Solidarity action in Istanbul upon the call of the 300 migrants hunger strikers in Greece

Posted: February 12, 2011 in Ξυπνάτε!-Uyanın!
Tags: , , ,

In Greece, 300 migrants have been on a hunger strike for the past 18 days. Having been forced to live in the country deprived of documents and social security they have started a hunger strike in the Faculty of Law School in Athens to attract public attention for their rights. Riot police forcefully intervened and threw migrants out of the university space while at the same time attempted to terrorize people who gathered outside the Law School in solidarity of migrants.

Yesterday, protests were organized throughout Greece supporting migrants who have been continuing their struggle under difficult circumstances.

Why are migrants on hunger strike?

As an outcome of capitalism and economic globalization, over the last years thousands of people escape from their countries migrating to “West” in hope of a better life. Those of them who eventually cross the borders suffer from exclusion and discriminations inherent in the political system. This is the case for our Kumkapi, the migrants’ detention center. Those who get arrested, too, are deprived all their rights and they are doomed to oblivion, a life in constant fear.

What’s more, due to their distressful conditions, they have been an easy target for extreme right-wingers’ hate discourses, mainstream media propaganda and racists’ physical assaults.

These policies of migrants’ persecution and contempt eventually lead to their economic exclusion.
At the end, states of the West exploit financially migrants as a way to overcome their financial crisis.

We condemn the Greek Government

We, the Migrants’ Solidarity Network, believing that migration is a problem that has to be dealt, not discriminating anyone in terms of age or gender, condemn the Janus-faced policies of Greece and EU. Not only they deny accepting migrants, but they identify them as illegal and present them as the scapegoats of the current financial and political crisis.

No borders, no fences, no walls built can obstruct and tackle people from opting for a better life.

For us, migration is a reality of our lives, it is not just a problem.

This is why we support the demands of all migrants who live and work in Greece being deprived of any social or political right.

We are calling for every socially sensitive citizen to stand up and support this struggle.


–         To put a definite end to the human drama that migrants face in Greece

–         To legalize without conditions all hunger strikers

–         To put an end to the modern racist policies which condemn people to live under inhuman conditions

–         To put an end to the shameful arrests and deportations of countries bordering with EU, such as Turkey,

–         To open borders


Migrants’ Solidarity Network

Check the link of the Migrants’ Solidarity network in Turkey

Check here for photos.


translated from turkish by


  1. bambina says:

    I really enjoyed this piece, it is great to have more news about the situation of the immigrant workers in Greece. The point about borders is what fascinates me most. How do you view human constructed borders? I believe that humans have gone beyond the creation of physical borders created between nation states dividing cultures and people, to the need now to create mental borders. What is your view on borders in relation to immigrants and this need for a more open system?

  2. “I believe that humans have gone beyond the creation of physical borders created between nation states dividing cultures and people, to the need now to create mental borders.”

    I have to admit that i am a bit confused by the above sentence. What do you mean? i feel that the division of cultures and people is a mental boundary by itself. Am i wrong? What I am trying to say is that the creation of mental boundaries may had been introduced much earlier in order to support ideologically the nation-state’s apparatus. I feel that the division of cultures and people was an indispensable tool for the elites and the establishers of the nation-state’s reality, who aimed to stress the “purity” and “difference” of their people from the “others”. The fact that this was widely cultivated and in the end approved by the societies, created problematic variables for the future.

    Linking the above idea with today, it is easily perceived why the immigrants are regarded as “illegal” human beings in Greek society, why they are not approved in the working places by their collegues, as representatives of the ones who “came here to steal our job”, as representatives of Muslim culture, that is to say, not originating from the West (as “the Greek-Orthodox populations who originate from Plato, Alexander the Great and Byzantine emperors” do at the same time…). This discrimination is both mental and physical boundary i think and stands as an outcome of years’ cultivated racism.

    I think that solidarity is a notion and an action that can bring people together for a common cause. There has to be a reply everytime Power is trying to marginalize sections of society such as the immigrants in our case. We shouldn’t undermine that many countries such as Greece and Turkey stood as an outstanding example of migration. We have to abolish our mental boundaries first and then the physical borders’ turn shall come…


  3. bambina says:

    The creation of mental borders does show through in the division of cultures, but breaking the concept even further apart down to its very source is what I was originally concerned with presenting, yet as I read what I have written, the argument lacks the depth that I hope to present here. Moving away from the idea of the elites and the formation of nation states through state sponsored apparatus to separate; the idea of boundaries presents itself within the human intellect on a different level.
    I think that this idea of conditioning has surpassed the group mentality, and is burrowing into the ways in which we carry out our daily understanding of ourselves. This in turn effects greatly how we act in response to others. Before examining the group mentality, and the actions of either a state, or a movement, looking at how the individual has changed in this point in time is crucial.
    By focusing on the individual in order to understand boundaries and relation to environment a distinct approach to understand borders comes through. Man’s inability to practice introspection and the unwillingness to examine himself is the very step at which he falls back into a pattern. In a society which furthers a dependence on “connecting” we have lost touch and have delved even further in an abyss of unawareness. This delving into the unknown is partly as a result of the inability to look at oneself, and shutting one’s true knowledge and self-awareness into compartments. By creating compartments that we can no longer access, borders within our very own minds have begun to take shape. Whether it is an unwillingness to understand or to accept an ever growing disconnectedness from what we call “environment” (people as well as space) the borders are settling within our minds without the help of the state, but through ourselves.
    It is in this respect that I brought to the table a discussion of mental borders, yet I am unsure if that is the appropriate phrasing. A re-examination of space, environment, and what it means to carry out self-reflection needs to take place before the deconstruction of borders can begin.

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