Ryan Harvey & Marcos Bisticas-Cocoves Reportback on Refugee Crisis in the Greek Islands

Thursday March 24, 7:30PM

@ Red Emma's

Almost 900,000 of the 1 million refugees who entered Europe last year came to Greece by sea, the majority arriving to the island of Lesvos in flimsy rubber boats provided by a vast network of human traffickers operating in western Turkey. A dangerous crossing made more deadly by the overloading of boats by smugglers; the Aegean Sea claimed 700 lives last year, while the less-taken but more dangerous crossing from Libya to Italy claimed a staggering 2,860 lives. The majority of these refugees come from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Baltimore activist and musician Ryan Harvey helped assemble a team of American social movement activists to spend the month of February in Lesvos, Greece, one of many fronts of the so-called "European" refugee crisis, to offer solidarity and to understand the situation from a radical perspective. The team joining with other activists and volunteers in the rocky northeast point called Korakas, where dangerous boat-landings often occur in the dark early hours. Ryan will give a report back/talk about the refugee crisis in the Greek Islands. He will show photos/videos and speak about the situation in the Greek islands and what he has learned from his trip (including in interviews he conducted with Syrian revolutionaries who fled to Greece by boat).

Marcos Bisticas-Cocoves is a Greek-American activist who divides his time between Baltimore and Athens. He’s just returned from Greece, where he was working in the refugee solidarity project at the Notara squat in Exarcheia.  (He’s been mostly working with refugees in the squat’s clothes loft, folding and listening to their stories.)  He'll be talking about these stories, the situation for refugees in Athens more generally, and other solidarity activities in the city."

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@ Red Emma's


This Vibe will occur in the midst of the 2020 election season, a dire time—no matter who wins the Office of President.  We will want—NEED—poetic cleansing, a space to process trauma, express ourselves, and be in a supportive, creative space!  Join us for an online open mic of justice, conscious thought, spirituality, fam, real life—whatever advances the village!  In the tradition of Emma Goldman’s “Mother Earth” magazine, come drop some rad “fiyah” on us, or contribute just with your presence and energy.  Our theme is “Peace, Justice, Poetry!”  By the way: it’s a non-erotic venue, so rather than a love & erotica evening, we focus this night on justice and other matters of life.  And, almost needless to say, leave the misogyny, homophobia and other unnecessary ish outside! 

This event will take place on Instagram Live @redemmas.  Sign up for the open mic will be posted on Wednesday, Nov. 4, 72 hours before the event.  If time permits we will take names onto the list during the event as well, after those who have signed up have performed.  One piece/five minutes.

Our feature this evening is one of the pillars of the Connecticut poetry scene!  Baub (pronounced “Bawb”) Bidon is a Haitian/African American poet, actor, writer, and playwright based in New Haven.  He has worked on sets with artists ranging from Busta Rhyme, Black Rob, and Pharaoh Monch to Missy Elliot, Nas, Eve and Mary J Blige, naming a few.  Inspired by poets such as Ngoma, James Baldwin, Gil Scot Heron, and Saul Williams and playwright August Wilson, Baub chronicles urban life.  He writes to tell the stories often marinated in ghettos and jails throughout the United States.  His poetry speaks of injustice and poverty, and he hopes that his work uplifts and empowers those who are, and have been, victims of oppression.  Baub has worked in prisons alongside Lyrics on Lockdown, in schools and after-school programs, and more.  Delivered with Hip Hop and Jazz fused with Blues, Baub’s work conceptualizes the idea of a better tomorrow, and a brighter day.  He is a member of the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA) and was a member of the 2012 Connecticut slam team, Verbal Slap.

Baub is the author of “A Glimpse: Spoken Word in Back Pockets (Collected Poems),” and has produced a CD by the same name.  As a member of the Blackout Arts Collective, he was a writer for the production of What It Iz: the Spoken Wordical, a Hip Hop/Spoken Word adaptation of the 1970s musical and film, “The Wiz.”  He has appeared in various film and theater projects and has contributed to written anthologies.  Baub Bidon is the founder and Host of FREE 2 SPIT (www.facebook.com/free2spit), a poetry open mic and potluck which takes place every first Friday of the month (except for January) at the New Haven Peoples Center.


Twitter: @baubbidon


Instagram: @0negod 

Holdin’ it down for the evening is Analysis—poet/spoken word artist, rad minister and bookseller, educator, justice & human rights theoretician… Y’all know what’s up! 


Twitter and Instagram: @analysisthepoet


CashApp: $AnalysisThePoet

In lieu of our usual in-person collection to support the feature, PLEASE support the artist directly (methods to be announced) and the host in order to ensure the continuation of the venue.  SUPPORT THE ARTS! 

The evening is brought to you by Red Emma’s Bookstore Coffeehouse, a worker-owned and collectively-operated restaurant, bookstore, and community events space located in Baltimore's Mt. Vernon neighborhood that is dedicated to putting principles of solidarity and sustainability into practice in a democratic workplace!  You can continue to support us during this time by purchasing books online or donating to our worker support fund!  Thank you.  

http://redemmas.org   https://www.facebook.com/redemmas  Twitter & Instagram: @redemmas

Remember: PEACE, JUSTICE, POETRY!!  Will we see you there?  :)