African migrants face 'impossible' life in Greece

sinidentidades:

Stuck in a small Athens flat all day to avoid being caught by police, earning another stint in prison and possibly a beating, 29-year-old Cameroonian Eugene Manaa rues the day he came to Greece.

“Life is not just difficult here. It’s impossible,” says Manaa, who recently spent two months in prison on the island of Crete for illegal entry into Greece.

“There’s no work, no money, no housing,” he tells AFP. “There are fifteen of us sharing a flat, we face police checks at every corner, we are subjected to racism and we cannot go to another country.”

Like many of his compatriots, Manaa is among tens of thousands of undocumented migrants caught in a vicious trap.

Lured to the European Union from war-torn homes in search of safety and a better future, they find themselves in Greece at the worst possible moment in the country’s postwar history.

— Hostile environment —

Near-bankruptcy, recession and soaring unemployment have created a hostile environment for migrants and refugees who are seen to be taking jobs from suffering, law-abiding, tax-paying Greeks.

For the past few months, the government has been rounding up migrants who cannot prove residency and placing them in detention centres for repatriation. Over 61,000 people have been inspected since August and over 4,000 have been detained according to police figures.

Ironically, the operation is code-named Xenios Zeus, named after supreme ancient Greek god Zeus, protector of guests.

“You go out to buy bread and you vanish for three months, it happened to me,” says Eric, an Ivorian just released from a detention centre in Corinth.

Worse still, gangs of racist thugs now roam Athens and other main cities by night, looking for foreigners to beat up.

Violent attacks on migrants have escalated after the political success of a neo-Nazi group, Golden Dawn, which in June won over 400,000 votes in national elections and sent 18 lawmakers to parliament.

Though police have been unable to find hard evidence linking Golden Dawn to the attacks, migrant groups say victim testimonies incriminating supporters of the ultra-nationalist group are irrefutable.

A Congolese man who declines to give his name takes out his cellphone to show a picture of a friend, lying on a hospital bed after being stabbed on the street in one such attack.

“Four people attacked him,” says Guy, a fellow Congolese from Kinshasa.

“They chased him down the street like a goat.”

“When I first arrived in Greece in 2011 there was not so much racism. Now it’s very hard,” says Guy, lowering his head.

The response of police authorities to these attacks is at best half-hearted. Rights groups say migrants are often discouraged from lodging complaints, and some officers are themselves suspected of beatings that go unpunished.

Out of a population of 10.9 million, Greece has around 1.5 million immigrants of whom around 600,000 lack residency papers. The largest group is Albanian but most come from Asian and African countries.

“A month ago, the other residents of the building who are Greek held a meeting and told us to leave,” says Eric.

“A few days later at the bakery, a woman spat at me, saying ‘Black man, why are you here, go back to your country’,” adds Eugene.

Many of these men would like nothing more than to leave Greece for other EU countries, where some have relatives and friends.

But hundreds are intercepted at the country’s borders, or by authorities in neighbouring countries and sent back to Greece.

“Some of these men have lost four, five consecutive air tickets after being intercepted at the airport,” says Father Maurice Joyeux, a Jesuit priest who holds mass for them every Sunday.

Unable to make a living, the small group face additional humiliation in having to ask their families and friends in Africa for help.

“I have to ask friends in Africa to send money so I can pay my rent,” says Manaa, reflecting on the bitter irony of his condition.

"

President Obama used a new word during the presidential debate on Tuesday night to describe the masses of immigrants he’s deported during his tenure. He called them “gangbangers,” as in:

“What I’ve also said is if we’re going to go after folks who are here illegally, we should do it smartly and go after folks who are criminals, gang bangers, people who are hurting the community, not after students, not after folks who are here just because they’re trying to figure out how to feed their families. And that’s what we’ve done.”

The line was a curious one, given the reality of Obama’s deportation record, which has been marked by mass deportations to the tune of nearly 400,000 every year carried out at a clip unseen by any prior president. The Obama administration has defended its “smart” enforcement tactics by, as Obama did on Tuesday night, pointing out that it makes a point to deport those who have committed serious crimes and are a threat to their communities and national security. And yet, data collected over Obama’s tenure show that among the close to 400,000 people who are deported annually, far from being “gangbangers,” the vast majority have no criminal record whatsoever.

"

Julianne Hing, “Who Are Those ‘Gangbangers’ Obama’s So Proud Of Deporting?,” Colorlines 10/17/12 (via racialicious)

fascinasians:

Pew Social Trends has a great report on The Rise of Asian Americans.

(Source: fascinasians, via suckmesleezi)

blonde-on-a-mission:

21st century England were young English girls as young as 12 are groomed in sex gangs by immigrant Muslims and the government and police do NOTHING to stop it or protect our children out of fear of being called ‘racists’! Isn’t diversity wonderful? Multiculturalism really is a strength!

Nine Men Jailed In Greater Manchester Grooming Trial
Two Further Arrests In Rochdale Grooming Investigation
So yes, the Police are absolutely doing NOTHING.

blonde-on-a-mission:

21st century England were young English girls as young as 12 are groomed in sex gangs by immigrant Muslims and the government and police do NOTHING to stop it or protect our children out of fear of being called ‘racists’! Isn’t diversity wonderful? Multiculturalism really is a strength!

