The Devastating Refugee Crisis On Greek Islands

by , The Huffington Post, 07/17/2015

Every night, some 1,000 refugees arrive at the Greek island of Lesbos, many cramped on rubber dingys carrying 35 to 45 people each. More than half of them fled Syria, others left violence-torn Afghanistan and Iraq.

After making it safely onto Lesbos’ shores, for many refugees, a harsh reality check awaits. The number of migrants arriving on the Greek island in hopes of finding safety and a better life in the European Union has risen dramatically in the past year, but the island lacks the resources to accommodate them properly.

A migrant family rests in the Kara Tepe transit camp in Lesbos, Greece.

New migrants usually arrive on the island’s northern shore and need to make their way 40 miles south to the transit camps, where they stay up to ten days before moving to a detention center to be registered. Some of the transit camps, however, lack adequate water or sanitation facilities as well as organized garbage collection, Kirk Day of the International Rescue Committee told The Huffington Post in an email. He added that the sites’ residents are exposed to communicable diseases and injury infections. Some migrants arrive with diarrhea, deep cuts or open wounds that are left untreated in the camps. Those in need of medicines for heart problems and diabetes often have to wait for supplies.

Faced with a crippling economic crisis, Greece’s government in Athens has been unable to provide the migrants on the island with the necessary assistance and the United Nations has urged other countries of the European Union to step in. In the meantime, it is often left to local residents, activists and aid organizations to fill the gap.

Thousands of anti-Putin protesters march in Moscow

Russian opposition protesters some holding portraits of political prisoners shout anti-Putin slogans as they march through a street next to the Kremlin in Moscow on Wednesday, June 12, 2013.Thousands of Russian opposition activists are marching through Moscow decrying President Vladimir Putin's authoritarian rule and calling for the release of people they consider political prisoners. Wednesday's march is in support of 27 people who face charges related to a protest that turned violent on the eve of Putin's inauguration more than a year ago. The banner reads liberty to the captives on May 6! for our and your freedom! ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO — AP Photo

Russian opposition protesters some holding portraits of political prisoners shout anti-Putin slogans as they march through a street next to the Kremlin in Moscow on Wednesday, June 12, 2013.Thousands of Russian opposition activists are marching through Moscow decrying President Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian rule and calling for the release of people they consider political prisoners. Wednesday’s march is in support of 27 people who face charges related to a protest that turned violent on the eve of Putin’s inauguration more than a year ago. The banner reads liberty to the captives on May 6! for our and your freedom!
ALEXANDER ZEMLIANICHENKO — AP Photo

Published: June 12, 2013

— Thousands of Russian opposition activists marched through Moscow on Wednesday, decrying President Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian rule and calling for the release of people they consider political prisoners.

The march on Russia Day, a national holiday, was to show support for 27 people arrested after a protest turned violent on the eve of Putin’s inauguration more than a year ago. Sixteen of the defendants have remained in jail pending trial on charges that could send them to prison for up to 10 years.

The arrests, especially those of ordinary Russians who had joined the anti-Putin rallies for the first time and who in some cases seemed to have been grabbed at random, appeared to have been part of Kremlin efforts to deter people from joining any future protests. Continue reading

Russian police and troops clash with protesters in Moscow

[Russian protests have grown quickly to an unprecedented and massive scale.  The Russian people, having experienced socialism first-hand, and a subsequent counter-revolution which brought back capitalism and imperialism, are now faced with a daunting future and mixed experience to draw from–and the confusing domination by pseudo-democratic capitalist parties and imperialist agents.  Revolutionaries in Russia are challenged to develop revolutionary forces, including a revolutionary communist party, to chart the new path forward–which, given the changes they have faced over the last century, will undoubtedly have new characteristics, based on the current conditions.  Charting such paths in formerly socialist countries, facing anew the crises of the world imperialist system, will require fresh investigations, analyses, forces, and analyses on the part of this and future generations of the international communist movement, wielding and developing the basic tools of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. — Frontlines ed.]

Opposition leader Boris Nemtsov reportedly among those arrested on second day of protests against rule of Vladimir Putin

in Moscow,guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 6 December 2011

Police and interior ministry troops have clashed with protesters in Moscow during a second day of protests against the rule of Vladimir Putin.

Around 600 protesters were reported to have gathered near Triumphal Square in central Moscow, but they included many pro-Kremlin youths in blue anoraks who had also turned up, chanting: “Russia, Putin!” while the opposition protesters shouted: “Freedom!” and “Russia without Putin!”

The crowd was held back by dozens of riot police and it appeared that opposition supporters were struggling to make it past police to the rally. Moscow police spokesman Maxim Kolosvetov said about 250 people had been detained as scuffles broke out.

An Associated Press reporter saw at least two flare-type fireworks thrown into a crowd of pro-Kremlin demonstrators gathered outside the Tchaikovsky Concert Hall. It was not immediately clear who had thrown the devices or if they caused any injuries.

Earlier, thousands of police and troops flooded the streets of Moscow before the planned protest. According to the Associated Press, hundreds of police blocked off Triumphal Square, then began chasing demonstrators, seizing some and throwing them violently into police vehicles.

The Interfax news agency reported that among the detained was Boris Nemtsov, a leader of the liberal opposition and fierce critic of Putin. Continue reading