Κατάληψη στο Μπίνειο

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Declaration of the occupied Paparisva building

02 Nov 2009

NO TO PAGANI AND NO TO ANY PRISON

On Friday 30/10 the “Initiative for the Defence of Refugees and Migrants” organised a demonstration in the town of Mytilene with the main slogan “Shut down Pagani and all detention centres”. Hundreds of residents of Mytilene participated along with 40 migrants some of them survivors of the shipwreck in Korakas.

These migrants had just been released from Pagani on a day when there was no ferry out of the island. That’s a trick that has been unashamedly used in some form or other so as to prolong the suffering of migrants. So, men, women and children are forced to spend a night or longer on the street having no other choice. Despite the millions of Euros spent for the repression of migration, for entry deterrence, detention and deportation, there are no resources for cases like these neither from the state nor from the local authorities.

As a direct response to this some of the participants in the demonstration together with the homeless migrants decided to occupy the Paparisva University building so as to provide them food and shelter for the night. That is the minimum of all they have been deprived of, making the point at the same time that we need to go that extra step for getting our dreams for a better world a bit closer to becoming reality.

This action does not present an actual solution to the problem but it does temporarily satisfy a need and is an indication of essential solidarity. It once again lends meaning to the concept of university asylum: asylum for society and its needs and not just for an academic elite alienated from the real social issues that provide this elite with opportunities for research in the name of science and profit.

Pagani, a concentration camp just outside Mytilene has been for years piling in migrants. It is nothing more than a human warehouse in which migrants, enduring deplorable living conditions, suffer for, punished and pay the price of their, self-evident for us, freedom of movement right. From border control to state ‘hospitality’ and its practice for integration, the main concern of immigration policy is the reproduction of as many depraved, scared, obedient and easily exploitable subjects as possible.

For 2 months now the detained migrants in Pagani have claimed their freedom with continuous revolts, fighting a constant struggle that has broken the silence and set the conditions for the future. The latest rumours are referring to the ‘shutting down’ of Pagani. Of course this is contradicted from the official statements that refer to a temporary closure and renovation of the ex warehouse. In any case, the issue does not stop at the closure of a prison neither does it changes with the construction of ‘state of the art’ detention centres. The shame is not only Pagani; it is also Mersinidi in Chios, Fylakio in Evros, Vena in Rodopi and every detention centre. The disgrace is not only Pagani; it is also the very essence of the detention policy, of guards and their threats. The crime is not only Pagani; it is also the repatriations and deportations to war zones and war ridden regions, registering people in European databases, holding migrants hostage in a state of illegality so as to pre-emptively ensure the consent of future workers necessary for the continual development of capitalism. Development that is based and feeds on war, destruction of natural resources and the impoverishment of entire societies in the periphery, promising at the same time to all of us consumer goods, the facade of prosperity and the phony hope of social improvement.

SOLIDARITY TO MIGRANTS’ STRUGGLES

Paparisva squat – Mytilene 31.10.09

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