Home | Friday 11th February 2011 | Issue 758
GREECE: HUNGER STRIKES
On Jan 25th, 300 undocumented migrant workers began a hunger strike in Greece, demanding legalization of all migrants in Greece, with political and social rights equal to Greek employees.
Fifty of the 300 are at The Labor Centre in Thessaloniki. The others are in Athens, now based in a privately owned building after a night-time eviction from the out of use Athens University Law School.
Police, backed by the rector, violated the “University Asylum” law, which declares all public university grounds off limits to police. Under this law, only university rectors councils can lift the asylum, and only in life-threatening cases or if an automatically prosecutable crime is committed - clearly not the case.
The Law School was laid siege by hundreds of cops, with traffic banned in surrounding streets. Thousands gathered outside the Law School in solidarity, while gatherings and demonstrations took place around Greece.
The state proposed a new building for the migrants, which they initially refused due to the severe conditions imposed on its use – a ring of cops around the building, no-one but the hunger strikers themselves to be allowed inside, and it would only be available for one week.
After a long hard night of negotiations, at 4:30am demonstrators moved with the hunger strikers to the new building. On arrival, many of the rooms were locked, no heating was available and there was only one toilet. Many of the hunger strikers are sleeping in tents in the courtyard.
This building is only available until this Friday (11th). As yet there is nowhere for the hunger strikers, by now well into their third week, to move to.
Solidarity actions and demonstrations continue around Greece, with messages of support from far and wide. A common day of action has been called for Friday 11th February.
Messages of support can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org