Sonntag, 17. November 2013

Pozzallo: Migrants participate in local demonstration

The city of Pozallo, in Sicily, woke up to a bright, sunny day after the dark and frightening spectacle of last November 17organized by the neo-fascist party Forza Nuova (New Force) - when dozens of people marched through the streets shouting racist and xenophobic slogans.

Local residents, unions and migrants all went out onto the streets to protest against the rising anxiety caused by reckless journalists and a number of racist and fascist factions. The anti-racism committee, Restiamo Umani (We Remain Human), and other organizations and associations wanted to counteract the tension which had been rising over recent days in the area, and also to draw attention to the situation of hundreds of refugees. After having been held in a sports centre on arrival, they were then taken to the CPSA (Centri di Primo Soccorso e Accoglienza: Centre of First Aid and Reception) at the port where they have been held for several weeks awaiting relocation to various other refugee shelters.

As always, due to the absence of these shelters, a perceived emergency situation occurred, which, was completely unfounded, considering that the number of arrivals into Italy has always been lower compared to those in other EU states. The fact that the arrival of new boats has been perceived as an emergency for years is now part of a clearly recognizable political and economic tactic. 

Despite the large sums of public money which has been made available for these “states of emergency”, the refugees who are lucky enough to make it to Italy alive, are expected to live in squalid conditions for years. . They are trapped in reception centres that nowhere near meet even the minimum standards. Meanwhile, the Asylum Commission of Syracuse has set up a sub-committee for the recognition of 

International Protection in the prefecture of Ragusa in order to accelerate asylum procedure.

The editorial department of Borderline Sicily

Translated by Aylin Satmaz