Open letter in solidarity with Mimmo Lucano!

11 October 2021 – The Abolish Frontex network has written an open letter to the Italian government in solidarity with Mimmo Lucano, the mayor who was recently convicted to 13 years in prison for his support for people on the move. The letter was signed  by 172 civil society groups and organisations.


Mr Mario Draghi, President of the Ministers Council
Ms Luciana Lamorgese, Minister of Interior
Ms Marta Cartabia, Minister of Justice

As civil society groups and organisations, we were disgusted by the first-degree sentence given to Domenico ‘Mimmo’ Lucano by the court of Locri and express our full solidarity with Mimmo. The sentence is shameful and unjust and embodies the rightwing and racist migration policies that are being entrenched in Europe. We are calling on the Italian government and all concerned authorities to exonerate Domenico Lucano immediately and to stop its hostile migration policies. 

Mimmo Lucano’s actions as mayor were a lived, tangible example of life in solidarity. They demonstrated that inclusion, justice and social provision are possible and can reverse the tide of racism and xenophobia. His sentence doesn’t reflect justice, but rather shines in the light of racist political agendas which criminalise solidarity and fortify Europe’s walls.

Over 44,764 people have been killed by the militarised policies at the borders of Fortress Europe since 1993.  Thousands more are brutally criminalised, repressed and oppressed after they reach Europeevery day is a struggle. EU Member States are using violent and illegal tactics to force asylum seekers back across their borders as part of operations funded by the EU. Evidence gathered by numerous reports reveal that migrants have been beaten and shot at in recent months during so-called “pushback” operations carried out by masked men in Croatia, Romania and Greece. This in addition to the infamous interceptions and pushbacks carried out by the so-called Libyan coastguard which is funded by the EU and trained by the Italian navy.

European states are failing to provide safe routes, shelter and other support to people on the move. They are failing to rescue people in distress and to address their own responsibility and complicity in forcing people to move. In camps, asylum centers, detention centres and on the streets, people on the move have organised themselves to protest against inhumane conditions, detentions and deportations and demand permission to stay, with safe, liveable future prospects. While the EU and European governments deny responsibility and refrain from serving International law,  NGOs, activists and people like Mimmo Lucano step in and show solidarity in praxis. Europe is outsourcing its international obligations to civil society. 

These protests are often met with state and police repression. Solidarity is often criminalised. Search and Rescue ships have been confiscated and crews have been arrested; as have other people supporting people on the move and taking action against Europe’s deadly border policies and institutions. Places squatted for shelter have been evicted, food and aid distributions at border crossings disrupted, uprisings in asylum and detention centers have been violently crushed, people have been put in isolation cells, have been denied medical and legal assistance and have been violently deported. 

Europe is built on a history of colonialism, slavery, imperialism, extractivism and exploitation that continues today. The EU’s border policies institutionalise this violence, injustice and inequality. The EU and its Member States should take responsibility for this and build community not walls. The current course is not solving any issues but instead violently externalises them – as exemplified by Italy’s close cooperation and financial and material support for the Libyan coast guard, constantly guilty of violence and pullbacks against people on the move. 

We stand in solidarity with people on the move and those who support them, unwaveringly. Everyone should be free to move and live – but no one should be forced to move. The militarisation of borders is not the solution. Other migration policies are possible and necessary, based on the analysis of the causes and responsibilities of forced migration, based on solidarity. 

Free Mimmo and end the persecution of people on the move and those who support them.  Solidarity will never be a crime. 


