Archive for January, 2011

January in Calais

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on Sunday, 30 January, 2011 by bristolnoborders

NEWS AND REPORTS FROM ACTIVISTS ON THE GROUND: http://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/

Friday 28th

This morning a Sudanese man from Africa house hurt himself when falling while running from police and has been taken to hospital.

Thursday 27th

Another raid of Africa house, 10 arrests in the morning.

Friday 21st January

There was a mass raid of Africa House this morning. PAF (Police Aux Frontieres) and the new unit of CRS arrived at the back of the building with six vans. CMS activists were immediately removed from the premises and could only watch as doors were kicked in, CS gas was sprayed and over 20 people were arrested. The officers were seen to be enjoying themselves while climbing about on the roof and kept posing for photographs with their guns. One officer remarked to the activists that it was all “just a game”.

Thursday 20th January

Still no news of the missing Palestinians. Instead, the PAF has been repeatedly raiding the squats of the Palestininas.

Cooking materials were taken over to Palestine House and a large communal meal was cooked between CMS activists and the residents of the house. Everyone had good fun with paint and decorated the walls with Arabic, English and French slogans of freedom.

A Palestinian man was arrested and interrogated by police about No Borders. He has now been released.

A new compagnie of CRS arrived this evening: unit 11.

Wednesday 19th January

PAF came to Africa House twice this morning; once at 5.00am and then again at 6.30am. No arrests were made but everyone was woken up by torches being shoved into their faces.

The police raided the food distribution place, taking tents that some boys had been living in. They also took all their personal belongings, like clothes and their ID papers.

A private squat was evicted – all people arrested. The house was then boarded up.

A sound system was taken to Palestine House. People spent all evening dancing and having an Arabic/English phrase swapping session. It was a beautiful night of incredible dance moves and the breaking down of language barriers.

Tuesday 18th January

PAF arrived at Africa House at 7.00am this morning and tried to batter their way in past the barricades. Once they discovered it was easier to get out of the car and move them by hand they were able to get in. At the moment it seems the police are enjoying playing games and so instead of even trying to arrest people they just drove about inside shining lights and disturbing those who wanted to sleep.

One man in Africa House was taken ill and an ambulance had to be called. At first they refused to come out but after the sixth call some paramedics arrived in a fire truck and took him to hospital. He was discharged later that day with a packet of pain killers even though he could barely walk.

Monday 17th January

PAF came to Africa House in the morning but made no arrests.

English and French lessons are continuing with great enthusiasm and attendance at Africa House. Todays lessons stretched on for hours – until it was too dark to see the board.

Sunday 16th January

Two young Palestinians missing while trying to cross

Two young Palestinians aged 16 and 18 went to try and cross to England via the Eurostar Tunnel. The two boys hid in a water pipe connected with the reservoir. Two other men who were behind witnessed the scene – one was arrested and held for 24 hours in police station, the other escaped; they say the security let the dog off the lead, the dog had a muzzle on and could not bite but it may have caused the boys to panic and go further into the water pipe, where they may have fallen into the water and drowned. The fire brigade has been searching the bottom of the reservoir, but there is a grill in the pipe before it joins the it. The two Palestinians who were with the missing boys went to the police station yesterday, together with two volunteers from associations to provide information, but there is still no news. It has been three days since the two boys went missing. They had just arrived in Calais and not even the other Palestinians know their names.

A CMS activist was also controlled in Carrefour.

Saturday 15th January

The PAF (Police Aux Frontieres – border police) drove into Africa House (a squat home to large numbers of African migrants) with great speed, scaring many people onto the roof, but they did not attempt to arrest anyone. Instead, they collected all the artwork that was drying in the corner of the warehouse, bundled it into their van and drove out again blasting music.

The Hazara Jungle was raided at 12.30am. Eight PAF officers made three arrests including one man with papers and one underage boy (who was then held in Coquelles for 24 hours).

Friday 14th January

Africa house was not raided this morning but the CRS went there three times pretending to go in, then when everybody ran they went back to their van and drove off. They kept prowling the streets where people use to get to the food distribution site and chased a group of Pashtun children on their way, although no arrests were made. Most of the people in Africa house missed their breakfast for fear of being arrested.

