On Saturday, May 4th, we went to Victoria Square, people coming from different ethnic, religious, racial backgrounds and ages, in order to make one statement all together: “We reclaim free movement, the right we cherish the most in Europe!”
No human being chose the place where they were born. Instead, every person should have the right to choose where to live and to stay. Recreating borders and building fences is not only untimely and ineffective in a globalised environment. It is also, and more importantly, an admission of defeat for the value system of united Europe, its founding principles and intellectual tradition.
On May 4, we organised concerts and performances with a larger aim of criticizing the moral failings of the EU as it is today and advancing new narratives of hope. Along with people from all over Europe, we shouted out to political leadership that we are ready to welcome and celebrate the complexity of the world and to take up the struggles for making it more humane and equal; and will stand in the way of reverting to the past. We demanded an end to racial profiling, migrant detention, and inadequate and inhumane housing provisions for migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.
The event was part of the trans-European initiative of European May (https://www.europeanmay.eu). European May is a campaign organised by a collective of activists, individuals, organisations and people living in Europe ahead of the European Elections. It features a set of creative, disruptive, non-violent local actions in cities across Europe on symbolic dates from the 1st to the 9th of May.
Inter Alia, in collaboration with other collectives and organisations from Athens, implemented a set of activities at Victoria Square. Victoria square is a place of symbolism for free movement and open borders. It has received worldwide attention as the meeting point for thousands of refugees fleeing conflict in 2015 as well as the birthplace for many solidarity initiatives aimed to welcome and support newcomers who are on the move.
The event featured different artists playing music and dancing, notably the following: The Syrian Greek Youth Forum, “Musikarama – Dignity through Music”, Alessandro Venza & friends and Jusu Foli. Different genres of music and traditions were mixed together on one square, connecting people through the power of art, music and dance. At the same time, creative activities for children were organized by the Welcommon team, giving special care to our smallest friends who quickly became part of the event. Finally, participants self-organised in order to create T-shirts with powerful messages, with supplies provide by our organization.
The event lasted from the early afternoon until the late evening, creating a place for people to interact and share an important experience, one that celebrated co-existence and diversity as the most important elements of our lives in the city.
For more information about the action contact Nikos at firstname.lastname@example.org