[ 14. Jun 2009 ]

Surveillance and Prosecutions against Immigrants and Communities in Chania, Crete

Announcement by the Forum of Immigrants in Crete (Chania, 16-17. May 2009) for the Police campaign to intimidate struggling immigrants and communities.


The :: two-day event by the Forum of Immigrants in Crete allowed for the voicing of various issues in the pro-migration, antiracist movement and for the networking and coordination of initiatives. One of the campaigns launched during the event was the intitiative for the utilization of a deserted public service building for the needs of homeless people in the city of Hania and various other community uses. This was met with a furious reaction by the police, who attempted to embed a feeling of insecurity, xenophobia and apathy in the community, by launching a campaign of prosecution against immigrants. The action of the Forum of Immigrants in Crete since last :: November's hunger strike is obviously disruptive for the cemetery silence and intercommunity violence the authorities want to cultivate.

Here is the translation of an announcement of the now forming initiative in which the Forum of Immigrants in Crete participates and a call for a demo in the Town of Ηania.

Announcement by the Forum of Immigrants in Crete

Recently in the town of Hania we have been witnessing an increase in the levels and the intensity of police "surveillance". It is plain that the Police have adopted the approach of pointing the finger towards enemies instead of pointing out solutions to the problems affecting us all; it has also assumed "wholesale" the role of the conversant with the local community. A community that, despite finding itself increasingly cooped up, has reacted, asserted, claimed. In the face of this community, in the face of us all, intense attempts to impose new mores have been taking place; the more inspired by the panopticism of the infamous – for his ethos and friends – minister of order enforcement Markogiannakis. By raising the specter of economic crisis, a crusade has been launched to convince the public that for unemployment the immigrants are to blame.

Thus, when the society of Hania claimed the conceded by the pertinent ministry Markopoulos military camp, the police forces came to the festivities to demand that the raising awareness panels be taken down from the yard's wall... When the workers celebrated the Labor Day, police squads were sent to the spot to observe. When immigrants called the local community to join a celebration of solidarity and claim the deserted IKA building for the homeless of the town, his special forces came in all their oppression equipment to hand out ultimatums asking the dissolution of the event.

More generally, what is taking place is an intense effort to turn into a routine the heavy and disturbing presence of the police force, with dozens of policemen in uniforms and jeeps roaming furiously the city center with no apparent reason, with consecutive degrading "stop-and-search"controls of Greeks and immigrants.

The most worrying about their logic and intentions is the systematic terrorizing of the most precarious among us, the economic migrants who live in this town, especially the ones most active in the struggle for equal rights. They are the ones disrupting the police's work. Having been denied the the opportunity to crush on a ridiculous pretext the day of the celebration (17th of May 2009) outside the old IKA building, organized by the Forum of Immigrants in Crete, the police leadership has launched a vengeful campaign of targeting and terrorizing immigrants, by attending them outside their houses, arresting them and threatening them with deportation. The police now leaves no room for misunderstandings of their intentions: they present the arrestees with photos featuring them during the hunger strike and asking them about their reasons for taking action and joining the solidarity campaign.

Those in power hope that their logic of repression against every reaction to their power, every protest, every claim for a decent life will be tolerated or go unnoticed if applied first to the most vulnerable of us. They forget, however, and thereby fill us with anger: what they forget is that these people are now our own people. These people won our hearts with all their struggles of the recent period; they earned themselves respect and solidarity. The police forgets that the local community as a single body supported their magnificent struggle in November, the harsch but victorious hunger strike 15 of them subjected themselves to, to be able to live a life with dignity, against the perverse desire of those who want people amidst our communities to suffer from being "illegal".

The new mores of these wannabe-Masters with all their questionable morals do nothing more disrupt life in our communities and provoke us. They won't be tolerated, they will not pass. For as long as it is necessary while our society goes through increasingly difficult times, we will not leave no one struggling for a better future unprotected. We will not allow this perverse logic that wants a man in uniform above the head of each and everyone of us to be embedded.



Published first on 23. May 2009 by ::