After last Saturday’s demonstration it was clear for all participants: Next week again! And so this Saturday September 17th at least150 people gathered and peacefully marched for their rights. Among them there were refugee women and families with children as well as people from diverse origin and language groups. While shouting “Freedom!” and “Open the borders!” the demonstration walked from the centre to the statue of liberty, passing by the port and then ending up in the central park again. The front banner said: “Open the borders – The world is for everybody”. On the signs that the refugees were holding up there was written:
“Where are our human rights?”
“Open the borders”
“Moria is a jail”
Being on Lesvos for a refugee means being trapped. A Senegalese woman at the demonstration pointed out: “In Moria we are like prisoners.” The conditions in the camps are terrible and outside of the camps refugees have to face police violence and harassment, discrimination and exploitation by some of the locals (for example higher prices for goods and unpaid illegalized work). But what is worse for most people here is being unable to leave the island, to get to a country of their choice. Refugees are forced to register and apply for asylum in Greece: otherwise they are threatened with deportation and some were already deported. Others who applied for voluntary repatriation because they cannot stand the conditions here on Lesvos are waiting for months to return and leave the island, too. Young people full of hope for their future see the months passing unable to do something with their lives. They loose precious time they could use to do something, for example study or work, and fulfill their aspirations for their future. Many are unable to join their families in mainland Europe. Having already a long journey behind them, many more months of dangerous travels lie ahead for most of the people.
Meanwhile asylum legislations get stricter and stricter and the borders more and more difficult to pass.
People have to risk their lives to cross the frontiers illegally and many pay very high amounts of money to some that profit from their difficult situation. Others get to the limit of their strength by trying to get to mainland Europe with legal ways.
Europe’s war on migrants must stop once and for all.
We demand all borders destroyed and freedom of movement for everyone, no matter what citizenship, race, gender or age!