"The photographic material, after all, reflects the magnitude of the disaster," he says in the Press Release he published, giving the public 6 photos. This evidence "of the magnitude of the disaster" (!) depicts some hand-made, mobile structures made by the residents themselves, that remained in the area after the eviction. If Mr. Kytelis considers the improvised chair torn by an animal and the pallet sofa a disaster of the area, he can remove them immediately or allow us to remove them, in order to revoke his misleading and slanderous publication about disasters and misery.
Also, Pikpa was evicted under a communication fiesta between the Ministry of Migration and the local police who showed no respect whatsoever for the work the space provided, with no prior notification to the residents, without following the lines of the law, and without offering the necessary time for the refugees’ transfer.
We were forced to remove all mobile units that were added to the space and to deconstruct a space of dignified conditions for the most vulnerable people, that was more than ever needed during the winter and when a great number of people already suffered under the living conditions of the new camp in just a month. This was an inhumane and criminal move, as was the one of the forced closure of MSF’s Covid clinic in Moria, again under the request of the urban planning committee and the municipality of Mytilene, during a pandemic and whilst everyone was anxious about the threat of COVID-19 and its implications for the locals and refugee population. It concerns us that some are in a position to make decisions as such and feel good about it as well.
With this opportunity, we also wish to inform, for another part of the story of Pikpa’s eviction. To cover the needs of the centre in previous years, 11 new wooden huts, similar to the 12 that already existed, had been added. After the eviction of the camp, it was our intention to leave these huts behind to increase the dynamic of the summer camp we were leaving behind for the next users. Without anyone present to represent the city in a conversation with us - the General Secretary of the Ministry of Labor, ministry the premises fall under never responded to the 3 letters and invitations we sent, while Mr. Kitelis did not show up in the meeting we organised-; and under the weight of the fines connected to the huts the deadline given for their removal, it was impossible to come to an agreement. Sadly we were forced to deconstruct these and remove them with the containers and remaining mobile units that had been placed. Here we have to wonder, where the interest of the ones who claimed to care for the children’s summer camp lied and why they were not made available for a discussion.
“The space was left in a horrible condition” is the news line of some of the local news sites, repeating the mayor’s comment. Comments left from the readers hold responsible the NGO targeted.
“The Urban planning directorate and the responsible deputy mayor are in the process of assigning potential responsibility for the destruction of the facilities” mentions the Mayor in his press release to impress.
“The Urban Planning Directorate is in the process of assigning responsibility” reads Εμπρός, that has been this past period praising the new “super camp” that is being designed for the government's interests. However, the adjective "potential" before the word "responsibilities" mentioned by the mayor is discreetly deleted, who maintains the reservation in case no responsibilities for Lesvos Solidarity are found by the Urban Planning. The author of Empros, however, is sure that responsibilities exist and will be found, and he writes it as news, in big letters.
We offer at this point for Mr. Kitelis a short video that commemorates the history of Pikpa, the situation that lead to its creation/opening, and the support it offered to the city and local hospital, with solutions in times of crisis; when Moria camp was on fire, when people found shelter in the piazza and slept on the streets and the government was unable to provide a solution.
At the Municipal Council of Mytilene on 3/2/2021, we all witnessed an unprecedented method by Mr. Kytelis's faction in order to extract the positive decision of the body for the creation of the new RIC. We call on him to stop presenting the result of that shameful for democracy process as acceptance of the superstructure by the local community.
We have all heard Mr. Kytelis in his statements to the media regarding the location of the new superstructure, to use the name of the University of the Aegean, saying that “It appears from studies conducted by the University of the Aegean, that the suitability of the space at the landfill is good for immigrants to settle there”. We ask him to immediately publish the studies of the University of the Aegean, which he invokes, otherwise his statements will be perceived as an attempt to mislead the citizens.