Tag Archives: Greece

…and then they came for the trans* people.

…and then they came for the trans* people.

Written by Mhairi McAlpine in Europe, Gender, Greece, Internationalism, Kyriarchy,Sexuality

 

“Operation Zeus in August last year marked the start of an ugly reminder of a European past that we thought we had long buried.  Nearly 60 years after the end of the Second European War, migrants were round up from the streets of Greece and shoved unceremoniously into internment camps.  In May, women working in the sex industry were pulled from the streets, forcibly tested for HIV, publically humilitated and imprisoned.  In March, they rounded up drug users from the streets of Athens and put them too into camps.  Last month in Thessaloniki they came for transgendered people.

On the 30th of May, the Greek authorities stepped up their cleansing of the streets of the undesirables.  The daily checks of papers, papers, papers whenever someone non-white encounters a police officer sees numerous migrants hauled to police stations, and manyimprisoned in one of the hellholes that pass for the detention camps of Greece.  In April alone 10, 000 people were stopped in these checks, and there are currently 5, 000 languishing in the official camps with an unknown number in temporary facilities such as police cells and shipping containers.  Last month Dendias announced a doubling of the capacity of these camps, although with no commitment to closing the alternative facilities.

Greek citizens, drugs users, homeless people and women working in the sex industry, have also been targeted under these sweeps where they are hauled to police stations, forcibly tested for HIV and in some cases imprisoned among with the migrants in the internment camps.  As the graffiti is cleaned off the shop facades in anticipation of the summer tourist influx, the streets are being cleansed of undesirables.

On the 30th of May, a new group of undesirables was identified.  Trans gender people. For the last week, daily raids have been taking place in Thessaloniki, Greece’s second largest city.  Under the pretense that of checking that the person is not involved in the sex industry trans people are being rounding up and arrested.  Their details are taken and they are detained for several hours.  On release they are warned that if they did not “return to normal” they would be arrested for public indecency.

This is not the first time that trans people have been targeted in Greece, in August last year, 25 trans women were arrested and force to undergo HIV testing and charged with prostitution offenses, in April, finally, the last of this group was acquitted.  This is however a new and sustained campaign against trans people, some of whom were stopped driving their cars and accused of sexual impropriety.

In May, the official broadcast to publicise Athens Pride was banned as it included a lesbian kiss, while in Thessaloniki, the  Metropolitan of the Greek Orthodox Church described Pride as an “unholy and unnatural event”, urging citizens not to take their children and indicating that he would like to see the event shut down.  At the end of last year gay men were repeated assaulted by member of the Golden Dawn, sometimes armed with knifes, in the wake of the violent and vicious rabble that saw the opening of the play “Corpus Christi” besieged by Nazis.  One MP from the fascist Golden Dawn attacked a journalist, punching him in the face and screeching after him as he escaped “You run away you faggot, you ass-muncher“, while the police silently watched.

This new escalation follows a familiar pattern of harassment, false imprisonment, detention, and arrests.  The experiences of migrants, drug users and women in the sex industry are all testimony to the deliberate targeting of marginalised groupings.   The pink triangle isn’t just a cool emblem, but a reminder that we’ve seen it all before.  We said never again – only it IS happening again….and one-by-one the people who may have spoken up disappear.”

 

This deeply saddens me. How can parts of the world (I’m also talking to you, RUSSIA!) still be SO ignorant and full of hatred?! Makes me so grateful to live in the UK.

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So, as you can tell, I am an atheist…

This picture pretty much sums up how I feel about religion:

 One thing that really annoys me is when people say “that’s not very Christian of you!” or “you won’t go to hell if you do this or that”, and apparently if you murder, rape or abuse people, as long as you repent your sins before death, you’ll go to heaven. Sorry, but it’s not “very Christian” of the sick priests and vicars who take advantage of their position to abuse young boys form their Church. NO BUT WE MUSTN’T TALK ABOUT THAT! No, we must not talk about the fact that religious figures sexually abuse innocent young boys in their oh so holy place.

