Tunisian fishermen vow to block ‘racist’ anti-migrant ship

Tunisian fishermen vowed to block a ship carrying far-right activists from docking at their port, dealing a fresh blow to their mission to disrupt the flow of migrant boats from north Africa to Europe.
The C-Star, a boat chartered by anti-immigration group “Generation Identity”, passed through waters off Libya on Saturday. It briefly tailed the Aquarius, operated by French group SOS Mediterranee, one of several NGO boats conducting search and rescue operations in an area notorious for deadly migrant boat sinkings.
Having left Cyprus on August 1, the 40-metre vessel was thought to be in need of supplies: but the fishermen in the southeastern Tunisian port of Zarzi had other ideas.
“If they come here we’ll close the refuelling channel,” Chamseddine Bourassine, the head of the local fishermen’s organisation, said.
“It is the least we can do given what is happening out in the Mediterranean,” he added.
“Muslims and Africans are dying.”
An official at the port, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “What — Us let in racists here — Never!”
The C-Star headed straight from Cyprus to Libyan waters after being discouraged from attempting to dock en route in Greece and Sicily, with authorities concerned about the prospect of protests. — AFP