Why we do what we do:
In the first week of January we occupied a house on the Greek island of Chios in order to support people fleeing from their home. We decided to do this because the NGO’s, IO’s, the Greek government and the EU failed to adequately meet the needs of these individuals. The official institutions have failed to respond to their basic human needs and they disrespect the inherent dignity of every individual. At Soli Cafe, we fight for freedom of movement and a world without borders. Unlike the official organizations present on the island, we strongly disagree with and reject the registration process (including the bracelets people are forced to wear after registration), a process which separates migrants by nationality and leads to criminalization and deporting people. We are strongly against the paternalistic victimization that happens in the camps and so called Hotspots.
How we do this:
We provide a space where people are equal, so nobody is seen as second class or downgraded. Soli Cafe is a space where self-sufficiency is possible and self-organization is supported. Migrants and volunteers work together to prepare and distribute food daily and relax and drink tea in a chill-out area. We also provide a safe place for women and children and common activities like cooking, painting, and playing instruments. We aim to provide a place, where people can meet on an eye-to-eye-level, regardless of nationality, gender, sexuality or religion. We do not tolerate any behavior that discriminates against people, such as racism, fascism, sexism and homophobia. We work independently from official institutions like NGOs and IOs, the EU, Frontex, and any government (including the Greek government.)
What we actually do:
For two months now we have been offering food, tea (chai), a Freetique (a boutique with free clothes) in the squatted house in the city of Chios island, as well as a safe, hospitable environment in full solidarity and collaboration with the so called “refugees/migrants.” As of March 16th there are about 3000 migrants on the island and as long as migrants are not given the chance to live in dignity and self organize, the existence of projects like Soli Cafe is needed and a different approach is possible. We therefore work together as equals with people of different backgrounds. Everybody is treated with respect and dignity. Soli Cafe is constantly sharing and improving the necessary equipment, knowledge and experience so all can and actually do benefit.
If you want to get in contact:
Martiron 3,Chios 821 00, Greece