Religion is just a load of contradictory rubbish. It is absolutely impossible to follow the Bible. No one even does, people just decide to pick out certain bits and go along with it.

And what does being a Christian have to do with being a good person? I’m a fucking good person, I tell you that, I do SO much for people, but I’m an atheist. My mum is an atheist and she spends so much of her time helping out all the old neighbours – she’s always getting their shopping, fixing things for them, driving them to and from the hospital … one once said to her “you’re a good Christian for doing this”, why can’t she just say she’s a good person?!

I don’t do good things for other people, treat others with respect and cease judgement on people because I want to go to a good place when I die, I do it because I want to. Because it’s what decent human being should do without the thought of gaining something at the end of it.

If you’re religious and your God(s) help you when times are tough, then that’s great, but I HATE it when it’s pushed in my face. Don’t preach to me about bullshit that I know more about than you do. I was brought up a Christian, my boyfriend is from a Catholic family, my two aunts are extremely religious, I went to Church for about 10 years, I own two Bibles, I gained an A in Religious Studies GCSE, I leisurely study the Bible’s meanings and quotes, I watch documentaries, I read books about religion, I read articles about religion…. the list goes on. I think most people assume Atheists are ill-knowledged, but I bet pound for a penny I know more about every religion than most religious people. I can quote from the Bible with who wrote what. Ask any homophobic Christian who exactly wrote that being gay is an “abomination” and where it came from, and I BET they do not have a clue.

And that’s what angers me – talk all you like about your religion, but if you’re claiming things from hear-say or from what your parents have told you, then you are not a proper ‘Christian’. If anything, it’s insulting to your own religion, and it’s insulting to those who do take their religion seriously and actually know their holy book inside-out!

Additionally, there are a few main reasons as to why exactly I am an atheist. Firstly, unlike most Christians, I do not deny actual scientific proof (because I’m not an imbecile, of course). Evolution isn’t just a made up theory – there are actual fossils, skeletons … current animals and us humans are proof of evolution. Honestly, anyone who denies that is just terribly uneducated and I feel rather embarrassed to have a conversation with anyone in denial of such evident facts. Secondly, I see the story of Jesus as a myth – I believe he was a real person, but I don’t believe the stories. Let’s take the story of ‘Adam and Eve’ as an example: if this were true, we would all be retarded. There is no scientific way Adam and Eve and their children could have carried on breeding without creating disfigured and/or disabled babies – take a look at the 8-legged babies in India that are the result of incest. Regardless, even denying that they were just a story means that Adam and Eve are incestrial aaaaaand isn’t that a bit fucked up?… Plus, the story of Noah and the Ark? Really? What about the dinosaurs we have in museums across the world? What about BC – Egyptians, Greeks etc … why has the Bible completely chosen to ignore their existence? Anyway, as my second point, I meant that I see Christianity the same as I see the Greek myths. People used to believe that the Greek Gods and Goddesses were just as real as religious people believe their God(s) are real! I really do not see a difference. It’s just another cult belief – there was no proof then, are there’s no proof now. Thirdly, I believe religion creates hate. Homophobia stems from Christianity (post Christianity, orgies and bisexuality was so common in Greece – that’s where Paul, in the Bible, wrote his disgust for homosexual acts) and I do not see religion as an excuse for discrimination. Not just that. but the Bible discriminates and suppresses women, making it clear that men own women (domestic violence is allowed) whilst giving contradictory references to cheating on your wife. There’s basically a lot of contradiction and hatred, and I HATE that. Religion is no excuse for hatred, and I cannot be a part of something that preaches such disgusting things. If you’re not aware of the extent of discrimination religion brings, Google ‘God Hates Fags’.

 

I hope I haven’t offended anyone, I’m just telling the truth and expressing my opinion. I do not support hate, suppression and idiocy, so I do not support religion.

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