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Lesvos – Winter is coming

These are images of the squats on Lesvos where I find myself living.

 

The refugees living here prefer to live in these windowless shells of buildings than in the government run camps, which are nearly at double capacity, with people sleeping OUTSIDE on the ground!  Large NGO’s are busy in the camps, but there are only a few of us working  here in the autonomous spaces outside the scope of the charity money and government agencies.

HELP IS DESPERATELY NEEDED TO WINTERIZE THESE BUILDINGS, 10 people died last year IN MORIA CAMP, and while I’m here in a squat just down the road, I don’t want to hear of a repeat! Unfortunately, without some help with funding, this is still a possibility. We need people as well as funds, so if you have a spare week, month or are dissatisfied with your life and want to do something really worth while, come down for longer, flights are cheep and the work is so rewarding. Free accommodation and we eat together so costs aren’t alot.

And if all you can do is forward this link to our crowd funder, please do that… Unlike Tesco, every little helps.

https://www.fundsurfer.com/project/refugee-art-trail

Bless

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Serbia/Hungarian border, where the migrants are being literally BEATEN back by racist police!?! WTF year are we living in???

So this week some friends and I travelled north to Subotica on the border where hundreds of people are camped in appalling conditions in derelict buildings trying to cross from the Balkans into Europe.

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We arrived late a few nights ago, and walked some water and supplies into a train station encampment which is in-accessable by vehicle. The conditions are very rough, with open fires inside, and no electricity, obviously… we sat around a toxic fire indoors and talked with one group of men from Kashmir, who said they had been forced to leave their home due to ‘problems with Taliban ‘ I felt sick with the guilt of coming there in warm clothes and good shoes when I saw that most of them were wearing shoes a few sizes too small, an were forced to fold the back of the shoes over and stand on them with their heel hanging out the back…  ‘the police in Hungary took our shoes and coats before  beating us, stealing our money and drenching us in ice cold water and making us stand in the rain for hours before sending us back to Serbia. ‘

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This is due to not enough shoes of the right sizes, if any at all being donated to this specific camp, as alot of the clothes and shoes given to the lager campaigns never reach these far flung camps and areas like this… this is not an isolated issue, and is the same all over Europe, the Balkans , and I’m sure the middle East right now… specific sizes needed are 42, and there abouts…to the point where my new friend Salim is actually known as ’42’ due to unsuccessfully repeating the number so many times in distribution lines across the country. It’s enough to bring a tear to the eye.

We got up the next day and visited the other camp, with the well with polluted water…’when we drink all of the 1 litter of bottled water we are given every 2 days, we drink from this ‘…i was told! It has twice as much salt content as the body can cope with, as well as other more dangerous contamination.

Photos courtesy of Samwize …ta blood!

We took some footage, and talked to a German crew providing phone charging to the whole camp of around  80  from 1 leisure battery (can’t work very well but it’s something), and then headed back to town to the fresh response warehouse to help pack food into bags for distribution.

 

This happens every other day, from a muddy lane, known as the secret spot where we can get away with providing the only aid these people get, without fear of prosecution from the police.. and all that is is a small bag of veg, a bag of fruit, and a litre of water for each person… but again, it’s something…

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Any donations this week will go on shoes, and will also be put into food funds with the fresh response team’s cash, as it isn’t alot, and they need serious help.

I have travelled back to Belgrade today to buy a water filtration system…

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and pick up Gundagir, my new four legged companion, who was very sick, and had to stay behind in the vets for a few days with parvo virus. He has fully recovered despite being only 3 months old, and we are heading back north on a night train. A huge thanks to ‘help na’ , a Spanish crew of firemen who come out in rotation to help at the barracks, for funding this project to get clean water to those who desperately need it as fast as possible without buying thousands of plastic bottles a week which end up as rubbish. Good on you guys!

Whist in Belgrade, I got to see the table we made while here being used for board games during an evening chai distribution , and got a really good feeling out of seeing the guys use it … it is for sale to fund an orphanage in Afghanistan … so please help by forwarding  how u can. It is made from the Ekki wood I salvaged and milled from the Calais warehouse wood yard, together with rail sleepers from this camp. And has been made by myself , and some very hard working migrants from the Belgrade Barracks… sensible offers by comment please…

 

Please spread this blog around as much as possible as this area is not getting any media and is very underfunded.

1 love to you all, and please spare a thought for ways to stop this bloody war eh…

Peace

Appeal for fishing equipment for Lesvos and update on works by Refugee Art Trail

This week has seen our small team of two double, and some amazing result

After a weeks work here in the two occupied living spaces now renamed the All About Change buildings, we are please to post pictures of the clearing of a huge pile of disgusting rubbish, which was in a living space used by 25 people. We bagged up around 60 bags and are moving them out to the bins, which are emptied daily.  we painted over a lot of bad graffiti, making the places look bad to the local population, and thus threatening the longevity of the peoples homes…

And, thanks to Hope and Aid Direct giving a small donation, we have today made 5 temporary windows for the bigger of the two buildings, which as we are on the coast is going to make a huge difference. Thanks guys.

