the wall of ugly racism, must tumbling down
During the demonstration, hundreds of asylum seekers and migrants seeking to obtain residential permits called on the Italian authorities to boost public security and introduce more effective integration policies.
A spate of violent attacks on immigrants has recently increased the level of tensions in the European country.
On 17 December 2011, over 15,000 people joined a demonstration in Florence to commemorate two Senegalese men gunned down by an Italian with far-right leanings.
During the demonstration, the protesters also criticized the Italian community’s behavior and attitude towards the immigrants, saying the Italian nationals “need to be educated.”
Meanwhile, the organizer of the rally “Stop Racism Committee”, which is made up of several anti-racist groups, including Italian and non-Italian members, declared that all immigrants are entitled to admission and a residence permit.
Migrants are often kept in a ‘legal limbo’ waiting for their asylum claims to be processed. This can take months, even years.
“There was basically a scam that went on. We are talking about 2009 where the government did say, ‘yeah we gonna make it legal, we gonna give you the permits to stay and you can do it, but you gonna have to pay.’ So around 60,000 refugees paid around 350 euros in 2009 and they still haven’t seen the permits. So if you do a quick math that’ a lot of money,” said a female protester.
This is while the European Union has repeatedly stressed that the integration of immigrants into Italy and other European countries is a priority