The Northern Aegean Relief Alliance, which is made up of organisations representing each of the three islands- Chios, Lesvos and Samos, have announced they are holding an awareness rally in New York City on Sunday 8th March.
According to the facebook statement posted by Eleni Tsamblakos, "we are calling it an awareness rally because many people do not know what is really going on. We want to educate everyone."
It is estimated that thousands will attend Athens Square Park in Astoria Queens, NY at 2pm this Sunday to show their love and support for the families on the islands and raise awareness of what is happening.
Facebook users are also able to change their profile pictures with a custom “I Stand With Greece” filter, which thousands have done so already.
The filter was created by the US-based Hellenic American Leadership Council (HALC), a national network of Greek American community leaders, to promote awareness about the recent developments in the country due to the increase of illegal migrants coming from Turkey.
GCT spoke exclusively with Carissa Fafalios, the Vice President of the United Chios Society of Philadelphia, who shared a personal message regarding the organisations intent and goals for organising such an event.
Anna Psora, Governor of the Pennsylvania Chios Society of America also shared a brief message: “It is important that the residents of Chios, including our family and friends, know that we have not abandoned them. We stand with Greece and will not turn a blind eye to the injustices that are currently happening. They are not alone.”
Transportation to New York from Northeast Philadelphia will be provided by the United Chios Society. The United Chios Society of Baltimore will also be providing transportation. Please refer to their respective web pages for further details.
The full statement by The Northern Aegean Relief Alliance read as follows:
We are calling it an awareness rally because many people do not know what is really going on. We want to educate everyone
The natives have rights, the refugees have rights and the migrants have rights. The living condition in the Aegean islands for the refugees and migrants is simply inhumane.
Example: Total number of refugees and migrants in camps are over 27,000 and the camps have a capacity of 4,500.
We want the EU to spread the refugees throughout Europe not only the Aegean islands.
This is simply inhumane for the natives and the refugees.
We want people to understand why Chios, Samos and Lesvos refuses to accept the proposed plan, it was because they know they are not capable to house them on their islands.
The EU cannot throw this burden on GREECE. We are a country just emerging from a severe financial crisis. They need to share in the burden.