Solidarity, anti-fascist struggles & Covid-19

March 14, 2020, the first day after the announcement of the Greek government for the closure of shops and for a radical change in the way we communicate, but Sappho Square in the center of Mytilene was full of people. Solidarians from Greece and from many European countries gathered to support the call of the Antifascist Initiative of Lesvos Against the Detention Centers: 

“- to state in practice our opposition to the emphasis only on the island’s local society – and in all forms of fascism & nationalism and to send fascists and neo-Nazis back to their holes 

” – To unite our voices in favour of open borders, free movement in European countries and against the illegal movement of people.”

The rally and solidarity march took place on Saturday morning, following a route through neighborhoods and the shopping center of Mytilene, the waterfront, the building of the Region, the port and the courts.

The actions were commented on in various ways and – for the most part – quite critically, with the characteristic article of a local newspaper entitled ‘The most dangerous nonsense of the year took place today in Mytilene!’. Of particular interest is the criticism leveled not at those who would have done it anyway but “by people who would have supported the marches if it were not for the issue of corona, that is, by comrades in this struggle.”

In response to these criticisms, the Lesvos Anti-Fascist Initiative Against Detention Centers immediately replied with a text entitled ‘On the course of Saturday 14/3 (Mytilene) or On Social Responsibility’.

“For all these reasons we took to the streets against the generalized fear that feeds all kinds of ‘fascism’ against the different. We promise, when the epidemic is over, to come out again and be thousands.”

Naya Tselepi
March 2020

1,2,3,4,7 by Antifascist Coordination Lesvos & 5,6 by Naya Tselepi


Xenophobia Virus

During the rally and solidarity march of the Antifascist Initiative of Lesvos Against the Detention Centers that took place on Saturday, March 14, 2020 in Mytilene, protesters shared the solidarity masks with the characteristic XENOPHOBIA as well as flyer for further distribution – both in Greek and English, entlitled ‘ΞΕΝΟΦΟΒΙΟΣ’ ‘and’ XENOPHOBIA VIRUS ‘respectively. It was the first day after the Greek government announced the closure of shops and a radical change in the way we communicate, so this text very aptly and caustically commented on the ‘invisible’ dimensions of a virus that poses a greater risk than the corresponding one, of corona, that of xenophobia.

“The xenophobia virus (xenovid 20) is a highly contagious viral infection that is rapidly spreading across the globe. While it is yet unknown exactly how dangerous this new virus is, several deaths have been reported in the past week, including that of a 2-year-old child. Inform yourself and take adeuqate measures to avoid a crisis in your region.

Key Symptoms

  • Fevrish contempt for foreigners
  • Sudden outbursts of racial slurs
  • Islamophobic comments or thoughts
  • Nationalist ideas and/or a sudden atraction to national flags
  • Delirium of supremacy above others


The virus is usually transmitted though online media and personal contact. Most common are: 

Fake news, fascists, coastguards, FRONTAX, police, religious leaders, and government officials. 

The virus is epsecially found prevalent on national flags.

How to protect yourself

  • Avoid any contact or association with costguards, FRONTEX and cops
  • Avoid municipality-led demonstrations
  • Visiting neo-nazis must immediately be isolated and quarantined
  • Contact with foreigners has been proven to minimise chances of infection
  • Avoid key infection zones: FRONTEX ships, Hacienda bar and around roadblocks near power plant and Moria village
  • Be mindful of overly simplified answers to complex questions.”

Naya Tselepi
March 2020

Photos by Naya Tselepi

Everyday Life

Covid-19 days in Moria

In the midst of Covid19 the refugees of Moria are faced with a different dilemma than the rest of the world. Most people around the rest of Europe are worrying about having to stay indoors and occupying their time. Here for us refugees it’s different. 

I was talking with a young syrian guy last week and he said to me something that resonated with me and probably many others; if we die, we die if even one of us has the virus and then we will all die. 

In Moria everyone is scared, many people are already suffering from pneumonia and chest infections as well as other underlying conditions, water is cut off for several hours a day in the camp. When the water comes back, the dilemma starts. Should we wash dishes first or shower, should we wash their clothes or should we go wait for hours in line for food? If we go get the food and manage to receive it the dishes will be dirty, if we go get the food there won’t be water long enough to wash our clothes, or to shower. If we go to wash their clothes and shower we won’t be able to stand in line for food so we will sleep hungry. One of our most basic needs in life is water, whilst others get to worry about Covid19, we are left to worry whether we will be able to have water to wash our hands. 

But despite everything the most important is that we through it all will keep hope that we have survived war, we have survived militias, we have survived crossing the sea and now we will survive this virus together. 

Don’t listen to those who say there are no solutions, there are many solutions, the lives of those in the camp unfortunately don’t seem worth the effort to those in charge. Covid19 response seems so well orchestrated everywhere else, refugee camps once again are forgotten.

Yousif Alshewaili, Naya Tselepi
April 2020

References of Yousif Alshewaili:

Photos by Yousif Alshewaili