On the 3rd october 2013, 368 women, men and children lost their life in the Lampedusa shipwreck. The first anniversary takes place in a world torn apart by the increasing of asymmetric conflicts and by sharpening of those that already marked the planet over decades. From guantanamo to the cutthroat in iraq, through the tens of thousands of deaths in ukraine, gaza and syria, a same culture of hatred and profit crystallizes at a horizon of devastation and war with unprecedented intensity and global scale, a culture that never gives priority to life and people’s wishes.
western countries have contributed and continue to daily contribute to the spreading of this culture and the continuation of these conflicts, which are a direct cause of those migratory flows and deaths in the sea that we are witnessing.
For years we have challenged the division between refugees and migrants because exploited by all governments to create categories of people from different rights. Yet, as stated in the Charter of Lampedusa, nowadays the issue of asylum and “freedom of construction and implementation of their life plans in case you necessity of movement” plays a fundamental role, becoming the challenge par excellence for what conerns borders, sovereignty, nationalities and human rights.
As stated in the Charter of Lampedusa, freedom of movement means also right to stay of any migrant. We have to bear in mind the close connection between the ongoing conflicts and the recent flows that in the past few months have reached europe through the Mediterranean Sea. More that 35% of these migrants are from syria. The rest comes mostly from eritrea, somalia, palestine, kurdistan.
October, 3 cannot and must not stay only a day of memory, a day for powers bow to the memory of corpses of that tragedy, and the same powers that constantly play at mortgaging the future of everyone. It is about a tragedy that has clear political responsabilities as much as all the other tragedies that filled the Mediterranean Sea with corpses in the last twenty years.
Days of remembrence are set up in memory of a past finished once and for all, whilst October, 3 has never had an end yet. 3rd October 2013 is also 11th October 2013, 19th February 2014, 12th May, 30th June, 19th July, 2nd and 28th August…a series of dates when corpses in the sea have been counted, until the 800 ones of the second week of september in libyan and maltese waters.
The more conflicts intensify and spread, the more people flee and die.
The more european immigration policies prevent migrants to cross borders without risking their life, the more they become accomplices in the deaths of tens of thousands of victims of war.
Banalities and simplifications coming from institutional discourses make us shudder, now more than ever.
Even more scary is the wide consensus to the logic of rescue at sea as the only possible solution. A logic inevitably feeding what has become a structural mixture between the humanitarian and the military. A logic legitimazing the debate going on between italy and europe on the shift from mare nostrum to a version of frontex made up for the occasion.
It’s time to stop taking as granted that someone fleeing should risk the life in reaching the Mediterranean, hoping that to be intercepted and saved by someone. We are aware that what we need to look at are both the reasons behind wars and the european union. Deaths at sea are just another form of war, a continuation of war, and the european union is the primary responsible for them. Therefore for us the priority demands are:
– the immediate abolition of the visa system and the institution of an aylum right without borders, one that would definitively abolish the logic of the dublin regulation in any of its version. this would garantuee, first, a real freedom of movement to those asking for international protection in europe and, second, the right to stay where chosen.
– the immediate construction of paths of guaranteed arrival, which would garantee the possibility to rescue people directly from conflicts areas or in nearest zones on the way till europe. This would silence any hypothesis of externalization of political asylum in the so-called extra-eu “transit countries” such as lybia, egypt, tunisia and turkey, all the more so that these countries cannot garantuee protection standards for what concerns the rights of the migrants.
– the diffusion of a decent reception, one that would respect the lives and desires of the human beings coming to europe and would substitute the emergency logic of emergency and the speculation related to it.
– a determined struggle against all political and media campaigns criminalizing migrants. Only a year after the shipwreck of october, 3 in fact several are the irresponsible and shameful discourses. they address people fleeing from conflicts as “clandestine”. they alarm the population by making appell at the dangers of epidemics and terrorist attacks that could spread through the asylum routes. Yet what they do is just shamelessy feeding Islamophobia and the culture of hatred, fear, of “clash of civilizations” for demagogic purposes.
Where to find the conomic resources for this to happen? First, throuh the immediate closure of administrative detention centers for migrants across europe, which is what we all struggle for. Second, through the conversion of the costs for the militarization of the Mediterranean and other european borders.
In order for the 3rd october to be not only a day of memory, and in order to delegitimize any istitutional hypocrisy, we invite all movements, associations and individuals – in all their territories and with the most appropriate modalities – to produce moments of mobilization in support to these demands.