Thursday 13th January

At least five people were arrested at Africa House just before 8.00am. The police entered from the back of the building and conducted a small raid on the language teaching cabins.

PAF were doing their usual sweep of town, this morning, when they recognised and stopped a CMS activist in the shopping centre. One officer threatened him with a beating and then told him that the police ´Don´t want Migrants here´.

At just past 8.00am the CRS pulled into the train station and stopped four Vietnamese people who were waiting for a train. They were questioned for papers and then detained on the pavement outside for over twenty minutes while the police waited for an arrest van.

The squat known as ‘Paradise House’ was raided this morning at 10.00am. There are no confirmed arrests.

Wednesday 12th January

Africa house raided, mass arrests made.

Africa house was raided this morning by PAF and CRS around 8 am. They arrived in 5 police vans and two cars with 2 arrest vans. They made an incredibly thorough search of the buildings with ladders, ripping doors from hinges and destroying the barricades to the upstairs rooms. At least 20 arrests were made; all those not arrested were made to leave, including CMS activists and charity workers who were present. Several blankets and the CMS tents were taken by council workers and they bulldozed the small barricade that was set up at the entrance to stop the police entering. After the police left the people returned and CMS activists helped to replace the doors and rebuild the barricades.

To lift the mood, paints, brushes and huge rolls of paper were brought to Africa House and some of the more creative residents painted beautiful pictures, wrote poetry and slogans of freedom and love.

The CRS have been roaming the streets arresting people at random, in the streets, at the train station etc. PAF breached the agreement with the associations and arrested one man outside the gates of evening food distribution. After a small scuffle with CMS activists and some of the charity workers, PAF drove the man away to Coquelles detention centre where he was held for 20 minutes, finger printed and released.

The Iranian squat was closed and boarded up, forcing all the residents to sleep on the streets, in the rain.

Tuesday 11th January

7.30am – Palestine House was raided this morning 7.30 am and six people were arrested.
They returned two times more during the day without arresting anyone.

PAF went to Africa house in the evening around 8 pm, apparently looking for Afghans who may (or may be not) sleeping there. They did not find any Afghans and went away empty handed after searching all the buildings.

The Iranians were arrested again and taken to Coquelles as soon as they went to their squat.

Monday 10th January

There was no breakfast provided this morning by Salam. CMS distributed pastries, bread and sandwiches but most people went hungry until lunchtime distribution.

The Kurdish Jungle was raided in the night, 5 confirmed arrests, maybe more.

The Iranian house was also raided twice in the night, everyone was arrested and taken to Coquelles police station, then, just after they returned to their squat after walking one hour in the rain, arrested and taken to Coquelles again – including a man who is sick with the flu. It seems sleep is a privilege only for those with papers.

Sunday 9th January

Hazara Jungle raided in the night, two arrests made.

Friday 7th January

It seems that the police have been spreading a rumour amongst the Migrants that the UK is closed to refugees and that there is ‘ no more asylum to give’.

No raid on Africa House this morning but the Iranian house was visited by PAF and everyone was kicked out onto the street. The police are just roaming through the streets picking people up. Many Africans and Afghans, some as young as 10, are being constantly arrested and re-arrested all day.

Thursday 6th January

The BCMO – cold weather shelter has now closed because the temperature rose to above freezing today. The temperature has since plummeted with a lot of rain and wind but no sign of the shelter opening again. CMS and all the charity associations have been kept very busy desperately trying to find bedding, tents and waterproof clothing for the over a hundred of people now sleeping on the streets. CRS and PAF have also been very busy chasing them and arresting them when they are most vulnerable.

Wednesday 5th January

Africa house raided this morning, all CMS Activists arrested.
8.00am – PAF and CRS did a joint operation, entering the property from the front and back. Activists were immediately shoved into a corner and were searched thoroughly. Despite protests, males officers searched female activists. Everyone was then handcuffed and given no explanation for there arrest. The police seemed perplexed that there were so few activists on the ground that morning and asked after specific activists by name..

