At the time of writing this post, only 150 people have crossed the border from Greece into Macedonia. The camp at Idomeni is heaving with 7000 people, many of whom have been there for over a week now. Hundreds today gathered at the fence, demanding for the opening of the border. “We don’t want food” they chanted, “open the border” as the gates to Macedonia remained shut for the third day in a row.
“In Syria, we will die immediately. Here, it is just a slow death we are living. I prefer to be in Syria if this is Europe” one man who had been waiting for ten days at the border observed. Another woman pointed out, “if we do the maths, with the amount of people going through each day, I would have to wait 15 days here before even having a chance of getting through. And I don’t even have a tent”.
With new arrivals numbering in the thousands on the Greek islands every day, the various accommodation camps already full and only a tiny trickle of people being let through the northern border, the era of the so-called ‘humanitarian corridor’ seems to be coming to an end. The situation in Greece is untenable and will definitely not remain static with so many people voicing such clear demands. If the corridor does remain shut though, people will find their own way to central Europe, as they did this summer. There are already reports of large numbers gathering on Greece’s border with Albania.
At the same time today, in over a hundred cities around Europe, people showed their solidarity with those blocked and killed by borders by taking to the streets. Under the slogan “safe passage now”, thousands marched to denounce the violence of fortress Europe.