This online article was published in June of 2020 on Facebook by the groups AERIKO in the mountains of Troodos, antifa λευkoşa, Antifa Aradippou, Antifa Oroklini, Dromos Antifascist Collective, and Syspirosi Atakton.
In relation to the police repression of the 31/05 march
On Sunday, 31/05, collectives from all over Cyprus invited the public to an anti-racist march in solidarity with the migrants who are being held captive in closed detention centers. We remind you, a week earlier there was a rally of solidarity outside the closed detention center of Pournara. The Ministry of Interior reacted to the event with unacceptable statements in the media, provoking a great deal of controversy over immigration and the government's stance. More than 500 people marched. As early as people began to gather, there were threats of fines from the police, in case the protest continued. However, the crowd was not intimidated, they remained in the square and the march proceeded as planned, with the police taking the role of traffic wardens. However, after its completion and while people started leaving, police officers began distributing fines to specific individuals who remained in Eleftherias Square. Initially, three comrades were targeted and fined for participating in the march. Another comrade was chased by a “secret police officer”, who was wearing an EKAM (Special Suppression Anti-Terrorist Unit) T-shirt, an anti-terrorist service of the Greek (!) State. Three other comrades were then fined for trying to support the former.
We remind you that a few days before the march, another comrade was called to testify and is being prosecuted as an organiser of the march, due to sharing the event on social media!
The repression we have faced regarding the anti-racist march is not an isolated incident. On the contrary, it is part of a wider framework of state authoritarianism and the creation of a racist panic in public discourse. In this context, the state resolutely strikes at the social relations which organise, support and participate in demonstrations, creating in this way the conditions of a totalitarian state mechanism, which has already been revealed through the management of the pandemic with the method “we decide and order”. It should be noted that while the state prohibits political events and demonstrations, it allows gatherings when they are held for the benefit of capitalism and profit (see catering, construction sites and trade routes, where one can meet hundreds of people daily), while at the same time keeps crossing points between North and South closed, opens schools by order of OEB (Employers & Industrialists Federation), and airports by order of the hoteliers. The tragic irony lies in the fact that the state itself has stacked more than 650 people in the closed detention center of Pournara, without even providing them with basic medical care.
The repression we received is neither the result of the state's concern for our health, nor accidental. It is political persecution related to our opposition to the racist anti-immigrant state policy. We are persecuted punitively and selectively in relation to other protesters, as the state wants to silence and suppress those who criticize its migration policies, but also to put the brakes on the struggle of immigrants and solidarity for the release of prisoners in Pournara. In the face of these absurdities, the targeting of our political identity, we declare that we act illegally as conscientious political individuals and collectives. We support those persecuted in the course of the march, and we demand the basic freedoms that are being violated to be upheld even in the occassion of the pandemic, and we continue to fight collectively, in defiance of the repressive mechanisms of the state.
For a world of equality, solidarity and freedom.
Solidarity with the persecuted in the context of the anti-racist march on 31/05.