Migrants Protest Living Conditions in Italian Mountain Welcome Center

African migrants sing and dance on the deck of the Aquarius vessel of "SOS Mediterranee" and MSF (Doctors Without Borders) NGOs, in the Mediterranean Sea, west of Malta, Thursday, Aug. 31, 2017. 265 people rescued from the sea during previous days are being transferred to Italy. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
AP/Darko Bandic

Dozens of African asylum-seekers took to the streets this week to protest the conditions in their Italian welcome center, including the lack of variety in the food, insufficient medical facilities and issues of cleanliness and hygiene.

The migrant welcome center of Arcinazzo, not far to the south of Rome, is housed in a former tourist resort in this sparsely populated mountain town in the Appenines. There are only some 200 Italian residents left in the town, where the 134 migrants now make up almost half the population.

On Tuesday, the migrants marched in the streets to protest their situation, made worse, they say, by chilly winter temperatures.

Local inhabitants told Italian media that the town itself lacks some essential services, including police and medical services.

This is not the first time that migrants have complained of their less-than-ideal living conditions in Italy’s welcome centers.

As Breitbart News reported, less than two months ago a group of some 20 African migrants used heavy appliances to create a roadblock on a local highway in southern Italy to protest the quality of food and living conditions in their migrant welcome center.

The young, male asylum-seekers blocked the provincial highway running from Sessa to Mignano in the province of Caserta, between Rome and Naples. Protest laid stoves, refrigerators and large black garbage bags filled with refuse across the road to keep traffic from passing.

In the summer of 2016, a group of about 300 young migrants seized control of a refugee welcome center in southern Italy on Monday, barricading themselves inside for eight hours by piling up furniture against the entrance to the building until their demands could be met.

The migrants issued a list of demands, including better living conditions and the ability to communicate with their families in their home countries. The real issue, however, was their request to be moved elsewhere, particularly to Germany or other countries of northern Europe.

Wearing riot gear, state and local police as well as members of the State Forestry Corps, assembled around the welcome center in an attempt to dialog with the migrants and evantually prevailed upon the protesters to disperse.

Earlier that summer, a mob of Tunisian migrants burned down the main pavilion in a Lampedusa refugee welcome center, after learning they would be repatriated to their home country.

The fire spread to the first aid and reception center of Imbriacola in Lampedusa, which housed some 530 asylum-seekers, although no injuries were reported.

Teams of firefighters stationed on the island were finally able to get the blaze under control after several hours battling the fire.

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