Refugee Solidarity Night at SOAS

When: 17 November 2017, at 19:00

Where: SOAS University of London, Thornhaugh Street, WC1H 0XG London (map: http://osm.org/go/euu4lMP2J)

Join us for a film screening, music, food and more on the occasion of the Athens Polytechnic Uprising commemoration day!

We are proud to be hosting the following events:

19.00: Screening of “Spectres Are Haunting Europe”

20.30: Live music with the SOAS Rebetiko Band and other musicians

Admission is free! Homemade food will be sold at the SOAS Junior Common Room from 19.30 onwards. Proceeds and donations will go towards the running of the Refugee Legal Support project in Athens!

Spectres Are Haunting Europe” is an award winning documentary by Maria Kourkouta and Niki Giannari. Starting as a project about the Greek Civil War, it developed into a documentary following the daily life of refugees (Syrian, Kurdish, Pakistani, Afghani, and other) in the camp of Idomeni in Northern Greece. One day, Europe closes its borders for them once and for all. The film is “a call to welcome the refugees that cross the European borders, as well as the ghosts that return with them”.

The SOAS Rebetiko Band is “diasporic music-making in action”. Created out of Ed Emery’s musical seminars at the School of Oriental and African Studies, they have worked hard to highlight the shared musical cultures of Greeks and Turks. Rebetiko is a broad music genre of Greece, consisting of urban songs and instrumental music which developed in and around the major port areas of Eastern Mediterranean (Smyrna/Izmir, Istanbull, Syros, Piraeus and Thessaloniki).

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Police beating & throwing rocks at refugees in Moria camp, Lesvos

Two videos emerged where police are shown to beat refugees when down and throwing rocks at them inside Moria camp on Lesvos. The events took place on June 18th, when refugees protested about the conditions of their detention.

https://twitter.com/dromografos/status/888271219576799233/video/1

https://twitter.com/UnitedRescueAid/status/887277692831313920/video/1

Theofilou to walk free

After five years in prison, since his arrest over deadly armed robbery, anarchist communist Tasos Theofilou is acquitted of all charges, including that of guerilla group membership.

Read the news item by Kathimerini here.

See a video on the case, made by Infowar in late 2016, here.

Justice for Irianna

Please sign and share
https://www.change.org/p/justice-for-irianna

To:

  • Mr Stavros N. Kontonis. Minister of Justice.
  • Dr Vassilios Alexandris, President, Athens Bar Association

 

29-year-old Irianna lived in Cholargos, a middle class suburb of Athens. She worked as a Modern Greek teacher and pursued a PhD in linguistics at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens. She also taught Greek to young refugees.

Her relatively normal life was abruptly disrupted on June 1st 2017 – when a court of appeal convicted her as a member of the terrorist organisation Conspiracy of the Cores of Fire and possession, transport, and concealment of illegal firearms, and sentenced to thirteen years in prison.
The evidence for her connection to the Cores of Fire was her partner, who was arrested in 2011, on the same charges, and put on trial. Following his trial he was unanimously acquitted at the prosecution’s request. Incomprehensibly, Irianna is now accused of being a member of that organisation because she is related to someone who is not a member of that organisation!
As for the charge of possession, transport and concealment of illegal firearms, the court based its verdict on expert testimony that Irianna’s DNA was found on a magazine (not attached to a weapon), that was discovered in a box (the firearms were never used in any criminal activity) and were found by a mystery witness who did not testify in court and was not cross-examined by Irianna’s lawyers. Even the powerful anti-terrorist squad wasn’t able to locate him. Irianna’s legal team requested that the DNA analysis be repeated by a different expert (from the court’s roster), but was told that the sample was so small that it only sufficed for one test (it was destroyed in the process) and therefore no second test could be carried out. Nonetheless, a second highly respected and vastly experienced expert who has previously worked with the Greek police, Dr. George Fitsialos, considered the results of the existing test and concluded that the results were extremely inadequate and no definite conclusions could be drawn from them. His scientific testimony, full of concrete evidence though it was, was in the end disregarded by the court. In a further twist of cruelty, the court refused Irianna bail pending her appeal to a higher court. The judges found her guilty and, on the same afternoon, she  was taken to jail.
A young woman’s life and future is at stake. At times when terror threats are rising and insecurity is widespread, we look to the Justice system to protect the innocent in the face of abuses of power.  This seems not to have happened here. This travesty of justice must be stopped.

To his credit, the Minister of Justice, Stavros Kontonis, has now requested from the court the rationale leading to their verdict and we call on him to react as speedily as possible.
With this petition we express our support and solidarity with Irianna and ask the relevant authorities to:

  • Reconsider the case taking into account the full range of available scientific testimony.
  • To proceed as speedily as possible with the publication of the final judgment and its rationale
  • To restore the injustice done to an innocent young woman.

