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Sep 18 · Last update 1 mo. ago.

What happened during the riots in Lesbos?

In early September 2020 a fire broke out during a refugee protest in Europe’s largest refugee camp on the island of Lesbos. The camp at Moria was home to around 13,000 asylum seekers hoping to settle in Europe, but was completely burnt down in the fire. Greek authorities, charity works and refugees have all attributed the fire to different causes. So what actually happened at the Moria refugee camp in Lesbos, and what is the wider significance of the loss of this refugee camp?
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A protest over such terrible conditions
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Migrants demonstrate why Europe is right to be reluctant
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A protest over such terrible conditions

The protests that ended in widespread fire in Moria, Lesbos involved desperate scared migrants pushed into an increasingly hostile environment that has been exasperated by increasingly hostile political decisions. Migrants have been through hell to get to Lesbos, which they also describe as hell - not enough food, squalid conditions, when peoples live are threatened they will rightly fight for their lives, adding COVID-19 fears on top of this, you get protests and fire. The Moria Camp has been regularly criticised by the UN, being run well over capacity with poor sanitation since construction, and the closing of the camp had already been planned prior to the protests and fires.

Moria was initially meant to accommodate 2,850 migrants, but due to the massive backlog of approximately 90,000 asylum applications in Greece, Moria was housing around 5 times that limit. The fact that the camp was destroyed before it was closed down shows that the tipping point was reached and the Greek authorities should have been more expedient. But the situation looks worse, with some migrants are now reluctant to enter a new camp, fearing poor conditions and limitation of movement due to the pandemic. Thousands of migrants were left sleeping rough on the streets and hillsides as a result, and tension in Lesbos and elsewhere across Europe are flaring as the EU member states fail to deal with this long on-going migrant crisis.

dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7961387/Thousands-migrants-clash-police-Lesbos-tear-gas-fired-refugee-protesters.html news.yahoo.com/teargas-fired-during-migrant-protests-181448731.html aljazeera.com/news/2020/09/200917085905742.html bbc.com/news/world-europe-54120383

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Oct 3
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DH edited this paragraph
The protests that ended in widespread fire in Moria, Lesbos involved desperate scared migrants pushed into an increasingly hostile environment that has been exasperated by increasingly hostile political decisions. Migrants have been through hell to get to Lesbos, which they also describe as hell - not enough food, squalid conditions, when peoples live are threatened they will rightly fight for their lives, adding COVID-19 fears on top of this, you get protests and fire. The Moria Camp has been regularly criticised by the UN, being run well over capacity with poor sanitation since construction, and the closing of the camp had already been planned prior to the protests and fires.

Migrants demonstrate why Europe is right to be reluctant

The burning down of the Moria refugee camp in Lesbos, Greece is a sign that these people are not ready to migrate to Europe, as these violent migrants would present a danger to the European countries they want to house them. According to the greek government the fires were started by migrants during a riot against the COVID-19 isolation measures being put in place by the camp's authorities, the rioting started as young men threw rocks at police, who responded by firing tear gas. Four Afghan men have since been arrested for starting the fires; but this is not the first time the Moria camp has posed a risk, being well over its capacity, Moria was steeped in crime and conflict between different ethnic groups there.

Furthermore the COVID-positive migrants that caused the lockdown announcement that originally sparked the protest have not been found since, meaning the migrants present an addition threat to the people of Lesbos by actively spreading the COVID-19 virus. Not only have these migrants destroyed the camp that is housing them but they are now dispersed, more likely to contact more locals during a global pandemic. This situation is taking its toll on Lesbos locals, the BBC have reported one local saying "enough is enough: they must leave Greece ... we cannot coexist with these people. It's us or them. If a new camp will be built, it's certain they will set it on fire again." [1]

msn.com/en-gb/news/world/greek-riot-police-fire-teargas-at-refugees-campaigning-to-leave-lesbos/ar-BB18Y7x7 news.yahoo.com/teargas-fired-during-migrant-protests-181448731.html [1] bbc.com/news/world-europe-54120383 dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7961387/Thousands-migrants-clash-police-Lesbos-tear-gas-fired-refugee-protesters.html

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Oct 2
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DH edited this paragraph
Furthermore the COVID-positive migrants that caused the lockdown announcement that originally sparked the protest have not been found since, meaning the migrants present an addition threat to the people of Lesbos by actively spreading the COVID-19 virus. Not only have these migrants destroyed the camp that is housing them but they are now dispersed, more likely to contact more locals during a global pandemic. This situation is taking its toll on Lesbos locals, the BBC have reported one local saying "enough is enough: they must leave Greece ... we cannot coexist with these people. It's us or them. If a new camp will be built, it's certain they will set it on fire again." [1]
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