Europe’s Migrant Influx: ‘We Need Help but We Don’t Know Where From’

Lizzy Davies, The Guardian, June 25, 2014

With a bandana on her head and a three-month-old baby at her feet, Azeb Brahana stands in the gardens of Catania’s train station and looks a little lost. The 25-year-old Eritrean left her country in 2012, aware, she says, that the life she wanted was not possible in a country with mandatory national service. To get here, she says, she worked for a year in Sudan and endured months in a Libyan jail, where the United Nations estimates thousands of refugees and migrants are being held in deplorable conditions. It was in prison that Brahana gave birth to her son, and it is because of him that she is determined to make it, finally, to a place of safety and stability. “Somewhere I can live with my baby, happy,” she says. Somehow, though, despite all that she has been through, that still feels like a very distant dream.

Like almost 60,000 others this year, Brahana decided to brave the Mediterranean sea in order to reach Italy, and therefore Europe. She paid people-smugglers $1,600 (£950), she says, to board a boat packed with more than 300 people. “It’s really hard with a small baby,” she says stoically of a journey that has proved deadly for thousands over the past 20 years. Her boat was intercepted by an Italian navy ship last week and all its passengers taken to safety. The question for them now is what comes next. Brahana, like many of the refugees and migrants landing in Italy, has not yet requested asylum and is not in the care of an official structure. She is waiting for the bus to Rome, where her aunt lives. And then? “I don’t know,” she admits. “I want to work. I can’t live in my country because of the government. We need help but we don’t know where from.”

According to Italian interior ministry figures given to the Guardian, 59,880 migrants and refugees have landed on the country’s coast this year–almost as many as in the whole of 2011, which holds the record. The situation is unprecedented. Sicily, which has received more than 53,000 of the new arrivals, is bearing the brunt and struggling to cope. And summer–historically the peak time for boat landings–has only just begun. “I’m very afraid that in July, August and September, the situation will grow and grow,” says Rosario Valastro, president of the Italian Red Cross in Sicily. “We have some days where we have the navy arriving in three or four different ports at the same time. My volunteers are really, really tired. I’m very afraid.”

At an EU summit this week, the Italian prime minister, Matteo Renzi, is expected to raise the issue with other leaders, urging them to make a “significant investment” in the bloc’s border control agency, Frontex. Since October, in the aftermath of two disasters in which around 400 people died at sea, the Italian navy has been carrying out a €9m-a-month (£7.2m) operation in the Mediterranean aimed at intercepting rickety migrant boats before they get into trouble. Mare Nostrum (“Our Sea”) is credited by the Italian government and NGOs on the ground with having saved countless lives. But Rome is determined that it should not continue to shoulder the burden alone. On Tuesday, Renzi told parliament: “A Europe that tells the Calabrian fisherman that he must use a certain technique to catch tuna but then turns its back when there are dead bodies in the sea cannot call itself civilised.”

All along the Sicilian coastline, in port towns better known for their beaches than for refugee crises, local authorities are begging for help–from Rome, certainly, but also from Brussels. What they need, says Lillo Firetto, mayor of Porto Empedocle, is a “supranational approach” to be taken in conjunction with the United Nations and the EU. Firetto, whose town has seen more than 8,000 arrivals this year, says the local council wants to provide a reception “worthy of its name”–but that is hard to do. “When, in the course of two days, 2,000 people arrive, and you’re forced to send them to sports halls or other makeshift structures, it’s obvious that this is not the kind of reception required,” he says.

Sicilian towns from Catania on the eastern coast to Palermo in the north have been transforming sports halls, churches and other buildings into ad-hoc facilities. NGOs say the system, though well-meaning, has often proved chaotic. “The problem was, there wasn’t preparation for tackling these kinds of numbers,” says Alessandra Turri, of Save the Children Italy. “Not preparing the ground and approaching it as an emergency does not allow for organisation.” People have sometimes ended up sleeping in tents, she says, because there is simply no room at the inn.

For those who do end up housed in one of the makeshift centres, the future is not much more certain. In the eastern port of Augusta, which has found itself playing a central role in the Mare Nostrum reception strategy not long after its local council was dissolved for mafia infiltration, a former primary school has been reopened to give basic food and shelter to some of the large numbers of unaccompanied minors who have come into port this year.

