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Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Lampedusa, Italy. Part I: What Happened in 2011




During the "Arab Spring", the tiny island of Lampedusa, off the coast of Sicily, due to its unfortunate vicinity to North Africa saw the arrival of around 50,000 migrants mostly from Tunisia and Libya in 2011.

We know that the use of words like "invasion" or "flooding" is considered racist by the liberal media, but how else is it possible to describe this situation?

Lampedusa has a total population of just over 6,000 people only when you also include the inhabitants of the nearby island of Linosa, with which it forms Italy's southernmost local council.

Invasion does not need to be military. Any violation of a sovereign country's borders is a crime and an aggression.

There was even an allegation that some women had been thrown overboard by the migrants during the sea crossing from Africa to prevent the overloaded boats from capsizing, according to an eye witness aboard the boats.

The many thousands of immigrants and refugees fleeing the chaos of the "revolution", among whom were suspected escaped prisoners, were then gradually transferred to mainland Italy and other EU countries, but there were repeated times when the number of newcomers was higher than that of locals.

On those occasions when natives were outnumbered, there were tales of local women having to be accompanied everywhere to protect them from immigrants' unwanted attentions, sacked shops, flats' doors forced open, people returning home to find Tunisians sitting at the dining table eating and, after their departures, some householders even discovering faeces inside saucepans.

The island just became what one newspaper called "a huge immigrant camp".

Maybe expecting to find a hotel reception and with scarcely a thought about the crisis they were creating in the small island, the illegal immigrants were complaining, as in the above video, describing what they found in Lampedusa as "shameful" and pontificating "the reception is zero" as if they had been giving a hotel review on TripAdvisor.

The attitude of the Tunisian refugee in the video is particularly enlightening, showing an entitlement mentality according to which Europe, the land of democracy, justice and human rights, was expected, as was its duty, to give all these things to him and his companions, and Italians should have "taken the time" to provide them with all they needed.

This video confirms what Lampedusa mayor Bernardino De Rubeis said: "We have here young Tunisians who arrogantly want everything immediately, just like criminals, ready to endanger our lives and theirs". He later added: "We're in a war, and the people will react. There are people here who want to go out into the streets armed with clubs".

The one expressed in the film is the typical mindset of many Muslim immigrants to Europe. These are the people usually portrayed as "victims" for whom everything else has to be sacrificed.

And when they don't get what they want, there is trouble. In April 2011 the illegals, unhappy about their accommodation conditions, set fire to a guest house where they were staying at the expense of a charity organization, and threw rocks at the police.

On 20 September 2011, similar story: the immigrants torched the reception centre where they were accommodated, destroying three buildings in the holding facility, and clashed with the police, while the media were blaming for the arson everyone, the Italian government, the provisional Tunisian government, the European Union, except the actual perpetrators. This was the second time that the reception centre had been burnt down by refugees, the first during an inmate riot destroying a large part of the complex on 19 February 2009.

The desperate Lampedusa natives, seeing their predicament not understood or helped by Italian or European authorities, in March 2011 even resorted to stopping for an hour the Italian Coast Guard patrol boat, loaded with still more North Africans, from docking at the harbour, and repeated this sort of "direct action" several times.

Lampedusa lives mainly on tourism, and the thousands of migrants, often behaving not exactly as gentlemen, were making the place inhospitable to visitors. In this financial crisis every job is precious. In 2011, the tourist season started in August, two months later than usual.

In addition, the island did not have the agricultural and water resources to deal with the refugee emergency.

And anyway, the crux of the matter is that people should not be forced into that situation through the moral blackmail accusation of not acting charitably.

Unfortunately these are, as Oriana Fallaci said, the enemies we welcome as friends, and their sob stories seem to have the desired effect on many people, in Italy as all over Europe.

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