LESBOS, Greece (AP) — Protest groups on three eastern Greek islands have begun setting up blockades aimed at stopping the government from building new migrant detention centers.
The groups on Lesbos, Chios, and Samos have received broad support on the islands including from municipal authorities and farming associations.
The government says it is determined to build detention centers on recently appropriated land to replace overcrowded camps on the island — announcing that construction would resume Monday after a brief break for consultation.
But many islanders fear that new facilities will only increase the number of migrants and refugees after the government failed to deliver on a pledge to ease overcrowding over the winter months.
“We are guarding the (appropriated) area, and if they start building, everyone here and from the surrounding villages will join the protest — because we don’t want this,” Stephanos Apostolou, a protest organizer and municipal council member from the village of Mandamos on Lesbos, told The Associated Press.