You will get to know this country for real only if you don’t get drown somewhere in Aegean or if you manage somehow to cross the fence in Evros. From the detention centers in Amygdaleza; Korinthos; Paranesti to Patision; Amerikis sq.; Acharnon, the daily life for all those who have the wrong color or the wrong papers is suffocating. Or to put it better; unbearable.

In the center of the city you feel like you cant do anything. Without papers it s impossible for you to work. But even when you do find a job that would be “black”; without insurance. And the boss would do whatever s/he wants and you would be forced to go through that otherwise s/he would call the cops. Without papers you can’t move as you please, visit your family and your friends. Without papers, when you get sick, you are not sure whether the hospital will take you in. Without papers, when you are a bit late to pay the rent, your landlord is ready to throw you out and you ll either pay immediately or go away because there’s nothing else to do. Without papers, you cant even go out on the streets; most of the times you ‘re locking yourself at home when the sun goes down. And when you finally find the courage and get out, you are walking waveringly and full of fear. Every day that you go out it is like an adventure; you go out and you are not sure whether you will come back because there is one place that you might end up, and this is…

…the detention centers and the police departments. Detention centres are one of the ways the greek state and police have come up with to torture migrants. Lots of them go crazy even by thinking that they are in there without knowing when their captivity will end. In there, nothing is provided, the only thing you can do is to sleep. The summer heat is unbearable. The food is bad and too little. They do not give us medicine, clothes and, even when someone is sick, the ones deciding whether they must see a doctor or not are cops themselves, and they are always postponing it or do not care at all. The migrants cannot contact their families, since they do not have any phones, while visiting hours last only a little or are not being held at all, depending on the cops. Moving people around is a regular form of punishment, making it even harder for us to get in touch with our own people. They treat us like objects, like we are not humans. We demand the immediate change of such conditions. And when 18 months or more have gone by they let us go -if they haven’t meanwhile deported us yet- by giving us one paper stating we should abandon the country within the next month. And all those just because we are immigrants.

But it s not just that. It s all these that used to happen and are still going on everyday even if you are not in a detention center; even if you do have papers. It’s the 2 hours or even the whole night, that you are forced to stay at allodapon when the cop that checked your papers wants to be sure that the papers belong to you. It’s the familiar fascists-policemen who are still working for the police without being controlled by anyone. It’s the laws that allow cops to capture you whether you have or not papers because they consider you as a “danger for public provision and security”. It’s the situation that exists at the metro and the buses, when most of the people won’t sit next to you; when they exchange gazes that clearly say “check out the black; the pakistani; the..; the..” ; when they look at you and you know that they would prefer you to get off. It’s the cops behaviour during the street controls. And it’s not enough for them only to see your papers, but they want to humiliate you, to prove that you’ re nothing. Every time they’re asking you again and again your nationality and the reason why don’t you go back to your country and what are you doing here. Finally when they check your papers, they throw them down and they force you to pick them up. It’s all those things that lead you thinking: “why am I not coming back. Even I often wonder. Why do I stay in a country that I am seen as a stranger; as a threat; as someone who is responsible for everything bad that has happened to their lives. Because day after day you learn that you don’t belong here”.

Here however live also those who weren’t afraid. Those, who overcome together their fears by supporting each other. Those, who fought against the every day oppression. They are the immigrants, who revolted in the detention center of Amygdaleza at August of 2013. The immigrants, who revolted against the inhuman living conditions, against the complete lack of medical care, against the extension of their detention time. They are the same immigrants, who managed -with the support of the local solidarians- to let freeuncategorized in their trial, which took place one year after the rebellion at Amygdaleza. They are the same immigrants, who used to work in the fields of Skala Lakonias and Manolada; at the recycling factory at Aspropyrgos; at the fish shops at Nea Mixaniona and they united to strike against the misarable wages and the constant racist police attacks. They are the immigrants of Ermou and Asoee, who have resisted again and again -side by side with the local solidarians- to the police and the fascist attacks by defending their right to gain their lives by selling things on the street.

Those daily struggles and others less significant, who gives each one of us by her/himself, we are going to keep deep in our memory, because they give us strength for the future. The strength to face the moment, where we’ re looking beyond the fear and we’ re claiming a life with dignity. We want to raise our voices so everyone obtains papers from the very first moment without any conditions. We claim the closure even of the latter detention or hosting center of immigrants. We demand an everyday life  without racism and continuous humiliations by the police.





Assembly of immigrants and solidarians of asoee

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