This morning, another big protest took place in Idomeni. Around 400 people blocked the train tracks during the entire day, keeping cargo trains from crossing the border. The police intended to blackmail the protesters by stating that they would open the border if they left the train tracks. However, for the protesters it was clear: “They are lying to us! They say that the border will open, but nobody passed today and yesterday only 50 people passed. They are lying to us!”
The situation is getting tenser; people are questioning whether they will ever be able to pass this border. Many have figured out that the small number of people passing is a strategy of the authorities: “They only let some people pass to keep our hopes up, to keep us waiting calmly.”
There have been new camps opening in the surrounding area of Polykastro, where reportedly the few remaining people from the gas station in Polykastro have been taken. However, it has also been reported that these camps are not really ready to accommodate the said 2000 people. Whether the authorities’ containment strategy works with this camp remains to be seen. Possibly, many will make their way to the border in the next days anyways.
Meanwhile, the camp in Idomeni is extending steadily across the surrounding fields. More people keep arriving, on foot and with taxis. All day long there has been a steady trickle of new people, packed with their heavy bags, blankets and small children in their arms. They try to find their way around the already overcrowded camp, hoping to find a tent and a spot to set it up. The number of people exceeds the camp capacity by at least a fourfold. It is only a matter of time until the daily protests become no longer appeaseable.