New Events

International

no events posted in last week

Blog Feeds

Anti-Empire

Anti-Empire

offsite link Nord Stream Explosion Removes the Chance... Wed Sep 28, 2022 22:24 | Anti-Empire

offsite link The Dysfunction of Russian Mobilization ... Tue Sep 27, 2022 14:41 | Anti-Empire

offsite link Nord Stream 1 and 2 Hit by “Mystery”... Tue Sep 27, 2022 14:31 | Anna Ringstrom

offsite link HIMARS vs Russian Smerch — Why HIMARS ... Mon Sep 26, 2022 14:00 | Oleg Kaptsov

offsite link 300,000 Reinforcements Will Repair Kreml... Fri Sep 23, 2022 05:38 | Anti-Empire

Anti-Empire >>

The Saker
A bird's eye view of the vineyard

offsite link Germany and EU have been handed over a declaration of war Thu Sep 29, 2022 02:05 | The Saker
by Pepe Escobar, posted with the author?s permission and widely cross-posted The sabotage of the Nord Stream (NS) and Nord Stream 2 (NS2) pipelines in the Baltic Sea has ominously

offsite link American Roulette Thu Sep 29, 2022 02:00 | The Saker
By Batiushka for The Saker blog Introduction: America?s Death-Wish ?Russian roulette? is a most peculiar expression. At least for any Russian. For the simple reason that he has never heard

offsite link Giorgia Meloni?s true colors (and yes, Europe is hopeless!) Wed Sep 28, 2022 22:00 | The Saker

offsite link Quick news update + OPEN THREAD Wed Sep 28, 2022 20:23 | The Saker
First, all four liberated regions voted to join Russia. Donetsk: 99% Lugansk: 98% Zaporozhie: 93% Kherson: 87% This is a huge victory for Russia and a massive slap in the

offsite link IMHOclub launches an international campaign to save monuments in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Pola... Wed Sep 28, 2022 19:11 | The Saker
by Mira Terada for the Saker blog IMHOclub launches an international campaign to save monuments in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Poland. Today, before our eyes, illiterate, embittered people are destroying

The Saker >>

Public Inquiry
Interested in maladministration. Estd. 2005

offsite link Formal complaint against Robert Watt Anthony

offsite link RTE bias complaint Anthony

offsite link Fergus Finlay and the maternity hospital ‘gotcha’ trap Anthony

offsite link Irish Examiner and fake news Anthony

offsite link Labour Party: The unvarnished truth Anthony

Public Inquiry >>

Human Rights in Ireland
A Blog About Human Rights

offsite link UN human rights chief calls for priority action ahead of climate summit Sat Oct 30, 2021 17:18 | Human Rights

offsite link 5 Year Anniversary Of Kem Ley?s Death Sun Jul 11, 2021 12:34 | Human Rights

offsite link Poor Living Conditions for Migrants in Southern Italy Mon Jan 18, 2021 10:14 | Human Rights

offsite link Right to Water Mon Aug 03, 2020 19:13 | Human Rights

offsite link Human Rights Fri Mar 20, 2020 16:33 | Human Rights

Human Rights in Ireland >>

The Nightmare Life: Migrants tales from Greece

category international | racism & migration related issues | opinion/analysis author Saturday August 25, 2012 09:44author by Costas Avramidis - WSM Report this post to the editors

Racism is definitely not a "new fruit" in Greek society and not a unique phenomenon to this country. I have witnessed it with my own eyes as it manifested throughout the years I was living there so I can share with you a little knowledge of how it ripens.

