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."