Before the activists were driven away to the police station they spotted seven arrests of Migrants and what looked like a full scale eviction.
Upon arrival at Coquelles detention centre CMS were almost the only people in custody but by 1.00pm the cells were full, with mostly African Migrants. By 4.00pm most of the Migrants had been released but CMS still remained, ears ringing with police threats of jail. The whole operation in Coquelles was very unprofessional as interviews were conducted in busy offices. One activist was locked into a toilet and forgotten about. All activists were released around 7pm.

Tuesday 4th January

A relatively quiet day in Calais today for everyone. Not too many police on the streets, making only a few arrests throughout the day. CMS activists were able to catch up on the usual distribution of shoes, bedding and sim cards. A very well attended and lively english lesson was conducted at Africa House, (the subject today – irregular verbs) which involved much laughter as the activists had to mime all sorts of strange actions!

Monday 3rd January

Two cars of PAF officers arrived at Africa House this morning and decided that instead of conducting a raid on the Sans-Papiers they would beat up the CMS activists who were on morning watch, instead. Batons, fists, and boots were used as activists were thrown to the ground, slammed into walls and choked. A female activist was kicked in the stomach, hit round the head with a baton, thrown to the ground and strangled for trying to stop an officer hitting someone. Another two activists were kicked in the face and thrown into the road for blowing a whistle – the officer (once he had smashed the offending whistle) remarked that we blow the whistles and wake up everyone on the street every morning and that this was not good. He seemed to casually gloss over the fact that he comes to Africa House every morning to wake people up and arrest them, I guess it just goes to show the mentality of the French police – Migrants are not people in their eyes.

The CRS spent the morning roaming around and made several arrests of African Migrants who were walking back to Africa House from food distribution. They then followed and tried to arrest people walking back to the jungles out by the ferry port, three people got chased on foot and so climbed the fence into the locked up food distribution area. The CRS followed and climbed the fences catching and arresting two, one guy managed to get out the other side and hide in a garden, the police drove by several times and didnt spot him but unfortunately he didnt get away as a passerby called to the police and showed them where he was hiding. One CMS activist also got arrested after trying to intervene in the peoples escape, he was released four hours later after a full ID check in Coquelles with all the other Sans-Papiers.

Sunday 2nd January

Everyone got a surprise – including us – when they got to food distribution in the morning to find that all the barbed wire (which usually covers the tops of the fences, turning a space for meals into a prison) had been removed from the fences and placed in the big wheelie bins during the night. CMS activists with the help of some athletic Afghan lads then decorated the fences with banners in English, Arabic and French, wishing everyone a Happy New Year – Free from Borders!

English lessons are still continuing strong in Africa House and they are now being joined by art sessions too. Being able to let go of everything in Calais is something very important and so the recent arrival of a portable sound system has been very popular, especially with the young Afghan boys who have delighted in showing everyone some of their dance moves. This evening the music was taken to the BCMO cold weather shelter where within minutes there were over twenty people clapping and watching in awe at an eleven year old Afghan boy and his enchanting dancing. The CRS made an appearance but nobody ran, they just clapped and cheered louder, sending them on their way.

Saturday 1st January (New Years day)

Lunchtime food distribution was served by L’Auberge de Migrants who decided to brighten the mood by taping paper table cloths to the tops of the bins. A Samba band from Germany also played some awesome tunes and got people dancing. After about a minutes notice from CMS the Samba band moved out onto the street and (with banners appearing from nowhere) it turned into a small New Years Day noise demo processing up through town to the shopping centre. The locals looked on with smiles and cheers and the small group of activists and migrants grew by one when a passer-by stopped her car and left her husband and children to join in the march – fist raised and chanting loudly! The peaceful, colourful and cheery gaggle of people stopped outside of the shopping centre and a banner was hung from the christmas decorations proclaming – HUMAN RIGHTS HAVE NO BORDERS! Within moments of the banner being hung the police arrived and officers were seen to be putting on riot helmets and pulling out batons. Everybody scattered and the police took chase. Two activists were cornered down an alleyway and choked by police, the banner ripped from them. Two others were controlled and released – nobody else was caught.

