Samos, October 23 2008

It was marvellous to be at Patra’s first Anti-Racist Festival despite the rain on Saturday night. On Samos, where we live now, we have heard much about the situation of refugees and immigrants in Patras. About the inhumane condition of the camp and the attempts by the authorities to destroy it. We also heard about the resistance to these attacks. Even so, for many of the refugees who land on the beaches of Samos it will be Patras where they will go in their attempts to travel onwards. So it was wonderful to see this festival in one of the most central squares of Patras. For two days thousands of people passing the square in their cars would have seen that the issues of refugees and immigrants were right in the centre of their town and lives. Afghans, Palestinians, a range of African nationalities were also in the square and participating in meetings alongside hundreds of local residents. There is a long way to go before the solidarities of the Festival become the daily reality but these two days were a fine step forward.

Chris Jones

Tony Novak