Monday, July 28, 2008

CLASHES IN THE CATHEDRAL

Angry immigrants today occupied the Cathedral in Naples after spending three nights on the street following a fire which had forced them to leave their homes. Their main grievance was that they believed that Italian citizens who had also been affected were offered decent alternative housing immediately.

It seems that the immigrants were initially waiting to see a member of the Catholic Curia but the trouble started at around 12.30 pm when they were asked to leave, as that is the time when the Cathedral closes for the afternoon. At that point, the immigrants lay down on the pews. Many of them were terrified of being identified because their documents were not in order.

Then things got ugly and scuffles broke out. Three arrests were made and one man was treated for cuts and bruises. The immigrants’ cause was supported by several groups, including Italy’s No Global.

This incident raises so many questions, many of them uncomfortable ones: Does a country have a right, or even a duty, to look after its own citizens first? On the other hand, surely everyone has a right to be treated with some human dignity? What would any of us do if we suddenly found ourselves homeless through no fault of our own? And if you are seeking a little compassion when you most need it , is it unreasonable to suppose that you might find it in a church?

17 comments:

CherryPie said...

On the other hand, surely everyone has a right to be treated with some human dignity?

Everyone has the right always! It makes me sad that rules and regulations make it otherwise...

kyles said...

ohhh welshcakes, how sad. In Australia we are supposed to support the principle of the 'aussie fair go'...but from where I stand, sometimes the aussie fair go doesn't extend to those seeking refuge from their birthlands, or even indeed our own Indigenous population.

How sad for those poor immigrants, you are so right, this does raise huge issues. One phrase that is swimming in my head, is there but for the grace of god go I...these are our brothers and sisters, we need to look after each other more for sure. And of course it's not unreasonable to expect to find refuge in a church...sending peaceful vibes your way xo

Girl on the Run... said...

This is so sad. I can't even imagine how a church could feel they are in the right to turn out those in need.

What is happening in this world when basic human rights and care are no more important than yesterday's trash?

Very very sad.


Welshcakes... asking a favor here. I am putting together a list of women who inspire both real and fictional. Please stop by and add some names to the list! Thanks so much ~ M

jmb said...

And if you are seeking a little compassion when you most need it , is it unreasonable to suppose that you might find it in a church?
How great does that look, to kick the homeless out of the church? Of course they should have made an exception and taken care of these people, be they Italians or not.

Ellee Seymour said...

It certainly sounds very fascist to me, is the Italian media discussing this concept?

Lord James Bigglesworth said...

This raises other questions too. In my linked post, I conclude that I just don't know the answer. Does anyone?

Aileni said...

Very hard not to feel uncomfortable with this when you are a 'stranger in a strange land'.
Of course, we weren't forced to flee
and we have been given every consideration. I just makes you think.

Wolfie said...

"Their main grievance was that they believed that Italian citizens who had also been affected were offered decent alternative housing immediately."

Now first of all am I to assume that there was limited availability of accommodation and that Italians were dealt with as a priority rather than the Immigrants [permanently] excluded entirely?

If that is the case I'd ask this question. Given the same circumstances in their home country would they expect or even tolerate outsiders being given priority above and beyond their own needs? I think not. Having spent some time in developing countries myself I would guess, based on my experiences and observations that even in the most progressive countries such process would not be tolerated for even a moment unless perhaps the foreigners were paying their own way, and even above the local market rate.

Guthrum said...

Unfortunately, whilst we have a large State that redistributes its largesse collected by over taxation, it is a natural thing for anybody wanting a better life to gravitate towards the honey pot. There is little point just cutting off benefits to immigrants and not the general population, as then the immigrants just go on the black undercutting.

Cutting back the bloated EU welfare culture, will mean that the inflows will slow, it is then better to raise standards of any potential immigrants through trade, offering educational aid instead of food aid.

How this can ever be achieved when we are raise both physical and protectionist trade barriers I do not know.

Gledwood said...

Does a country have a right, or even a duty, to look after its own citizens first?

Yes! Because "charity begins at home"...

I never would have come to such an answer so decidedly in years past but living in a place where everyone seems to think the immigrants get housing/etc FIRST has given me a point of view!!

Mopsa said...

Christianity never feels very Christian to me.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I agree, cherrypie. Kyles, interesting to learn how it is over there. "There but for the grace..." indeed. Hi, M. I just don't know. As you say, it is all so sad. Will be over to your list straightaway. xx Of course you are right, jmb. Hi, Ellee. Fascism is outlawed by the Ital Constitution and I don't think this is the accusation. I think it's more along the lines of what Wolfie says, along with the fact that this is a very bureaucratic country. It is not, however, a country without a heart. Hi, James. No, I don't think anyone knows the answer. Aileni, I understand what you are saying and agree completely. Wolfie, I think the supposition in your first paragraph here is probably correct. As I've said, add to that Ital bureaucracy and this is the situation that ensues. What you sway in your second paragraph is probably correct , too, but of course people don't stop to think in this way when they are desperate. Hi, Guthrum. You raise interesting points. I think the correct sort of aid is the only answer, but like you, I don't know how this can be achieved. Hi, gleds. I come from an area of Cardiff where people also felt this, so I understand. Mopsa, sadly I agree.

Ardent said...

Welshcakes, I have come in a bit late on this post. You raise very interesting and thought provoking issues.

The questions that you raise are not at all simple to answer.

Winchester whisperer said...

You are right: churches should not be "closed for business".

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Ardent, thanks for commenting. They are very difficult questions and I wrestle with them in my heart. Agree, WW.

cb said...

Rules of basic human dignity and respect shouldn't be disregarded. I think the government has a massive role to play in the demonisation of illegal immigrants. Yes, the immigration is illegal but the people are still human and deserving of human rights.

I accept that charity begins at home but that shouldn't reduce the need to treat all people with a minimum level of dignity and respect. All people regardless of where they are from, what they have done. To dehumanise immigrants as the Italian government seems to be doing, is a poor reflection on the culture which allows it.
And for the record, it's not that I think it's better in the UK, it's just sad wherever it happens.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, cb and thank you for commenting. I agree with all that you say.

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