Tag Archives: struggles and resistance

Police Violence in the Port of Mytilini

Police Violence in the Port of Mytilini from w2eu Lesvos on Vimeo.

Around 20 000 Refugees are currently stuck on the Island of Lesvos.
Since one week, registration for new arriving refugees in Lesvos has become an obstacle to continue the procedures and leave the Island. Since Friday the situation in the Port of Mytilini has escalated.
Hundreds if not thousands of refugees from Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan are caught in limbo. Every day they try to fight for a registration number in the port. Most of them try up to 10 days to get a registration number with no success, they are forced to camp around the port, the city or sleep rough. Their money has finished and they suffer from hunger and thirst. Desperate, if not in rage due to lacking infrastructures and the absence of any system, they break out in daily protest and not seldom fights. The state shows its presence in form of riot police, beating down men, women and children alike.


On Friday 4th of September hundreds of refugees tried to storm a ferry. The police threw tear gas.
In the following they banished all refugees from the port.
Newspaper Article about police violence in the port.
On Saturday 5th of September the refugees self-organized a queue for the Registration – Numbers. While th refugees where peacefully waiting in their queue, the police beat them with batons.
In the late evening some young Syrians started a protest in the port shouting

we want to go

Continue reading Police Violence in the Port of Mytilini

Thoughts and thanks from the distance: Refugees who lived in PIKPA, talk about the importance of an open welcoming space

In early March 2015, the mayor of Lesvos Spiros Galinos called on the ‘Village of all together’ to move out all the refugees accommodated in PIKPA. He wanted to renovate PIKPA for a tennis tournament that would take place in May. He seriously proposed the prison of Moria as an alternative that could be turned into an open centre. This is where the refugees could live!

The ‘Village of all together’ responded by saying that a prison would not be an alternative option, even if the fences were to be removed. They demand to be offered a different place, otherwise they would be forced to remain in PIKPA.
Continue reading Thoughts and thanks from the distance: Refugees who lived in PIKPA, talk about the importance of an open welcoming space

New Mytilene Booklet by JOG & w2eu / download in English

Lesvos documentation 2014/15

We came back to Lesvos in August 2014. We returned once again to the outer border of Europe which was for many of us the place of our first arrival here. Again it was a journey that was full of memories, full of new encounters with people who experience today what many of us have been facing in the past. In this boobklet you will find many impressions from these days.
This year we were a very mixed group: There were young people who have already received a right to stay in Germany
and Sweden and who came back to meet with those who didn’t yet find a way out of Greece. From Athens a whole group of refugees came who currently live in the ´Welcome Island and some who are friends we knew from our camping last year in Lesvos or from the tours in Greece and Turkey. The trip was organized once again by Youth without Borders (JOG) and´Welcome to Europe (w2eu), together with many local friends.
We experienced incredible days on Lesvos, days full of memories of our own suffering but also our own success stories.
We welcomed the newly arrived and we had many encounters at the harbour of Mytilene when people left to continue their
journeys. We mourned those who didn’t arrive but died at this border. We protested against the prison close to the village of Moria and we overcame the fence with music. We had some incredible parties in PIKPA, the self organised welcome centre. …

We promise to come back again! Until this border becomes history.
´

w2eu / youth without borders: Letter to the people in Mytilene

On a journey back to the border, we track back our traces to Europe.
Letter to the people in Mytilene

Dear people in Mitilini and on Lesvos island,

We came via Lesvos and/ or Greece to Europe, most of us some years ago and we are living now in different cities in Germany and Sweden. We finally got a right to stay and arrived. And we want to start a journey back to the border to track back our own traces to Europe.

A lot of us have made our first steps on European soil on your island. And many of us have been in Pagani, this very bad place on your island that is now history – after a long and hard struggle from inside and outside. We have made a lot of bitter experiences in Greece – but we have also met you and others who had been in solidarity with our struggle.

Also today refugees arrive on Lesvos, among them unaccompanied minor refugees, like us. They are like we have been, without help and support. As we said already we have made a lot of bitter experiences: we have survived the dangerous trip on the small boats, we have seen prisons and violence by the police. We have experienced homelessness and push-backs and racist attacks also on our further journey and with the fingerprints the border followed us until our countries of destination.

