There haven’t been new boat arrivals as predicted, and the situation looks rather calm from the tourists' point of view. The only thing to remind us of what happened the other day, is the significant presence of security forces. On our first evening we met an employee from ARCI, together with a cultural mediator, who described to us what he had seen during the last two months on Lampedusa. The employee had visited the centre in Contrada Imbriacola and the ex base Loran claiming that the detention conditions were not so bad.
The problem, according to him, is the denial of the right to move freely and the unjust detention of those who undertake the journey by sea. But regarding the treatment inside the centre, we were told that the bathrooms were proportional to the number of people (he said there were 15 fully functioning bathrooms for every 50 people); that the food was so good he often ate at the canteen with the migrants; that the centre tried to follow the rules of Ramadan; and, that there were plenty of cigarettes. The cultural mediator said that Italians are not looked upon with kindness in
He has never heard convincing stories of Tunisians having risked their life for political reasons during this period (according to him many have invented unbelievable versions of events) or, at least, he maintains that such scenarios, if true, are exceptions. He claims that his compatriots who have been living in
We were at the Festival both nights, the public turnout, as in other years, was incredible. Airplanes were completely full of people mainly coming from
The first evening we also spoke to Annalisa from Askavusa, who told us that the situation at the moment is difficult for the association. The Lampedusans stare at members of the association with angry eyes and they prefer not to organise new initiatives and try to remain in the background.
She told me that after Ilaria went to
Many stop to speak with us regarding what has happened in Lampedusa this year. A young Sicilian thinks that there might be a plot behind all this that is aimed at expelling the Lampedusans from the island in order to be able to buy houses and property at great prices.
One Lampedusan is tired of words. He feels he is being made fun of and thinks that his co-citizens, as well as the mainland Italians, shouldn't pay taxes anymore in order to send those governing home. The town centre is full of people in the morning, there are those who speak about the Carabinieri leaving the hotels, but you can still see a presence of security forces on the island.
A journalist from Radio Popolare in