1. Report from Idomeni: disaster in waiting

There are three of our assets in Idomeni directly at the Greek Macedonian border since Monday. There thousands who had fled must endure for several weeks. Macedonia has closed its border crossing or leaves into only a few who had fled. The situation is tense and the unacceptable living conditions.

Already on the highway, just before the last exit from Macedonia, many people notice, are traveling with heavy luggage on foot. Their goal is a site near the small town Idomeni. To a Refugeecamp around who had fled from lack of space have built up tents hundreds in makeshift–it's loud, dirty, messy. When it rains, the ground in the mud sinks. Everywhere, kids running around, sleeping people in outdoor or home-built accommodation. There are more people every minute around the clock added.

A family on the way to the camp at Idomeni

The mood in the camp was marked by the lack of exit until Tuesday night since the border closure. The partitioning of Europe is shown in their evil practice. A fence with barbed wire and police water cannons people blocking the way out of their troubles. The Macedonian units assist police forces in many European countries. The solidarity between the States work with topic of foreclosure.

The goal with which the railway line is shut off to Macedonia
The goal with which the railway line is shut off to Macedonia

The lack of prospects of people erupted Monday morning. Several hundred refugees tried to storm the border gate. They were pushed back by using tear gas. Eyewitnesses reported that a baby had been violated in the attack by the Macedonian police. That of as initially claimed, had come to life, can be but fortunately not confirmed.

Most of the media wrote according to a dpa report, the unrest had broken out after a hoax. Therefore the rumor in the camp would have spread the border would be open, and people were so rushed to on goal. Actually, Macedonian authorities a day earlier had made the border crossing for 500 people in Vista. On Monday morning, they wanted to let only 150. However, the protest was formed and the people demanding the promised number of persons.

Protests and our work

On the second day of protest – was formed once again peacefully. People painted banners with the words "Thanks for the media", "Germany – help?" and "We come in peace". For hours, they chanted slogans and advised how they can improve their situation. For us, it is clear that it needed an international press more takes the perspective of the refugees in the look. The General reporting requires too much alone with the bare facts and figures and also operated the Eurocentric expectations. Maybe the situation may vary also, if refugees organised and self-determination can participate in the debates in Europe.

Waiting people protest and demand an opening of the border
Waiting people protest and demand an opening of the border
Transparent in the protests
Transparent in the protests

We have cooked together with the mission food human aid delivery and distributed, collect lots of information and contacts for the bigger tour in March, take pictures and record videos, to report on the situation here. We are of the opinion that the situation can improve only a critical public sphere and a stronger voice for refugees. It takes all of us. Because it is a shame if children must live dirty from mud and beg for food and water, when parents are fighting for food and diapers and don't know whether they can lead a life in a tightly built house in peace once again with her family. If not soon something of the States changes, a disaster in the middle of Europe is happening here.

For our work and the future tours we depend on your donations: www.refugee-support-tour.eu/spenden
If you also imagine can do, to organize a your own tour or ride: www.refugee-support-tour.eu/mitfahren

More photos at Tim Lüddemann

Child sits in a tent in the middle of the mud
After only light rain is the half ground into the mud
People pushing to get on a car window for food donations by a worker

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