Milan – To the cry “Shame on you, Europe, stop the war against migrants and open the borders”, a hundred activists of the North-East Social Centres and of the campaign Lesvoscalling have been occupying the offices of the EU Commission in Milan for more then three hours now.
The demonstrators are sitting on the floor in the lobby to protest against the European policies that have first lead to signing an atrocious deal with Turkey and then to arming the border police to reject and kill people looking for asylum.
From the main balcony a banner is hanging. It reminds that the true emergency is that of protecting people evacuating them from the Greek islands and the border areas, and not to appoint Countries to “Europe’s shields”.
“We want humanitarian passages now! We demand that the border between Greece and Turkey be opened! We demand freedom of movement: the people in the Aegean islands must be evacuated immediately and brought on the continent, and they must be assigned to other countries, in exception to the Dublin regulation, where they must receive a decent welcome and the right of asylum.
Shame on E.U.: people before borders
Stop the war against people, Freedom of movement!
The European Union is carrying out a war against dozens of migrants who are arriving from Turkey to find protection in Europe, but are faced with Frontex and tanks in Greece and Bulgaria. This week at least a person has been killed and five have been wounded by the bullets shot by the Greek police near the border of Kastanies; a child has died drowning in the shipwreck of a boat rejected in the sea between Lesvos and Turkey.
The Greek government, formed by a right-wing coalition and lead by Kyriakos Mītsotakīs, has announced the state of emergency, lining up the army at the borders and suspending the right to apply for asylum, referring to the exceptional conditions in Art. 78 TFUE.
For months now, over 40,000 people have been trapped on the islands in the Northern part of the Aegean Sea because of the deal between the EU and Turkey signed on the 18th of March 2016, which cost European citizens 6 billion euros.
Refusing to stop migrants, Erdogan has now broken the deal and is forcing Europe to stop them personally, if it means killing them one by one. That deal was an enormous mistake because it gave Erdogan a way of blackmailing the EU. Today, as much as yesterday, what is needed are humanitarian passages, not external policemen!
Even though cases of repeated violence, violations of fundamental human rights and illegal imprisonments are constantly being confirmed, the EU leaders praise Greece and Bulgaria as Europe’s “shield” and are reinforcing Frontex with 6,000 more agents, 6 boats and equipment to better control the borders on land and at sea.
Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, has arranged for 350 million euros of European funds to be immediately available to ensure the closure of all external borders between the EU and Turkey. Another 350 million will be available as financial help. Last week, Angela Merkel has offered a new deal to Turkey, in order to send back anyone who attempts to enter the EU countries. To sign a new deal would mean giving an anti democratic tyrant such as Erdogan another mean of blackmailing the EU!
While politicians lock Europe down, on European territory far-right groups are organizing intimidations, arsons and aggressions against both migrants and NGO volunteers utterly undisturbed.
The EU’s actions in these weeks, the policies of the Von der Leyen Commission and of vice president Schinas are fuelling fear, hate and social tensions against the weaker.
Is this the European lifestyle we want to support?
Let’s refuse this European war against people who are searching for protection!
Let’s support people, not Countries!
Over 3 million refugees who are now in Turkey are being left to Erdogan who will use them as tools in the geopolitical conflict against the EU.
We demand humanitarian passages now! We demand that the border between Greece and Turkey be opened!
We demand the freedom of movement: migrants in the Aegean islands must be immediately evacuated and brought on the continent, and they must be assigned to other countries, in exception to the Dublin regulation, where they must receive a decent welcome and the right of asylum.
Immediate evacuation from all of Greece and Turkey!
Humanitarian passages now!
Freedom of movement for all!
Stop to the deal between the EU and Turkey!
Side by side with the migrants
Social centres of the North-East
Campaign Lesvos Calling