At Kastanies, the demonstration toward the fence sent a delegation that went beyond the blockade of MAT (riot police) and put banners with the slogan "Refugees Welcome". It was the first time that our message broke into the restricted military zone. We achieved this based on the strength of the movement, the trade unions who were on our side, the Labour Centre of Evros and the local workers unions, s.a. both ELME (2ndary educ. Teachers’) of Evros to PENEN (panhellenic merchant mariners union) and ADEDY (Confederation of public employees) with the people of the movement at Alexandroupoli, Orestiada and Kastanies. It was a touching picture to see all the people that came out of their homes to accompany the protesters along the way.
At Calais, France, three thousand protesters from France and Britain marched with massive participation of the refugees who are excluded in the "jungle", the area where they live in shanties and in the mud, waiting to cross the border. They crushed the fascist challenge frustrating the attempt of the fascists for a “counterdemonstration ".
The fence in Evros and closed borders were besieged by protesters, with nationwide participation, besides Athens, from Lesvos to Crete and from Patras and Ioannina to Thessaloniki and the Thrace itself.
In Alexandroupolis protesters marched through the streets on Saturday, January 23. Immediately after, at an overflowing Municipal Theatre, at the Central event, they joined their voices with the movements from Turkey and Britain, with trade unionists, academics, with activists from the movement for solidarity to the refugees/immigrants, from disabled people, from artists.
At Kipi of Evros, where farmers had arrayed their tractors in a demonstration against austerity plans for Social Insurance, we gave the message of solidarity of the workers of Greece and Turkey against the racist policies. We blocked symbolically the Customs for 15 minutes.
The fraternization of the delegations on both sides of the border, at Kipi and Ypsala, the mobilization in Istanbul, highlighted the joint action of solidarity movements for refugees in Greece and Turkey.
The Turkish police did not allow the trade union delegation to pass on time for a meeting in Kessani, keeping them waiting for three hours!
These mobilizations were only the beginning! They left a legacy for continuation of a strong campaign to bring down the fences, to overthrow the policies of the the EU and the SYRIZA-ANEL government, that along with the memoranda, the attack on Social Insurance and the farmers, support the fences who are causing children, women and men to drown.
In front of the fence in Evros we sent a call for immediate continuation of the mobilization with an international day of action on March 19. Then the EU summit would be ratifying the militarization of FRONTEX paving the way to the far right of Le Pen and the fascists.
We invite all institutions, collectives, the unions that supported the mobilization on January 23 to 24 to organize together an international day on March 19th.