prosfyges Paolo Pellegrin Magnum NYT 5

photo credit: Paolo Pellegrin NYT


 An extermination and exploitation machine that works ceaselessly

200,000 dead, more than 2,000.000 refugees

The lucky ones will eventually cross the Mediterranean and reach the shore alive. They will be packed in ports and railway stations, walk for days without water, find hatred, indifference and exploitation, meet police truncheons, border guards and electric fences. And this is their only alternative to war and death that rages in their country


A war with heavy weapons that has inflicted an unprecedented catastrophy, has exterminated more than 200,000 people, mainly civilians, has turned thriving and historical cities into ruins and has triggered the biggest refugee wave since II World War.

What is this war about? It burst out in December 2010 and spread from Egypt to Libya and from Yemen and Pakistan when the local regimes tried to suppress people outcry for dignity and democracy. Syria was one of the first countries involved in the “Arab spring”. Currently, mercenaries from 60 different countries have joined the war in Syria. EU along with the USA are providing weapons to “moderate” (???) guerillas while the Islamic group are equipped with advance weaponry and lots of money. Russia and Iran guarantee the “security” of the local population by providing weapons and political support to Assad’s regime.

On the other hand, international capital, for quite some time now, has been doing its best to deprive the people of the region of their humanity and dignity, to take advantage of any and every natural and human resource, to breed, incubate and fund Al Quaeda, Jihad and ISIS and, at the same time, to present itself as the defender of Humanity from the monster of Islam.

Apart from the oil reserves and mineral resources of the region, that have always been attractive to the “West”, the ceaseless war brings profit to the military and industrial complex. It is little wonder that Greek and Turk ship-owners have liaised with Jihadists to provide them oil. Nor that one of the biggest white slave trade network thrives in the midst of this war not to mention the antiquity looters that plunder the area.

A very profitable scheme, that can be either illegal or legal, consists in the exploitation of those uprooted by war and poverty. Over the last 15 years, 16 billion have accrued to the pockets of illegal people-traffickers. And if traffickers earn a billion per year from human suffering, states earn much more. Official evidence from Eurostat report that since January 2014 20 million immigrants that live in EU have provided 22 billion to the state coffers of Germany, Italy, France, Spain and U.K. The same report states that had it not been for immigration the working population of EU will, over a time span of 20 years, be reduced by 33 million people. This makes easier to understand why Angela Merkel accepted the immigration of 1 million Syrians to Germany. Obviously, she was not touched by the picture of a dead three-year old child -the young Ailan- but by the possible use of these people as cheap and obedient labour force. With war at our back yard and human suffering outside our front door

What is for us to do? We, who our grandparents were refugees and our parent immigrants. Thankfully, we remember. We will not leave room for xenophobia, hatred and the poison of fascism. We will keep fighting so that everybody - be they refugees, immigrants or Greeks - receive the necessities of life: ID card, shelter, food, medical care, safety, dignity. We demand open borders and fences removed. In Greece, in Europe, everywhere! Immigrants should be allowed free access to all means of transportation. The rescue operations across the Aegean and the Mediterranean should be enhanced. Open structures of accommodation should be created and empty public and municipal building should be employed to ensure the decent accommodation of the refugees.

Young Ailan is our son and every refugee is our brother. We can no longer bear any more children drowned or asphyxiated. We can no longer bear people to be treated like rubbish.

The only way to end this atrocity is to stop the war. For us, life worths.


You will find us in Mitilini, in Eidomeni, in Pedio tou Areos.

Next to every refugee - againts any war.


Social Clinic of Solidarity in Thessaloniki