Jul 25, 2008

The day Alexis took 200,000 "invisible" children with him to the Presidential Mansion

Every July 24, on the anniversary of the restoration of democracy, the President of the Hellenic Republic hosts a reception at the Presidential Mansion. People who fought against the junta, were jailed and tortured, politicians, state officials, ambassadors and media are invited to attend where the highlight of the evening is the Presidential address.

After 34 years of watching the reception's humdrumness, this year someone finally DID something to actually remind people that beyond the hedges of the beautiful (as I have been told) gardens of the Presidential Mansion are citizens living in our democracy with no voice, who are not recorded as existing citizens.

Unlike other guests who arrived escorted by their spouses/girl/boyfriends, Alexis Tsipras came with 200,000 "invisible" children represented by Miss Canditsa Sankio. Miss Sankio is a young lady born in Sierra Leone, raised, educated and working in Greece. Her two younger sisters, 14 and 12, were born in Greece and none of the three - along with 199,997 other children born in Greece to immigrant families - are acknowledged by the Greek state because they are refused birth certicates. Miss Sankio's mother is one of the founders of the "NO TO RACISM FROM BIRTH" campaign (more information on this campaign and issue on my Blogger's Unite for Human Rights post).

Tip of the hat to Alexis for seizing the oportunity of the reception to let the President of the Republic, the Prime Minister, the Cabinet, the MPs know that there are 200,000 children born HERE to immigrant parents, yet they do not "exist" according to the Greek state.

Miss Sankio's presence at the reception got the people and media talking about something meaningful on the day we celebrate the restoration of democracy. Democracy for all, equal rights for all.