Friday, March 6, 2020

Greek workers' movement stands in solidarity with refugees — Statement by PAME

In face of the latest developments with the refugee situation in the Greek-Turkish borders and the Aegean islands, the vanguard of Greece's class-oriented labour movement, the All-Workers Militant Front (PAME), issued the following statement:

The trapping of thousands of refugees and immigrants in the Aegean islands and the Greek-Turkish border in Evros, in the most dramatic way, highlights the barbarism of imperialist organizations, the EU and NATO and the active involvement of all Greek governments in these organizations.

EU-NATO are the ones who destroy countries and uproot the peoples and then they trap their victims in all kinds of prison. It is them who push the Turkish ruling class and the Erdogan government to use the refugees of each country as a tool to advance their own interests and play their own geopolitical games in the region.

They are responsible for the hundreds deaths migrants and refugees, including young children, for their exposure to increasingly dangerous escape routes, for the intensification of their exploitation by the various “traffickers” who profit on people’s misery.

The ND government, with the support of SYRIZA and other parties that support the exploitation system, supports the Dublin Rules and the EU-Turkey Agreements which turn Greece into a Warehouse and Prison – “Closed” or “Open” for the refugees andmigrants. The Greek Government employs all means of repression against the refugees along with the drastic restriction on the right of asylum to the uprooted people who are entitled to it. The Greek Government also attacks against those who oppose these developments and fight against the cultivation of nationalism and racism. Also, the involvement of FRONTEX in border guarding poses even greater risks for the people.

The “unity” they promote reinforces reactionary, xenophobic, racist, and fascist elements that seek to turn Greek workers against migrants and refugees the victims of capitalist barbarism.

The real enemy of workers and bread-earners around the world are the ones who take advantage of our work and labor to grow their wealth.

It is their policies that give birth to imperialist wars that have transformed our region into a wider arsenal of rivalries and conflicts that intensify refugee flows and at the same time trap them, creating “dams” and “prisons” for the protection of the EU’s “common home”. They are the ones that, depending on the needs of the profitability of each country’s business groups, the open the entry, whether or not refugees, as a poor, workforce.

The unity of the workers is built on the struggles and fights against the governments and imperialist organizations.

Border protection cannot be accompanied by misanthropy, by “self-claimed” defenders who demonstrate power over miserable people or by voices that support the displacement of the refugees in deserted islands.

Such images offend and undermine the islanders’ recent struggles but they cannot defile the solidarity that the locals, the trade unions and the masses have generously provided over the years. Such reactionary voices must be isolated. Those who sow the poison of nationalism and racism on the lines of the working people should be condemned. Our people know firsthand what solidarity and universal human ideals mean. We can identify the real responsibles, and aim the real cause, not the victims.

PAME calls on trade unions to be in the front line, boldly and publish announcements, go in the workplaces, inside the industries to keep workers informed of developments.

To respond to the reactionary voices of nationalism, to the repression, but also to the dangerous bourgeois position for the so called “open borders”, to fight for:
  • Repeal of the Dublin Regulations and the EU-Turkey Agreement.
  • To close all the hot spots in the Aegean islands and not to create new ones, neither closed nor open.
  • Immediate release of refugees from the islands, with quick procedures to reach their destination countries. Supporting the right of refugees to protection under international conventions.
  • Stop all support and involvement in NATO, US and EU actions and operations in the Middle East region that support Turkey’s invasion of Syria, the interventions in Libya, and are perpetuating war and disaster.