Press Release, Athens, 27. Jan 2011: We, the 250 migrants, who have entered already the 3rd day of hunger strike inside the Law Faculty of Athens demanding our self-evident right to be legalised, hear about the discussions which are taking place with regard to our demands, and about the lies, the inaccuracies and the deliberate distortion of the truth.
We do not know whether the responsbility for this situation lies within the Government or the media, but we find it in any case unacceptable that such lies are being spread, notwithstanding the press releases we have issued clarifying our positions, the open access to the location of our hunger strike that we have given to journalists since the first day of our strike and the sending of representatives to both the academic community and the Government. This is why in an effort to set things rights and to make sure that everybody knows the truth, we publicly declare following:
1. We are not those piteous, destitute migrants, deprived of housing, work and clothes, that the media are describing. We have houses, families and jobs in the cities we left behind. We are not looking for housing here in Athens, but came to fight, for as long as our bodies will allow us, for our rights and for a life with dignity.
2. It has never been our intention to cause nuisance to anybody. We knew all along that no classes take place in the location we would enter. We respect and protect the location which hosts our struggle and were very pleased to learn that the faculty has resumed its normal function.
3. We take our decisions by ourselves during the assemblies we hold, and we do not get influenced by external factors. Nobody is hiding behind our backs or fronts. And we do not receive 'guidance' by anybody. We made an appeal for help, to which both Greeks and foreigners responded and stood by our side showing their solidarity, a gesture which we thank them for. We will never forget how much they are helping us in our struggle.
4. We hereby proclaim our solidarity with all refugees and asylum seekers who are currently on hunger strike at the Propylaia and before the University building in order to get legalised and we hereby ask the Government to satisfy also their demands.
5. We received today a suggestion to be transferred to a different location, under specific conditions. The three main reasons for which such a transfer cannot take place are the following:
a) The suggested location can only host those on hunger strike and not their supporters as well.
b) The location is going to be guarded by the police, a measure which will only create tension, instead of solving our problems.
c) The suggested solution is only temporary and not permanent.
We, who as migrants are forced to wander all around the world, refuse to be forced to wander around also during our hunger strike.
However we publicly pronounce that we remain open to suggestions which will be compatible with the requirements of our fight.
To our knowledge no issue concerning the university asylum has risen. We therefore ask the Government to stop debating on this question and focus on our fair demand and its solution.
We finally ask all those who sympathise with us to attend the solidarity manifestation which will take place tomorrow afternoon (28. Jan 2011) outside the Law Faculty.