Παρασκευή, 1 Μαΐου 2009

SOLIDARITY WITH MIGRANT PETTY TRADERS


SOLIDARITY WITH MIGRANT PETTY TRADERS


On Wednesday 6 of May, state and municipal policemen, secret and in uniform, gathered for one more time in the Central Square of Nea Smirni for an organized assault against migrant petty traders. They had to leave their bags wherever they could and run. Their merchandise was confiscated from the municipal authorities and as a result there are many who have lost their means of survival for the next couple of weeks.

This was not an isolated incident. During the past weeks the “sweeping” operations against migrants have become an everyday phenomenon throughout Athens. The dominant mass media support these efforts with xenophobic reports that describe the presence of migrants in public space as an epidemic. Under the pretence of “security” and “hygiene”, a racist game of control and power is being set up with violent assaults, confiscations of merchandise, arrests, and deportations that are becoming more intensive and widespread. The “crusade” of the Greek police has even reached the extreme of assaulting their religious beliefs, while the extreme right-wing groups are free to organize murderous attacks against anti-racist and migrant groups and individuals.

Since 2006, the Greek authorities in the spirit of a “fortress Europe” have implemented a law that does not allow the issuing of petty-trader licenses to migrants (with the exception of the repatriates from the former Soviet Union and EU citizens). As a result, migrant petty traders are constantly facing the prospect of unemployment, discrimination and racism.

The municipality of Nea Smirni that systematically promotes the expansion of commercial usages throughout the Square contributes to the racist game of control and power in its own special way. Having appointed as responsible vice-mayor the member of the municipal Council Dinoyssis Konidaris, a businessman who owns a shop in the square, the municipality has ensured that migrant petty traders will be harassed on a regular basis even when there are no organized police operations against them. In a period of economic crisis there are those who present local business as being threatened by the cheap merchandise, no logo products, and pirate CDs. In reality, migrant petty traders and local business are both equally threatened by the expansion of commercial chains and multinationals that flourish everywhere. Let’s not play their game.

Migrants leave their countries because of war, famine, economic and social problems looking for a better life in Europe. We stand in solidarity with all migrants, not because of philanthropy or pity but because we feel that we are on the same side. We stand in solidarity because we believe that the everyday oppression and exploitation at work or in the streets that we are all we subjected to is common for Greeks and foreigners.

- Stop the “sweeping operations” by the police.
- Stop the harassment of migrant petty traders by the municipal police
- Return the merchandise confiscated by the police
- Equal rights for Greeks and migrants

SUNDAY 31 MAY 18:30 –

DISCUSSION WITH THE PARTICIPATION OF ANTI-RACIST ORGANIZATIONS
21:00 – PARTY, FOOD, MUSIC

Νέα Σμύρνη, 25/5/2009
Ελεύθερος Γαλαξίας / http://eleftherosgalaxias.blogspot.com/

RD:28/5/2009 8:56 πμ

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