Public spending cuts savage dispersal system

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on Friday, 28 January, 2011 by bristolnoborders


By Jon Burnett (Institute of Race Relations)

27 January 2011, 5:00pm
Dispersal policies are polarising city councils, with some having their contracts terminated and others abdicating their responsibilities to house asylum seekers.

In January 2011 the North East Contracting Consortium for Asylum Support issued a press statement, through Newcastle City Council, announcing that it was considering mounting a legal challenge against the UK Border Agency (UKBA). UKBA had informed the Consortium that its contract for housing asylum seekers was being terminated and, instead, being awarded to a property development organisation, Jomast. The Consortium, made up of seven local authorities in the north-east, housed 1,100 people and had been providing accommodation for asylum seekers dispersed to the region for ten years. In its press statement, it maintained that, ‘Putting all delivery into the hands of the private sector could deprive asylum seekers and communities of the extensive expertise and resources which councils can provide … We have consistently been judged by the UKBA to provide a quality service and to base such a major decision apparently in terms of immediate price, rather than overall cost benefit, is disappointing’.[1]

If the legal challenge goes ahead, it appears that it will be the first of its kind to confront a decision to withdraw funding for housing provision. Yet the decision itself is the latest in a series of steps which have marked a gradual shift in dispersal policies: one which has seen local authorities abdicating, or being absolved of, their responsibilities to house and provide shelter for asylum seekers.
Asylum dispersal: a history of exploitation, vulnerability and racial violence

The dispersal of asylum seekers around the UK has been subjected to considerable criticism. Instigated by the Labour government in 1999, in an attempt to reduce the concentration of asylum seekers in London and the south east, it meant people being housed on a ‘no-choice’ basis in towns and cities throughout the UK. The National Asylum Support Service (NASS) was established to administer dispersal, and effectively, removed asylum seekers from mainstream welfare services.

Financial support (initially in the form of vouchers) was set at thirty per cent less than the value of income support and a complex market of housing provision was created. Lucrative contracts to house asylum seekers were frequently taken up by local authorities, sub-contracted to accommodation providers and then sub-contracted further to private landlords. The result was a housing system which in many instances was poorly regulated, substandard and unsafe.

Complaints by asylum seekers were routine and when investigations were carried out they uncovered evidence of uninhabitable conditions. In 2004, for example, the Home Office announced that it was terminating its contract with Landmark Liverpool Ltd, stating that the majority of their properties ‘were below an acceptable standard. Many had insect infestations, damp and poor electrical installations’.[2]

Houses were often provided in hard-to-let and dilapidated areas. Racist attacks against asylum seekers dramatically increased as dispersal policies were introduced. In 2002 the Home Office disclosed that approximately 2,000 racially motivated attacks had been carried out on asylum seekers in the two years since the policy had been introduced. Some, such as those on Firsat Dag in the Sighthill area of Glasgow in 2001 and Peiman Bahmani in Sunderland in 2002, were fatal. Other people, isolated and frightened, took their own lives.[3]
Reduced local authority care

In 2004 six police forces were reported to have requested suspensions of dispersals within their localities, in part because of the frequency and severity of racist violence.[4] Yet, despite clear evidence that dispersal policies had created fertile ground for violence and exploitation, decisions on ongoing contract procurement appeared to be underpinned more by financial considerations than the protection of those seeking safety in the UK.