With its cracked paint, faded children’s paintings, and stretched facilities, theex-scuola Verde, as it is known, has dormitory-style bedrooms- in fact former classrooms- which can house up to 180 minors. At its busiest, however, the school is understood to have held around 267 boys. They slept on camp beds in the corridors and the changing rooms. Some of those currently resident are understood to have been living there since early May.

Many of them have stories of torture and ill-treatment on their epic journeys across Africa. “They threatened you,” says Adama Bah, 16, from Gambia, recalling his time in Libya where he says he earned the money to pay smugglers for the sea crossing to Italy. “I saw many people shot in the leg or dead.” Bah wants to be a footballer when he grows up. “That’s my dream,” he says. But here in a scruffy park in Augusta, it seems remote. “I’m not happy here because I don’t know what’s happening next.”

According to Save the Children, around 5,840 unaccompanied minors have arrived on the Italian coast this year. Not all of them decide to stay in the system. At a soup kitchen opposite Catania station run by the Catholic charity Caritas, manager Valentina Calí explains that among the people who have called on its services have been “many minors who don’t want to be identified. They avoid being fingerprinted so they don’t have to request asylum in Sicily. They’re running away.”
Outside a soup kitchen opposite Catania station run by the Catholic charity Carita, Teame Habte, 20, from Eritrea, is munching on some bread with some friends, who give their ages as 15 and 16. To travel to Italy, he says, he came through Ethiopia, Sudan and Libya and was taken from the sea to Lampedusa. “My uncle lives in Rome,” he says. “I will work. I will do any work. I need to send money home because my family is very poor.”

NGOs on the ground say greater coordination is desperately needed in order to facilitate swift transfers to appropriate reception structures throughout Italy. “We continue to talk of an emergency about migrants . . . It’s not possible to talk about an “emergency” after 20 years,” says Valastro. “So we need to have a plan.” There are concerns that if the ad-hoc strategy continues and worsens through the summer, the social tensions that as yet have remained mild may be exacerbated. In Librino, a neglected part of Catania where a sports hall has been used as a temporary reception centre, the authorities moved the migrants to another hall, reportedly following concern from locals. But, surveying the scene at the Palanitta–a mass of unkempt mattresses, discarded clothes and other detritus lying between two redundant goalposts–one local is still angry. “This is what we’re left with,” he says, declining to give his name. “This is the only place where the children of this neighbourhood can come and play sport; now look at it. OK, there are going to be these boat landings. But there should be proper places for them to go. They can’t just pick a place like this and say: that one.”

When Sicily first started to see an increase in the number of arrivals last year, the local community responded well, with donations pouring in and young people working to form a kind of network of solidarity, according to Emiliano Abramo, representative of the Sant’Egidio Christian community in Catania. “Now these things are being felt less,” he says. “In many places we have a generational clash. It seems with the economic crisis there always has to be someone to be angry with. In Augusta, this is what happened. The youngsters play football with the migrants. And their parents circulate petitions to send them away.”

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  • Whitetrashgang

    You know these people just have to come here, but they pay people 20,000 to smuggle them. If things are so bad how do they come up will all this money all the time?

    • Jesse James

      What if we paid the criminal gangs 30,000 to smuggle them back out, it would be cheaper than keeping them in western countries.

      • Rosenmops

        good idea. Or just pay the invaders directly to go home.

        • You’re probably right, but it sickens me to think whites should have to pay people not to invade their country and to send them home at taxpayer expense!

    • propagandaoftruth

      Too bad the Mafia ain’t what it used to be there.

      Once it was a sort of vigilante, unofficial gubbamint that did things the legitimate gubbamint (thieves of a different kind) couldn’t/wouldn’t/didn’t wanna. Things that had to be done.

      Could use a little of that.

      How you doing? That pic looks like me the other day after my friend’s wedding. Good Southern folk and Michigan refugees. Beer, champagne, moonshine, jello soaked in…something, and vodka gummi bears.