Nine Men Jailed In Greater Manchester Grooming Trial

Two Further Arrests In Rochdale Grooming Investigation

So yes, the Police are absolutely doing NOTHING.

Rep. Steve King: Immigrants are like dogs

political-linguaphile:

Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, compared immigrants to dogs at a town hall meeting yesterday, telling constituents that the U.S. should pick only the best immigrants the way one chooses the “pick of the litter.”

King told the crowd in Pocahontas, Iowa, that he’s owned lots of bird dogs over the years and advised, “You want a good bird dog? You want one that’s going to be aggressive? Pick the one that’s the friskiest … not the one that’s over there sleeping in the corner.”

King suggested lazy immigrants should be avoided as well. “You get the pick of the litter and you got yourself a pretty good bird dog. Well, we’ve got the pick of every donor civilization on the planet,” King said. “We’ve got the vigor from the planet to come to America.” 

Steven King is absolutely despicable. How dare he compare a population that’s keeping this country’s economy alive to dogs. How dare he compare human beings to dogs. This man is beyond repair. Steven King is the poster boy  example of the bigoted and blatant racism we allow into power in America. Fine job we’re doing here, land of the free. Post-racial America? Right. Look at who’s ruling us. 

(Source: salon.com, via political-linguaphile-deactivat)

deafmuslimpunx:

My activist friend, Jack Stephens, took me to Chinatown, and I met with some of his friends who work for Chinese Progressive Association. They advocate for better living and working conditions for low income/working class Chinese immigrants in the city, and they also ally with other oppressed minority communities in San Francisco. They have organized many big protests and rallies in the city. Chinatown is one of the poorest neighborhoods in San Francisco despite being a hot tourist spot. The CPS comrades are very cool. Please check out CPS website

(Source: badass-bharat-deafmuslim-artista)

razanabu:

“Jail the worst you have? Because our organizing starts in jail”Undocumented Youth in Arizona, my personal strength allies. 

razanabu:

“Jail the worst you have? Because our organizing starts in jail”

Undocumented Youth in Arizona, my personal strength allies. 

(via praxis-makesperfect-deactivated)

thesanskritwayoflife:

lovely things that textbooks say..

thesanskritwayoflife:

lovely things that textbooks say..

(Source: thesymphonyofsight)

"

I don’t recall much discussion about the first wave of South Asian migrants who came on the Komagata Maru in 1914, almost all British citizens who were forced to leave because of Canada’s Exclusion Laws. Nor about the history of the Chinese or Japanese migrants (save for the Second World War internment) and their everyday contribution to building the Canadian West.

There was more on black history, but in my days it largely centred on the underground railway that helped bring former slaves to Canada. It was as if their journeys and struggles ended once they came here, which most of us now know wasn’t the case.

And what is the worst part of our limited education about Canada’s aboriginal communities is that we came to see them largely as victims. Nothing more.

"

How not to teach Canadian history - Canada - CBC News (via racismfreeontario)

(via fuckyeahethnicwomen)

brigidfitzgeraldreading:

efecto-colectivo:

liberation.

The reblog source doesn’t include artists or an original source url, but the pieces in the top row appear to be by Favianna Rodriguez

(via newsfrompoems)

dear cracker ass white people who hate immigrants

unknowablewoman:

weexist-weresist:

THERE IS NOTHING

YOU HAVE DONE

TO DESERVE CITIZENSHIP

WALTZING OUT OF YOUR MAMA’S WOMB ONTO AMERICAN SOIL DOES NOT MEAN YOU ARE DESERVING OF JACK SHIT

LOOK AT THE PERSON TO YOUR LEFT WHO IS A CITIZEN

THERE IS NO REASON WHY YOU BITCH ABOUT THIS PERSON DESERVING MORE ACCESS TO JOBS, OPPORTUNITIES, RESOURCES, AND RIGHTS THAN THE IMMIGRANT WHO HAS BUSTED THEIR ASS FOR DECADES TRYING TO PROVIDE A GOOD LIFE FOR THEIR CHILDREN AND IS NOW BEING DEPORTED

THERE IS NO FUNDAMENTAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ME, A PERSON WHO HAS LIVED IN AMERICA SINCE THE AGE OF 2, AND A WHITE US-BORN CHILD

this idea that we owe citizens something first is a result of an imagined community or fictive kinship. but unlike other forms of kinship which exist under certain dynamics of obligation or power (families, communities, etc), the fictive kinship of valuing your fellow citizen over your fellow immigrant or assuming that said citizen is deserving is entrenched in racism and jingoism.

for the life of me i cant understand people who feel compelled to protect their fellow citizens over immigrants. what the fuck did all you bitch ass crackers do to deserve the right to vote? to live free of the fear of deportation? to be told that the land you grew up in is yours? to be able to report rape and domestic assault without fearing your families might get torn apart? to be able to participate in controversial political activities without fear that you might get sent to a foreign land?

citizenship is a ridiculous fictive kinship.

and all you crackers can eat a bowl of dicks.

