The rally took place late Thursday right after protests by local residents urging the government to address the issue of poor living conditions in refugee facilities on the island.
This conflict echoes the situation in late April when the members of the radical Patriotic Movement attacked migrants in Lesbos' capital of Mytilene during a rally against refugees' deplorable living conditions. The law enforcement had to use tear gas in order to disperse the protestors and later drove migrants away in police buses from the city center to a refugee camp. In March, clashes at the Moria reception center on Lesbos left at least eight police officers injured.
Greece is one of the countries which suffer most from the inflow of immigrants fleeing violence in the Middle East and North Africa. The sea route between Turkey and Greece has been one of the main ways for migrants to get to Europe. Lesbos became the gateway for the vast majority of refugees and asylum seekers who arrived in Europe at the peak of the refugee crisis in 2015. According to the mayor of Lesbos, there are more than 10 000 refugees in the camps of the island, while only 27,000 residents live in the city of Mytilene.