Greek Police raid the house of a group of international refugee-supporters

Macedonia Topography

Pressure on Greece from the European Union to tighten controls on refugee support is directly implemented
This morning, the 1st February 2016, Greek police with the support of some heavily-armed special-units, stormed the accomodation of a group of international refugee-supporters near the Greek-Macedonian border. The whole house, the buses around the house and all members of the house had to stand for full body searches.  The pretext given was a drugs search. Nothing was found, except for a few pocket knifes. "It's just absurd!" says one of the supporters, "We are cooking soup! It seems as if the criminalization of supporters now comes from the islands to us."


The house is located near the border village of Idomeni, and has now been used for the past few months by international refugee-supporters. From here they support thousands of people who are on the passing through, serving warm food, tea and distributing clothes everyday.

There are  between 600 to 3000 people arriving on the Greek-Macedonian border to the transit camp of Idomeni each day.  The situation however is unstable. "Some of them are shortly "parked" in the transit camp at the border, while others have to wait for up to 30 hours at a gas station situated 20 km away from the border" tells one of the supporters. "Nobody tells them where they are exactly or how they can go on. We try to as best we can to spread information during the food delivery". An official delivery of food and tea  to the gas station simply does not exist.

It is especially difficult for people who are not from Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan. They are not officially allowed to cross the border or enter the camp, which means that many camp in the woods around Idomeni. Often in order to cross the border they are dependent on smugglers and many of them become victims of police brutality and/or robberies.  The independent volunteers are also active in trying to support illegalized persons on their journey with food, blankets and clothes.

While the situation on the Greek-Macedonian border remains a humanitarian catastrophe, the European Union continues to work further their inhuman asylum politics. They threatened Greece with an informal "Grexit" of the Schengen deal if the Greek government can not control the flow of refugees from the Turkish-Greek border, which for example the Interior Minister of Germany, de Maizière demands.  Furthermore, reports on the 30th January 2016 from The Times London stated that the EU interior ministers who met in Amsterdam on January 27 2016 want to criminalize refugee-supporters as “smugglers”.

The almost immediate repression from the Greek police, reflects how Greece is absorbing the pressure and passing it along.  Todays poilice action is therefore not really surprising. It just shows once again the monstrosity of excluding politics around fortress Europe, and the vehement and criminalizing proceedures against anybody who stands up for the freedom of movement and self-determination for everyone; irrespective of passport and origin.

In spite of everything today cooking in the Greek village near the border goes on. Especially as thousands of people are expected to arrive today.

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