Residents of Chios successfully prevented a cargo ship from delivering equipment for the construction of a new migrant center on the Greek island, according to reports.
Chios locals and officials gathered at multiple ports on the island to drive off a ship named “Pelagitis” as it attempted to dock and unload heavy machinery and materials for the planned “Closed Controlled Access Center.”
Footage of a blockade at the main port of Chios was published by local media on Thursday.
“At the sight of the ship, residents and elected officials stood in front of the mooring ramp, preventing the crew from dropping the ship’s catapult,” Politischios reports.
“A little while later and while the ceremony of sanctification of the waters was in progress, the ship left the port where it remained for a short time departing for Mytilene.”
Hours earlier, efforts to unload the equipment at the island’s auxiliary port at Mesta were thwarted by another large group of outraged residents.
“The dynamic presence of the people and the immediate response to the call of the Coordinating Committee of Elected and Residents, and also of the local councils of Sykiada and Lagada, resulted in the prevention of the disembarkation of machinery in the port of Mesta,” Politischios reported shortly after the incident.
“After almost an hour of consultations and negotiations between the residents and the police and port authorities, an agreement was finally reached with the result that the machines did not disembark in Mesta and were reloaded on the ship Pelagitis.”
The vessel then set off for Mytilene, the main port and capital of the island of Lesbos, where another asylum camp is slated to be built.
However, local residents were expected to mount a similar effort to stop its arrival, according to Ekathimerini.
“We call on the workers and institutions of Lesbos to rise up. Government plans to create new detention facilities will not be accepted. The local communities of Chios and Lesbos have spoken; no new migrant center, whether closed or open,” the Pan-Lesbos Workers Center declared in a statement.
Lesbos has been the site of frequent riots, fires, and violence typically initiated by migrants.