Samstag, 24. September 2011

Linosa: The new border?

The day before yesterday on Lampedusa after the involvement of some of the workers from Lampedusa Accoglienza at the violent protest against the Tunisians, someone burnt the private car belonging to Galipò. There is confirmation that around 170 Tunisians were transferred the other day from Lampedusa (including 2 women and 2 children) and yesterday from Linosa, they were identified in the harbour of Porto Empedocle and then brought by bus to the Port of Palermo and kept on a ship/CIE  (Immigration Detention Centre), without receiving any information or assistance from the Praesidum organisation. 

During the first transfers on the ship/CIE around 50 asylum applicants were located at the CARA (Hosting Centre for Asylum Seekers) in Caltanissetta (28) and probably brought to the centre in Foggia. There should be around 600 Tunisians on the ships/CIE docked at the port of Palermo. Today one of the children kept on the ship, who was suffering with cuts was transferred to hospital.
The situation remains calm in Lampedusa today after the demonstrations the other day, where there were diverse Lampedusans, not giving in or even being arrested by the police force, which according to witnesses ( we even have some images) would be rebuked by the Carabinieri. The ex military base Loran has moved the non accompanied foreign minors, some have been transferred to Sicily by ferry or hydrofoil (around 20), others have been lodged in Cala Creta temporarily at a residential hotel complex and around 40 minors have been kept at the ex NATO base in the daytime.
In these coming hours another transfer to Porto Empedocle is expected. The first questions are beginning to arise (many of which in reality have been present since the beginning in the minds of Lampedusans, and many others). How come after the fire at the centre of Condrada Imbriacola the police allowed the Tunisians to disembark for a whole day by the petrol station? Why did they not consider evacuating the migrants (as would have been to do so)? Why (and how??) did the migrants have the possibility of obtaining gas canisters and unleashing tension and terror amongst the local population?
Many witnesses confirm that the Lampedusans, who participated in the patrols could have been invited by De Rubeis. What is sure is that the mayor of the island was not only present at the bloody protests of racist hatred, but also instigated violence with those present. One of our volunteers recounted the astonishment and disdain of Tunisians subjected to the behaviour of the mayor on that occasion.
However, the latest news to circulate regards the arrivals at Linosa last night.
These continue to be real arrivals and there are those among the fishermen of the island, who recount that during the day, the boats of “immigrants” could be traced to around 6 miles from the coast and then they would reach land at night to offload the immigrants. We don't know which other scenarios are to be expected, but it's sure that the arrivals will not be stopped in this way.

Germana Graceffo
 Borderline Sicilia