Greek territory: After two days, the Caravan of Hope is over. Most of the people who had gathered in the area of Diavata have returned to their accommodation, or are doing so right now.
Note: Enough 14 is not organizing any of these events, we are publishing this text for people across the US and Europe to be able to see what is going on and for documentation only.
The ministry of migration released a statement assuring them that everyone will be able to return to their accommodation without consequence, no one will be fingerprinted or deported, no one will lose their housing or financial support and transportation has also been provided for some destinations.
Other reports (Warning Facebook link)warn instead that police are preventing people from returning to Athens.
Whatever the views of individuals and organisations that forewarned people against joining the movement, we should focus our attention on denouncing the disproportionate and systematic violence against people trying to exercise their right to freedom of movement within a territory.
The police violence used against families at #Diavata is horrific, disproportionate and inhumane. People are trying find a way out of the squalid conditions many are forced to live in in #Greece, the situation stems from harmful #EU #Asylum policies – not 'Fake news" #refugeesGr pic.twitter.com/OwdvoqE3Vh— Philippa Metcalfe (@PhilippaMetcal2) 6. April 2019
In Diavata, special forces of the Greek police have used rubber bullets, teargas and stunt grenades against hundreds of people, children included. Reports of beatings are widespread and journalists covering the situation have been targeted as well.
At the very least, we must remember why people are mobilising and from what they are trying to escape. The concerted effort by the state to silence refugees desperate for proper living conditions is unsurprising, but the refugees deserve our solidarity.
Instead the response of the volunteer community has been for the large part focused on the condemnation & disavowal of the caravan of hope, on the paternalistic urge to correct disinformation and prevent people from taking “wrong decisions”.
….Addendum: Can't not mention the UNHCR/IOM statement being shared everywhere, which, which a stunning lack of self awareness, urges refugees to "Ask us for help" instead of joining the #CaravanOfHope. Christ. 7/— Phoebe Ramsay (@phoeberamsay) 7. April 2019
As Watch the Med — Alarmphone (Warning Facebook link) states:
Hundreds of refugees residing in Greece left in the last four days the infamous hotspots, mainlands’ camps, IOM-hotels and ESTIA flats, the refugees squats and other places they were temporarily staying, taking down to the streets in what they called ‘march of hope’.
[…] What gets forgotten in the whole discussion around “fake news” or “false rumors” and the search for the organisers of the march, is that, hundreds of refugees took a decision to participate in this and try to get out of Greece, however initiated, in order to flee the misery and improve their families’ situation. The containment policy Greece is upholding by any means and under the pressure of the EU, paired with a mere emergency approach to reception and an overloaded asylum system inspired fathers and mothers, sisters and brothers to find a better solution for their kids, to seek for more than “being kept alive”, to follow their hope…
Please read A right to hope is one of the basic human rights, our Special on the situation, written by members of the AYS Info Team on the ground in Diavata.
Added by Enough 14:
The Cars of Hope collective is active in Greece again. The mutual aid project works together with refugees on the Balkan route since 2015. In order to continue their support for refugees they need donations urgently.
You can donate by Paypal:
Support refugees in Greece!
The Cars of Hope collective works with refugees in Greece. They provide, food, sanitary products and other things people need for their daily life.
You can also donate by Bank transfer:
Name of the bank: Volksbank im Bergischen Land
Account holder: Hopetal e.V.
Description: Cars of Hope
IBAN: DE51 3406 0094 0002 9450 87