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No Border Kitchen #Lesvos: “#Covid19 provides the perfect opportunity to incease feelings of xenophobia and nationalism.”

Lesvos. Greece. Once again, the lockdown measures have been extended for Moria camp. With the resurgence of covid-19 in many european countries as an excuse, we can only expect this situation to continue indefininitly, and eventually be turned from a permanent state of exception into law. In combination with the new immigration laws, Moria will be defacto visible for the whole world to see for what it, and other structures like it, truly are: Prisons.

Originally published by No Border Kitchen Facebook page.

Last week, for a group of about people with Syrian nationalities it became too much. They gathered in front of the ferry in the morning and stated that they demanded passage of the Island. No More Moria. Everything exept going back to Moria. The police arrived, and refused to speak to them. Instead the communicated with the language that is most familiar to them, violence. As children where seperated from their parents in the violent chaos, they forced people to move out of the ferry entrance with batons out of the area and into the line with the rest of the crowd. Instead of desperately waiting under the hot sun in the line, they walked towards the centre of Mytilini with the intention of continuing the protest there. The police refused to let them enter the square, surrounded the group of women and children with riot police like a cattle. After a lot of talking and empty promises they where put on the bus back to Moria. And just like that, they where pushed out of the public spaces back into obscurity, safely tucked away out of sight of the few tourists.

The idea of the Nea Demokratia goverment is to simultaniously make the conditions inside Moria so unbearable that that people will be deterred from trying to reach europe. But what does this actually mean when we think about it? To deliberatly create, maintain and further conditions that are worse then what people are fleeing from. Dystopian and cynical, the next phase of the campaign against migrants and the very idea of migration is slowly coming into play. The increase in violence used against people trying to cross borders across southern europe is silently normalised whilst covid-19 provides the perfect opportunity to incease feelings of xenophobia and nationalism.

It is the perfect climate for the building of walls and borders both physical and mentally. As more and more people are forced into precarity, the more succeptible society’s will be to the racist and xenophobic words of the far right. On Lesvos, we see the changes happening right before our eyes. The new anti-demonstration laws, migration policies and utter contempt for human life and diginity by the cops, bureacrats and polticians are only the beginning. As europe is struggeling along it’s fault lines we can see the outline of a possible future that we must try to prevent. One thing is certain. If we do do nothing and stay silent, it will only get worse.

Get Angy. Get Organised.

No Border Kitchen Lesvos, July 25, 2020

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