Supporting refugees on the border: the story of the Soli-Cafe.

solicafe2 The Soli Cafe is a squatted social centre on Chios, one of the Greek Islands near the Turkish coast. Or, more accurately, the Soli Cafe WAS a social centre. From January this year until the last week of April it was a thriving social centre where refugees and activists cooked, talked, hung out, where children played and people worked together to improve their situation collectively. The Soli Cafe was active in organizing demonstrations, it served as an infopoint for advice on legal procedures, supported people in the prison (as well as the group of people who broke out of prison and occupied the habour). It also had a warehouse for the volunteers of the nightshift who help migrants from the boats onto the land and provided them with dry clothes, tea and toys for the children.

It was a place where horizontal self-organization was possible and supported. A place where people who are fighting for freedom of movement and a world without borders, could meet.

The Soli Cafe has been the target of many fascist attacks. The cafe itself was the target of two bomb attacks. It’s volunteers have been attacked and beaten on the streets, and the cafe has been twice raided by police. Since it’s opening the police have constantly harassed and arrested Soli Cafe volunteers.

After the last police raid the house had to be evicted. On the evening of Saturday April 23rd there was yet another attack on Soli Cafe. This time people broke into the back garden, destroyed the neighbor’s security camera and set fire to the building. Luckily nobody was injured in the fire, but the house was lost before all the goods could be safed.

We will go on supporting people at Chios! This call out is not about the Soli Cafe itself, but about supporting refugees. Even though the building is lost, support is still very much needed. Money is needed for the ten refugees who were part of the Soli Cafe collective and got arrested. They risk losing the possibility to ask for asylum all together and of being extradited. We are raising money for proper legal assistance during the trial. We continue to serve tea and are building a children’s cinema. To do this we need a good tent and supplies, a beamer and sound system.

Please spread the word, let us know if you have any contributions. We do not have an address to send packages yet to but we are working on it. To keep helping the refugees we very much dependent on your donations. You can donate money to:

IBAN: NL06 INGB 0007 1702 49

Payment reference “SoliCafe”

Tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.