One year after launching our call for solidarity boats for migrants of the Mediterranean, we are now ready to sail ! Gathered around the idea of going at sea to control immigration control, we, 17 organizations in seven different countries have joined to make this ambitious project true and start a first mission at sea.
Our boat, the Oloferne, from organization Nave di Carta, is now ready to go in the port of Rosignano near the town of Cecina (Italy) where will be held, as every year, a European conference against racism organized by ARCI.
It is first to end impunity for state crimes committed against migrant people who every day try to cross the Mediterranean that we have launched several initiatives during the year 2011-2012. The survivors of shipwrecks were encountered, satellite images were collected, survey work was conducted in order to try those responsible for criminal migration policies. Finally, a complaint - who announces further ! - was filed in France on the responsibility of military vessels in the non-assistance of boat-people during the Libyan conflict. We have also not missed an opportunity to reinvindicate and advocate our claims, through actions, events and demonstrations across Europe and the Mediterranean.
From a practical standpoint, we have developed legal and practical tools. This in order to protect sailors and people in solidarity with migrant people at sea, wrongfully accused by anti-immigration policies that criminalize assistance of migrants at sea, in contradiction with international law. To discuss these new means of mobilization, we will hold a workshop on the morning of July 1st in Cecina. This workshop will be followed by a conference about the legal work of the complaint filed in Paris against the non-assistance to boat-people by military vessels. This conference will also mention other complaints, current or future on similar cases in the Mediterranean.
On July the 2nd, Oloferne will leave the port of Rosignano. We invite you to a press conference on board at 9am. This event will be attended by the crew of the Oloferne and local actors defeinding the rights of migrants.
The Oloferne then leave for Sicily, where were held trials of many sailors who assisted migrants at sea. There we will denounce the violent control of maritime borders and the contradiction between state crime and the criminalization of solidarity with boat-people.
Expecting to meet you for the start of our first mission,
Boats 4 People organizations