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Statement to the Media and Public: We are on Strike!

The Situation for refugees and citizens of Lesvos is becoming unbearable. Local Greek Organisation Stand by me Lesvos (SBML) declares its solidarity with on-going protests. SBML is a school providing free daily education to hundreds of children and women. In response to the deteriorating situation the school will go on a temporary strike.

Our staff – Mytilene locals, refugees, and international volunteers – are on strike in solidarity with both the citizens of Lesvos and the residents of the Moria refugee camp.

The situation on Lesvos is at breaking point. Local citizens have been on strike and are demanding a solution, which serves both them and the refugees. Demonstrations by both Greek citizens and refugees have taken place this week, with more planned in the upcoming days. The horrendous conditions in the camp are untenable and inhumane, with stabbings now a nightly occurrence and murders every week.

We fully support the demands of camp residents for safety and security, medical care, and access to education for their children, and also the demands of the local citizens who are calling on their government to find a long-term solution.

Until today the Stand by me Lesvos- Academia was providing education to hundreds of men, women and children every day. We cannot, however, continue to provide these services while minimum standards are not met – circumstances have become impossible. We call on the European Union and all European governments to intervene and find a humane solution to fulfil the demands of the refugees and local citizens.

This is a collective decision by locals, refugees, and international volunteers. This will be an active strike, a symbolic closure – we will be on site for normal hours to provide support and information. During this time we will discuss how we can continue in this crisis situation, and we welcome anyone who wishes to visit the Academia to participate or ask questions.

Closing the school is a last resort; we wish to make a statement now before the situation explodes, and both the citizens of Lesvos and the refugees living in Moria pay the price. We hope not only for your understanding but for your active support of this important measure, which goes hand in hand with concrete demands on the EU, Greek and European governments to finally find humane solutions.

Please contact us if you require any further information, we will be available for questions at any time:

Mixalis Avaliotis. +30-6932873200
Ana Hickey: +44-7980578342

See PDF version ⟶

Mytillini February 4th, 2020 

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