News from Lampedusa - a personal report (part 4)

This is the fourth in a series of reports from a NoBorders activist in Lampedusa. (Read: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 ).

Two weeks passed since the last time I had some spare time to write a report. Sorry.

In this two weeks the situation was so mad that we could barely have time to sleep: the migrants in Lampedusa went up to about 7000 according to the official numbers...

Since the overcrowded Detention centre had no space left, people were left to sleep roughly in a small hill between the port and the airport. They soon started to build tents with any kind of material they could find around.

They had just a few toilets. Almost no blankets and no food a part from what the people were giving them.

In this difficult period, we have been distributing food for about 50/60 people a day, giving Italian lessons and some legal advice. We also let them take a shower and wash their clothes in our washing machine.

We also organised a small protest when Berlusconi came to expose his plan to solve the emergency that the government had created but unfortunately some of his supporters violently prevented us from opening our banners. (See video here).

A couple of days ago most of the migrants were moved to other centers and tent camps in Italy. The problem has been transferred and now it is not as visible as before in Lampedusa. In fact there are now about 1200 migrants in the detention centre. New migrants continue to arrive but they get quickly transferred to Sicily or Italy on huge ferry boats.

Protests are being organised all around the areas where the migrants arrive and the Government is talking about giving them a temporary permit to stay for humanitarian reasons or for family reunion hoping that in this way most of the Tunisians will go to France.

By the way a good webpage to get updated info is Progetto Melting Pot Europa.