Open letter to Polytechnic University of Turin about working for Frontex

16 November 2021 – Following up the issue on the contract signed between Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard agency, and the Italian consortium composed by Associazione Ithaca, DIST (Dipartimento Interateneo di Scienze, Progetto e Politiche del Territorio) of Turin Polytechnic and Ithaca Srl (a company controlled by the homonymous association), we took a stand. This morning we have sent an email to the Rector, Vice-Rector, members of the Academic Senate and the Directors and Vice-Directors of the mentioned Department, but also to Altreconomia, the Italian magazine where the story was brought up in the first place. See our letter below. As an organisation/group you can co-sign here.
— Click here for pdfs of the letter in ArabFrenchGermanItalianSpanish

Continue reading “Open letter to Polytechnic University of Turin about working for Frontex”

Stop the war on migration along the EU-Belarus border! Freedom of movement for all!

Re-posted from the Alarm Phone – Watch the med blog

Since August 2021, Alarm Phone has received numerous distress calls from the border between Belarus, Poland and Lithuania. In the media and public discourse, people on the move are portrayed either as a military threat or as absolute victims.

However, when we are in contact with these people, we witness something different:

We see human beings who have decided to move for a variety of reasons. We see people trying to reach their loved ones, and groups of friends trying to reach a safer place together. We also see the distress and concern of their relatives and friends who already made it to Germany or other EU countries on the other side of the border. These relatives and friends try to help those on the move but this can be dangerous as such support is increasingly criminalized. We also see acts of solidarity by activists from Poland, Lithuania, and other countries who stand alongside those in distress. Continue reading “Stop the war on migration along the EU-Belarus border! Freedom of movement for all!”

Glock will provide firearms to Frontex border police force

12 November 2021 – At the end of October Frontex awarded contracts for the provision of firearms and ammunition for its new Standing Border Guard Corps. Austrian arms producer Glock will receive €3.76 million to supply 2,500 9×19 mm semi-automatic pistols (including accessories and training) over the course of four years. Over 3.6 million rounds of ammunition will be provided by Polish companies Mildat and Parasnake Arkadiusz Szewczyk, which will earn €1.24 million in total.
With these contracts Frontex takes another step in building up its own border police force, the first armed EU police force in the history of the Union. While the process of recruiting and training 10,000 officers for the corps by 2027 is ongoing, the first batches of officers have already been deployed to support border security and control operations in Italy, Greece, Spain, the Western Balkans, Lithuania and Latvia. The buildup of the border police force is part of the overall expansion of Frontex into an uncontrollable monster. As such it plays a leading part in the militarisation of Europe’s borders. The agency routinely participates in pushbacks, violence and other human rights violations at the EU’s external borders. 

Continue reading “Glock will provide firearms to Frontex border police force”

We Stand with the Refugees fighting in Libya!

[by Transnational Migrants Coordination] 5 November 2021 – We, migrant men and women of the Transnational Migrants’ Coordination (TMC) express our support for the struggle of refugees in Libya. During the past month, almost 3.000 refugees in Tripoli – tired of torture, rape, arbitrary detention, exploitation, threats, and violence – have been self-organising and have set up a permanent assembly called ‘Refugees in Libya‘ in front of the UNHCR headquarters, with a coordination group to take decisions and make their voices heard with institutions and the media. At least 300 of them are women, and some of them are pregnant. They are the migrants who escaped what the Libyan Ministry of Interior called “operation security”, an indiscriminate round-up which had taken place on October 2nd in Gargadesh, one of the poorest neighbourhoods of Tripoli, and which had led to the detention of more than 5.000 people, accused of violating immigration law, drug trafficking and prostitution, in the Ghout al-Shaal centre. During the raid, six people were killed and others disappeared.

