facebook feed fist header movement-text refugee-movement-text twitter youtube
international woman space

Ferries not Frontex! 10 points to really end the deaths of migrants at sea

by  • 23 April 2015

ferries not frontex

On April 20, the Joint Foreign and Home Affairs Council of the EU released a ten-​point action plan outlining their response to the recent deaths of migrants in the Mediterranean Sea. Many other proposals have also been made over the last few days. We are activists who have been involved in the struggles against the European border regime for several years and who have been in touch on a daily basis with hundreds of people who have crossed the Mediterranean through Watch The Med and the Alarm Phone project. Faced with the hypocrisy of the “solutions” that have been proposed so far, we feel compelled to undermine their falsity and attempt to open up an alternative space for reflection and action.

  1. We are shocked and angered at the recent tragedies that have claimed at least 1200 lives in the Mediterranean Sea in the last week. We are shocked, although not surprised, by the unprecedented number of deaths in merely a few days. We are angered because we know that without a radical change these are just the first of many more deaths to come in 2015.
  1. We are also angered because we know that what is proposed to us as a “solution” to this unbearable situation only amounts to more of the same: violence and death. The EU has called for the reinforcement of Frontex’ Triton mission. Frontex is a migration deterrence agency and Triton has been created with the clear mandate to protect borders, not to save lives.
  1. However, even if saving lives was to be its core task, as it was the case for the military-​humanitarian operation Mare Nostrum in 2014, it is clear that this would not bring dying at sea to an end. Those who suggest a European Mare Nostrum should be reminded that even during its mission, the most grandiose rescue operation in the Mediterranean to date, more than 3.400 people died. Is this figure acceptable to the European public?
  1. Others have called for an international military operation in Libya, a naval blockade or the further enlisting of African countries for the policing of their own land borders. The history of the last 20 years in the Mediterranean shows that stepping up the militarization of migration routes is only cause to more death. Each and every time a route into Europe has been blocked by new surveillance technologies and increasing policing, migrants have not stopped arriving. They have simply been forced to take longer and more dangerous routes. The recent deaths in the Central and Eastern Mediterranean are the result of the militarization of the Gibraltar Strait, of the Canary Islands, of the land border between Greece and Turkey, and of several land borders in the Sahara. The “successes” of Frontex mean death to thousands of people.
  1. International organisations as well politicians from across the whole political spectrum have denounced smugglers as the main cause of death in the Mediterranean Sea. Several prominent politicians have compared the smuggling of migrants to the transatlantic slave trade. There seems no limit to hypocrisy: those who uphold the slave regime condemning the slave traders! We know very well that smugglers operating in the context of the Libyan civil war are often ruthless criminals. But we also know that the only reason why migrants have to resort to them is the European border regime. Smuggling networks would be history in no time if those who now die at sea could instead reach Europe legally. The visa regime that prevents them from doing so was introduced only 25 years ago.
  1. Those who have called, once again, for the creation of asylum processing centres in Northern Africa should be reminded of two examples that are the most accurate examples of what these centres would actually mean. First, the Tunisian Choucha camp managed by the UNHCR, which abandoned those who sought refuge there from the Libyan conflict. Even those who were recognized as needing international protections were left behind in the Tunisian desert, often without any other choice than trying to cross the sea. Second, the creation by Australia of offshore processing centres on remote “prison-​islands”, which is now hailed by many as a role model for Europe, only shows how hideous the forceful confinement of asylum seekers can be. These “solutions” serve only to displace the violence of the European border regime away from the eyes of Western publics.
  1. Faced with this situation, what is to be done? Comrades and friends with whom we have shared common struggles in the past years have been calling for freedom of movement as the only viable response to this situation. We too make this demand ours, as it is the only one that has managed to open up a space of political imagination in an otherwise suffocating debate. Only unconditional legal access to theEU can end the death of migrants at sea. And yet we think that a general call for the freedom of movement is not enough in the current context. We want to consider the freedom of movement not as a distant utopia but as a practice – enacted by migrants on a daily basis often at the cost of their lives — that should guide our political struggles here and now.
  1. These are the reasons why we call for the institution of a humanitarian ferry, that should travel to Libya and evacuate as many people as possible. These people should be brought to Europe and granted unconditional protection in Europe, without undergoing an asylum process which has lost its original purpose to protect and has de facto become yet another tool of exclusion.
  1. Is the idea of a ferry unrealistic? In 2011, at the height of the Libyan civil war, humanitarian ferries evacuated thousands of stranded migrants from Misrata to Bengasi, overcoming obstacles such as shelling, constant fire and sea mines. This shows that even in the current volatile situation of Libya, considering such an action is possible. Moreover, ferries would certainly be immensely cheaper than the prospect of a massive rescue mission at sea and of any military solution.
  1. The only reality we know is that any solution short of this will continue to lead to more deaths at sea. We know that no process of externalisation of asylum procedures and border control, no amount of compliance with the legal obligations to rescue, no increase in surveillance and militarization will stop the mass dying at sea. In the immediate terms, all we need is legal access and ferries. Will the EUand international agencies be ready to take these steps, or will civil society have to do it for them?