6000 Sardine Alessandria
Δίκτυο Κοινωνικής Υποστήριξης Προσφύγων και Μεταναστών/ριών – Network of Social Support to Refugees and Migrants, Athens/Greece
Δίκτυο για τα Πολιτικά και Κοινωνικά Δικαιώματα – Network for Political and Social Rights, Greece
Στέκι Μεταναστών/τριών – Migrants Social Center, Athens/Greece
Actrices et Acteurs des Temps Présents, Belgique
Agir Pour la Paix
All Included Amsterdam
ANPI sezione di Induno Olona
ASI associazione solidarietà intetnazionale
Asocistia CUTRA
Assemblea antirazzista, antifascista di Vicofaro-Pistoia
Association d’aide aux migration en situation vulnérable AMSV Maroc
Associazione Cinema e Diritti
Associazione culturale Giovanni Ruggiero
Associazione culturale M.Arte Reggio Calabria
Associazione Culturale Têtes de Bois
Associazione La Strada Reggio Calabria
Association Longo maï
Associazione Mare Aperto
Ass. Mila donnambiente-Pescara
Associazione Peppino Impastato Cinisi
Associazione per la Pace
Associazione per la pace Milano
Associazione Rete Radié Resch Castelfranco Veneto
Associazione Shukran Somalia Onlus
Attac Bruxelles
Barnim für alle
Be Free cooperativa sociale contro tratta violenza discriminazioni
Biblioteca delle donne bruzie
Borderline Sicilia
Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN)
Brecht Eisler Koor Brussel
Bruxelles Panthères ( Belgium )
Casa delle donne di Milano
Centre for Peace Studies, Zagreb, Croatia
Centre Bruxellois d’Action Interculturelle – CBAI [Belgium]
Centre d’action interculturelle de la province de Namur (Belgium)
Centre d’Action Sociale Italien (CASI-UO asbl)
Channel Rescue
Circolo “che Guevara” Prc Verbicaro
Cisda (coordinamento italiano sostegno donne afghane)
Collectif Charleroi Solidarité Migrant.e.s
Collectif Joli Bois Aubange Messancy
Collectif Migrations Libres
Collectif Réfugiés du Vaucluse
Comitato Nuovi Desaparecidos
Comitato Undici Giugno-Milano
Comité pour une Nation Refuge
Comité Surveillance Otan
Cooperativa Impresa Sociale “Della Terra contadinanza necessaria” ETS
Coordination wallonne des Collectifs et Associations venant en aide aux personnes migrantes en transit
CS&L Consorzio Sociale
Donne in Nero Napoli
Ecofem e sostenibilità
ecologistas en acción Granada
écolo j

End Deportations Belfast
Europecares e.V.
Festival del Cinema dei Diritti Umani di Napoli
Fluechtlingsrat Hamburg e.V. (Refugee Council)
Fondazione per l’ Accessibilita attraverso l’Informatica
Forum Nord-Sud asbl (Bruxelles, Belgique)
GAO Cooperazione Internazionale
Genappe Solidaire Belgium
Gentegreen Napoli
GRIDAS – Gruppo Risveglio dal Sonno – Napoli
Groupe de solidarité internationale de Boitsfort (Bruxelles)
Groupe montois de soutien aux sans-papiers
GruppoMelitea Italy
Humans before borders
Jeunes FGTB
JIMUEL Internet Medics for life
Josi & Loni Project
Karelian Institute, University of Eastern Finland
Komitee für Grundrechte und Demokratie e.V. Köln, Germany
Laboratorio di Salute Popolare Bologna
la compagnie des six faux nez
La mano sulla roccia
Las Lloronas
Le Cinque Stagioni
Le Monde des Possibles ASBL (Belgium)
Le MONTY, Genappe
Le Morti Contro Le Morti In Mare
Le Moulin
Les Amis du Monde diplomatique – Belgique asbl
Le Steki
Le Veglie Contro Le Morti In Mare
Liège hébergement citoyen
Linea d’Ombra ODV
Mani Rosse Antirazziste
Mani Rosse Antirazziste, Roma
Mare Liberum
Mediterranea Berlin e.V.
Mediterranea Pescara
Mediterranea Torino
Migrant 2 Migrant Foundation
Migration Control Network
Movies that matter
Netzwerk NoBorder. NoProblem
No Border Network The Netherlands
No Borders Rheinland
No Name Kitchen
ObsPol – Police Violence Observatory
Öko & Fair Umweltzentrum Gauting
Organisation pour une Citoyenneté Universelle
Osservatorio Solidarietà-Carta di Milano
People for Peace, London, Ontario, Canada
Picnic. Letterario. di Napoli
Plateforme citoyenne – Belrefugees
Plateforme citoyenne de soutien aux réfugiés.
Platform of Filipino Organizations in Europe
Progress Lawyers Network Brussels
Push-Back Alarm Austria
Refugees’ Platform
Réseau ADES (Belgium)
RESPECT Network Europe
Rete Apriti Scuola
România – Țara Muncii Ieftine (Romania – Cheap Labour Country) collective
Rowing Together
Scuola di formazione Antonino Caponnetto
SCI Projet Internationaux
Seebrücke Mainz
Seebrücke Neustadt
Seebrücke Schweiz
SINAC – Solidarity is not a crime (Belgique)
Solidary Wheels No Borders for Human Rights
Stichting CAAT Projects, Netherlands
Stop Fuelling War
Stop the War on Migrants (NL)
Storie ribelli. Micro storie di ragazzi e ragazze a Mafiopoli con Peppino Impastato
Tesserae Urban Social Research, Berlin
The Polity of Literature
TOF Théâtre
Transnational Institute
Veglie contro le morti in mare
Volt Europa
Vrije Bond Utrecht
WatchTheMEd Alarm-Phone
We’ll Come United
We’ll Come United Berlin-Brandenburg
Women Against Borders
YaBasta! Bologna
Zezi Gruppo Operaio Pomigliano d’Arco ( Napoli)

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