Monday, January 11, 2010

Rosarno Italy Race Riots or Mafia or Fed-up with Foreign Migrants?

Have your heard about "race riots" in the town of Rosarno, Italy? But is this about race riots or the mafia or immigration? Immigrant homes have been bulldozed, and buses loaded with rioters sent on their way somewhere. Residents of the town are staying inside. Cars have been torched, at least one pushed into a wall with a mother and her children inside. Schools and businesses are closed. Here are a few reports to compare and contrast.

Woman stands her ground in Rosarno, Italy

This from the UK's MailOnline with this headline: Miigrant riot in Italy leaves 37 injured after series of beatings by white youths.
Violence broke out in southern Italy yesterday as hundreds of migrant workers, most of them Africans, went on a rampage in retaliation to two of their number being shot and three more beaten with iron bars by white youths.

Authorities reporting at least 37 were wounded in the ensuing clashes, including 18 police officers and five migrants, as the violence reached its second day in the coastal town of Rosarno in Calabria. 

The riots in the region were sparked off when when two migrants were wounded by pellet fire two days ago, starting the cycle of violence, said a top police official, Renato Cortese, in the regional capital.
In a report filed from Rome, ChinaView says an "extraordinary summit was held today in an attempt to dientify Mafia connections in the "outbreak of racial riots" in Rosarno.
An inquiry is under way to identify possible Mafia responsibilities in the riots and exploitation of immigrant work in Rosarno. At least one clan-linked man was among those arrested for the attacks. 

According to the police, the Mafia may have taken advantage of the riots in order to distort attention from a recent failed bomb explosion at the prosecutor's office. 
The situation in Rosarno is now under control. More than 1,000 immigrants, mainly farm laborers from sub-Saharan Africa, either fled the area or were transferred to migrant centers during the weekend. Their dwellings have been bulldozed by the authorities. 

The government aims to move immigrants out of other high-crime areas near Naples and in Sicily. 

The Interior Minister Roberto Maroni said on Monday that all illegal refugees will be expelled from the country. In his view Rosarno's riots were the product of Italy's far too lenient immigration policy.
 Here is the view of Gates of Vienna:
Race riots have intensified in the town of Rosarno, Italy, where locals have attacked and even shot some of the illegal African immigrants in the area. The government blames the events on the excessive “tolerance” of recent years, but the Italian left sees evidence of Mafia control, poverty, intolerance, and racism.

So, it is reasonable to assume that when mixing economic strife with a town with many foreign migrants - where there are no jobs for the locals - remember those "white youths," - no jobs for them, tensions are taunt. But this is Italy, so we have to add the Mafia to the mix.

©2007-2012copyrightMaggie M. Thornton