From Migreurop: “… thousands of migrants died in the Mediterranean this Summer in their attempts to reach Europe. Boats wandered adrift and shipwrecks took place in front of Coast Guard ships, surveillance patrols of Frontex and ships from the military coalition engaged operations in Libya under NATO command. For the last several years, African and European organisations alike have been challenging governments about the number of deaths occurring at the borders of the European Union, but in vain. We have come to the conclusion that it is essential now to move to direct action in the light of the excessive number of shipwrecks taking place in the Mediterranean and the reluctance of Europe to concede entry to refugees. We call for a Mediterranean which is in solidarity with migrants and in opposition to repressive policies which seek to criminalise migration towards Europe more and more each day.
What are the concrete aims of the Boats 4 People initiative ?
- To denounce the tragedy which is taking place in the Strait of Sicily
- To exercise our right of access to the maritime regions in which these shipwrecks are taking place and to the centres in which migrants arriving in Italy are detained
- To raise awareness about the requirements of the law of the sea in terms of assistance and to support citizens and sailors who rescue migrants and are criminalized.
- To accuse state actors working at sea (border guards, Frontex, NATO) who are guilty of failing to assist migrants in difficulties and of refouling asylum seekers, against the provisions of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea and the Geneva Convention
- To strengthen Euro-African solidarity with regard to migration and the defence of migrant rights
Trip and organization of the project – The boats will leave for Spring 2012 from Rome, from where they will travel towards the south of Tunisia via Sicily, Malta, Lampedusa, Tunis, Sfax and Ben Guardane. At the moment, we aim to use one or several motor/sail boats with a total capacity of around fifty passengers, including the crews. If you have one – or several ! – boats and would like to follow the flotilla for all or part of the journey, please contact the organisers. The aim of the flotilla is to exert maximum pressure on the European authorities by carrying people likely to raise awareness of the situation in the Strait of Sicily and to denounce it to the greatest possible number of people. We also aim to allow the greatest number of people possible to participate by rotating passengers at each stop. If you are a Member of Parliament, journalist or artist and you wish to participate in a stage of the journey, please send your details to firstname.lastname@example.org. …”
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