Paranesti camp is part of the system of camps that was set up in 2012 by the then New Democracy government. If you want to call them concentration camps, as comrades in Greece do, or not is of secondary importance. As a matter of fact the Greek camps have strong similarities with the historical institution of the concentration camp: They are extralegal zones in which a basically innocent part of the population is incarcerated and subject to a permanent state of emergency which degrades and dehumanises the internees. Self-harm, suicide and deaths because of denied medical care belong to normalcy. Currently, at Paranesti camp over 210 people are detained, about 80 of which are minors and many for more than 9 months. The camp is surrounded by three barbed wire fences including searchlights, the different sections are separated from each other by barbed wire fences, too, even the roofs of the containers in which the migrants are accomodated are rendered inaccessible by barbed wire. The camps are under constant police control who harass and terrorise the detained migrants. Living and housing conditions are beneath human dignity. It is here, then, that on 23 March 23 migrants went on hunger strike. They declared to fast until the closing down of the camp and their being released or until death. Therefore, during the first days, they were harassed by cops, isolated in a separate section and threatened to be split up and spread in various other camps. Ever since the solidarity from the anarchist/antiauthoriatiarn movement became noticeable the authorities took up a more cautious stance. In comparison to the hunger strike of the prisoners in jails conditions are much harsher. The migrants are isolated, don’t have a network spanning across other camps, only little solidarity from outside, no media attention, no money and are generally subject to much tougher living conditions. Against all these odds, they have been continuing their resistance and hunger strike already the 13th day.
Autonomous Balkan Informbureau in On the Ongoing Hunger Strike of Migrants in Paranesti Camp in Greece (Autonomousbalkaninformbureau)