Mass arrest of workers in Italy

This video is called Assistance for illegal [sic] migrant workers in Italy.

Italian police responded to a protest of African workers in Calabria with the arrest of 1,300 immigrants and their transfer to detention centers: here. And here.

In a recent newspaper interview, a leading German judge, Ingrid Schmidt, has justified sacking workers for the most trivial reasons: here.

Seven immigrant workers died and another three were injured in a devastating fire on Sunday in Prato, a town just north of Florence, the capital of the region of Tuscany. All of the victims were of Chinese origin. They were trapped in their sleep as fire raged through the network of cardboard compartments where they slept in an improvised dormitory located on the factory premises. The workers were employed under the appalling safety and working conditions prevailing in the sweatshops of the town’s Macrolotto industrial district. Garment factories employing mostly immigrant labour in the district provide products for many of Italy’s top brands: here.

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2 thoughts on “Mass arrest of workers in Italy

  1. Egypt asks Italy ‘to protect migrants’

    Foreign minister to talk to Frattini after Rosarno riots

    12 January, 12:52

    Egypt asks Italy ‘to protect migrants’ (ANSA) – Cairo, January 12 – Egypt on Tuesday asked Italy to protect immigrants from attack after a southern Italian town saw the country’s worst racial violence in years.

    The Egyptian foreign ministry asked the Italian government to “take the necessary measures” to protect Arab and Muslim minorities and immigrants after race riots in the Calabrian city of Rosarno.

    The ministry accused some Rosarno residents of “a campaign of aggression” against hundreds of Sub-Saharan and Muslim day labourers who were attacked after they rioted when three were shot with an air rifle.

    It said the attacks, in which several migrants were kneecapped, assaulted and run over, were a sign of a “rising” trend of “similar” racist incidents across Italy, reported by international human rights groups.

    The ministry also criticised immigrants’ “conditions of detention, the violation of their economic and social rights and the practice of forced expulsions”.

    Egypt appealed to the international community to intervene on “religious and racial discrimination and hatred against foreigners to prevent such incidents recurring”.

    The ministry said Egyptian Foreign Minister Aboul Gheit would raise the issue with Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini when he visits Cairo on January 16.

    Foreign Undersecretary reacted to Egypt’s call with a no comment, saying it was only right that Frattini should respond, but added: “the events in Rosarno (were) certainly grave but I don’t think those events can change the overall judgement of Italians abroad”.

    Rosarno was getting back to normal Tuesday as an operation went on to bulldoze an abandoned cheese factory and a warehouse where the estimated 2,000 immigrants once lived.

    The migrants were bussed out over the weekend to three migrant processing centres in southern Italy.

    One centre reported Monday that only four asylum seekers were still there while the remaining 400, all carrying residency permits, were heading to find work and friends in Italy’s main cities.

    Some 53 people including 18 police were injured in the unrest at Rosarno, one of the strongholds of the Calabrian mafia ‘Ndrangheta, now Italy’s strongest ahead of Cosa Nostra in Sicily and the Camorra in Naples.

    At least one clan-linked man was among those arrested for the attacks, which broke out after immigrants stormed through the city, torching cars and litter bins, in response to the air-rifle shooting.

    The Italian government, which has taken a hard line on illegal immigrants through its controversial ‘push-back’ policy on boats of migrants and asylum seekers, aims to move illegals out of other high-crime areas near Naples and in Sicily.

    Speaking Monday ahead of a seven-day, seven-nation tour of Mauritania, Mali, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Egypt and Tunisia, Frattini said Italy wanted the European Union to take a ”more incisive role” in Africa.

    ”Europe, more than any other continent, is exposed to the dangers of systemic instability in Africa created by the threats of terrorism, illegal trafficking and global warming which, unless they are resolved, will increase the flows of economic migrants towards our continent,” he said.

    Italy has already helped Libya set up stiffer southern border controls, along with the EU’s control agency FOREX, as part of an accord which allows Rome to return migrants caught in international waters to Tripoli – a controversial ‘push-back’ policy decried by the Catholic Church and the United Nations.

    Thousands of undocumented immigrants help the southern Italian economy by picking tomatoes and oranges for as little as 20 euros a day, many in labour scams in which the mafia, as in Rosarno, is believed to be involved.

    An anti-racism march took place in Rosarno Monday, with residents and immigrants demonstrating together to combat an image of ”a xenophobic, mafia and racist” town.

    ”We condemn violence from whatever quarter it comes,” they said.

    Premier Silvio Berlusconi’s spokesman Paolo Bonaiuti said situations like those in Rosarno needed ”long-term solutions” while Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said off-the-books labour had to be stopped.

    See also here.


  2. Left Party Sweden: Combating `Fortress Europe’

    By Billy Wharton
    February 16, 2010 — To US immigrant rights activists faced with the
    harsh repression of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids or
    the outright racism of public officials such as Sheriff Joe Arpaio,
    Europe may seem like a kinder, gentler place. Yet, as Kalle Larsson,
    representative of the Left Party of Sweden, argued during a recent
    speech organised by the Socialist Party USA (NYC local), Europe is
    developing its own forms of exclusion and repression for migrants.

    * Read more


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