Mittwoch, 28. September 2011

The battle of Lampedusa part 2

We have recently been following the case of Lampedusa, in apprehension of some hundred Tunisians, who have been illegally restrained, brutally massacred and unfairly repatriated to Tunisia. This has been happening for months, many Italians remain indifferent and the media inept- they are capable of covering the daily news without ever looking at the origin of the case and the consequences they could have. What has been seen happening in Lampedusa isn't normal, at least not for a civil democratic country.
The hostility towards journalists and activists shown by security forces is synonymous of an ill system in which no one monitors the authorities anymore. The anger of the Lampedusans that turned into hatred towards the immigrants is, instead, the beginning of a war that will be fought inside the same civilization.  Because there isn't a separateTunisian civilization and a Lampedusan one, instead there is a unique Mediterranean civilization. There is no other place like Lampedusa that senses how the culture war is a ploy of present communication. The exacerbation of political tones, that makes the debate meaningless and infinite, has completely removed us from the general trend. In this situation, the same people always take advantage. The latest exuberated and profiteering politicians who will be judged by history. Elsewhere, those who seem to be the victims of the story are raising their heads and fighting to take back their freedom.  Perhaps it is true, perhaps the Tunisians disembarking at Lampedusa are fighting a battle. They have decided to confront the enemy empty handed, with their bodies and faces uncovered. Their battle is cultural. To knock down a definition, a concept: the idea of a border as we know today.
Perhaps unaware of what they are doing, they are attacking the same essence of modernity and the rule of law.  It is not a war invoked by the mayor of Lampedusa, Dino De Rubeis. The Lampedusans won’t "save" Lampedusa like this. 
It is not them, from whom they must defend themselves. Rome, the government and ministries, reports from news broadcasts and newspapers. It's them who have created a climate of war and fear towards the Other. Lampedusa is "the extreme edge of Italy in arms", just like the monument to remember the fallen states, overhanging the port of the island.
The border that becomes the confine, militarized up to the teeth.
Trial and training camp for the war that will follow later. The one that was infected by the allergy of the Arab spring will fight against us. Those tired of living without a prospective future in a mediocre country. Those from the South, who go to the North and then go abroad. The young who stay young until they reach the age of 50 and those who live on work experience and voluntary work. What would happen if they let us speak with them? What would happen if we could understand that our stories are just like those of the young Tunisians? What are they scared about?
These days Lampedusa has been an example of what could happen in Italy at any given time.
We have seen the men from the Finance Police go around dressed in very trendy uniforms. There was a t-shirt with writing on the right sleeve “G8 2001, I was there” and one was even more particular with “mercenary” written on the back. 
The journalists have been forbidden to carry out their work correctly. Lampedusans and security forces have stopped them from speaking with around 300 Tunisians, who were having a peaceful sit-in in town, intimidating and even assaulting the cameramen and photographers.
The images that are circulating are passed for a double check before and after the event. The only people who have filmed and photographed everything are the police.
The meticulous selection has eliminated the parts that show the faces and the manners of the Lampedusan assaulters. We havent seen the scenes of men in uniform fromLampedusa Accoglienza", the organization that provides services inside the Contrada Imbriacola Centre, hitting the Tunisians with clubs, poles and stones. Furthermore the reports of newspapers sought out and wanted only the bloodier images, "those where the Tunisians attacked the Lampedusans", where there is "a boy with a lighter in his hand trying to explode the gas cylinders".  Images that should not have been taken because things unfolded differently
We have seen visible signs of abuse and violence against the Tunisians who left Lampedusa after the tension on 21st September. We saw them in a single queue with two police officers, who accompanied them towards a plane and then a ship. Nobody had the opportunity to ask them how they could have broken their legs or arms. The transfers and even repatriations go ahead, buried under the sand. The irregularities and abuses would not have been followed up. At least this is how the blind bats governing us and those following orders think, without worrying about laws anymore. They do not know that what has happened in Lampedusa not only wont stop the landings, the ports of Tunisia are full of people waiting to leave, but there is the serious risk of sparking violence against Italians in Tunisia.  What would happen if the Tunisians started hating and attacking upon sight? The businesses, the companies, the Italian residents in Tunisia, the hundreds of families with Sicilian origin in the neighbourhood of 'Le petit Sicilie a la-Goulette' what would they say to their neighbours, colleagues and Tunisian workers? Can Italy allow all this to happen? The waste of money and the consequences this kind of political stance on immigration could have between the countries, should make us reflect in the long term.
The job of a journalist is to recount the facts by speaking to people and by going to see with their own eyes, and to show humankind. This is how we got to know Mahdi a 19 year old student in his last year ofScientifico(Science-based Secondary School). Mehdi comes up from between the crowd smiling and repeats a couple of times:choose a number, choose a number...(The game goes like this: choose a number and multiply it by 2. add  X and divide by 2, at this point subtract  the number you chose at the beginning and the result will be ½ of X ). Mehdi has a brother, who has lived in Legnano with the family, the sister has lived in Nice for 15 years. He dreams of going to live with his sister and attend the Faculty of Mathematics at the University there. He swears that if he is repatriated to Tunisia he will try and return to Europe 100 times again. This is his battle.
Alessio Genovese