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<nettime> Migrants: a pretty unhappy xmas
acunzoli {AT} tin.it on Fri, 7 Jan 2000 03:51:03 +0100 (CET)

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<nettime> Migrants: a pretty unhappy xmas

In spite of millennium paranoias, the world is alas going on as usual -- or
maybe even worse. Our "Christian" society entered its third millennium
pretending that the whole world did the same -- while we are, it's always
good to remember it, an absolute minority on this planet, only we're the
richest and noisiest. And in this "Christian" world in which Peter would be
arrested for illegal immigration, Judas would have to declare its 30 coins 
on the tax return and Jesus Christ would be coldly crucified by the press
as an hippie freak, the wake of blood caused by the Wall of Fortress
Europe, by the absurd, dictatorial limitations to people's freedom of
movement is getting everyday longer.

5 migrants died in the Italian prison camps for migrants from dec. 25 to
Jan. 1. And at least another one died in the Southern coast while trying to
reach the Italian shores. Here are the reports.


ROME, dec. 25, Christmas. Mohamed Ben Said, 39, Tunesian, is illegally
emprisoned in the camp of Ponte Galeria since 14 days. Illegally even for
the fascist law instituting the "camps", because he was married with an
Italian woman -- mrs. Piras, from Genua -- and father of a boy. Illegally,
because he had serious problems of health. Sometimes his jaw and tongue got
so swallen that he could hardly breath, he had been operated withouth much
success -- and it seems he was also an heroin addict. Often he was taken to
the infirmary by the Red Cross operators, where he was given the "Minias",
a powerful tranquilizer which, according to some experts, is not compatible
with heroin addiction. Everybody gets the Minias in Ponte Galeria, but
since a week the distribution of this tranquilizer has been interrupted.
Ben Said's sickness was known to everybody, despite he was in the camp from
"only" 14 days, still he was kept there, never taken to the hospital,
quickly visited by the Red Cross and never given anything but the Minias.
The "cure" he received is well explained by one of his room mates, another
Tunesian still emprisoned in Ponte Galeria:

"Mohamed has been sick for many days. Two days before his dead, he
suddendly fell to the ground and we called the doctors. The doctors did not
come -- instead, came a lot of policemen which forced him into his bed".

"The next day, Mohamed could not even open his mouth. The doctor came, gave
him a pill and in the afternoon the Minias. Mohamed was in his bed, and did
not eat anything for the whole day. In the evening, more or less at 11 PM,
he felt really sick. We called the doctors, but nobody came. We fell asleep
only at 5 AM (Mohamed died one hour later, at 6 AM). Finally, at 9 AM the
doctors came, with a lot of armed policemen -- but we did not want to start
a riot, we just tried to call somebody!"

The end of this terrible story is even more horrible than the story itself.
"Most likely, that man was here only because the foreign police had to
check his position," admitted one high police officer, which asked to
remain anonimous. "A Tunesian married with an Italian woman... if he would
not die, he would surely have been released with many apologies."

(From "Il Manifesto", dec. 28)


TARANTO, Dec. 26: Another casualty in the Southern coast, another terrible
story to tell. In the Algerian port of Annaba, five migrants from Tanzania
hide on a boat (the Poseidonia, from Cyprus) with a crew of six Ucranians
sailors They feel safe, but alas they are discovered, and there starts an
horrible nightmare. In the beginning, they are locked up in a small room,
then the crew starts treating them as slaves, forcing them to work on board
for 3 long months without pay and with very little food, beating them up
whenever they like. Finally, on dec. 19 the boat reaches Sicily, then
follows the coast towards the port of Taranto. On dec. 26, in sight of the
city, two of the Tanzianian migrants provide from a moment of distraction
of the crew to jump outboard, in the sea. One manage to reach the shore and
calls the police to free the other three still enslaved. The other, a 25
year old man, died in the attempt. 

