Italy has now surpassed China for number of Coronavirus deaths, if not of cases.

The idea that the movement of great masses of people from their places of origin to new countries could not give rise to critical, not to say disastrous, consequences has now, with the new pandemic, been put to the test more than ever. And we know it has miserably failed the test.

First of all, without globalisation the spread of a virus or another kind of epidemic could have remained localised. The globalisation that is sought after by economic and political powers has made the current pandemic of Coronavirus possible.

Immigration between continents has macroscopically and starkly displayed all its risks and dangers – and not just for the migrants – even to those who’ve been obstinately refusing to see them.

But that’s not all. The response to a pandemic requires the fabric of a society to be compact: everyone is asked to impose restrictions on himself for the collective good, as well as his own.

What’s been happening in these days in Italy, France, Spain and Germany is showing that a society with large numbers of unassimilated, unintegrated migrants is not such a collective body that can count on reciprocal ties and a sense of belonging to the same community and sharing a sense of responsibility towards it.

In all the afore-mentioned countries, which have strict containment and isolation regulations for the whole population, there have been cases of immigrant neighbourhoods or groups who have rebelled against these rules, behaved as if norms of home confinement and of keeping at least one-metre distance between people when out of doors didn’t exist, and who finally became aggressive towards authorities who asked them to comply with the quarantine order, thus endangering everybody.

French commentator Eric Zemmour reported that his country’s migrant neighbourhoods have responded to the Coronavirus crisis by rioting and looting supermarkets, and he talks about addressing “the migrant community’s dangerous and violent refusal to cooperate voluntarily with measures to control the spread of contagion”.

Something similar is happening in Italy, where migrants have been seen crowding the streets deserted by Italians, who force themselves to remain indoors.

In Spain, migrants at the Immigration Centre of Aluche, Madrid, rioted against the confinement of Coronavirus. They climbed on the roof crying “freedom, freedom” and announcing the start of a hunger strike.

In Germany on 16 March, 10-20 residents of the centre for asylum seekers in Suhl in the state of Thuringia rioted, climbed over the perimeter fence, threw missiles at emergency services and police. They also removed manhole covers in an effort to escape and reach the city through the sewer system, and threatened to burn down the asylum seekers centre.

The next day, about 30 residents gathered near the main gate waving ISIS flags and tried to break down the gate, while they used children as human shields by placing them in the first row.

The over 500 residents of the facility as well as all staff had been quarantined since Friday 13 after a man in the centre tested positive for Coronavirus. The measures have led to several days of disturbances, according to the RTL broadcaster.

In Italy too there have been cases of migrants with Coronavirus infection in asylum seekers centres, for example in Milan and Bologna. In these areas many complaints have been recorded about migrants who, much more regularly than Italians, did not respect the confinement and quarantine regulations.

The current, unforeseen crisis also paints a clear picture: our European societies are not as strong, indestructible as we and the people who came here from the Third World thought. We may now discover that we don’t have the resources to cope with this pandemic created by globalisation and worsened by uncontrolled and illegal immigration with all the social chaos that it involves.

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RAIR Foundation