Thousands of locals participated in strikes and protests against mass migration on multiple Greek islands, according to reports.
Many businesses and public services were closed on the Eastern Aegean Islands of Samos, Chios, Lesbos, and Leros, as demonstrators gathered in public spaces to demand, "We want our islands back!" and "We want our lives back!"
Massive turnout at the anti migration policy protest in Mytilini, Lesbos. Thousands have followed the call of the local Gouverneur to send a message to the government in Athens. „We want our island back.“ pic.twitter.com/gzz66mSCmU— Max Zander (@The_Max_Zander) January 22, 2020
"Protesters told reporters that they want their islands to return to normal life," Keep Talking Greece reports. "Some complained about the rise of criminality, others said that refugees and migrants deserve better living conditions."
Roughly 42,000 illegal immigrants are currently occupying overflowing detention camps on the aforementioned islands, as well as Kos.
Residents voiced their opposition to the government's plans to build permanent asylum centers on the islands, as well as the operations of non-governmental agencies (NGOs), which often work to encourage and facilitate mass migration.
They called for stronger border controls, as well as increased support for health and security in their communities.
"Soon we will be a minority on our own island," a resident of Lesbos told AFP. "It's Greece and the islands that are paying the price of migration."
Another Lesbos resident said, "You can't walk alone outside after dark, people get stabbed."
Approximately 75,000 migrants arrived in Greece in 2019, with roughly 60,000 traveling by sea according to the U.N. refugee agency. An additional 3,000 have already arrived in 2020.
Greece's eastern islands have suffered the brunt of an endless migration flow that rapidly escalated again during the second half of 2019, as Infowars Europe has regularly reported.
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(PHOTO: Angelos Tzortzinis/picture alliance via Getty Images)Dan Lyman: Follow @CitizenAnalyst