Debate on the Refugee Crisis

Moria Camp is burned. Long live Moria

December 19th, 2020

Stratos Georgoulas
Stratos Georgoulas

In J.R.R Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings”, Moria was an abandoned city, a place of evil repute, dark, in dangerous despair and in its labyrinths lurked Orcs. Real (not fiction) Moria, is a village in Lesvos island and Europe’s biggest concentration refugee camp, a place where – according to Polanyi- human dignity and freedom are threatened as a consequence of the emergence of the “world market”, of policies that promote the economy to the point at which power becomes highly concentrated and economic decision–making escapes human control. 

A few months ago, Moria was burned and quickly rebuilt nearby (in KaraTepe hill). The global, European, national and local policies that transform human lives into euros and dollars (either as a part of a gigantic black market or a “white” philanthropic one), continue. State crimes and state corporate crimes as a direct result of these policies, continue too.

Moria was burned and we know the moral Perpetrators:

  • Global and European criminal migration policies that build “fortresses” on the one side, and “ghettos” on the other side and try to control human flows between these sides, through economic measures.

  • Greek governments and namely first Α. Samara’s government (2012-15) that built Moria with EU funds despite the shame of Pagani (the previous concentration camp in Lesvos). Secondly, Α. Tsipras’ government (2015-19) that continued to sustain this shame with the help of EU funds and turned Aegean islands into a storehouse of souls with the EU-Turkey common statement. And finally, the current government that operated Moria camp as a quasi-closed prison and the current local authorities who allowed it, despite the dangers to human lives and to the dignity of an entire generation.

  • EU and Greek governments’ conscious choice to replace the welfare state with a “benevolent” civil society and install NGOs as the only humanitarian actors. Thus, an amalgam of labour relations is formed, including unpaid work, poorly paid work, unpaid overtime, contracts that are renewed monthly, threats made to the employees, corruption (hiring friends and voters of the national and local authorities, financing local mass media, etc).

  • The local “army” of the “Right wing” collaborators- who, in order to serve their masters’ policies and with the “divide and rule” weapon, try to break the natural bond of islanders and refugees who both do not want this misery.

Moria is not only the concentration camp of misery. Moria is an integral part of all these totalitarian- antihuman policies that start from the depths of Asia, Africa and America, continue on the sea and land roads – and end up either in the local warehouses of souls of the neo-colonial frontier or in the working galleon of the “philanthropists”-world leaders of an evolving global misery.

Stratos Georgoulas

Stratos Georgoulas is a Professor of Criminology, Deputy Head of the Department of Sociology, University of the Aegean, and Director of the Post-graduate Studies Programme “Social Research on Regional Development and Social Cohesion” in the same Department. He is also a Regional councilor (North Aegean Region Council) and a Candidate for Governor – North Aegean Region (2019)

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