You can read more about Irianna’s case here:
http://www.tanea.gr/opinions/all-opinions/article/5453134/h-hrianna-sth-fylakh/
https://medium.com/athenslivegr/a-young-woman-is-in-a-greek-jail-for-no-reason-90a35fb3fd6 (English)
https://medium.com/@YiannisBab/iriana-was-an-ordinary-29yo-academic-31f80c94696c (English)
http://tvxs.gr/news/ellada/dekatria-xronia-fylakisi-gia-sxesi-me-enan-athoo
http://news247.gr/eidiseis/koinonia/eglima/aithma-na-anastalei-h-poinh-ths-zhta-h-29xronh-hrianna.4714227.html
http://www.efsyn.gr/arthro/amesa-antanaklastika-kontoni-gia-tin-irianna
http://www.efsyn.gr/arthro/i-anastoli-den-einai-gia-tin-irianna
http://www.alfavita.gr/arthron/koinonia/gia-tin-irianna
http://www.publico.es/internacional/irianna-condenada-13-anos-carcel.html (Spanish)
https://www.thepressproject.gr/article/112689/Athoos-o-Gkikas-kai-13-xronia-stin-Irianna#.WT9mHD1Ij6E.facebook
http://www.documentonews.gr/article/paizoyn-skaki-stis-plates-mas-xwris-na-exoyn-antipalo
http://popaganda.gr/irianna-vl/

This petition will be delivered to:

  • Minister of Justice, Greece
    Stavros Kontonis
  • President, Athens Bar Association
    Vasilios Alexandris

Never Again! Marking 50 years since the Military Coup in Greece

The Greece Solidarity Campaign and Anti-Fascist Action for Greece invite you to:
Never Again! Marking 50 years since the Military Coup in Greece & Celebrating its Overthrow.

Friday 28th April at 6pm at Unite the Union (Diskus Room), Holborn, London.

Speakers from Greece and from those who occupied the London Greek Embassy in solidarity with the Greek resistance to the military coup.
The Theodorakis songs banned under the dictatorship sung by Iris Mavraki
Greek food

http://greecesolidarity.org/?page_id=458

What Happened on April 21st 1967.

Before dawn on April 21 1967 a far-right group of ‘colonels’ ripped apart Greek democracy.

Some of them had supported the wartime collaborationist government under the Germans. All had supported the 1936-41 Greek dictatorship and fought against left resistance in the civil war of 1944-1949.

When the upcoming elections looked likely to lead to another centre-left government (after King Constantine dismissed the 1965 one), the Colonels acted.

Tanks appeared at strategic points in Athens and some 8,000 leftists were arrested.

Later that day King Constantine legitimated the Coup. He appointed a new prime minister who formed a military government.

The Colonels issued a decree instituting military law, abolishing the constitution and cancelling the elections. It even became illegal to listen to music by resistance figures like Mikis Theodorakis and Melina Mercouri.

Torture was commonplace : Torture was commonplace over the next seven years. At least 3,500 ‘guests’ passed through torture centres. Six thousand leftists were imprisoned or exiled to remote Greek islands.

American Vice-President Spiro Agnew welcomed the junta as ‘the best thing to happen in Greece since Pericles’. The British Labour Government hesitated briefly and then recognised the coup and accepted Greece staying in NATO.

In 1968, tanks changed the Prague government. In 1971 General Pinochet followed suit, killing Chile’s President Allende and thousands of Chilean leftists.

Resistance: Resistance to the Junta grew in Greece, particularly among students. On February 21 1973 they occupied the University of Athens against the forcible drafting of ‘subversive youths’.

An occupation of Athens Polytechnic then sparked mass demonstrations and new military repression. On November 17 1973 24 students and demonstrators were killed and hundreds injured.

In July 1974 the Junta staged a coup against the President of Cyprus, Archbishop Makarios, who had called for Greek officers to get out. This was followed by the Turkish invasion of the North of the island. The Greek military’s role then caused mass defections from the Junta, which collapsed immediately.

In December 1974 a two to one majority of Greek people voted in a referendum to establish the Third Hellenic Republic. November 17 then became a national holiday in schools and colleges throughout Greece.

( From an article by Steve Jefferys, then an LSE student who was one of those who occupied the London Greek Embassy in April 1967, originally published in Searchlight magazine).

Fundraising event for refugee solidarity movements in Greece

aafg_flyerAAfG and the SOAS Rebetiko Band, will be hosting a fundraising event for
refugee solidarity movements in Greece on Monday the 5th of December

Home-made Mediterranean food from 7:30pm / All funds raised from the sale of food at the event will go to the Lesvos Solidarity Refugee Camp [lesvossolidarity.org].

“Rebetiko @ SOAS” music event (8:30-late) with Greek music.

Junior Common Room
SOAS University of London
Thornhaugh St
Russell Sq
London WC1H 0XG

(map)

Anti-Fascist Action for Greece commits that all funds will go to solidarity structures that are actively involved in supporting the refugees.

https://fundly.com/humanitarian-refugee-crisis-in-greece