Greece. Lesvos. The world as we have known it is currently being reshaped by a pandemic. This ongoing situation is being exploited to amplify existing inequalities, increase forms of social control by the state, close borders, and push through measures that would have otherwise been met with heavy resistance. Those already with the least before the pandemic–the poor, the elderly, survivors of domestic violence and gender-based violence, homeless people, people struggling with addiction, and migrants– are now even more exposed, with fewer and fewer support structures still operating.
However, many things remain the same: geopolitical interests provoke interstate conflicts, the consequences of which land on the backs of those with no power, who are already at the margins.
Within the outbreak of the pandemic, our comrades around the world have risen to the occasion, building up mutual aid networks to ensure that collectively we can survive this while laying the groundwork for a radically different future. This is why we decided to create a mutual aid network to support those in need, as we believe in social emancipation and self-organization.
Who we are
We are a network of comrades and friends active on the Greek island of Lesvos, with ties to collectives and movements that span the globe. We work to build relationships with people on the island, abolishing dominant norms/hierarchies and the socially constructed boundaries between our communities.
As a part of the broader anti-authoritarian movement, we condemn any and all fascist, sexist and racist behavior. We function through our assemblies, where we discuss topics, collectively take decisions and plan actions. We created an environment based on mutual respect where everyone can take part in equal terms, each according to their ability, each according to their needs. Our actions can vary depending on the needs we encounter and the dynamics of the group. We cooperate only with other self-organized structures, like “Women in Solidarity House”, “No Border Kitchen”, “Binio Squat” and other individuals that are active on the ground.
We as anarchists believe in solidarity that comes from the base and stand side by side with people in need, regardless of whether they come from another country, their age, class, ability, gender, the color of their skin or their sexuality. Here on Lesvos, we participate in multiple initiatives on the ground, all grounded in principles of antiracism, anti-authoritarianism, self-organization and mutual aid, each tackling different aspects of this common struggle.
What we need
We believe that there is a need to strengthen networks based on mutual aid. That is why we ask for your support so that we can continue doing it. Despite the difficult circumstances, we have managed for more than a year to support individuals and families in need from persecuted refugees, local families, Roma and migrants.
In this way, we are not only (co-)working to combat xenophobia, racism and fascism or other forms of discrimination found on the island, but we are also participating in the slower task of building a different kind of society, where the stigma of the minority has been removed.