The Alarm Phone

wtm-​alarm-​phone@​antira.​info

http://bit.ly/1KrNa3e

from iwspace http://bit.ly/1SDZhjr


international woman space

international woman space

Video: Emergency shelter in Wiesenstraße throws out Syrian refugee woman at night

Klick HERE for the Press Release which was published few days ago. Watch the video: https://vimeo.com/154353396 International Women Space got to know Viviana when she was still living the emergency shelter (Lager) at the Wiesenstraße, in Wedding, Berlin. On te 29th of January we went to the Notunterkunft to have a coffee with Viviana and… Read more »

vivianapic
international woman space

IN OUR OWN WORDS Book launch

Refugee Women in Germany tell their stories WHEN: 19.00 | 25th November 2015 WHERE: TheaterSpielRaum, Bethanien-Südflügel, Mariannenplatz 2B, 10997 Berlin   In 2013, we, the activists from International Women Space (IWS), set ourselves the task of documenting the lives and stories of refugee women in Germany. We approached the project in the Latin American tradition of… Read more »

In our own words

Featured

berlin news / News

Demo 10.12. Keine Abschiebungen nach Afghanistan!تظاهرات برای ماندن افغانها در المان، دیپورت را متوقف کنید!

Afghanistan ist alles andere als sicher. Seit mehr als drei Jahrzehnten sind Menschen auf der Flucht vor Terror und Krieg. Keine Abschiebungen nach Afghanistan! Demonstration am 10.12.2016, um 12:00 Uhr, U-Bahn Turmstraße, Berlin Der nun seit fast vier Jahrzehnten andauernde Krieg in Afghanistan hat 6 Millionen Menschen weltweit in die Flucht getrieben, und 2015 mehr… Read more »

afghandemo_fb
Demo / International Women's Space / News / Refugee Groups Berlin / Support/Solidarity

Tag gegen Gewalt an Frauen* Internationalistische Frauen DEMO Freitag, 25.11.2016, 16 Uhr, Turmstrasse (U9)

Organizers: Frauen * von Ezidischer FrauenRat Berlin, Frauenrat Dest Dan, International Women Space, Interkulturelle Frauenzentrum S.U.S.I, Frauen aus Rojhilat, Sozialistischer Frauenbund Berlin-SKB, Women in Exile & Friends, JXK – Studierende Frauen aus Kurdistan, FrauenRat der PYD Berlin (Rojava Frauen), Frauenrat der HDK Berlin, Lara e.V „From feminicide to selfdefence” along the motto of the current… Read more »

international-women-space-demo
german wide movement / News / refugee-struggle / Support/Solidarity / Videos

