We are a non-hierarchical self-organized group of activists from all over the world that share the aim of overcoming the borders and restrictions that impede freedom of movement. On Lesvos we provide food to refugees that are trapped on the island. For our actual call of support visit our blog: https://noborderkitchenlesvos.noblogs.org
6. September 2016
We are a non-hierarchical self-organized group of activists from all over the world that share the aim of overcoming the borders and restrictions that impede freedom of movement. No Border Kitchen [NBK] started cooking in several locations in September 2015 on ‘the Balkan’ route. Government repression of refugees and their supporters increased until the Balkan route was effectively closed. People are stuck on the Greek islands, in a no-man’s land of borders, prisons and detention centers, forcing them into even riskier methods of travel.
Additionally, the EU continues their attempt to repress and destroy the independent activists and their solidarity structures. We stand against this controlling system and refuse to be part of its inhuman policies. That is why we opened a kitchen on Lesvos, Greece, which is a place of transit for the majority of the people overcoming the European border regime. From the 14th November we cooked at Tsamakia beach, close to the port of Mytilene. It was squatted by the people seeking refuge as a place of shelter for a few nights and were supported by the No Border Kitchen in terms of food and infrastructure. This is how NBK evolved into a self-organized camp where activists and refugees lived together and supported people seeking refuge, irrespective of their nationality.
After the Macedonian border closed the camp rapidly grew to over 300 people because the authorities reduced the transfers to the mainland of Greece. Then the EU-Turkey deal made the situation even worse by the deportation of people back to ‘safe’ Turkey while thousands of people are stuck in the island. They are not able to move on with their journey, neither can they go back to their countries. Refusing to endure the depravity of the detention/deportation center at Moria, many sought refuge at the NBK camp.
On the 20th April the camp was brutally evicted by police and coastguard agents. Everyone was arrested and the refugees were imprisoned in Moria. Far from being finished, however, it soon became apparent that political activism and infrastructure were necessary to support groups that escaped detention. Many are still requesting a place that can serve as an alternative to imprisonment at Moria as they wait in desperation to escape the island. Refugees actively resisted oppression by rioting in Moria. Although media attention has faded on the plight of refugees stranded here and many NGOs are moving to other areas, boats are continuing to arrive. That is why we consider it crucial to open a new facility to meet these current needs of migrants on Lesvos and unite our efforts in the struggle for freedom of movement.
Some of our friends from Tsamakia Beach have become part of the NBK Crew. Together we want to create an open space in which we are not just trying to meet basics needs but open a space for discussing and approaching political questions and struggles. Another aim is to monitor and publish the changing situation on Lesvos in order to put it back in focus and be able to maintain a flexible structure.