Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Darkness is falling earlier and it's the end of October but there seems no end in sight to the "boatloads of sorrow" arriving on Sicily's shores: on Sunday the Italian navy saved  408 migrants, including 80 children and 40 women, from a boat in trouble off Augusta [Siracusa] and yesterday a Coast Guard patrol rescued 41 migrants whose boat got into difficulty 70 miles off Lampedusa. Another naval vessel went to the aid of a boat carrying 97 migrants, among them ten children.

Yesterday was also the day when the Comitato 3 ottobre - formed after the migrant tragedy on that date this year - presented its proposal for a law making 3rd October a day of remembrance to groups in both the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies.  Under the proposed law, the text of which, most unusually for an Italian bill, contains only two articles, 3rd October every year would become a day to remember all migrants who have died fleeing persecution, oppression, poverty and war together with all who have risked their lives trying to save them. Members of the Committee have asked for meetings with President Napolitano and the presidents of both houses.

Meanwhile yesterday a group of around 100 migrants blocked the road to San Vito Lo Capo [Trapani] in protest at shortages in the reception centre at Bonagia and at delays in the processing of documents which would allow them to remain in Italy.

I have a concern which no one, to my knowledge has yet raised and it is this:  if in Italy there are groups of migrants who are not being assisted and whose cases are not being heard urgently, they will surely become depressed, disillusioned and angry.  How will the experience change them and who is lying in wait to take advantage of their situation?


Saucy Siciliana said...

In reference to this matter, yesterday there was a sciopero of immigrants here in Trapani, protesting the inhuman conditions in which they are living. It's really a big problem, I think no one knows what to do about it.

Jenny Woolf said...

It is an alarming and depressing scene that you paint. At present, it seems to be smaller places like Malta and Sicily who are bearing a disproportionate amount of the brunt of this sad situation.

Gledwood said...

It's awful, all that "sorrow"... I once saw a clip on TV of this thin, bedraggled African man literally washed into a crowded Italian beach on the tide and these shocked sunbathers giving him water and not being able to communicate with him and not knowing what to do... it was truly shocking. And of course you CAN'T go to the police because they'll just call him an illegal immigrant and do God knows what.

(I'm (theoretically) ANTI illegal immigrants by the way but EVERY TIME I see an individual case, I think they should be allowed to stay! Wouldn't make a good Home Secretary now, would I??!!)

Unknown said...

Having met and spoken with several people who spend years in refugee camps in the Middle East and Africa before being allowed to enter the United States, I have a slight understanding of their experiences. One woman was born into a Middle Eastern refugee camp and spent the first 19 years of her life living there. For most of those years she had no idea what life was like beyond the camp.

The one thing that all of these immigrants spoke about was “hope.” Each of them had struggled to maintain a sense of hope for a better future. They told me stories of people, including their relatives, who had given up, who had lost hope. These were sad stories.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Francesca. Was that the same protest? I agree that no one seems to know what to do. Hi, Jenny. Yes, the rest of the EU needs to help. Hi, Gleds. I think you'd be a very refreshing home sec! Hi, Nick. Thanks for that insight. It is a terrible thing to lose hope.


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