Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Greek government's authoritarianism exceeded all limits: Police brutality hits Aegean islands

In the last two days, the Greek government has unleashed a brutal attack against protesters in the islands of the Aegean, particularly those that have been at the epicenter of the refugee-migrants issue during the last years. 

Demonstrators in Lesvos, Chios and Samos suffered excessive repression and violence by riot police forces as they demanded the end of the concentration camps. The local unions in Lesvos, Chios and Samos, have been in the front line demanding real measures of protection and assistance to the refugees, as well as support to the local communities, who witness their land turn into huge EU’s detention centers.

The conservative New Democracy (ND) government responded with “invasion” of Special Forces of the riot police in the islands, with armed vehicles and water cannons. The people of the islands guarded the harbors against the police. The police attacked the people with chemicals, teargas, flash grenades etc. turning the islands in war zones.

In a video statement published on 902 portal on Tuesday 25th February, the General Secretary of the CC of Communist Party of Greece (KKE) Dimitris Koutsoumbas denounced the government's authoritarianism against the protesters:

"Instead of sending ships to the Aegean islands to extricate thousands of refugees and immigrants, as our islanders rightly claim, the government organized a night landing and barbaric invasion of Lesvos, Chios, against the islanders, that are struggling to keep their islands from becoming EU prisons.

From 2 in the morning the people of Lesvos and Chios face the savagery of the riot police. From the harbor to the villages, thousands of islanders who took to the streets are attacked with chemicals, tear gas and water cannons.

The repressive forces are currently operating and behaving against the heroic village of Madamados and other villages of Lesvos, in Vrontado, Chios, as occupying forces.

The responsibilities of the government are enormous.

We demand:

Immediately withdraw the repressive forces from the islands. All righteous demands of the islanders to be accepted here and now.

All people must condemn the governmental authoritarianism. In order to implement the EU - Turkey policy and agreement is committing a crime against the islanders. "

Strikes by Regional Unions of Lesvos and Samos

(via PAME)

From its side, the Lesvos Regional Trade Union, an affiliate of the All-Workers Militant Front (PAME), stated:

The ND Government revealed once more its oppressive face, trying to impose its oppressive plans. We call the people of Lesvos to stand up against the policies of the Government who sends Riot Police to escalate repression and suppress islanders’ resistance.

We are on Alert

No HOT SPOTS, nowhere!

24hour General Strike on February 26

The Board of Samos Regional Trade Union, PAME affiliate, stated:

“In an extraordinary meeting that took place on February 25, following the unprecedented and barbaric attack -ordered by the government- with chemicals, tear gas, water cannons and Riot Police against the people of Lesvos, Chios etc who are fighting to keep our islands from becoming “concentration camps” of the European Union, the Union:

1) Condemns and denounces the ND government, which, trapped in the impasse of its own refugee-migration policy, does not hesitate, in reminiscent of the dark moments of our history, to order the repressive forces to operate and act as invading forces; and bloodshed those who are struggling to keep our islands from becoming prisons of the miserables.

2) The Union calls for General Strike in the Islands of Samos-Ikaria from 12.00 to 16.00 on Wednesday, February 26, 2020 and invites the workers and the people to participate in the Strike Rally at 12.30 in Pythagoras Square.

We demand:

-Withdraw the repression forces from our islands NOW.

- Government to take back the Legislative Act that mandates land-locking.

- Release refugee-migrants from the islands and the country, and let them go to any country they wish.

Workers, members of the Lesvos Trade Union, protest
against the creation of "hot spots" in the island.
- Shut down the hotspots and not open new ones. In Samos to have only a small registration, identification and primary health care structure.

- The EU to accept refugees and immigrants in its countries.

- Not the floating barriers, the repression and the violence.

- No NGO involvement in refugee – migration.

- To abolish the Greece-EU-Turkey Agreement and whatever other entrapment policy.

- Compensation to 100% of the population affected.