We are now appealing for fishing equipment, as we see a huge amount of people going to fish on the small beach near us, to supplement the terrible food the camps give. I meet my friend Javad on the shore at 7.30 this morning, fishing with a line tied around a plastic bottle.. ‘ if I had a rod, I could catch more fish for my family’ he said.

So if you have an old rod, net, or any fishing kit at all, please send it over to us here at the address below, and give a family a regular, free, improvement to their diet. Please spread to people and groups you know who mights help.

Bless

 

Forest school in serbia for refugee minors.

25/4/17 – A day out in the woods, climbing trees, running down forest paths screeching , catching Gundagir the dig, and generally having fun, like young boys should.

A huge thanks to all who made this possible, and please, spread the link to this if u have 5 minutes so we can continue to offer days out like this to the youth on the camp here.  Funding link below video

http://fndsr.fr/2ctqYR5

 

13 year old’s testimony of beating at Hungarian boarder with Serbia…!?!

Hungarian police have been beating and torturing migrants trying to cross from the Balkans in to Europe, before sending them back across the border all winter, but a new video from fresh response now shows a 13 year old’s testimony as he describes how the police punched and kicked him, as well as settings  dogs on him, before soaking  him with water. This all happened at night before sending  him back across the border.  The filming was stopped due to the child’s obvious distress.

Keep in mind that after his ordeal, this minor, and all the others who face a similar reception to Hungary, after the west helped destroy their countries, are forced to cross a river, at night, into a woodland, where the wander lost for days to  weeks, trying desperately to find their way back to Subotica, after having  their phones and money stollen by the border police.

https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=1356363527744137&id=1157495037630988&__tn__=C

This link is to the video on first response’s facebook, please like and forward , and check the other videos for more harrowing accounts of what these peoe  have to go through, if you can deal with it…

We need funding to continue this work, so please donate what ever you can, and please help us by forwarding the link to this page, and the videos around d your social media as much as possible…

I won’t rant on to much here as the vids are the main story this week…

Peace

 

Belgrade barrack’s up date

2 weeks living with the refugees down here in Serbia, and I can honestly say, life is better than working my ass of in the UK…

Yes, I’m working harder here for no money, but the job satisfaction just blows my old life away… plus the people are so friendly and appreciative it makes the cost of getting g here, and leaving home pale into insignificance!

The other volunteers are some of the salt of the earth types you’d imagine, and all the donations iv got from all of my friends and family around the world have restored my faith in human nature no end, and made all our plans possible in a shorter time than I could have hoped for… the barracks are now 90% lit at night, off batteries we recharge from the camp generator in the day.

So we have been making a beautiful table from the wood I brought from Calais mixed with the rail sleepers from site here. It never ceases to amaze me how just when I’m running out if funds, or I need an expert, some/1 turns up, and the job gets done. Here are some pix of what all your kind donations have been used to build.  A huge thanks ! There are alot of smiles around the place.

Oh, and please keep em coming, as I’m heading north to the boarder camp o. Monday to start all over again, and there is alot let infrastructure there, with people drinking polluted water on 1 camp… 1st mission, water purification system…

Big love , and enjoy your comfortable lives… and be very thankful u have homes to live in!!!

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Call out for funding for giving the refugees lighting and hot water in Belgrade ‘barracks’

After 3 days in the camp I am beginning to get a view on how I can help and what is needed.  So yesterday I helped one of the other welders here to make 4 oil drum bar b que’s, and there was a big chicken fry up all night.  We played Pashto music on the stereo, with my speakers on the roof of the truck, and a fire in a washing machine drum for the people to sit around.

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As we were chatting to the people while they were queing and eating, some of them asked me and a friend if we could make lights for them in the large cold rooms they live in at the camp, then this morning while we were salvaging  some metal in one of the buildings, another group asked us if we could get them fuel for a paraffin lamp…! This made me worry about the use of that style of lighting amongst wooden frames building is, with lots of cut firewood being stored near open fires and wood burners… SO… this afternoon, we went shopping.

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We bought a few motor bike batteries and a couple of different types of led lights, got back and wired them up , and gave them out to a few groups of the lads.  We noted the times we put them on, and will check when they run low, so as to decide  which are more efficient.  

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Look at this amazing  shot Darragh took of the view of a fire through the led ring we made. You can see the motor bike battery, and his hand… this shot has not been doctored at all. I have told him to enter it in exhibitions and competitions…

So for only around £400 we can make these lights for the whole camp of a thousand people, literally bringing them out of the dark ages of sitting around smokey fires and burners. To talk at night, play cards or chess, have a bit of  dignity. Please click the link below and donate what you can, and a huge thanks if you already have, no need to feel bad if u can’t… just maybe take 5 to forward around FB for me, as I dont do it so this isn’t  on there.

