A Few Words About Amigdaleza [Anarchist Prisoners’ Network, August 2013]

[I kinda like this very brief statement so I thought I may as well re-publish it here. I took it from the pamphlet Storming the Bastille: Words From Inside The Greek Prisons (2014), translated by The Wild Bunch, published by Negative Press.]

In various parts of Greece, like in Amigdaleza, Korinthos, Drama and Komotini, immigrant concentration camps are in operation under the charming, Orwellian title “immigrant hospitality centres” — obviously following the same logic as operation “Xenios Zeus”. After all, it is no coincidence that when we hear about the famous hospitality of Greece, the image of Dendias (Minister of Citizens Protection) springs immediately to mind.

History does not need to repeat itself for us recognize brutality. There is no need for furnaces and gas chambers in order to draw on easily discernible comparisons. In fact there is no real need for comparisons. Beyond the media’s interpretations there is a ruthless reality; a reality with as much a human as a political dimension. The reality of human beings who are punished for their illegal existence.

It is important to note here, even if only for restoring reason, what should constitute news and what should constitute media delirium. It is not news that prisoners set fire to the containers they were living in, but the fact that they were living in containers. It is not news that they rebelled because their detention period was extended, but the fact that it was scandalously and arbitrarily extended, familiarising us with the enforcement of indefinite detention. Finally, when someone escapes from a place where they are supposedly hosted, what constitutes as news is, rather, the eccentric host and his peculiar notion of hospitality.

In the same confusing logic of the media, the issue of the — indeed — appalling conditions of detention in the concentration camps is being projected, obscuring in this way the heart of the matter, which is the very existence of concentration camps. Camps where immigrants are imprisoned, not because they have been charged with committing an offence, but for the sole reason that they do not possess documents which legitimise their existence. Camps where immigrants are imprisoned for 12 or 18 months, just because their existence is deemed unwanted at a particular time and in a particular space.

If we did not acknowledge the human dimension in regards to the issue of immigrants without papers we would be turning a blind eye, however focusing solely on this can lead to the very serious political dimension of the issue being downgraded. Regardless of the degree of political consciousness, immigrants without papers are flesh from the flesh of the excluded. That class of people whose only commodity is their labour power and who cannot find a buyer. The excluded from today’s inhumanly demanding wage labour system. Those who, being superfluous to capital, must be exterminated.

In the present conditions of economic crisis with an abundant workforce surplus, even the completely undervalued working power of immigrants is superfluous. The concentration camps are one of the many ways capital manages this workforce surplus. From criminalization, to the boogeyman of “the danger of Greek DNA alteration”, a wide range of rhetoric is employed in an attempt to ideologically support capital’s needs, to legally divest and neutralize what capital deems to be of no use to it.

The immigrants without papers, as the events that have occurred in the last months have taught us — such as in Manolada[1] and Amigdaleza[2] — do not constitute a passive recipient of the ills the state has in store for them. They are individuals who rebel, resist and struggle against their imposed social position. Solidarity with immigrants/prisoners in concentration camps must overcome the victimizing compassion on which it is usually based and apply itself to the perspective of the interconnection of struggles against capitalist brutality. Finally, it is also of importance that the events that caused the uprising and the brutal repression which followed are highlighted from the perspective of imprisoned immigrants themselves.

~ Anarchist Prisoners’ Network
(Larisa-Domokos Prisons)
August 2013

[1] Manolada: after many incidences of maltreatment by the local bosses including a shooting, immigrants labouring in the strawberry fields of Manolada have staged numerous self-organized protests.
[2] Amigdaleza: 10.8.13 uprising in the detention centres of Amigdaleza.

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don't like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2024 premiership's a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.
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One Response to A Few Words About Amigdaleza [Anarchist Prisoners’ Network, August 2013]

  1. Pingback: Boycott, Divest, Disrupt: Strategies to End Mandatory Detention : Sydney, May 10 | slackbastard

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