      I’m not a drinking man anymore. The hangovers are BRUTAL.

      But it was good seeing GOOD WHITE folk from north and south getting together, sweating in the sun, and helping to usher in a marriage between two good White people with four little White girls between them, you know? Race realists too.

      Gotta take some moments when the hangover fades to appreciate little triumphs.

      • Whitetrashgang

        Well being a fun loving Mennonite I like cold weather , beer and I always wanted a sex slave except I cant find one. Also I once was masturbating in a tree the branch broke and I fell and broke my arm. And people think tree huggers have it easy.

        • propagandaoftruth

          Hee hee hee hee….moderator must be on the can.

    • Alexandra1973

      That’s a good question. Then I’d be asking–who’s financing this?

  • TruthBeTold

    “Somewhere I can live with my baby, happy,” she says. Somehow, though, despite all that she has been through, that still feels like a very distant dream.

    Lizzy Davies is giving us another ubiquitous ‘pity the poor immigrant’ narrative.

    ‘It’s OUR fault because WE don’t care’.

    • Pro_Whitey

      I care enough to ask them on what African country’s beach do they wish to be deposited, then deposit them there according to their wishes. Europe must be off limits to them.

      • NotTooSwift

        Don’t drop them on Liberia’s beach, it’s covered with human feces. Look it up. A documentary crew was interviewing a high Liberian public official who was complaining about Liberia’s living conditions. While he was being filmed, he took a dump on the beach. What a race.

        • IstvanIN

          Best place to drop them, and tell them that is where they will be dropped each and every time.

          • Zaporizhian Sich

            I’d drop them from planes at 30,000 feet into the ocean, without parachutes before I’d return them to Apefreka.

          • Whitetrashgang

            I think you could get away with 20,000 feet, save on fuel and quicker round trips. Now that what you can call comprehensive immigration reform.

    • Sick of it

      They never really said who the baby’s father was, did they? Does she even know?

  • Einsatzgrenadier

    “I don’t know,” she admits. “I want to work. I can’t live in my country because of the government. We need help but we don’t know where from.”


    Why not just stay in your own country and try making it a better place?

    Third world “immigrants” are nothing but cowards. If they don’t have the mental ability to improve their own homelands and make them more agreeable places to live in, of what possible use can they be to the advanced industrial societies of the west?

    If the elites truly wanted to help these racial foreigners, they would let them stay in their own countries where they belong. Encouraging this mass migration will only lead to disaster for both the third world invader and the white person whose country is being invaded.

    • Jesse James

      I’m having a problem living in my country because of the government also. Is there any help out there for me?

  • Löwenmensch ᛟ

    Humanism needs to end, invaders with either weapons or hungry mouths should be killed

  • Sick of it

    Bullets would be cheaper. Also more effective.

  • So CAL Snowman

    “It was in prison that Brahana gave birth to her son, and it is because
    of him that she is determined to make it, finally, to a place of safety
    and stability. “Somewhere I can live with my baby, happy,” she says.”

    Why not try to go to South Africa? What’s wrong with trying to get into some stable Asian country? Why do they always think they will find happiness and stability on the smallest continent on earth?

    “To get here, she says, she worked for a year in Sudan . . .she paid people-smugglers $1,600 (£950)”

    Seems like she was able to find work and make money in Sudan. Why not stay in a place where you were able to find work? Just like every other non White invader she wants a free ride on Whitey’s back.

    • wildfirexx

      Because in South Africa the black south Africans beat and sometimes kill any migrants crossing the border to steal their jobs. Only in the West do we kiss ass!

  • They’re afraid of doing what really needs to be done – namely, the use of brutal force and violence against the invaders. The longer they refuse to drive them out by force, the more severe the problem will become.

    When aliens intentionally force themselves upon any nation and demand entrance, there’s no other way to perceive it than an act of aggression. If ignored, they will destroy the very nation they seek refuge in.

    • Sheik Yerbouti

      I wonder what might happen if millions of white Americans decided to concentrate on territory south of the border and take it by force?

    • Zaporizhian Sich

      That is their intention Bluffcreek, as well as those who made it possible for them to force themselves upon us. Sooner or later, white populations are going to do what these corrupt, traitor riddled regimes won’t. That is, drive these invaders out by force.

