14 September 2020
Refugee Action Collective in Victoria (RAC Vic) expresses its solidarity with refugees and migrants who have been devastated and displaced after fires ripped through Europe’s largest refugee camp at Moria, on the Greek island of Lesbos last week.
Refugees at the camp were left to run in panic after a fire broke out. It is unknown how the fire started. The camp has since been burned down leaving 13,000 men, women and children without shelter, with many left to sleep on the road.
On Friday 11 September, news reports stated that migrants and refugees protested in front of police barriers holding signs calling for “freedom” and “no camp”, with Greek police responding by firing tear gas at protestors.
Before the fires began, 13,000 refugees at the camp had already faced months of extreme overcrowding, unhealthy conditions such as lack access to medical care, water, sanitation and pandemic information. The camp has been impacted by COVID-19, with several refugees testing positive for the virus.
Refugee Action Coalition Sydney showed their support at the Greek Consulate with members of the Greek community in Sydney on Saturday 12 September. From the RAC Sydney Facebook page, they issued their support saying: “ Solidarity with the Moria refugees. Today progressive members of the Greek community joined with members of RAC outside the Greek Consulate in Sydney. There will be pro-refugee protests across Europe, including in Athens, later today.”
We echo these statements and those of protestors in Greece and in other parts of Europe who are mobilising in solidarity with refugees and migrants. 3000 protesters in Germany are calling on their own government and countries across the EU to accept all refugees from the Moria refugee camp. Refugee rights supporters are demanding refugees and migrants be immediately transported to the Greek mainland, to be able to safely access asylum and housing.
We stand in support and call for refugees all around the world, including in Australia and at the Moria camp, to be welcomed to safety and permanent protection in the community.