In Greece being different is not a good thing, as you will suffer a lot if you are a minority! Your life will be a living hell, if you are a woman or find yourself in a minority like being a lesbian, gay, gypsy, Pakistani, Albanian, Egyptian, Bulgarian, Ukrainian, Nigerian... In other words it will take a lot of effort to escape being discriminated against and that's without mentioning the people that are prepared to stand up for all these people, the likes of socialists, autonomists, anarchists, people that volunteer in NGO's or anyone that cherishes humanism/altruism. For people to fit in, in a land the locals like to call Hellas (and of the sun) to survive within it is to stay silent and live life in a comatose state.
samos102007_2.jpg

Between 1994 and 1996 I was doing compulsory army service and I found myself on Samos island amongst others. Samos island is one of the closest Greek islands to Turkey. During that time there were a few serpentine Greek and Turkish characters making a fortune transporting immigrants on rusty overloaded buckets they called boats. These people had made their way from the Middle East, Africa and Turkey itself and for a chance to make it into fortress Europe they had to pay a handsome fee. Lots of times these "boats" would sink to the bottom of the Aegean Sea loaded with human cargo, in many cases it was women and small children that perished. Those who managed to escape death or being arrested by the coast guard or the coppers ended up trapped on the island. They found themselves wandering around the island with no legal documents, and without any means of leaving the island. They were living in constant fear of getting caught and being arrested by the police who beat and tortured them before they were eventually deported. Some did not survived the beatings!

Most of the time if there was no pressure from the government on the police to enforce the law to have them all arrested. They were happy to turn a blind eye to the immigrants and leave them to be exploited by the locals*. They would have them working for nothing and threaten them constantly with the police if they didn't do as they were told. Many of the immigrants would be left to sleep in old barns packed on top of each other like livestock! They were worked an unimaginable amount of hours with little food in all kinds of extreme weather conditions. From time to time you would hear the locals talking about them in coffee shops and markets with snippets of conversations such as "the Pakistanis are very hard working unlike the Africans that are lazy bastards"

For the rest of my service I ended up for a brief period of time on the Greek-Turkish borderline in the Northeast of Greece by the river Evros. During a period of 3-4 months that I spent there I witnessed some of the most horrific incidents I have ever witnessed in my life!

Early in the summer they sent me and another two co-soldiers out on a patrol by an island between the river and a canal that faced the Turkish side. There we found 33 men and women from Morocco, Middle East, Turkey and Rwanda (fleeing the recent genocide there). We arrested them, left them to rest and then fed them a little stale bread and gave them some fizzy orange to drink. That was the only food they had. We escorted them from this massive sand trap beyond the island west of the river. When we arrived to our small guarding hut, we try to ask them if there was something in the way of medicine or food that we could offer them.

I have to say that most of the soldiers and even the fellow that was acting lieutenant were all doing our best with the resources available to us. The riot police bus arrived from Alexandroupoli and they started to chain the migrants, squeezing the handcuffs as tight as they could on their hands in a sadistic manner as if these poor, exhausted, half-starved and barely able to walk people stood a chance of escape. And even if they could where could they go? A good few of us soldiers, including the lieutenant, tried to protest against their ill treatment by the policemen but these bastards took pleasure in their job.

Another time we were told that one of the pumps that had been placed into the river to help with the irrigation of the fields during the dry summer season was blocked. They had to switch it off to see what was wrong with it, only to discover the body of a young man that had drowned trying to cross the river during the winter months when that river ran very high.

If that was not shocking enough for us young fellows, some of us barely 19 year old, the next thing we found out had us completely devastated. We heard the locals saying very calmly that this was not the first time, but one of many. The locals were finding bodies blocking the pumps and they were fed up with the inconvenience caused

To whoever cares about these all back in Greece, I want to plead with them by saying that the time of the festivals and concerts in solidarity with the migrants is over a long time ago. The time of organising with them and start kicking the living daylights of all these scumbags -racists, Nazis, police- is a long time coming!

Many of you rose up in 2008 when the police murdered Alexis Grigoropoulos and fair play to you for this but very few have come even close to doing the same for the migrants that have been abused and killed for year. All these humans are as important as Alexis and their lives weigh equally. To de-humanise people is the genesis of all our oppression.

An injury to one is an injury to all regardless of sex, sex preference, race or religion.

*diversion tactics to pull the wool out of the eyes of the locals to have them distracted from other things happening such as salaries and pension cuts, big scandals, high unemployment etc

© 2001-2022 Independent Media Centre Ireland. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by Independent Media Centre Ireland. Disclaimer | Privacy