Today at 6 o’clock in the morning Wednesday, April 20, 2016 the camp in Tsamakia of Mytilene was violently evicted by strong police forces. Policemen and undercover cops, in cooperation with the coastguard, invaded the camp and forced the immigrants to enter buses, while undergoing physical and verbal threats, as well as sexist and racist comments. During this violent pogram, the immigrants were not given time to collect their documents and belongings and were not informed about their rights or the destination of the buses. After the eviction of the immigrants, 19 solidarity members were detained without any accusation or explanation and were finally released after being held for 3 hours in the police station. Legal representation was invaluable in mitigating the bullying tactics of the police. During this time, solidarity members were denied permission to care for their pets and all structures and tents were destroyed by the municipality.
During the past 5 months the No Border Kitchen has been active in Tsamakia beach, promoting open borders for all humans by providing food to more than 1000 people that passed through Mytilene in search of freedom and opportunity. Last month, after Moria, the former registration center became a prison, many people decided to camp around the kitchen in order to enjoy freedom of movement, self-determination and the family atmosphere. Solidarity members have been working, cooking and living together with the migrants in an effort to overcome petty nationalism and racism. NBK also provided legal and medical advice, first aid and supplied humanitarian needs. Destroying NBK camp is part of a continuing effort on the part of authorities to impede and even stamp out the self-organized solidarity movement of Lesbos which has been active in recent months. Police, the mayor and many authority figures have shown prejudice and discrimination against these solidarity activities as is evident in the threats NBK has received with arrests and eviction since it started.
We as solidarity members choose not to respond to the ridiculous and sensational rumors spread by the press which posted a video of a dead dog to influence public opinion against refugees that killing or eating dogs ocurred in our camp. NBK is a vegetarian kitchen that chooses not to sacrifice any life, let alone cherished pets.
NBK will continue to support the refugees in their struggle to enjoy freedom of movement with human dignity.
No Border Kitchen Lesvos