Islanders continue to resist plans for migrant detention centers

Islanders continue to resist plans for migrant detention centers

Protesters on the Aegean islands of Lesvos and Chios were showing no sign of backing down in their resistance to government plans to build new migrants camps on Tuesday morning, following overnight clashes with riot police.

On Lesvos, protesters have blocked the two roads leading to the planned construction site in Karava Mantamadou to prevent crews and machinery from reaching the location. Those at one of the blockades clashed with riot police who tried to move them along using tear gas on Tuesday morning.

The second cordon of protesters, in the area of Kalloni, was attended by North Aegean Regional Governor Kostas Moutzouris and West Lesvos Mayor Taxiarchis Verros, both vocal opponents of the government’s plans for five pre-deportation camps to be built on the five islands currently hosting open-style reception centers.

Earlier, hundreds of residents had gathered at the Lesvos port of Mytilini to prevent 10 riot police platoons, dispatched from Athens to protect the construction site, from disembarking. This led to around two hours of clashes, during while riot officers used stun grenades and tear gas.

The situation was also volatile on Chios, where more protests are being planned after residents clashed with police at the port in the early hours of Tuesday when they tried to prevent riot platoons from reaching the island.

According to local media, Chios Mayor Stamatis Karamantzis and a priest who represents the island’s clergymen had to be treated for the effects of what locals described as an “unnecessary use of chemicals.”

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