Patrick Strickland is a journalist based in Greece whose work has appeared in The Guardian, The New Republic, Politico EU, among other publications. He is the author of Alerta! Alerta! Snapshots of Europe’s Anti-Fascist Struggle (2018). (March 2020)
Today, more than one hundred and twelve thousand asylum-seekers are bottlenecked in Greece, more than one third of their number on the islands. As the government is scrambling to come up with an effective deterrent to new arrivals, local politicians around Greece have revolted against a refugee presence they see as overwhelming their communities. In early February, some two thousand asylum-seekers on Lesbos marched in protest, and police showered them with tear gas canisters and stun grenades. In the wake of that disturbance, far-right mobs of local Greeks armed with clubs and other weapons went out hunting for refugees. “Things are going to explode in all the camps, especially the closed ones,” one asylum-seeker warned.