Sign our 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.

We call on all groups and organisations to co-sign this open letter. You can sign here, before Monday 18 October.


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. 

Signed: To sign the letter click here

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
Agir Pour la Paix
All Included Amsterdam
Attac Bruxelles
Association d’aide aux migration en situation vulnérable AMSV Maroc
Barnim für alle
Borderline Sicilia
Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN)
Bruxelles Panthères ( Belgium )
Centre d’action interculturelle de la province de Namur (Belgium)
Centre d’Action Sociale Italien (CASI-UO asbl)
Channel Rescue
Collectif Charleroi Solidarité Migrant.e.s
Collectif Joli Bois Aubange Messancy
Collectif Migrations Libres
Comitato Nuovi Desaparecidos
Comité Surveillance Otan
End Deportations Belfast
Fluechtlingsrat Hamburg e.V. (Refugee Council)
Genappe Solidaire Belgium
Groupe de solidarité internationale de Boitsfort (Bruxelles)
Groupe montois de soutien aux sans-papiers
GruppoMelitea Italy
Humans before borders
Josi & Loni Project
Karelian Institute, University of Eastern Finland
Laboratorio di Salute Popolare Bologna
Le Monde des Possibles ASBL (Belgium)
Liège hébergement citoyen
Linea d’Ombra ODV
Mare Liberum
Mediterranea Berlin e.V.
Migrant 2 Migrant Foundation
No Border Network The Netherlands
No Borders Rheinland
No Name Kitchen
ObsPol – Police Violence Observatory
Organisation pour une Citoyenneté Universelle
Plateforme citoyenne – Belrefugees
Progress Lawyers Network Brussels
Push-Back Alarm Austria
Refugees’ Platform
Réseau ADES (Belgium)
Seebrücke Neustadt
Seebrücke Schweiz
SINAC – Solidarity is not a crime (Belgique)
Solidary Wheels No Borders for Human Rights
Stop Fuelling War
Stop the War on Migrants (NL)
Tesserae Urban Social Research, Berlin
TOF Théâtre
Transnational Institute
Vrije Bond Utrecht
WatchTheMEd Alarm-Phone
We’ll Come United
We’ll Come United Berlin-Brandenburg
Women Against Borders
YaBasta! Bologna

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