Lesvos: Solidarity gathering blocks and prevents the deportation of 62 migrants
The following news comes from Mytilini, where a NoBorders Camp is set to take place on August 25-31. In the bosses’ world, we are all foreigners.
A participant’s account, from Athens IMC
At the Thursday’s dawn, at around 2am, the ferry from Mytilini to Kavala had been planned to deport 62 migrants-refugees from the Detention Centre in Pagani. Their destination was other detention centres in mainland Northern Greece with their likely immediate deportation from there to their countries of origin, countries at war and with non-existent respect of elementary, given for us, human rights. The transfer was attempted with a municipal bus, in which the migrants were “loaded up” handcuffed, accompanied by police cars and undercover cops.
As soon as embarkation started, the guards created a cordon around the migrants and started to lead them on foot toward the catapult of the boat. The sixty of us who were there jumped in front of them, blocking with banners and with our bodies their entrance to the boat. At the same time, we shouted slogans and handed out texts to the people that continued entering and exiting the boat. Following an initial surprise, the return of the migrants back to the bus that transferred them was decided. We held our positions exchanging slogans with the migrants who slowly started to realise what was going on and in turn started to shout and to wave.
After an hour or so and while all vehicles carrying passengers had entered the boat, it was announced to the migrants that their transfer was canceled. With chants and clapping on both sides and under the slogan “solidarity is the weapon of the people, war to the bosses’ war”, the bus left the area of the port to an unknown direction. The same did not happen however with the boat, that stayed there with one of its catapults open. At some point around 20 men of the Special Task Force (which we rarely see on the island) appeared and sat at some distance from us. The boat turned off its engine and the situation remained stable. After some negotiations the STF retreated and at around 4 a.m. the boat finally embarked, without taking the migrants with it. We also left, in a group.
Today’s deportation event was canceled. In the next ones that they will try, with all the powers that we’ve got, we’ll be there. We all know, as it has been repeatedly declared -as a main target of the national and international policies- that the influx of migration needs to be “controlled” and “dealt with”. The mass operations and police pogroms in city centres are accompanied by “de-congestion” operations in the concentration camps in the islands with the migrants being sent to similar concentration camps being set up across the country. What is not controlled and settled ever, of course, is the reason of migration itself. This world, in other words, of exploitation, inequality, injustice: The world of the bosses, the world in which we were and remain foreigners.
and with the bitter taste in the mouth of cheering for the return of some people back to their horrific prison…