But we have also seen you and many others who helped us, sometimes with seemingly very small things like giving us a pair of shoes or food or just a friendly welcome. Many of us came to the island in a time when a lot of things were different than usual: during Noborder 2009 we stayed in the circus tent in the harbour of Mitlini directly after our arrival. In the very first moment we found friends from all over Europe. Others have spent some time in Agiassos, among us also known as the “Villa Azadi”, the villa of freedom. We come to meet you again and to thank all those on the island, who set their welcoming against the cruel borderregime. You gave us the hope that was necessary to reach our right to stay. For many of us this has been a starting point of a common struggle for the vision of another, a welcoming Europe, that maybe exists in the future.

We travel together with other young friends organised in a group called “Youth without borders”, some of them came years before us and they had another but also hard struggle against the deportations and for their final right to stay. We found out that our struggle is one. We make this journey to remind our selves on the struggles in our backpack – and we want to go a step further and raise our voice against the inhuman way how the European authorities treat refugees, directly here at the starting point of our journeys through Europe.

We want to use the journey for a coming together, between us who have been in transit on Lesvos and went further, with those who right now make their first steps – and with all those who are standing on our side because they believe in solidarity and not in borders.

After our arrival we see clearly another border, the invisible one and we think it is a similar border you are facing, while struggling to survive in Greece suffering from unpaid work, unemployment and without health care. Let us tell it in simple words: we have not been free when we had to run undocumented from Greece to Italy or Serbia and Hungary and further on to northern Europe. It was a hard and dangerous trip, but we have been on the move. But afterwards we discovered that there is another, we call it the “inner border”. Nowadays we struggle with the clock in the morning that reminds us for the date in the migration office, for the pressure to find a low paid job. If we want to meet friends we have to check our calendars. Everyday they remind us our place: in the low wage segment as cleaners or on the construction sites. You can imagine that we will not accept this border as well.

We will come in October 2013 to Mitilini, the main time will be 10th-14th of October, but some will come before and some will stay longer. We want to invite you to search together for the traces of our common struggle against the borders – the outer and the inner ones. We want to exchange experiences. We want to tell you our stories of resistance and to listen to yours. We want to mourn all those who had been senselessly dying in the sea and cannot be with us. We want to protest and struggle against the inhuman European borderregime. We see it as another step for organising networks across borders and discuss about future strategies and to where this journey might bring us.

We have arrived. There are certain things nobody can take away from us any more: the ability to move and to build connections and friendships that go beyond the border. We come to Lesvos because we want to share this with you.

We want to come together to fight the inner and the outer borders that are made to separate us. For us and for everybody. For another Europe that says “Welcome”.

We will send you some more ideas for a program for the days in October soon – and we would be happy if you have some proposals. Let’s start building up a communication. We are looking forward to see you!

Freedom of movement is everybody’s right!

You can contact us via: contact@w2eu.info

Civilians’ Initiative: “The village of all-together” / Opening of PIKPA

Civilians’ Initiative: “The village of all-together”

Within the last days the drama of hundreds of fellow citizens, which is already touching the limits to a humanitarian crisis once more evolves in Lesvos in front of the eyes of thousands of fellow citizens. Two months ago approx. active inhabitants of Levos, collectivities and NGOs, decided to build a network, to unite their powers and co-ordinate their actions with the aim to offer help to the ones really in need, when they recognised in time the catastrophic consequences of the crisis for all fellow citizens – migrants and non-migrants. In this way the «Village of all-together» was born. Our first demand towards the authorities was a few months ago to grant a place of shelter for the homeless migrants who until then were either wandering around our city desperately or being stuffed into overcrowded unsuitable places of detention. This demand was never answered at that time.

Today we, the members of the initiative, run a open reception shelter for migrants in the former tent-camp PIKPA, struggling daily with all our energy for securing food, covering basic needs, clothes, legal and medical aid for more than 60 migrants. Of course nothing could have been done without the massive solidarity of hundreds of fellow citizens who support until today this prototypical effort by cooking food, bringing warm clothes and other things they might lack themselves.
Continue reading Civilians’ Initiative: “The village of all-together” / Opening of PIKPA