Today, we’ve won a huge bet. Responding to a call for an antifascist demo in Attikis square, more than 1,000 migrants and locals marched together through the streets of an area often marked by fascist attacks, pogroms on the squares, police violence and so much more. Today was a very important day; the first, most probably, where local anti-fascists and (many undocumented) migrants march together, side-by-side. The people in today’s demonstration sensed this; the atmosphere as we were passing through the streets of neighbourhood is difficult to describe.
It is important to keep this momentum, to make sure that the fascist gangs (which didn’t dare make an appearance today) stay well hidden off the streets. Attica square, and the entire area just north of the Athenian centre, is a very volatile area in the past few months and years.
The Battle For Attica square – athens Greece
It’s the first time that an EU country has seen its treatment of refugees described as a humanitarian crisis by the UNHCR. This report gets to the heart of the escalating tensions in Greece.
“I’ve seen too many. They cross the river like bees”, sighs a local fisherman. With as many as 400 people crossing the Evros river each day, arrests of illegal immigrants in Greece have exploded from 3,500 to 20,000 in a year. Most choose to turn themselves in, but they have no idea what awaits them. Infested with rats, Greece’s detention centres are now critically overcrowded. Those who try to avoid this fate end up on the streets, such as in Attica Square, home to hundreds of Afghan refugees. With no government support, crime is rife here, and as frustration builds, racial attacks by local vigilantes are escalating beyond control. Ghulam’s family sleep on a bench in the square – his four-year-old son was recently attacked in the middle of the night. “If I’d stayed in Afghanistan I might have been beaten, but they would have at least spared my children. I cannot believe this is Europe.”