Forum of Migrants in Crete will not participate in the 4th anti-racist festival in Chania

The reasons are explained below:

The main reason of the existence of anti racist festivals over Greece, since they appeared for the first time, has been to facilitate the acquaintance between locals and immigrants, to re-introduce the latter as fellow-citizens and active subjects who struggle for their rights, to show that they are people and not cheap labour hands.

For some years now, though, anti-racist festivals appear to be the peak and quintessence of the actions of anti-racist movements, all over Greece. FMC has been trying for a long time to initiate a discussion about this on a wide social basis. Picture this: a smiling immigrant who cooks and plays music. It is what happens every year in these festivals and every day in much antiracist collectives and haunts and the question is simple: does this contribute in any way to the 20-year struggle for claiming equal rights for immigrant and local workers?

The answer to this question explains why immigrants all the more disdain these anti-racist festivals nowadays and why they do not participate eagerly: their needs lay far beyond the goals of these festivities, or the ambitions those who organise these festivals may have. Immigrants’ abstain has nothing to do with “apathy”, “indifference”, or “lack of culture, on behalf of them. On the other hand, the thousands of people who attend/visit/participate is of no importance to us, as long as an immigrant is considered to be the one who cooks and distributes coupons and nothing more… We perceive meanings like “co-creation”, or co-existence”, or “working under the same goals” in a completely different way. Thus, we abstain from our little town’s routine and from any kind of actions, which easily leads to adopting collusion strategies.

Our efforts aim at the establishment of new structures of mutual aid and immigrants’ self-organising, and firm help by Greek anti-racists. This aim passes through labour, patience, struggle, fights/conflicts. We do know that we have this questioning in common with others, in different towns of Greece. Our common pursuit is to help immigrants to acquire the voice they do not have, not substitute it with ours.

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