Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Trafficking in Human Misery

From time to time one school year or another here takes a day off for an ‘excursion’. That is to say, the pupils are sent or taken to some place or other and left to run around, while the teachers sit and smoke and chat and drink coffee.

Yesterday’s excursion was to the harbour town. An odd but easy choice; nearly all the pupils live in the harbour town and the schools themselves are there. Later that day one of the pupils told me all about it, as the ‘excursion’ had proved unexpectedly dramatic.

As pupils were hanging out on the ferry jetty, they were surprised by the sudden arrival of the police, in the uniforms they rarely wear, wearing also surgical masks and carrying weapons. They told the pupils they must move away from the area, but they were able to see what was happening: the Port Police, also masked and armed, brought in a heavily-laden boat, carrying about fifty passengers, including pregnant women and small children: a fisherman had found them wandering lost and confused on the nearby deserted island of Jura, where they had been dumped by one of the mercenary parasites who take all the refugees’ money for the promise of entry to an E.U. country.

The Port Police did the decent thing and gave the refugees bread and mineral water, and fruit juice for the children, paid for out of their own pockets. (The refugees had nothing but the clothes they stood up in.) These Syrians (as they are thought to be) will now be taken to a refugee centre in Volos on the mainland.

That’s all; I have no comment to make and I have no photographs, but as, at least here in the island, false and exaggerated rumours will by now be circulating, I thought I should give the eye-witness account of about the most level-headed and intelligent of the pupils, my young friend Anastasia.

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