Thursday, November 12, 2015

Stalinists versus migrants on Lesbos

This post is about events at an occupied social space in Mytilene (Μυτιλήνη – Mitilini), the capital of Lesbos (Lesvos), on 10 November 2015. The text is translated from Musaferat by Glykosymoritis with my help, and is cross-posted from here-Bob
As events unfolded at the Mytilene squat the 10/11/2015 two things came to the surface. First, the authoritarian, anti-democratic nature of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE), to the extent that it will crash any left organised movement that dares to challenge it and that it can't control and manipulate. Second, its major problem particularly with the Syrian refugees/migrants that it can't assist because by doing so it would find itself challenging its close political alliance with Assad and his regime. – Glykosymoritis

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Image from Musferat

“On Saturday at dawn a group of migrants occupied [Palesviakou Labour Centre] the abandoned building of the former workers center located in a building that currently belongs to the state agency of OAED⁰. From the onset people showed their support and solidarity with the migrants. Members of the Communist Party of Greece (KKE) came to asses the situation, and in doing so depleted the building of all items within (cutlery, crockery etc.).

For four days in the town of Mytilene, a free migrant-managed occupied space covered the housing needs of hundreds of people and remained open and accessible to all that wanted to express their solidarity (with the exception of NGOs). On Tuesday afternoon 10/11, a few hours prior to a scheduled first statement to be announced by the squatters, some people decided that it wasn't to take place.

A group of members of the KKE* escorted by helmeted thugs entered the building and targeted a specific member of the migrants squat. They grabbed and kicked him out of the building, forbidding him to re-enter the squat.

From then on they were to be in control of people's access to the building. Only the ones that they were sure fitted their criteria were allowed enter. In other words only the blind followers of the Party and any migrant that did not want to make a decision for themselves but did as they were told by the Party.

Well, it just goes to demonstrate that yet another party is trying to undermine and suppress the struggle, and is not willing to make any exceptions whatsoever regardless of the circumstances. The migrants once again have to wait with their arms outstretched waiting for the KNAT^ to feed them. Or at best to be used for photo opportunities for the party's self-promotion. Any effort for migrants’ self-emancipation is to be presented as a devious conspiracy plan from some external foreign power or from other powers in an effort to undermine sometimes the nation and other times the party.

It's the other dodgy side of the story. For all these migrants that manage to hold their heads high after going through the war, the hunt during the border crossing, the illegality and the state suppression – they arrive here only to find themselves facing the NGOs that treat them like lesser people, the local mafias or the political parties.

Now is the time that we stand alongside the migrants with all means possible, now is the time that they try to find the weaponry to resist, to organise themselves as they see fit, within the terms they choose to live their lives.

Joint struggles of locals and migrants against the bosses, state, para-state and the party armies!

Musaferat - November 2015

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*KKE Communist Party of Greece (Κομμουνιστικό Κόμμα Ελλάδας, Kommounistikó Kómma Elládas)
^KNAT Term used for thugs of the Communist party youth – KNE is the Communist Youth, MAT is the state riot police
⁰OAED Οργανισμού Απασχόλησης Εργατικού Δυναμικού (ΟΑΕΔ) or Organismou Apascholisis Ergatikou Dynamikou (OAED) – Manpower Agency of Greece, a public authority that handles vocational training, job search assistance, labour and policy development, and unemployment and maternity benefits, equivalent to a UK job centre.


“…It is no coincidence that the Communist Party [KKE] supported and supports the Assad regime, nor a coincidence that when we marched in Athens against the Syrian regime we were accused as provocateurs of Mossad and the CIA. Nor was it an accident that the emergence of the thugs at the labour center reminded most families of Assad Shabiha [para-state militias]….”

Note: For more details, see Grassrootreuter, which confirms the story above and adds some details, including the fact that the building was used by the KKE-led unions to store electrical items before the migrant occupation - it was under pretext of retrieving these that the KKE thugs in helmets entered the building, first removing cooking utensils brought by the migrants and then occupying the space. As far as I can see, they did not forcibly evict all of the migrant residents (only the activist leaders), but acted in an intimidating manner which led the remaining families to depart. The story is also reported at Insurrection News. -Bob

Original by MUSAFERAT translation and additional context by Bob From Brockley and glykosymoritis

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