Read further on the website of Transnational Migrants Coordination (also in French and Italian)

Not alongside Frontex

[Blog by the LasciateCIEntrare campaign] 5 November 2021 – In July 2021, Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard agency, and the Italian consortium composed by  Associazione Ithaca, DIST (Dipartimento Interateneo di Scienze, Progetto e Politiche del Territorio) of Turin Polytechnic and Ithaca Srl (a company controlled by the homonymous association) signed “an important cartographic production contract” to support European border surveillance activities. The contract lasts for 24 months, with a total budget of four million euros, and may be renewed for a maximum of a further 24 months. 

The non-profit ITHACA association based in Turin is part of the consortium. It was born as an applied research centre with the goal of cooperating with the World Food Programme (WFP) – the UN’s branch to provide food assistance – to distribute products and services linked to IT, “to improve the capacity of the international humanitarian community regarding early warning, swift impact assessment and other areas connected to risk management”. 

Read further on the website of LasciateCIEntrare

My University works with Frontex: not in my name

[by Michele Lancione, Full Professor of Political-Economic Geography, DIST, Turin – Italian version published in Altreconomia]

24 October 2021 – I am an academic from the Interuniversity Department of Regional and Urban Studies and Planning (DIST) of the Politecnico and the University of Turin. I am writing this text to publicly dissociate myself from the agreement signed between my Department, the Politecnico di Torino, Ithaca Srl and Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency.

As an article published by the magazine Antreconomia points out, the agreement, which involves the production of cartography at my Department’s laboratories on behalf of Frontex, was announced on July 14, 2021, by press release. In the communiqué, it is stated that DIST and Ithaca will be involved in the production of digital cartography, infographic maps and map books useful for the Agency’s work“. On an intellectual and human level, I am not represented by the position of the institution I work for, which has chosen to define the agreement with Frontex as a project that “fits perfectly into the strategic objective of the Department”. The issue, however, is not only personal but political. Continue reading “My University works with Frontex: not in my name”

Frontex dehumanizing constitution of people on the move

[blog by Henrike Behrens-Scholvin and Anna Schliewen] Analyzing the Frontex annual reports of 2006 and 2019, to Frontex’ framing of people on the move and therefore a part of Frontex self-representation of the agency, are an important topic. As a joint term paper, we wanted to take a comparative look at the changing rhetoric of the Border Patrol Agency.

Frontex frames people on the move in categories that emphasize attribution and assignment, not naming their subject status and thus their lives as people and the vulnerability of those lives. Thus, in the 2006 report, people on the move are recorded as “nationalities” with their sole nationality or simply titled as “entries”. This assignment serves as a substitute for a designation of their identity. Continue reading “Frontex dehumanizing constitution of people on the move”

Call for evacuation of people from Libya


To: EU Commission, EU Parliament, EU Member States

15 October 2021 – Abolish Frontex supports the demands of more than 3000 refugees and migrants in Libya who have been protesting outside the UNHCR Community Day Centre since the beginning of October (Twitter: @RefugeesinLibya). They are demanding their immediate evacuation to safe countries following the recent raids and murders of migrants and refugees at the hands of detention centre guards and the Department for Combating Illegal Immigration (DCIM, part of the Libyan Ministry of Interior).

We received this statement from people in Libya:

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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. 

Continue reading “Open letter in solidarity with Mimmo Lucano!”

Organizing against militarism from Israel to Europe

[Jonathan Hempel, ROAR] By the end of 2020, a total of 82.4 million people worldwide had been forcibly displaced from their homes according to the UNHCR. The number of forcibly displaced persons globally has doubled since 1990 and is likely to increase significantly in the coming decades due to a convergence of factors, including armed conflict and other forms of violence, as well as climate breakdown, which will compound pressures to migrate.

Displacement occurs in the context of a capitalist economic system in which profits are made both through the sale of arms that are instrumental in causing conflicts and wars, and through the militarization of migrant routes and borders. Alongside the steady increase in the value of the arms trade and the spiraling number of forcibly displaced persons, the market for border security is growing with an expected worth of US$65-68 billion by 2025. War is highly profitable and the war on migrants is becoming increasingly so too.

Read the whole article on the ROAR website

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