Tensions over immigration in a small Italian town have erupted in violent attacks on African farmworkers, leading police to remove 300 migrants from the community and send them to holding centers—accompanied by cheers from the townsfolk. —JCL
Local people clapped and cheered yesterday [Saturday] as hundreds of Africans were moved by police out of a small town in Calabria following clashes in which immigrant farmworkers were shot at, severely beaten and run over.
More than 300 immigrants were loaded on to buses in the riot-torn town of Rosarno, destined for immigrant holding centres. Meanwhile, an immigrant was shot from a moving car with a pellet rifle, bringing to five the number who have been shot.
The first shooting, last Thursday, provoked a violent protest march by Africans through Rosarno, which left 66 injured. A second immigrant was beaten with metal bars yesterday despite a heavy police presence in and around Rosarno.
“There is a very serious security problem here and many immigrants working on local farms are scared and just want to get out, even though many have not been paid,” said Laura Boldrini, a UN official, after touring some of the disused factories in which immigrants sleep after returning from poorly paid shifts in nearby fields.