Libcom, 8 November 2008
Immigrants joined by local anarchists erect barricades after riot police charges once more on the asylum-paper queue outside central immigration office in Athens
In the early morning of Saturday 8 of November 2008, riot police forces (MAT) once again attacked immigrants queuing outside the central immigration office in Athens, Greece, in order to register their asylum papers. In the last attack of the kind two weeks ago one Pakistani man was killed on the spot, whereas two more succumbed to their wounds days later in the hospital.
The killing had caused a mass rally in the center of Athens called by the Pakistani Community and joined by hundreds in solidarity. This time the reaction of the immigrants was immediate. Resisting police force, they erected barricades blockading the avenue running past the immigration office, effectively blocking one of the main east west arteries of the Greek capital.
Joined by local anarchists who hung banners and distributed leaflets against police repression in Urdu, the immigrants demanded the immediate release of 3 persons wounded and arrested during the morning raid.
The protest numbering more than 500 people and kept the road blocked for more than 5 hours and conceded to leave only after their comrades were released and the police national leadership agreed to begin talks with Pakistani Community reps about improving and speeding up asylum procedures.