Lise Gulbrandsen is a human rights supporter who recently went to Lesbos in Greece in September to see what was happening concerning the refugees when they get to Greece and to volunteer her services to the unfortunate displaced people.
Link to interview here;
She claims that she saw no press on the island as she travelled along the routes that the refugees were using. She also visited a refugee camp and saw very little local or international NGO`s/Bodies.
There were thousands of families
This is stunning testimony that blows apart the Europe led war against people smuggling. It seems that Turkey is enabling this traffic and that Greece has been swamped by boats coming from the Turkish Mainland. Greece has taken what seems as a harsh solution that could cause anger and despair amongst the refugees and recently the Greek government has sent riot police to Lesbos to deal with the predictable confrontations that will occur in the future if nothing is done to alleviate refugee suffering.
Local councils in Lesbos have warned against anyone helping the refugees but individuals have taken it on to themselves to get water to the dehydrated people at great personal cost as other locals attack them.
A bus driver was asked to pick up some families but he could not without losing his job. When challenged as to why he could not disregard the instruction from his employers and local government, he said;
“…how do you think i feel about having to follow this policy?…” (his expression was full of embarrassed anxiety.)
A young disabled child and her elderly mother was stuck on a road, exhausted and fearful. A local person from New Zealand picked them up. An Afghanistani family invited Lise to join them and insisted in her sharing a water melon with them and they told her that in 60 km of walking, no one had stopped to give water or offer any support at all.. Meanwhile the shop and hotel managers are making good money selling their services to the refugees that have money whilst ignoring those without.
Lise said that she “had not seem so many mothers with their children crying” on the side of the roads whilst facing a 60 km walk to the nearest town to get papers to travel to mainland Greece.
Another problem is that each person needs 50 Euro for the ferry and many people had depleted their money savings. Some money and possessions were lost as the Turkish coast Guard caused large wakes around the dinghies holding a dozen or more people. Also, Turkish helicopters were being reported to hover above the refugees and cause wakes that rocked the boats severely.
Link to Eric Kempson Lesbos refugee update on the situation;
8 Bodies Washed Up In Eftalou! 01/11/2015
An Amazing testimony which we follow-up by discussing Occupy London protester issues and other activist based issues.
Interview with John Lannon discussing his perspective and experience of the refugee situation
Link to podcast interview here;
John Lannon is an activist and human rights advocate who is both involved with Syrian refugees in Ireland and very knowledgeable about military issues from a peace activist perspective. Amongst other activities he is a member of Shannon Watch
John talks to us about the Irish responsibility in supporting the military machine that is causing the immigrant crisis.
We discuss how the media is covering these issues.
We look at the wider impacts of military solutions to todays problems and John thinks that the strategies of targeting traffickers of immigrants/refugees is doomed to failure.
We discuss how European countries are responding to the situation and compare the new EU countries from the East and the long-established EU countries.
We also looks at issues surrounding refugee statehood and the EU preference of Syrian Refugees above other valid refugees.
We talk about homelessness in Ireland and possible impacts on Syrian refugees on housing pressures. John explains Ireland’s direct provision for refugees and that this system should be disbanded as it only benefits private companies..
“…effectively prison conditions…” – John Lannon quoted in the interview while describing Irelands Direct Provision for refugees.