March in Lampedusa to honour victims of 2013 shipwreck

368 died, marchers say no govt representatives present

03 October, 14:54

    LAMPEDUSA (AGRIGENTO) - Lampedusa Mayor Totò Martello was at the head of a march on Wednesday in the centre of Lampedusa to honour the 368 victims of a migrant shipwreck that occurred off the island's shores on October 3, 2013.
    "We are here, just like every year, but this time the government isn't," Martello said.
    No government representatives were present on the island for Italy's annual National Day of Remembrance and Reception in memory of the Lampedusa victims, which was instituted by a law passed in 2016.
    Tareke Brhane, of the non-profit 3 October Committee, also remarked about the absence of government representatives on the island and said he was aware of a ceremony to take place in the Lower House in Rome.
    "The important thing is that there are lots of young people and students to remember all the victims of the Mediterranean," Brhane said.
    Mayor Martello, accompanied by fishermen and some migrants who survived the shipwreck, traveled by boat to the location where the shipwreck took place and threw a flower wreath into the water.
    They were trailed by several other fishing boats full of people.
    "Lampedusa is inconvenient to the political powers," Martello said.
    "We're here to remember many tragic events, and the response from Italy and Europe is silence, an attempt to erase even recent history," he said.
    "You can't say that arrivals are finished, and repatriations are finished, that no one dies anymore at sea - that is false," Martello said.
    "In Lampedusa the port is open. The boats with migrants dock directly. When they tell me that there wasn't time to plan for European schools to arrive, it's a blatant attempt to prevent the circulation of ideas, history, memory, truth. They don't want schools to come, youth, young people who can move around more easily, who can work together, who speak," Martello said.

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