I LOVE YOU

(via little-sword-deactivated2013040)

THE CONTINUOUS PASSAGE ACT, 1908-1947

racismfreeontario:

…THEREFORE the Governor general in Council is pleased to Order and it is hereby Ordered that, … immigrants may be prohibited from landing or coming into Canada unless they come from the country of their birth, or citizenship, by a continuous journey and on through tickets purchased before leaving the country of their birth, or citizenship.


Wednesday, 8th Day of January, 1908

In 1908, the Government of Canada enacted the Continuous Passage Act which required all immigrants to arrive on uninterrupted journey on their passage ticket, a “continuous passage”, from their point of origin to Canada.

This created a significant barrier to immigration from Asia as trips from most Asian countries involved stops. For Indians, who were also British subjects, this Act made it impossible for them to enter Canada as immigrants.

This law was created in response to slowly increasing immigration from India which sparked fear in the public, recorded as “the Indian invasion” or “the Hindu invasion”. The first South Asians to immigrate to Canada were Sikhs from the Indian province of Punjab. Despite their small numbers (approximately 5000 in 1908), their presence drew racial hostility and resentment that were directed to other visible minority communities.

It is noteworthy that the first Canadian Gurdwara (Sikh temple) was built by the Khalsa Diwan Society in West Vancouver in 1908. This historical footnote is significant because it was the means by which many Indian men made their passage into Canada. As a continuous journey from India was not possible, passengers landed in the United States and then crossed the border illegally to take refuge in the Gurdwara. Legend has it that the temple (built on a hill) had a signal indicating whether or not it was safe to cross the border.

The Continuous Passage Act remained in effect until 1947

(via  The 100th Anniversary of the Continuous Passage ActThe Continuous Passage Act, 1908-1947 – Racism Free Ontario Initiative)

(via fuckyeahethnicwomen)

liquornspice:

angrybrownbaby:

midwestmountainmama:

of all that is fucked up wrong with this picture—please PLEASE note: *anchor babies are US citizens*.
They are US Citizens. Which demonstrates more than anything else that this debate is not about “doing things legally” or “protecting citizens” etc. This is about pure clean white supremacist heteropatriarchal/nationalism. who is allowed to reproduce? Who is allowed access to resources? who is allowed to be a citizen? who *decides* who is allowed to be a citizen? Who is considered *human*? who is allowed a childhood?

It disgusts me when adults attack little children with racist words. I remember not having the tools to deal with the things teachers and other adults told me because I didn’t know exactly what they were saying since it was in a foreign language (to me at the time). As an adult, I can’t imagine ever telling a child anything to make them feel badly about themselves. These are adorable children and deserve everything any child in this country deserve. It’s a tough world ahead of you so be tough, babies, you have no choice. <3

Shit like this makes me want to machete-chop assholes in the face. Forreal. They are KIDS! Children!

liquornspice:

angrybrownbaby:

midwestmountainmama:

of all that is fucked up wrong with this picture—please PLEASE note: *anchor babies are US citizens*.

They are US Citizens.

Which demonstrates more than anything else that this debate is not about “doing things legally” or “protecting citizens” etc. This is about pure clean white supremacist heteropatriarchal/nationalism. who is allowed to reproduce? Who is allowed access to resources? who is allowed to be a citizen? who *decides* who is allowed to be a citizen? Who is considered *human*? who is allowed a childhood?

It disgusts me when adults attack little children with racist words. I remember not having the tools to deal with the things teachers and other adults told me because I didn’t know exactly what they were saying since it was in a foreign language (to me at the time). As an adult, I can’t imagine ever telling a child anything to make them feel badly about themselves. These are adorable children and deserve everything any child in this country deserve. It’s a tough world ahead of you so be tough, babies, you have no choice. <3

Shit like this makes me want to machete-chop assholes in the face. Forreal. They are KIDS! Children!

(via digestivepyrotechnics)

pantslessprogressive:

“There are people calling this a form of ethnic cleansing and I can’t figure out a reason why it isn’t. Sure, not every Hispanic in the state is undocumented, but you could certainly forgive them for feeling that measures this punitive mean they aren’t welcome. If the state is willing to deny someone water because they don’t have proper ID, they really, really don’t want you around.” - digby, on Alabama’s strict immigration law, which went into effect last week.

pantslessprogressive:

“There are people calling this a form of ethnic cleansing and I can’t figure out a reason why it isn’t. Sure, not every Hispanic in the state is undocumented, but you could certainly forgive them for feeling that measures this punitive mean they aren’t welcome. If the state is willing to deny someone water because they don’t have proper ID, they really, really don’t want you around.” - digby, on Alabama’s strict immigration law, which went into effect last week.

(via doces-sonhos)

the-goblin-king:

[If you think I’m illegal because I’m a Mexican, learn the true history because I’m in my homeland.]

the-goblin-king:

[If you think I’m illegal because I’m a Mexican, learn the true history because I’m in my homeland.]

(via theabsurdwiththevulgar-deactiva)