Contracts for housing asylum seekers were initially offered for a fixed number of years. In 2006, as the second round of housing agreements were being negotiated, the then immigration minister Tony McNulty announced his intention to further increase private sector provision, stating ‘We want that degree of flexibility and contingency built into the contracts to reflect numbers as they go up and down. I think the private sector is better placed to respond to that type of contract’.[5] NASS had already terminated its agreement with Southampton City Council, ostensibly in response to decreasing numbers of people claiming asylum in the UK. And the renewal of housing arrangements saw numerous public bodies losing their contracts as well. As a representative of the Yorkshire and Humberside Consortium for Asylum Seekers and Refugees warned, after several housing associations in the district lost their contract, such decisions could potentially cause disruption to families and to children’s education as new accommodation providers re-housed them.[6]

But whilst certain public authorities and bodies had their contracts terminated, other city councils voluntarily withdrew from their arrangements with the UKBA. In February 2006 Wigan Council announced that it was opting out of its housing pact, enabling private accommodation providers to fill the gap and to release council properties ‘to address local housing needs and create an opportunity to provide humanitarian assistance to refugees on the Gateway Protection Programme’.[7] And in 2010, as the second round of housing arrangements began to draw to a close, Birmingham City Council declared that it had turned down a renewal of its contract; maintaining that, ‘we must help the citizens of this city first and foremost … With a long waiting list for homes, we really need all our properties for our people in these difficult economic times. In the interest of local people, this decision has been made’.[8] Days later Wolverhampton Council took the same decision, stating that, ‘This has been a difficult decision to make, but one that is in the interests of local people on our housing waiting list’.[9]
A third round of housing contracts

Now, a third round of housing contracts is being negotiated, channelled through the Commercial and Operational Managers Procuring Asylum Support Services (COMPASS) project set up in 2009.

This venture, launched by UKBA, scheduled bidding events for March 2011. As such the contracts procured through the project will be overshadowed by the coalition government’s commitment to reduce expenditure on provisions for asylum seekers amidst a wider programme of savage public spending cuts. The outcome of the government’s spending review, on 20 October 2010, prompted UKBA publicly to state its intention to ‘drive down the cost of asylum support’; continuing to assert that ‘The agency will save around £500m in efficiencies by reducing support costs, improving productivity and value for money for commercial suppliers’.[10] About two weeks later one implication of this decision was made clear.

In November 2010 all of the (approximately) 600 asylum seeking families in Glasgow, housed by the city council, received letters from UKBA saying that the council would no longer be supporting them. They were told that they were to be moved to other locations in Scotland and that non-cooperation could lead to the withdrawal of all support. Families were informed that they would be given between three and five days’ notice of any decision and, the same day, the city council was informed that their housing contract was being terminated.[11]

After significant public campaigning these eviction letters were withdrawn and in January 2011 immigration minister Damien Green apologised for their ‘inappropriateness’. But the fear that families have, that they and their children will be uprooted once more, remains.
Lessons learned?

In over ten years of asylum dispersal the patterns of exploitation, racist violence and social isolation which initially emerged have persisted. In 2009 for example Jasraj Kataria, a 23-month-old child, died after falling from the window of a third floor flat in Glasgow provided by NASS. The company whose property it was, the Angel Group, insisted that the windows were fitted with locks, but refused to make public the findings of its investigation into his death.[12] A year later a NASS accommodation provider, which had provided properties in Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Coventry, was reported to be in a legal dispute with the Home Office with both parties alleging the other owed it money. According to one analysis, the Home Office claimed that the accommodation provider ‘sometimes provided “sub-standard, uninhabitable, or unsafe” housing, with some properties suffering blocked drains, broken doors and windows, and vermin infestations’.[13]

The coalition government is casting aside a whole swathe of services of which housing support is one, including funding for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses and legal aid for migrants and asylum seekers.[14]

Read in this context; with some local authorities admitting publicly that they no longer wish to house asylum seekers in their locality and others losing contracts to more ‘flexible’ private accommodation providers, those seeking safety in the UK face being dispersed into areas which are potentially both increasingly hostile and under-equipped to provide for their needs. At the same time, the shift in the award of contracts may portend less regulation and less accountability.