  • NotTooSwift

    Azeb Brahana states “that the life she wanted was not possible in a country with mandatory national service”. Israel has a mandatory national service and it’s citizens serve proudly. Many other nations have similar requirements.

    Azeb Brahana wants to make a life for her child. What about the child’s father? Is he in the picture?

    Methinks Azeb wants in on the gibsmedats…period.

  • italian guy

    Our government is a joke, hey geniuses! how about sending our navy and stop them from coming here in the first place? i know, it’s way too hard to do, better complain to the EU so other Europeans can hate us and call us incompetent morons.

    • kjh64

      It’s seems it’s no different in Europe than here in the US. The governments, on both side of the pond, just “don’t know what to do”. Well, if these illegal migrants, once they arrived were immediately deported, both in the US or Europe, the word would get out and these illegal migrants would stop coming.

  • JohnEngelman

    It was in prison that Brahana gave birth to her son, and it is because of him that she is determined to make it, finally, to a place of safety and stability.

    – Lizzy Davies, The Guardian, June 25, 2014

    Where is the father of that child? Does Brahana even know who the father is? The reason Europe is a place of safety and stability is because up to now at least civilized people have lived there.

    When people like Brahana escape the barbarism of their home lands they take the barbarism of their people with them wherever they go. If Brahana’s son is allowed to stay in Europe he is likely to become a criminal, a terrorist, or perhaps both.

  • Medizin

    This is what Italians think of these migrants and refugees.

    From Nicola

    I’m Italian. Here in Italy we have huge immigration from Africa. My country has decided to take immigrants boats (thousands of people every time) that shipwreck in international waters, outside our territorial waters. The price of this political agenda for Italy is very heavy and taxation has risen to mad levels (over 50% of a family income), this along with the crisis of the Euro is taking people not only loss a lot of money, but to loss their homes, their jobs and eventually suicide. The rate of suicide among Italian citizens (born from Italian parents) has risen in the last few years. This is genocide.

    On the other hand the immigrants are helped in finding jobs (their shops are tax-free, while Italian owned shops are closing for too high tax rate), homes, and social integration (they get free school, free welfare, free medical assistance, free citizenship –Even with this help from government many immigrants prefer the crime: many are peddlers of illegal drugs or smugglers. This is due to the fact that having friends and families in country that
    produce drugs they can easily get illegal drugs or other goods. Selling drugs to young white people is genocide as well.

    I think that many problems of my country are due to the long lasting left political tradition. We today have a left government and we had one of the few legal communist party in western Europe during cold war. To this adds an even longer tradition of limited freedom of speech (for example we had a very bloody civil war in 1943-45, due to left insurgents, but everyone calls it “liberation” war): even today Italy is considered a country without press freedom and to criticise immigration in public speech is dangerous. You can be considered racist, or worse. Even catholic Church is encouraging immigration…

    In my opinion many of the troubles and hardships we suffer today are due to the
    left wing parties. It’s time to call genocide what is happening to White people.

    Ferma il Genocidio Bianco. “Diversità” è una parola in codice per Genocidio Bianco.
    “Antirazzista” è una parola in codice per Anti-bianco.


    Stop the White Genocide. “Diversity” is a code word for White Genocide. “Anti-Racist” is a code word for anti-white.

    • IstvanIN

      Was there ANY European country that overthrew its King, either violently or through a fixed election, that came out better afterwards?

      • Sick of it

        America? European in origin anyway.

        • IstvanIN

          In Europe the violent or illegal overthrow of the monarch generally led to an unstable aftermath. America was founded as a republic that seceded from a monarchy, quite different.

          • M.

            That’s just what happens when a dictator is overthrown. There will be a period of instability. That’s what happening today in Arab countries.

      • Medizin

        King or no King, throughout history, Europeans eventually create unstable conditions. It holds true with the United States, as well.

        • IstvanIN

          All nations have had periods of instability, even Japan over its 2 thousand year history had lots of internal squabbles. European nations once had pride and determination, and now Europe as well as America and the Commonwealth realms, are going blithely into oblivion.

