On the morning of December 23, 2011, a demonstration was held in the city of Patras. It was organized after a 16-year old Afghan was left severely injured during a police operation in an informal settlement set up by Afghan refugees in the near-by town of Rio.
The demonstration started from at the deserted building of Piraiki Patraiki, a former factory, used by Afghan refugees for shelter. About 400 people, mainly immigrants and people in solidarity participated in a demonstration that lasted 2,5 hours and went through various neighborhoods as well as through the center of Patras, all decorated for christmas.
The immigrants held up four banners, saying:
- What about our future and our destiny?
- We too are humans and we have the right to live
- Stop police brutality, we want to live with security, we need human rights (this banner was in both Greek and English)
* Early morning on January 6, between 6.30 and 7.00 a.m., police forces raided the old redundant textile factory of Peiraiki Patraiki in Patras where a group of sans-papiers had found refuge. In this same building, two days ago, an immigrant boy died of suffocation, trying to keep warm.
More than 50 persons were arrested. After the arrests, Port Police set on fire clothes and personal belongings of the immigrants and some temporary residence permits! A number of buildings was also set on fire. Fire brigade arrived an hour later ...
* Immigrant boy dies of suffocation in Patras. - Three Afghani youngsters (between 15-20 years old), who had recently arrived in the port city of Patras, were temporarily sleeping in the cabin of an abandoned truck in the old redundant textile factory of Peiraiki Patraiki. In order to keep warm during the cold night (Monday, January 2), they lit a fire in a small vessel. There was no window or opening in the room, doors were shut, and the lack of oxygen caused the suffocation to death of one of the boys. The other two were taken to hospital in a critical condition.
* One of the 300 hunger strikers (of the immigrants' victorious hunger strike between January and March 2011) was deported. The police claims that he had a Schengen warrant pending in Italy. Lawyers and solidarity groups tried to help, but could not prevent the deportation.
* On December 26 the dead bodies of a 59-year-old woman with her 12-year-old son were found near the village Ferres in Evros area. According to documents found on them, they were from Iran.
* On December 22 the corpse of a man, probably between 25 and 30 years old, was found near Peplos, in the Greco-Turkish border region of Evros. He died attempting to cross the border by swimming through the river Evros/ Maritza.
* For two months, since October 2011, a building in the center of Thessaloniki owned by the French Catholic Church, which had been deserted for almost a decade, was squatted by over 40 homeless Greeks, immigrants and activists. EPIVIOSI (=Survival) was the first such experimental occupation in Greece: It was an open place with a general assembly, where anyone without shelter could fix themselves their own room and benefit from the construction workers' collective in the squat, as well as enjoy common meals and language lessons. It was evicted, under pressure by the French State, on December 13th.
* On December 12, the general assembly of street vendors from Bangladesh, Pakistan, Senegal, Nigeria, Turkey and other countries entered Thessaloniki town hall during city's council weekly meeting and addressed the mayor. One of them read out their text, demanding the city council end police attacks against street vendors and stating that they will not become scape goats for the crisis.
* On the 7th of December, one day after the anniversary of the murder of Alexandros Grigoropoulos by a cop in 2008 and the demos that were held all over Greece, a group of African street vendors on the central street of Patision in Athens, were attacked by municipal police. Such attacks are not uncommon, neither are the reactions. This time the street vendors fought back furiously, forcing municipal police to leave the spot and call riot police forces for help. The immigrants counterattacked again and managed to push away the riot police squadron. Shocked with what they saw, some right-wingers recorded the retreat of the riot police and uploaded it on youtube for all to enjoy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjxtswszm-M