Greece: Some information about the refugee camp in Myrsini, Lechaina


Some information about the refugee camp in Myrsini, Lechaina

*This text has been written by the Anarchist Assembly for the Social and Class Attack. The text aims to inform the citizens of Patras and the other Greek people as well about the living conditions of the Syrian refugees at the Myrsini refugee camp, especially during the last month. As members of the assembly, being a part of the exploited and oppressed class, we stand beside all those people who struggle for a better world. We vision a society without the capital and the state, a society in which all people will be able to live a free and decent life in terms of solidarity and self management of their life regardless of their origins, colour, sex, religious beliefs etc.

In the afternoon of October 23, a child refugee at the age of one year and a half fell into the swimming pool that was covered in rain water. The swimming pool was inside the Myrsini refugee camp. The refugees and the volunteers did their best in order to save the little boy ‘s life. Difficult moments, as their efforts to keep the boy alive were in vain. What is more, the ambulance, that had already been called, hadn‘t arrived yet. The refugees asked an employee from the catering, if she could take the child to the nearby hospital with her private car. She refused, the refugees insisted and asked her to give them the car keys, so as to be them who will take the boy to the hospital. She refused again and, as it seems, the employee of the catering wasn‘t interested in giving the refugees another car from the catering company, a car that was parked there at that moment.

After a while, a police car arrived at the camp but instead of helping, the cops didn’t do anything but made the situation worst. They immediately disappeared from the camp. The volunteers called the ambulance again and they were informed that the cops didn’t let the ambulance arrive at the camp because….’’ bad incidents take place at the refugee camp…!! ‘’

From this time on we see the theatre of absurd in action…. Journalists made their appearance and as the refugees didn’t allow them to take a shot, they took their revenge by misinforming the public that ‘’ armed refugees patrol the camp and don ‘t let anyone enter ‘’. A shameless lie and a common method for the majority of the journalists as well.

Half an hour later the ambulance arrived and the child refugee was taken to the hospital. His death was certified but the authorities didn’t believe the refugees, who were saying that the child had drowned in the camp’s swimming pool. The authorities believed the more comfortable explanation that the boy had drowned in the sea.  Being indifferent to the wish of the family, who didn‘t want an autopsy to be performed, after a couple of days they returned  the boy ‘s body open from everywhere.

Enough with the facts…. time for conclusions. A number of tragic and dangerous people managed their petty goal. And their goal was to disfigure the truth and they did that by twisting what really happened at the camp.

  • The refusal of an employee to risk her position in the catering company…
  • The cops who delayed the arrival of the ambulance (on account of their stupidity, their stubbornness or in fear of them being accused for not helping the child…?)
  • The hospital manager who didn ‘t respect the dead body of the child and acted without the family ‘s permission. (Were the authorities afraid that the tragic death of the child would raise questions about the security problems inside the camp ? Were the local authorities afraid that this matter could be harmful for them ?)
  • Moreover, the fucking journalists misinformed the public and the local community about the so called ‘’ bad incidents that take place at the refugee camp…!! ‘’. And they did that because they wanted to change the agenda and to divert attention away from the real problems, such as the living conditions of the refugees at the camp or the bad quality of the food they were provided. That ‘s why the journalists accused the refugees for acts of violence, because they wanted to create a comfortable situation for the local authorities, to put the blame on the Syrian people and of course they wanted to support the anti refugee voices in the area.
  • Finally, the employee of the catering company didn’t deny all those lies that were told by the journalists about her being beaten by some of the refugees.

As the journalist, who published the specific article on the newspaper that was full of those lies, said …: ‘’ What is written is written, what can we do now…? ‘’

Unfortunately, the situation in Myrsini is not unique. What is going on there doesn’t differ from the general situation. In Europe, we have seen the closure of the borders, the evacuation of the refugee camps, like the one in Calai, France, we have also seen the criminalization of the refugees and several attempts an atmosphere of ”danger” to be created. Thousands of refugees are trapped in Greece, waiting inside the concentration camps or dying at the borders. And a general attempt of the governments to handle this situation for their own benefit. The European governments cut out the interaction between the refugees and the poor local society – and mainly with those locals, who are still struggling against the brutality of the state and the capital. The European governments want to create an atmosphere that Greece is a ”boiling place” at the moment, so as to justify any suppressive moves by the state or any agreements between the governments. Those agreements will have as a future goal to lead the local people, the refugees and the immigrants, as well,  to poverty. We shouldn’t also forget the attacks to solidarity structures by the state or by the fascists, like the one in Chios island few days ago.

(The refugees at the camp of Souda in Chios were attacked by fascists, who threw rocks and fireworks inside the camp, an act that caused a small fire. A pregnant woman lost her child because of the tension. The cops didn’t do anything to stop the attackers. Instead, they invaded the camp, beat some refugees and arrested them. A couple of days ago an old woman and her grandchild were burnt and died at the Moria closed refugee concentration camp in Lesvos because of a fire that caused the explosion of a camping gas. They were victims of the cruelty of the greek state and the E.U, that keep thousands of people enclosed at the concentration camps).

So, the refugee camp in Myrsini is another piece of the puzzle. Another example of what the ruling class and the governments have in mind, which is to make profit thought the exploitation of the refugees. The deal with the catering company, the 15-euro salary per day for the ”lucky ones” who might find job in the fields, are some of the examples for this exploitation. This is another place, where the state and the capital are trying to calm down the tension in order to take advantage of this situation. Besides, the state has put the refugees in a condition of long waiting for all the things that matter them. It’s like ”….Wait, you will be settled, do not complain, we offer you food  everyday, don’t worry , everything is going to be ok….”. But this is an organized attempt by the state in order the refugees to give in to blind hopes, to lose their autonomy, their will for struggle and their dignity. To end up as numbers, like the majority of the local population, numbers for any kind of state ( just like a refugee has told us). This is a clear attempt by the state to impose the modern totalitarianism, for both the locals and the immigrants or refugees.

This is what is happening in Myrsini and in every place like this. Whether we are referring to open or close concentration camps, the meaning is the same. It is just getting worse and worse, like the situation in every local society. It isn’t something new. It is the permanent condition of the modern totalitarianism, the imposition  of the state and capitalism by any means.

This isn’t something that we learnt after the drowning of the child. This condition, especially at the camp in Myrsini, lasts for several months now and we have already noticed it during our intervention at the camp as Anarchist Assembly for the Social and Class Attack. Before summer we had witnessed how the catering company was trying to resell the food that the refugees denied to consume and how the people from Syria themselves tried to stop it. After the summer, on October 12, the refugees, prompted by the same reasons, demonstrated in the streets of Myrsini not only demanding a better food but expressing a whole attitude of dignity as well.

  We will still be by their side, the same way we were standing from the very beginning. Because only if we understand that all of us – refugees and local people – stands from the same side, will we be able to bring down the regime that ruins our live as individually as collectively. Because only together will we move a step forward to the path of emancipation. Because only by struggling together will we be free people.







Anarchist Assembly for the Social and Class Attack
November 2016, Patras