    • Zaporizhian Sich

      It’s the same in my country Medizin, and I am afraid the solution for both our nations are the native born whites resorting to armed revolution. Our governments are using these unwashed hordes to both exterminate us and steal our wealth, land and futures from us. Never forget, the people responsible for this are hostile, non-white and non-Christian aliens in control of both our nations. No sane white American or Italian would allow an unending flow of these black heathens in to begin with, but hostile racial and religious aliens intent on exterminating native born Italians and white Americans would do just that.

      • The politicians that are enabling this need to be prosecuted

        • Zaporizhian Sich

          Oh yes, the traitorous pollitrixters who are aiding and abetting this most definitely should be tried, Nuremberg style.

    • Black Plague

      Mi dispiace paisano mio. Che peccato.

  • Löwenmensch ᛟ

    I don’t see how the tide of muds will ever end peacefully, the UN & NGO’s keep sending the Africans food, medicines, medical doctors and vaccinations, coupled with their birthrates the situation is dire for Europe.

  • MBlanc46

    The Italian navy intercepted the boat? No, they didn’t. They merely gave the invaders more commodious accommodations for the final leg of the journey.

  • Note the overhead shot of the suffering terribly crowded desperately poor refugees in the boat showing everyone looking up with big toothy grins. Says it all. No matter how much I see these types of events I can’t get over how universal is this psychological autoimmune disease among all Western European nations, including those across the Atlantic and the Pacific.

  • IKUredux

    Why is it that all these people need to invade Europe, and America, and Australia. Why? The world has always been screwed up. Always. So, just exactly why is it that all these migrants from all over the world suddenly, in the past twenty years need to migrate to White countries? Their countries have been f’ed up forever. It is the beginning of the new world order. Abolish borderlines! Abolish the concept of countries. Well, actually, only abolish the sense of country amongst Whites. And, guess what? We buy into this crap, because WHITE people told us so. F$#k White people, they are our worst enemies. I hate to say it. But GD it’s true. No more believing in this crap that we are the evil of the earth. WE have done everything possible to save the earth. We Whites watch over the ocean. We Whites have tried to introduce Africans into the concept of stewardship of their animal resources. We Whites are up against a brick wall. The Africans don’t give a shiite and the Chinese who buy these products, could care less. The Chinese eat dogs and cats. They use cat fur in the products they sell to America. They are are the most soulless, mercantile people on the face of the Earth. Frankly, if they weren’t so beehive, maybe they could have been a more free enterprise society. But they didn’t, because they couldn’t. Beehive mentality, yo. DNA, bitches.

  • OhWow

    Store them in the mansions of the big wigs hiring these illegals and fighting for their right to citizenship. That will change things quickly.

  • M.

    “It was in prison that Brahana gave birth to her son.”

    You don’t even have what to eat, and you’re having a baby?! You stupid %-“$!

    Why should we feel any sympathy for these people?!

  • Black Plague

    The effects of liberal cancer are spreading and don’t seem to have an end. How disgusting for every country on this planet. Our own people are leading the way to our destruction.

  • American_cavalier

    “In the eastern port of Augusta, which has found itself playing a central role in the Mare Nostrum reception strategy not long after its local council was dissolved for mafia infiltration…”

    So city authority dissolved for mafia infiltration and now an epicenter of a world wide invasion of Europe. Could the two be connected?

  • American_cavalier

    How many of these are revolutionaries or fifth columnists? The Trotskyites long advocated this type of overthrow of Western Civilization. Most Trotskyites became anti Soviet Socialists and with help from our Centralized Incompetence Agency where shifted into the Socialist Left. Who has opened the gates to our civilization that new Euro American leftwing Establishment. Who is the new Euro American Establishment, those Trotskyites. Who is encouraging this invasion into our heartlands, the Trotskyites. Who said they would do this the Trotskyites. Pretty flipping simple logic. OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!

    • Zaporizhian Sich

      More like firing squads at the ready, with bandoliers of 30-round magazines for the large number of Trotskyite enemies.

  • Sandis Vidavskis

    Same story what USA facing with own southern border…