The police arrested the whole Ucranian crew, charging them for murder,
reduction in slavery, kidnapping. They risk life long jail. The four
survived migrants were -- obviously -- taken in a camp to be later

(From "Il Manifesto", Dec. 28)


TRAPANI, Dec. 29: The rebellion and the attempt to escape of some
clandestines extra-EU from a camp for clandestine immigrants in Trapani
(Sicily) ended up in a horrible fire which killed 3 clandestines, while
other 4 have been taken to the hospital with very serious burnings. Other 4
are guarded in the hospital by the police because among them there is a
Tunesian accused of having started the fire. The Sicilian judges tries to
clear out the mistery of a door hurriedly locked by the police when the
riot broke out, and opened only when the tragedy took place. Very hard
reaction of the Church of Trapani: "That camp is a lager", stated father
Nino Andragna, priest of the cathedral. Immediate answer from the Minister
of Internal Affair, mr. Bianco: "Our camps for clandestine extra-EU
immigrants are not prisons, but neither hotels where you can get in and out
at will!"

That was the first page. Inside the newspaper (Corriere della Sera), you
can read:

"The escape took place at midnight: window bars cut, a jump in the camp's
garden, eight illegal immigrants desperately running from the police
hunting them. Six were captured, two made it. Then, a misterious hand locks
up the door of one of the sleeping places. And, on the other side of that
door, Fqik Lakhdar, a Tunesian already deported 3 times from Italy, setting
matrasses on fire to force the police to open up the door, without thinking
that the small, crowdy room can become a hell of fire and smoke. So died 3
of the 85 guests of the "Serraino Vulpitta", a set of buildings conceived
as elder's home and partially turned into a camp for illegal immigrants.
But the context of the tragedy is quite wider, because it has been preceded
by continuous riots, as witnessed by mr. Francesco Palermo, one of the
elders living there. "Since 3 days they were kicking on those bars". And
because mr. Maritati, the high officer hurriedly sent to Trapani by the
Minister of Internal Affairs, mr Bianco, stated initially that the doors
were surely open, but then, in front of the many evidences and witnesses,
was forced to admit that the door was most likely closed from the outside.
And finally, because in the section of the "Serraino Vulpitta" turned into
a camp for 85 foreigners, there is no running water.

>From the "Corriere della Sera", dec. 30

For what concerns the above, 1 of the 4 heavy wounded migrants died two
days later (Jan. 1), bringing the toll to 4 deads and 7 wounded. Then, our
Minister of Internal Affairs, mr, Bianco, stated that the camps are not
prisons, but in  Trapani many witnesses speak about barbed wire at the
windows, besides the bars, and policemen throwing cigarettes into the
migrant's rooms. And, always according to the "Corriere della Sera" (the
most important, official and burgeoise Italian newspaper), the riots broke
out for the lack of water.

So, that's all for the period 25 dec - 1 january. Merry Christmas and happy
new year. Do you think these tragedies teached something to the EU
governments, and to this trusthworty EU policeman which is the Italian
government? Not at all! In this first 5 days of the new millennium, there
were already 2 deads in the Otranto Channel: a young Chinese man on Jan. 2
and a Iraki Kurd, just yesterday. 

I'd like to end up this sad e-mail by reporting what the UN demographic
experts stated yesterday about Italy and Germany: considered the slow rate
of births and the ageing of the population, Italy will pass from 57 to 41
millions inhabitants in the year 2050, while Germany will pass from 87 to
73 millions people. To keep their economies to current levels, Italy will
have to accept 300.000 migrants every year for the next 25 years, while
Germany will have to accept 500.000 migrants every year (always till 2025).

(From the "Corriere della Sera", Jan. 6)

Immediate response of the Italian government: unchecked data, and anyway we
cannot take 300.000 migrants a year. And to show how serious they are about
it, instead of the 100.000 new permits to stay promised last october, just
after another tragedy (the burning of 10 migrants on a Greek ferry), the
Italians will deliver only 63.000 permissions for the year 2000, divided by
quotas: 5.000 to Albanians, 5.000 to Maroccans, etc.

Are they so blindly stupid to commit even an economic suicide?  

Hasta la victoria


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