Greece. Today the Greek ministry of migration announced that food distribution to refugees is now banned for all NGO’s on Lesvos. The ministery threatened to fine everyone that is trying to provide food and water to the people queueing for hours in the baking hot sun in front of the new camp. The Cars of Hope collective experienced a lot of repression against people who supported refugees on the Balkan route in the past years, but continued their work. Soon they will return to Greece. A statement by the Cars of Hope collective.
Submitted to Enough 14.
Repression of migrants, aid workers and solidarity activists is a “normal” practise in Europe, but we will continue to support people on the Balkanroute. Next week we will travel to Greece
As many of you might remember, we were planning to return to Greece in March, but because of COVID-19 travel restrictions we had to postpone our plans. The situation on the ground developed into a desaster. The Greek government started to keep people in the camps in quarantine since March 2020. People are imprisoned for five months now.
Yesterday Greek police evicted the area around Kara Tepe on Lesvos. People were forced to register in the new camp, which is already fully overcrowded, without running water and has a rising number of COVID-19 cases. Its clear that the EU member states, particularly the right-wing Greek government, do not intend to change their barbaric border policies to scare-off people from coming to Europe. The new camp is also under quarantine, so the imprisonment of refugees in Greece continues. To put people in crammed camps was never acceptable, in times of COVID-19 its even more irresponsible. State authorities keep telling us to keep distance over and over again. How should people do that in overcrowded camps that do not even have running water, so people can’t even wash their hands regularly?
Today the Greek ministry of migration announced that food distribution to refugees is now banned for all NGO’s on Lesvos. For us that’s nothing new. We had this experience before in Idomeni (Greece), in Bosnia and in Belgrade (Serbia). We always continued our work and have experience in working under difficult circumstances. The threat of repression by state authorities solely because we distribute food and other daily needs to people on the Balkan route never impressed us. Our only reaction always was to try to minimize the risks and to continue our work with even more determination.
We took the decision to return to the Balkan route, shortly after the Moria camp burned down to the ground. We will arrive in Greece by the end of next week. Todays threats by the Greek government only made us more determined than ever before. We will continue to work together with refugees and migrants on the Balkan route. Also in Greece. We will continue to distribute Food, water and other items that people need for their daily life.
After yesterdays evictions around Kara Tepe wo do not know how the situation on the ground will develope in the coming days, but we were always able to find adequate solutions and we are confident that we will be able to continue our work on the Balkan route.
We salute the people who will take the streets tomorrow: Continue to resist against the EU border policies across Europe.
Cars of Hope, September 18,2020.
In order to support as many people as possible, the Cars of Hope collective needs your support.
You can support the work of the Cars of Hope collective 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