References: [1] North East Contracting Consortium for Asylum Support, Press statement (January 2011). [2] Home Office, ‘Termination Of National Asylum Support Service (Nass) Contract With Landmark Liverpool Ltd’, Home Office Press Release (25 March 2004), http://press.homeoffice.gov.uk/press-releases/Termination_Of_National_Asylum_S. [3] See Harmit Athwal, Death trap: the human cost of the war on asylum (London, Institute of Race Relations, 2004). [4] Dominic Casciani, ‘Asylum city dispersals suspended’, BBC news (15 November 2004), http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/south_west/4013431.stm. [5] Andy Ricketts, ‘McNulty favours private sector for asylum provision’, Inside Housing (31 March 2006), http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/mcnulty-favours-private-sector-for-asylum-provision/1447452.article. [6] Ben Cook, ‘Asylum seekers face turmoil as NASS contract is ended’, Inside Housing (17 February 2006), http://www.insidehousing.co.uk/asylum-seekers-face-turmoil-as-nass-contract-is-ended/1447297.article. [7] Wigan Council, Committee Report: Update on Asylum Seeker Contracts and Gateway Protection Programme (Wigan, Wigan Council, 2006). [8] Neil Elkes, ‘Birmingham city council ends asylum seeker housing contract’, Birmingham Mail (9 October 2010), http://www.birminghammail.net/news/top-stories/2010/10/09/birmingham-city-council-ends-asylum-seeker-housing-contract-97319-27434645/. [9] Express & Star, ‘Wolverhampton council says no to more asylum seekers’, Express & Star (11 October 2010), http://www.expressandstar.com/news/2010/10/11/wolverhampton-council-says-no-to-more-asylum-seekers/. [10] UK Border Agency, UK Border Agency News, Issue 4 November 2010 (London, UK Border Agency 2010), p. 3. [11] Frances Webber, ‘Asylum-seeking families in Glasgow face imminent move’, IRR news (18 November 2010), http://www.irr.org.uk/2010/november/ha000035.html. [12] Harmit Athwal, Driven to desperate measures: 2006-2010, (London, Institute of Race Relations, 2010), p. 18. [13] Jeanette Oldham, ‘Home Office in court battle over asylum missing millions’, Sunday Mercury (5 December 2011), http://www.sundaymercury.net/news/sundaymercuryexclusives/2010/12/05/sunday-mercury-investigation-home-office-in-court-battle-over-asylum-missing-millions-66331-27768242/. [14] Anne Singh and Frances Webber, ‘Excluding migrants from justice: the legal aid cuts’, IRR briefing paper no. 7 (London, Institute of Race Relations, 2010).
The Institute of Race Relations is precluded from expressing a corporate view: any opinions expressed are therefore those of the authors.

Message From Migrant Hunger Strikers in Greece

Posted in Uncategorized on Thursday, 27 January, 2011 by bristolnoborders

I’m talking with absolute sincerity

you have the luck, even if you have a different opinion, especially the media you are working for, to be part of a historic moment, as today begins the biggest hunger strike, at least in the history of migrants in Europe.

it’s a hunger strike, that withing the following 3weeks we’ll know whether the government will satisfy the hunger strikers’ obvious demands or we’ll have to deal with serious health problems or even life threats.

this hunger strike is demanding the legalization of the migrants, who “put us in the Economic union” as mr Simitis (ex prime minister/pasok) has stated in the past.

the migrants who suffer from exploitation, from repression, who don’t come here in Greece on holidays or to become rich, but are fleeing from poverty and wars.

the migrants who come here as the civilized west destroys their countries and then builds walls to deal with the intruders

globalization, EU, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the destroy of eastern Europe produce migration and it’s at least stupid to say that those coming here are our enemies. they are our brothers, our friends, our comrades and it’s not possible only to look after ourselves.

they don’t take our jobs, they do jobs no greek would do.

we don’t only think about our neighbourhood

if the armies, the capital and the stock markets can move with noborder limitations, so the migrants have the right to move also freely.

the assembly of solidarity to the hunger strikers, takes the political responsibility for the occupation of this building

yes, we entered in this empty and not in use building of the law school for any purpose, in order to host the struggle of the hunger strikers, based on the decisions of the universities assemblies, after having informed the university rectorate.

and in any case, honoring the history of this building and the occupation of 1973, the struggles, all the thousands times we’ve heard the slogan “the asylum belongs to everybody”.

the university is not only for lessons, but to also host the social problem, the society itself.