Protest March Munich to Nuremberg

8th of  October 2016, Munich 33th day at Sendlinger Tor 1st day on Protest March We need your financial support for our protest march from Munich to Nürnberg – read more about it on our web page: refugeestruggle.org Spendenkonto: Account name: Refugee Struggle for Freedom BIC: GENODEM1GLS IBAN: DE 97 4306 0967 8229 1322 00… Read more »

protest-march-2016-munchen-to-nurnberg-16

Recent

berlin news / Demo / News / Support/Solidarity

Aufruf zur Demonstration: Keine Abschiebungen nach Afghanistan

Gestern Roma, heute Menschen aus Afghanistan, morgen wir? Yesterday Roma, today people from Afghanistan, tomorrow we? Hier Roma, aujourd’hui les gens de l’Afghanistan, demain nous? Demonstration –  Protest march – Démonstration 10.12.2016 – 11:30 – U-Bhf Turmstr (U 9), Berlin Aufruf zu Solidarität gegen Abschiebung Kommt alle, egal welcher Nationalität ihr seid, um gegen Abschiebungen… Read more »

News / refugee-struggle

Roma-Black Box Solidarity – Break Deportation Aktion in Erfurt

Break Deportation Aktion in Erfurt – „Roma-Black Box Solidarity“ Roma Solidaritäts-Veranstaltung mit Diskussion und Kulturprogramm 17.12.2016, 16.00 Uhr in Erfurt, Schillerstraße 44, Filler This is the first Solidarity Event of our campaign to stop the deportation of the Roma family Haliti / Ristic Refugee activists will speak on their experiences with deportation and social exclusion… Read more »

roma-thuringen
News / refugee-struggle / the-voice-jenna

Vorbereitungstreffen für das “Break Deportation Solidarity Aktionswochenende” Januar 2017

English / Deutsch: Solidarity Aktionswochenende” im Januar 2017 Einladung zum Vorbereitungstreffen für das “Break Deportation Solidarity Aktionswochenende” im Januar 2017 Wann? Donnerstag, 08. Dezember um 18Uhr Wo? In den Räumen des Demokratischen Jugendrings (Seidelstraße 21) Jena Für das Wochenende vom 27. bis 29. Januar 2017 planen wir – das Netzwerk Break Deportation – in Jena… Read more »

break-the-deportation-culture
alle bleiben / berlin news / refugee-struggle / Support/Solidarity / Videos

Right to stay for Hikmet! Bleiberecht für Hikmet!

Hikmet’s is getting the answer about “Bleiberecht” from the “Petition Office” Dec. 1. if he doesn’t get it he is threatened with deportation. And the oldest of his two brothers is also being threatened with deportation. Wir alle hoffen jetzt auf ein “Bleiberecht”, die Anhörung ist am 1. Dezember. Inzwischen droht ihrem älteren Bruder dasselbe… Read more »

Alle bleiben Freiheit für Hikmet
berlin news / Demo / LMB - lager mobilisation berlin

The break out from the Lager at Osloerstr 23 #CloseTheCamp #LagerOsloerstr23

On the 18th November, a group went to Bezirksparlaments im Rathaus Berlin-Mitte to tell their situation, as it is shortly explained below: Besuch der BVV und des Bezirksparlaments im Rathaus Berlin-Mitte Am 18. November 2016 besuchte eine Gruppe bestehend aus asylsuchenden Menschen aus dem BTB-betriebenen Lager (Notunterkunft) und der umgebenden Nachbarschaft Weddings die Bezirksverordnetenversammlung (BVV)… Read more »

putting candles
german wide movement / News / refugee-struggle / the-voice-jenna

Break Deportation Arena and Campaign to Break the deportation Culture

Upcoming events with The VOICE Refugee Forum: Hello All, Your are invited to join us in building “Break Deportation Arena and Campaign to Break the deportation Culture” in Germany There will be open meetings of Break Deportation – Refugee Community to discuss the upcoming events in Thueringen. Starting tomorrow, on Saturday, 26.11.16 in Jena at… Read more »

the-voice-refugee-forum