepage: http://gettingthevoiceout.wordpress.com/

G4S whistleblowers confirm detainees’ allegation

Posted in Uncategorized on Friday, 18 February, 2011 by bristolnoborders

By Dr Frank Arnold, Emma Ginn and Harriet Wistrich

17 February 2011

The Guardian reported last week[1] that whistleblowers within G4S, the private company contracted to carry out forced deportations, say that staff warned management of inappropriate use of force. Yet, after the death in October 2010 of a deportee[2] who had been restrained and complained he couldn’t breathe, a top G4S manager claimed he was ‘not aware’ of any staff concerns.

In response to our 2008 Outsourcing Abuse (http://www.medicaljustice.org.uk/content/view/411/88/) dossier of nearly 300 assault complaints, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) Chief Executive implied that our motivation was to ‘damage the reputation of our contractors’ and trashed our claims of widespread abuse while, according to the Guardian, they knew of G4S staff allegations. Our warnings were not exaggerated; a man later died. Their apparent disregard and lack of control was noted in 2009 by HM Chief Inspector of Prisons who found UKBA contract monitors did not work to any clear criteria and sometimes ‘appeared to be part of the escort team’ that they were meant to be monitoring.

 

UKBA have been aware of allegations of excess violence and abuse by escorts all along through their own complaints procedure and legal challenges by deportees. In its last report, the Home Office’s own Complaints Audit Committee reported ‘endemic and enlarging problems’ in misconduct investigations, that 79 per cent of serious misconduct complainants were not interviewed, and that 65 per cent of responses to them were not defensible. Doctors associated with Medical Justice have examined dozens of detainees who have suffered injuries consistent with restricted breathing during failed deportation attempts.

Forty-two cases in Outsourcing Abuse included restriction of detainees’ breathing. Eighteen of these detainees were identified in the report and data from all forty-two cases contributed to the findings. The UKBA response to most assault allegations we made was that injuries were regrettable, but the force used was in accordance with approved Control & Restraint (C&R) methods, yet the whistleblowers reveal a frequent failure to use approved C&R methods. Many allege assault after a deportation is aborted, when escorts say they lost money as a result. Whistleblowers have confirmed the suspected motives for the gratuitous assaults complained of.

The whistleblowers’ evidence should trigger a further review of some of the complaints in our dossier. A parliamentary committee should conduct an inquiry into the use of force in the deportation process. As there is no evidence that UKBA have made any meaningful changes towards avoiding another death the use of force should be suspended meanwhile.

Emma Ginn, Co-ordinator, Medical Justice

Dr Frank Arnold, Clinical Advisor to Medical Justice Harriet Wistrich, Birnberg Peirce & Partners Solicitors Authors of Outsourcing Abuse: The use and misuse of state-sanctioned force during the detention and removal of asylum seekers, which can be downloaded here (http://www.medicaljustice.org.uk/images/stories/reports/reportonoutsourcingabuse.pdf) (pdf file, 940kb). —-

FOOTNOTE [1] ‘G4S security firm was warned of lethal risk to refused asylum seekers’ (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/feb/08/g4s-deportees-lethal-risk-warning-mubenga), Guardian, 8 February 2011 and ‘Staff on deportation flights played ‘Russian roulette’ with lives’ (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2011/feb/08/staff-deportation-flights-g4s), Guardian, 8 February 2011.

[2] See ‘Security guards accused over death of man being deported to Angola’ (http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2010/oct/14/security-guards-accused-jimmy-mubenga-death), Guardian, 14 October 2010; and ‘Justice for Jimmy Mubenga’ (http://www.irr.org.uk/2010/december/ha000012.html), IRR News, 9 December 2010.

Read about Outsourcing Abuse (http://www.medicaljustice.org.uk/content/view/411/88/)

Bristol Based Mitie Enter Immigration Detention Buisness

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on Sunday, 13 February, 2011 by bristolnoborders

Mitie are a fairly large[3] “outsourcing company”; anything from providing security guards at courts[4] and nuclear weapons labs[5][6] to cleaning the Scottish Parliament[4]. This is the first time they’ve tried managing a detention centre[2]. These companies specialise in taking over a service and then squeezing it for profit; finding more ways to exploit staff or cut corners.

An appropriate example: migrant cleaners are hired because their “illegal” status makes them vulnerable and easy to exploit, then handed over to the authorities when it suits management, eg if they attempt to organise[7]. In one incident, Mitie bosses were seen “laughing their heads off” while distressed migrants were intimidated and insulted by police[8].

Mitie’s CEO was one of 35 who signed a high-profile letter to the Telegraph backing the cuts[9], in the interests of “a healthier and more stable economy”. What they really mean is in the interests of their profits; as Mitie’s annual report says: “The public sector faces … considerable pressure on expenditure … this will create significant opportunities for the outsourcing market”[9].

None of this bodes well for the 200 or so people locked up in Campsfield. Mitie’s bid was selected because they offered the cheapest service[1], and though the details have yet to emerge, it seems likely that it will be the detainees who suffer the results.

There Bristol Office had previously attracted attention due to their abusive behaviour towards migrant workers:

http://bristol.indymedia.org/article/691009

http://bristol.indymedia.org.uk/article/693167

 

 

[1] http://www.publictenders.net/tender/86990

[2] http://www.mitie.com/Interim-Management-Statement_Jan

[3] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MITIE_Group

[4] http://www.ft.com/cms/s/9732796e-2d71-11e0-8f53-00144feab49a.html

[5] http://www.awe.co.uk/Contents/Publication/347f9d9Ass%20Report%20November%2007.pdf

[6] http://www.aldermaston.net/blog/roving_reporter/401

[7] http://thecommune.co.uk/2009/07/02/alberto-durango-i-am-for-justice-and-the-truth/

[8] http://thecommune.co.uk/2009/07/29/testimony-of-a-mitie-worker-in-an-immigration-detention-centre/

[9] http://thoughcowardsflinch.com/2010/10/18/mities-conflict-of-interest/

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