In just two days, almost thirty peoples including volunteers and leaders of organizations that provide relief to shipwrecked in the central Mediterranean have been put under investigation. This is the strongest attack to the humanitarian action at sea ever made by the Italian authorities.
The atmosphere is heavy. A few days ago, a campaign of criminalization of solidarity, smoldering for months like embers under the ashes in the papers of some prosecutors, has restarted.
The public prosecutor of Ragusa, Sicily, is charging the shipping company of Mare Jonio, the ship used by Mediterranea for its humanitarian activities, with the wrongful accusation of setting a commercial agreement in exchange of the mission of Sept 11, 2020 to rescue the migrants on board of the Maersk Etienne tanker.
"It has tragically become normal that every day, and for years now, thousands of lives are lost at sea. These people did not die because of an accident, but because of a precise political will."
An interview with Alessandra Sciurba
US and Italian governments both criminalize humanitarian activism. In the US, you can be considered guilty of committing a crime if helping someone not die. You can be prosecuted, sentenced and serve time in prison. This is the most upsetting parallel between the US and Italy.
An interview with Michael Hardt.
While rescue missions are hindered at sea, the Pope writes to Mediterranea: «thanks for all you do. I would like to tell you that I am available to help, always»
Fabrizio Gatti, 57 years old, from Brescia, volunteer of Mediterranea, is the answer to those who put in doubt that humanitarian organizations are engaged in the Covid-19 emergency. "To intervene on land or at sea doesn't make a difference for us, it's always and only about helping people".
The sailboat is an extraordinary laboratory, in which everyone is called to cooperate and do their part. It is a place where resources are limited and shall be used with thoughtfulness, where everyone's behavior determines everyone else's well-being. And if anyone is found adrift at sea, the obligation is to save them
A report from Licata’s port aboard the boat that is no longer impounded
One day in July 2018, like in a typical movie scene of Italian immigrants abroad looking for work, two of us knocked on the door of the small Berlin headquarters of the German NGO Sea Watch. “We are Italian,” we said, “we want to get a boat to save lives in the Mediterranean. Can you teach us how to do it?”
On March 18, 2019, the Italian-flagged boat Mare Jonio, operated by the platform of activists Mediterranea, rescued forty-nine migrants forty-two miles off the Libyan coast and sailed toward Lampedusa, Italy. [...]
"Mediterranea was born early last summer, when the criminalization of NGOs made it impossible for there to be support boats in the Mediterranean Sea." [...]
It should be obvious that European and North American societies need to mobilize to aid and protect migrants, who continue to die in horrifying and scandalous numbers crossing borders, especially at sea and in the desert. [...]
Stefano, nurse and rescuer aboard the Mare Jonio, recounts his experience of the boat that’s been renamed “the children’s vessel”. The smiles of the little ones, the fears of their mothers, and the abuses suffered by people who risked dying, first in Libya, then at sea.
Article of the Laboratory "Telling the truth - public reflection on freedom of speech, freedom and power" (Fondazione Giangiacomo Feltrinelli)
Alessandra Sciurba, Erasmo Palazzotto and Pietro Bartolo discussed about “accoglienza” and their experience on board of the Alex sail boat, which rescued 59 people and brought them to the port of Lampedusa, ignoring the Italian government’s recent security decree.
What plays out off the coast of Libya are forms of mass abduction that are not merely tolerated but strategically organised and orchestrated by European governments and its coastguards.
It was mid-June when what would later become the “Mediterranea” platform began to take shape. Matteo Salvini had just shut the Italian ports to the ship Aquarius, of “Doctors Without Borders” and “SOS Méditerranée,” choosing to define the long crossing that would bring to Spain the more than nine hundred refugees [...]
This mission is not only about providing humanitarian aid but protesting against the toxic politics of Italy, Europe and the US