From A World to Win News Service;On 10 April, after the 28 European Union countries voted to shut their borders and ship refugees back to Turkey, Macedonian police attacked a crowd of about five hundred migrants who had massed on the Greek side of the double-row, barbed wire border demanding to be let through. They unleashed volley after volley of riot gas canisters, stun grenades, rubber bullets and streams of high pressure liquid from water cannons.
According to Doctors Without Borders (MSF), its medical staff treated some 260 casualties. About 200 people were treated for breathing difficulties. Some were knocked unconscious when fumes blew into the tents where more than 11,000 people have been living in the mud and and rain since the borders were closed 20 March. More than 30 were wounded by rubber bullets, including three children under the age of ten, and another 30 had other kinds of open wounds. MSF reports that pregnant mothers and children were among the causalities, injured by rubber bullets. Although the attempt to break through the border and force
These courageous migrants who refuse to give up should be supported. A Syrian man at the site of the attack in the Greek/Macedonian border town of
Although protecting Syrians is supposedly the reason for the US-led bombing and creeping invasion of Syria, right now, Turkish border guards are shooting Syrians, including children, trying to walk into Turkey. According to Amnesty International, it is an "open secret in the region" that
Many others being sent as human cargo from
The EU's division of refugees into "economic migrants" and potential "political refugees" (which means people from countries the West doesn't currently run) is not meant to help any group of people but to divide these fleeing masses and deceive public opinion.
A reported clash between Afghan and Syrian refugees on the Greek
The day after the Idomeni attack, long after it had been shown on international media and been widely denounced by NGOs and others in Greece as well as abroad, Greek Prime Minister
Alexis Tsipras called it "a great shame for European society and a country that wants to be a part of it" (namely Macedonia, whose entry into the EU has been blocked by Greece because of historical rivalry). This was a shameful dodge of responsibility on his part.
This attack came just after the Greek parliament passed a law making it legal to deport refugees despite the utter illegality under Greek, European Union and international law. Whether they admit it or not, the Macedonian police were shooting on behalf of the Greek government and the European Union – so ready to punish Greece for not paying banks and so ready to reward Greece to stop, humiliate, harm and deport migrants.
This attack was only one in a series that have been continuing for a month. It was not a blot on "Western civilization", but part of the workings of a global system of exploitation that has split the world into imperialist countries and the countries they dominate economically, politically and militarily, even while the imperialists and other reactionaries also fight each other. Faced with the consequences produced by their system itself, they cannot be expected to react other than with force when the "stability" of that unjust system is threatened.
The worth, dignity and rights of individuals, the sanctity of human life and all the other fine words the Western powers pretend to uphold are being massively trampled before the eyes of everyone who allows themselves to see.
"Death to migrants!" This is not only the chant of fascist gangs seeking to assault refugees in