Prologue to the Lesvos Noborder camp

Released Pagani migrants and No Borders activists together drive Frontex away

[] Today in the port of Mitilini, Lesvos a demonstration was held
concerning the refugees recently released from the detention centre in
Pagani with no means to support themselves. A symbolic blockade took
place to show that while holidaymakers come and go freely, many
migrants are trapped on Lesvos in a situation of complete destitution.
Leaflets (pdf: gr, en)
were distributed to hundreds of passing tourists and locals in several
languages explaining the situation the migrants are facing.

This action was a reaction to the dismissive release of a group of 38 migrants
from the Pagani detention centre on Thurday. The plenary of the
Noborder camp decided not only to attempt to meet the basic needs of
the migrants by inviting them to come to the noborder camp but also to
make their situation visible to the local population and to increase
pressure on the local authorities to provide a real solution.

The demonstration finished at an Infopoint circus tent that had been
set up simultaneously in the town centre. The Infopoint will remain
throughout the week making known the situation to the local and tourist
populations and also to act as a place where migrants can come and get
basic support and accomodation until space becomes available on one of
the ferries to Athens. We won’t let the local authorities ignore their
responsibility. Generally when migrants leave the detention camp at
Pagani they must leave Greece within 30 days.

As the demonstration passed the Frontex boat moored in the harbour,
shouts of “Assassini” (= murderers) forced them to make a retreat, not
even having time to pull in their rope which was subsequently
‘liberated’ by some Noborders activists. If a few of us is enough to
make them flee maybe over the next week we can expect better things.

Even though the noborder camp has not started yet (we will next
Tuesday), we are already fully in action. The situation in Lesvos is so
bad that we needed to act immediately. As a first concrete step, we
invited the homeless refugees to join us in the noborder camp, but we
won’t let the local authorities get away with what they are doing.

Tomorrow, the UNHCR and a high representative of the Health Ministry
of Greece (resposible for Pagani) will come to discuss the situation
with the local authorities. By squatting the park next to the
prefecturate (island government), we will be there even before them and
confront them with the reality the local authority will be lying about.
This was not the first action of the noborder camp, it was our demonstration of solidarity to the hunger strikers in Pagani that triggered the whole development.

Close down Pagani!
Close down all detention and deportation centres.
Freedom of Movement worldwide!

Here is video of today as well as some photos.