Interview with Mediterranea volunteers during the Sabir Festival

Interview with Mediterranea volunteers during the Sabir Festival


I am Ada Taddarico, I am part of Ya Basta and of Mediterranea platform I am Giulia I am also part of Ya basta association and Mediterranea platform and I joined the sea rescue crew Mediterranea platform was founded because We wanted to be there with our presence In a moment where solidarity is being criminalized NGOs are being banned from the Mediterranean sea The Mediterranean is still kept as a border space With dramatic shipwrecks and what lead us to be physically there and to act was the will, the desire, to transform the current reality because it’s a reality fueled by hatred This project represents an action that does not leave unconsidered a situation where the fundamental right of life is left apart it does not allow people to die in the sea We decided to take an action to directly put in the field our bodies and to undertake this endeavor even “fool” if you want. We were embarked for one week It was a huge emotion meeting again the fleet in the sea with jounalists, voluteers, activists on board what really impressed us is that the Mediterranean sea has changed consistently compared to previous years mostly because of this criminalisation of solidarity and NGOs It has been deprived of all those actors that have a responsibility and were rescuing and doing their job in the sea. We noticed a barrier to the natural flow of migrants Nevertheless, this barrier is partial, people can still pass as it’s noticeable by the excessive number of shipwrecks of the last months and by the people who lost their lives in the sea Basically, few ships were able to pass this “Lybian Barrier” since the Lybian Cost Guards intercept and pull back the ships of migrants that try to pass. Those who are able to pass, are saved by the Italian and Maltese Cost Guards, thanks to Mediterranea’s action and presence, Our presence there and our reports re-activated an action to force States to engage with life saving since they refused to do it. Crossing again the Mediterranean sea to make report and to be ready to rescue It opened again the debate and an action that used to be delegated to others There is an established border in the Mediterranean sea created by a criminal deal between the Italian Government, the other EU Member States and the Lybian government. In this moment, there is a civil war in Lybia. Lybia is controlled by criminal gangs. The so called Lybian “Cost Guard” act as a barrier. Because there are still people trying to pass the problem is that they are being blocked and then pulled back in that hell from which they try to escape. All the migrants we met told us the same thing the worst part of this crossing of this journey from Africa to Italy, from Africa to Europe is Lybia! Those Lybian detention centres where there are no rights, where rights are not respected, where there are abuses, violences, torture… It is REAL! Nevertheless, the italian and European Governments keep tolerating this, even make deals to maintain this system. The fact of being there in the Mediterranean sea represents a light to testify the truth, it represents a light of hope that makes human life saving happening as it happened last night. And I believe that if we were not there I don’t know what could have happened to those people, because the first answer of the italian government was: “it is none of our business” It needs to be there, It needs to be active, present, Because only through the presence of Mediterranea and other NGOs, human lives can be saved, fundamental rights can be guaranteed. First of all rather an ethical rule rather than a legislative one it is internal law or law of the sea but it mainly responds to needs to be “human” again that is the right of saving lives. Today talking about “life saving”, it almost became illegal Instead, we need to change this general feeling that was built in this Europe. In different cities, hundreds of people took action to become active to work with Mediterranea. There is a “sea crew” but in this moment there is also a big crew on the ground, part of the society that wants to support Mediterranea making donation and therefore to support economically all the expenses that we need to afford and that we will afford to make Mediterranea able to operate in the Mediterranean sea. Beyond the economic support, there is a will to give voice and be active with Mediterranea to support Mediterranea. Having a concreate goal and realizing that something impossible like buying a boat can be possible. it is a great motivation and can create a mobilisation able to reverse this climate of hatred fueled by politicians. These politicians continue to perpetuating policies that aim at closing the borders, closing the ports and at recognising the immigrant as an enemy. I just want to say something really spontaneously after being embarked for one week. For me, this is the great potential of Mediterranea that such a basic principle can build up a debate, a network that we have to exploit fully because these opportunities are not just in Italy. It has an echo also in other European countries. In Berlin a protest organized by Seebrücke network involved roughly 250 000 people. In times where protesting is outdated where it is more and more difficult to create great mobilisation we can see that such a concreate issue triggers disruptive mobilization and in my opinion This is our chance to create a dialogue with different contexts and different actors to create strong, different and diversified network and this is the opportunity that Mediterranea alike other projects in Europe has as they need to be connected as much as possible and to create a dialogue It is important to avoid stereotypes or being stigmatized with a role and say “oh there are the migrants to save” and we save them We need to get over this, we need openness For instance, something that need to be done urgently is to advocate for freedom of movement and this would avoid the tragedies happening in the Mediterranean sea Surely, this is the first thing on which we need to take action for which parts of the society need to connect in this Europe, and part of them is already active Also to build an opposition, a “resistenza” against hate campaigns and maybe the easiest choice is be all together starting from this will of chance and doing it choosing a bit or courage

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