If we get enough money, we may even move on to building hot water systems for washing, as that is another luxury the guys here have not had for a long long time… like 5-6 months for some residents of the camp.

A member of the get shit done crew has arrived and will be organizing toilets in the next few days too, so the camp really will have changed a lot soon, and i may be able to head up to the Hungarian border, where things are apparently a lot worse.

Big love from snowy Serbia.

D

Day 1 – Belgrade refugee camp ‘the Baracks’

So … we arrived yesterday lunch time, and spent the day meeting people and getting shown around and filled in on how the camp runs.  MSF have a small presence with 3 heated tents, 2 kitchens split the work of cooking around 400 meals, twice a day, there is the soul food kitchen, and the kitchen with no name… both are volunteer run. The wood delivery comes every other day, and is divided by ticket around the camp in wheel barrows.

The place is filthy, with windows missing, rubbish every where , open fires indoors still, but we have managed to stop the burning of railway sleepers soaked in diesel at least.  There is a tap high in a bare room being used as a shower, and no toilets.  The people are mainly from Afghanistan and the lawless areas between India and Pakistan such as the Hindi Kush. And their all male.

So today I set up a phone charging station outside my truck while playing music.

 

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A lot of the boys really loved the tunes, and they are all so grateful for the help. Many speak on English and there is very little crime on site, so the feeling in general is very friendly. Tomorrow I plan to help some of the other volunteers  make big barbeques for a BIG shish kebab cook up soon…

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So I hear the Hungarian boarder is much worse, with a tent camp with no running  water or amenities at all.  So we will head up there soon to make water heating burners and collect firewood.

I am however now completely skin,a and my insurance bill us due for the truck … so please guys, forward this around your networks and click on the crowd funding link below and bung what u can on there… oh and I found a beautiful black puppy today roaming the camp, so I got me a guard dog… gona call him Gundagir… Arabic for big gangster

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Wood delivery is tomorrow, so I also sharpened a few axes, and fixed a guys shoe with silicone.

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More when i can…

1 love

D

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On the road to recovery …

A little view on what is like to leave ur home and travel south through France and Italy to help the Fugees in Serbia…

So this is my new lul home… kindly donated by my favourite scrap yard-Eco Vans, in Bristol…

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A week (yes 7 days) of 12-18 hour days work in Mutonia has made it much more homely and ultimately more useful… solar panels kindly donated by the Bimble Inn ( thanks grant) fitted and connected, roof waterproofed, box and sides of trucky re-painted, and shit hot Graff job on the back by Andreas completed…

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Nice 1 bruva!!!…  he’s my passenger, along with Lucio… here’s some more shots of the amazing  Mutonia, where the (A team live)

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Plenty more on their website at

http://www.facebook.com/ProMutoid/

Happen to be listening to Morgan heritage’s – social network tune while promoting a FB site… doh! Synchro!

Anyhoo , of to Serbia soon, after a day more work on the truck itself, now that the box is fixed up trucky got jealous, threw her toys out the pram, and sprung an oil leak, a flat tyre, AND flat batteries after a week stationary on a shed… stroppy cow, so prob Tues now, getting to Serbia by weds I reckon. It’s cost a small fortune doing this guy’s, so if it flush, please hot the donate button somewhere near by and get the Mad Man a pint… Of diesel please…

More when I get there

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Yeah, that Belgrade squat life for I don’t know how many thousands of desperate people… like last time… the journey is the jolly bit…

Miss y’all …come visit asap… know we’ll be well desperate for as much help as we can get when we get there- what ever you talents… gotta be better to help real people out, if even for a week, than watch trump send the world to hell in a hand cart on the Roger Melly…

16th feb… we made it to Belgrade!!!

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1 Love

D

Direct Action Volunteer … Stepping out of babylon!!!

So the time has come to put down my life here in the uk for a while…

I cannot watch as anymore people starve, freeze or are bombed to death, from my privileged position on a sofa in a warm comfy place, far removed from the harsh realities of life in a world only a few days drive from here.

I leave next week, to Greece, with as many wood burners and as much welding gear as I can take.

A huge thanks to all who have helped, and a huge please to those who have not yet… My boat has not sold, ( see other blog article) so I am asking for donations for fuel and living costs, (link t0 crowd funder on main page of blog) and will be posting blogs and videos along the way to show how its going.

While its exciting, its also a little full on, and I know I cant fully prepare for what awaits, so keep in touch y’all, it will be nice to feel like you’re interested by seeing messages and comments.

Please spread this, and check in when u can for updates as i wont av time to send txts out saying av a look at this…

Very tired from all the preparations so thats all for now… Big love people, and remember, Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere… Its time to act!  Hope to see some action going on back here while Im gone that makes me wish I was home!

Stand up for what you believe in and try and make the world a better place while your still breathing eh!?!