The existence of thousands of refugees is an everyday occurrence where Polytexneiou street, places around railed port but also around residential districts are filled with refugees. The streets, parks even the entrances of block of flats are full. In any case the extemporary refugee camp, that they tried to make, it cannot be a place to live not even for stray animals.

But that’s the last straw. The political refugees, hundreds of them, most of them from Afganistan, live in extremely bad conditions, where they do confront hunger, lack of housing, cold and illness. Their only solution is the illegal embarkation in any ship for Europe where they will try to find a better life. The consequences of this phenomenon are apparent in everyday life of our fellow citizens (either they are refugees or not).

The specific phenomenon has not only local or national characteristics. It is not a fortuitous event given the fact that the issue of political refugees has uncontrollable effects. The basic cause is the imperialistic policy by USA and their allied powers in Europe and generally the war situation in the home countries of refugees, in Middle East.

This imperialistic policy has formed a specific situation that not only creates but also makes bigger the problem. The “anti-terrorist” and “humanistic” wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Lebanon and furthermore the political support of repressive regimes that oppress nations like Israel (Palestine), Turkey (Kurdistan), are the responsible for that and create the huge waves of people that seeking asylum in Europe. In the same direction European Union by its political choices do not solve the problem (EU doesn’t apply the international conventions while in practice participate and support the imperialistic acts), but on the contrary reproduce the problem and is an exploiter of hundreds of thousands of political and financial refugees.

The sum of Greek governments till now tries to keep in silence the situation and even worse tries to stop the coming of political refugees in our country by using a number of tough and in many cases inhuman, measures.

But now, when it is no longer possible to hide the situation they try to create to people of Patras racism, xenophobia and feelings of hostility towards refugees that came in our county.

But this kind of perspectives will not be accepted. In any case Greeks know very well what means to be a refugee, and we have the experience from the past how painful is to be rootless and be in a foreign and hostile environment. Our memories of those that were immigrants in Germany and USA are still very recent.

We won’t do what we didn’t want to be done to us.

What should be done in Patras

As far as it concerns Patras and its port, the phenomenon has specific characteristics given the fact that is a place that connects these countries with Europe. That is the reason why a huge number of refugees have been encaged in Patras, while they are trying to get to other countries, taking into consideration the fact that Greece is not the best choice for them. This happens because Greece is the first country among EU countries, in the violation of the rights of refugees and the rejections of applications for asylum, in 99%.

Government but also local authority maintain silent.

Nowadays government tries to adopt a policy that criminalizes immigration and choose not to solve the problem but on the contrary is using mass media by calumnious announcements for the refugees (crime etc) in order to alter the port in a fortress.

Moreover there are a lot of cases of arbitrariness by the police and port authorities to the refugees for example the recent facts, the stab of a 14th years old etc.

Based on the above while we do believe that refugees in not the problem but they have problems we decided to create the Initiative in Support of Refugees and Immigrants Rights in order to defend our right for living in dignified and human conditions.

We want our future actions to be based on the following categories:

a) to the transaction of political and dynamic actions, and also to the moves for demanding the legalization of immigrants and refugees, the provision of asylum (that in practice is cancelled), simplifying the necessary procedures and the abolition of any kind of exclusion and discrimation.

b) Defending and expanding the social rights of refugees and immigrants (in health, education, work, relations within the state – residence and working permit etc), the accusation and struggle against any racist and authoritarian behavior (violence by police, propaganda by mass media and local authority).

c) To the struggle against racism, xenophobia and nationalism.

During the next time we call the sum of local community to act in an specific way (by demonstrations, participating in the councils of local boards, other actions) for the realization of the above targets but also for the demanding the following:

  • Recognition of political asylum and the legal rights of all the political refugees in the area – observance of all the international conventions – Stop the exploitation and the rough handling of refugees.
  • Immediate creation of accommodation that satisfies the necessary conditions including satisfactory equipment such as number of beds, electricity, water supply, dispensation of food, office for legal advice-health care.
  • Immediate set of view by the periphery, County and Municipality of Patras.

Night’s shelter

… during the winter’s months a man stands

and begs people that pass to take the homeless

… for one night in their home.

World cannot change by this

The relations among people do not getting better

The century of exploitation is not shortening by this.

But some people obtain a shelter for the night,

The wind is kept away from them for a night,

The snow that was for them falls in the naked street.

But world cannot change by this,

The relations among people do not getting better by this

The century of exploitation is not shortening with things like that.

B. Brecht