Ongoing violence on migrants. Isolated incidents or epidemic intolerance?

Foreigner unaccompanied minors hosted in Portopalo’s B&B “Aloha”, which is used as a first reception centre, repeatedly denounced to be insulted by the local population along the street. Just yesterday we reported the testimony of the foreigners who live since eleven months in Palagonia’s SPRAR centre, in Catania’s district. The hosts of the centre underwent repeated violence attacks by some of the local youth, sometimes even at the fisical level.

The mayor of Aci Sant’Antonio, a small town near Catania, conveyed yesterday a press release notifying a severe intimidation episode against the migrants hosted in the local SPRAR centre (Protection System for Asylum Seekers and Refugees). The episode took place in the night between the 28th and 29th of August. The press release reads as following:
“Around 1 am, two young italian citizens burst into the centre located in via Umberto 72 and signaled their presence to the hosts of the centre by loudly knocking on their bedroom doors, with the aim of luring them outside (as reconstructed in the formal charge).
By following the two italians in order to ask for an explanation, the refugees found themselves facing a small crowd of italian young citizens (around twenty people). Some of these italians attacked the refugees insulting them and even spitting on them.
As soon as informed of these facts, the responsibles of the Cooperativa sociale Luoghi Comuni Onlus pressed charge among the Carabinieri of Aci Sant’Antonio.”
I went to the centre around 11 am this morning, but it was impossible for me to obtain further informations or talking with the hosts of the SPRAR without any previous authorization. According to the responsibles of the centre who received me, this is an isolated incident. ” Currently the situation is absolutely calm”, they explained me.
A condition of apparent calm, since this night at 2 am the military base Gasparro di Bisconte, near Messina, was hit by an intimidating car bomb. Since one week the military base is used as first reception centre for migrants. As reported by the local newspaper “La Gazzetta del Sud”, a Fiat Panda covered in petrol and parked beside the base perimeter-wall was set off by four gun shots and bursted into flames in its posterior part. The Firemen and the cars of the flying squad intervened on-the-spot.
The aim of the fellony remains to be cleared, but according to what has been reported, this would be a warning by someone not appreciating migrant’s accomodation in the military base.

Sentences like “it is all fine”, “the situation is calm”, “it is just an isolated incident” are proved wrong by facts that emerge from the shadow with increasing effort.

Beatrice Gornati
Borderline Sicilia Onlus
Translated by Alessandra Mancini