Lesvos. Greece. At 6:30h this morning (October 30, 2020), police started the eviction of PIKPA. „They knocked on our door and told us to hurry. The whole situation was really stressful. They scared me and my kids“, tells us Marjan at the phone. She lived in PIKPA until the Greek police kicked her and her family out today.
Originally published by Dunya Collective Telegram Channel.
A few members of the PIKPA-Team were at the site, surrounded by police and not allowed to move. The only thing they could do was filming a bit and giving hugs to the kids to calm them down. Since police had blocked all the roads leading to PIKPA, neither social workers, psychologists, lawyers nor solidarians could enter to support the refugees in this situation. Instead, their IDs were checked. The entry for press was denied as well. The violation of the freedom of press is something we witnessed many times in the last 8 months being on Lesvos.
Besides normal police, the special police force OPKE and border police units with balaclavas and army suits were deployed: Obviously, to transfer the most vulnerable refugees „safely“. The whole eviction was carried out as if they evicted a squad in Exarchia.
“The people are crying. We tried to stand next to the kids. One pregnant woman is taken to hospital by ambulance”, Evi Latsoudi tells us. She is one of the founders of PIKPA in the year 2012 and active member of NGO Lesvos Solidarity that was in charge of the place.
When the refugees arrived at the old Karatepe camp in buses, volunteers of PIKPA and other solidarians were waiting for them. But they were chased away by aggressive police and OPKE units. We were stopped from reporting by the police again.
„Today was very violent: Not in terms of physical violence, but psychological violence by the police operation against PIKPA and against solidarity“, states Latsoudi, in a small interview later on at the empty PIKPA. But even though the government had just destroyed the 8 year old project of community-based and solidarity refugee camp, she keeps her head up high and calls for an ongoing struggle: “It’s very difficult to talk about all this that happened today, but it’s easy to speak about the solidarity movement that grows still on the island. This is not the end. The attack of the government will not put us down.”
The narrative „No more Moria“ used by many European politicians is, proofed by reality, a meaningless phrase. „No more Moria“ has to mean „More PIKPAs“. But instead, and backed by the agenda of the European Taskforce for Lesbos, a centralized and undignified camp was built and seems to be prepared to stay for long term. At least till Autumn 2021. The Greek and European policies showed today again that they don’t care about human beings. For them, refugees are just a number, bureaucratic acts to be dealt with. No matter what lovely words they use.
Keep the Enough 14 blog and the Enough 14 Info-Café going. You can do that with a donation here, or by ordering stickers, posters, t-shirts , hoodies or one of the other items here or click at the image below.