What we’re calling for:
- Empower solidarity
- End the brutal criminalisation and repression of people on the move
- End the harassment and policing of migrant communities
- Stop state and police repression of people on the move, migrant communities, civil society and those supporting people on the move
- Release civil society rescue ships that have been seized
- End the obstacles, intimidation and seizing of rescue vessels and follow the obligation of opening the nearest ports
Where states fall short in providing safe routes, shelter and other support to people on the move and fail to rescue people in distress, NGOs, activists and others step in and show solidarity. In camps, asylum centers, detention centers and on the streets people on the move have also organised themselves to protest against inhumane conditions, detentions and deportations and demand permission to stay, with safe, livable future prospects.
Often these actions are met with state and police repression. Search and Rescue ships have been confiscated and crews have been arrested, as have other people supporting people on the move. Places squatted for shelter have been evicted, 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.
Over the years many people on the move have drowned in the Mediterranean. The EU and its member states have largely refused to do something about this, increasingly retreating from search & rescue-efforts or using this as a thin veil for what in fact are interception operations and/or cooperation with third countries to ship people on the move back to countries they have set off from.
NGOs have filled this void, being hindered in all possible ways by border authorities. With this they do the work that states should be doing: saving lives. However, state-led search and rescue operations are only good alternatives when they are actually aimed at saving people and providing them with a future, instead of push backs or putting them in detention, with the prospect of being deported. Even more so, the EU and its member states should change their policies to avoid pushing people to use dangerous migration routes, by providing safe routes for everyone and by stopping to fuel the reasons people are forced to flee in the first place.
Research and resources
- The shrinking space for solidarity with migrants and refugees: a report by the Transnational Institute on how solidarity with migrants and refugees can lead to arrest, legal troubles, or harassment. It looks at how EU policy has played out and offers a glimpse into the ways citizens and movements are resisting xenophobic and securitarian policies. Full report in English here.
- Recovering antiracism: Reflections on collectivity and solidarity in antiracist organising paper by TNI
Full report in English.