Socialist Worker

Protests set to take place across Europe as EU and Turkey debate how to stop refugees

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2495

Refugees protest in the port of Piraeus

Refugees protest in the port of Piraeus in Greece (Pic: Mixalis Peppas)

As European Union (EU) leaders scrabble towards a filthy deal to block migrants, Syrian refugees are protesting in the Greek port of Piraeus.
Greek anti-racist Mixalis Peppas joined the demonstration yesterday, Thursday.They have been trapped in Greece since a group of European states blocked its northern border with Macedonia.

“They chanted in English—‘Open the Borders’.”He told Socialist Worker, “There were about 400 Syrians, all refugees opposed to the dictator Bashar al-Assad. They have been protesting every day, and said they would join the united anti-racism demonstration in central Athens on Saturday.”

Anti-racist demonstrations will be taking place across Europe, including in London, Glasgow and Cardiff. People are horrified at the border closures.

But EU leaders want to make it even worse. They have been trying to agree a deal that would allow rapid deportations of refugees from Greece into Turkey.

EU leaders want to do a deal with Turkey to stop refugees

EU leaders want to do a deal with Turkey to stop refugees

This would build on an existing agreement last year for Turkey to become Europe’s brutal border guard.

At today’s summit EU leaders are haggling down the bribe they offered Turkey’s regime and struggling to reconcile their plans with international law.

Thousands are stuck in horrific conditions in a camp at the border village of Idomeni. Doa, from Homs in Syria, told journalists there, “I do not know what summit you are talking about. The only thing I know is that I can’t continue living in the mud, without money and without hope.”But they offer only more despair to refugees trapped on their way to find safety.

She added, “The borders must open. In my city everything is devastated. If we go back, we will die. Europe must open its arms and take us.”

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