this struggle started on their own decisions and we said yes brothers. we stand by your side. greeks and migrant workers all stand by your side.

abdul

friends hello. we are here 300 migrants from all Greece, we represent thousands of migrants from all over Greece. we demand the legalization for all migrants. we start today a mass and difficult strike, so that our problems are finally heard. that we move from the dark to the light.

we’re struggling for many years for equal rights for all, along with our greek brothers. we live here, we’re not criminals. we ask for rights. we ask the legalization of all migrants.

minas

goodmorning to everyone

we’re infront everybody as society and as human beings οf a unique number of people (for the greek and European standards) who ever took such a serious decision.

unique for our country and for Europe

it’s a decision taken with out any intervention and we know that

they took it on their own, as they don’t have the right to live in the light of legal status that doesn’t allow them to live in Greece

they ask legalization, to work with stamps for the social insurance system and not in undeclared employments, black work. in order to be able to go to the hospital. to be buried as human beings.

they live with us, in our neighbourhoods, they work in our fields, in our olive camps.

they talk about a tough hunger strike, with only water and sugar that we last in the limits of human capacity of these young people you see right here.

our state, should someday be serious and start having a serious migration policy, like other countries such as italy and spain dared to do

we won’t allow to the media and the xenophobic voices to poison us and our souls

we ask to everybody who thinks like us, to stand by our side.

it’s a very difficult struggle

we know that for sure

no way is unpassable

vassilis

it was said that I’m the lawyer of the hunger strikers

they don’t need a lawyer

I come to talk mostly on the technical issues

they don’t need a lawyer in order to be heard

they’ve decided on their own to come out of darkness and fight for their rights.

right now, there’s a movement that asks to be heard

these 300 people live in a gap

for many years, our migration policy reached ground zero

talking technically there’ve been previously chances for legalizations, that withing the past few years don’t exist

the last is in 2006 and it was half, under limitations and there are thousands of people who weren’t qualified.

there are thousands of people who live among us and with us

but they can’t work legally, they can’t add stamps to their social insurance, they can’t go to public services.

since 1991 and the first big migration wave from Albania there’s a provision in the greek law, that doesn’t allow to the public services to serve “illegal” migrants

on technical and clearly legal I don’t find that fair or justified.they start their struggle and they ask for legalization

petros

goodmorning. we us students of the law school and members of the LEFT UNITY (AREN). we can’t but simply welcome their decision to start this struggle by hosting it in the historic building of the Law School.

it’s obvious to us, that in times of financial crisis, that the government unleases a tough attack against workers and all layers of the society, who form its lowest in a way part of it.

it’s obvious that the government follows a clear plan, which is breaking down any resistance. now it attacks the migrants, tomorrow students will follow. then workers will follow.

in this sense, the students’ union stands in solidarity with the migrants.

as we see it a part of our own struggle

and it’s an honor to host such a struggle for 3reasons

a)      the law school students’ union who has a history in struggles, adds another one

b)      there’s never been such a huge struggle in Europe

c)      and because we give one larger sense to asylum, it’s only for students, but for the whole of society, and it’s proven by the fact that all students political parties who’ve signed the consensus to this struggle in this building.

in this sense, this mud war against us and the antiracist movement should stop now.

abdul

everybody who’s here have decided

or they live with papers here, legalized or they leave dead

nikos

I used to here, that migrants take our job

I wonder if the thousands workers, who work under contracts, of dismissed people go through all these, due to migrants or due to the rapacity of the capital.

then they say that our insurance services suffer. they forget though to mention that they “played” with people’s money in the StockHouse, that for many years the state used these money.

we ask, if 1000000 of migrants are insured and 1,5milion of greeks working with no contracts (black work) are insured, would it be better for the Insurance Services?

they don’t care about that

when a migrant is poor, it’s a prologue to the violation of the rights of the greeks

if we don’t understand that, we’ll fight against shadows.

abdul

this is not the first, neither the last fight

we’ll fight till the end

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SksD6LbcLRs&feature=player_embedded#

!
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