Migration is a choice that will affect the rest of your life. It is made in order to escape misery or war, or to build a future for yourself or your family. Unfortunately nonetheless, crossing borders- be it land or sea, often entails putting your life in dangerous or risky situations. The world’s main migratory routes are lined with trenches and tombs. They are also places where thousands of people disappear each year without a trace, leaving behind families who must deal with the anxiety of never being able to find out what happened. It happens on the border between Mexico and the United States, along the stretches of the Sahara at Ceuta and Melilla, in and out of, as well as within, China and in the Mediterranean Sea. Not forgetting, of course, the borders that still separate eastern and western Europe and those which divide the United States from the countries of the South American continent.
Two geographically distant places exemplify this dramatic situation:
Firstly between the United States and Mexico a separation barrier has been built which is over a thousand kilometres long. It has witnessed the loss of thousands of migrant lives. Yet thousands more have lost their lives trying to reach the wall.
Secondly there is the Mediterranean Sea. It is the natural border between Europe and the Magreb region, an ancient meeting place of different cultures and now a marine cemetery. Sinkings of the so-called “human cargo ships” have become a normality, even directly under the eyes of the Nato patrol ships. In the last twenty years, at least twenty thousand people have died in the Mediterranean and many others have disappeared.
This politics of death, put into place by rich countries and played out through strategies of refoulements and the closure of borders, can be seen as a ferocious hunt and extermination of people who are forced to move.
It is a disaster which occurs on a daily basis and one which has provoked outrage for many years amongst many associations and international networks. But the severity of the situation today leaves us no choice other than to unite our forces! Global attention must be given to these massacres sites which are occurring along all of the world’s borders. The population and the workers of the world, from the countries of origin to the countries of transit to the countries of destination must unite to raise their voices against these tragedies which continue to occur.
Last year on 18th December several organisations and international networks came together for the first global day of action against racism and for the rights of migrants, refugees and displaced people. We hope that also this year, 18th December can once again be transformed into a united space that amplifies the voices of all those who say:
“MIGRATION EQUALS LIFE! STOP THE TRAGEDIES NOW!”
It is a day in which to challenge the anti-immigrant policies adopted by many nations, who must be upheld as those initially responsible for these tragedies. It is a day in which to affirm the right to migrate and to not migrate, the right to settle down and to not be subjected to forced displacement and to the freedom of the circulation of people. It is a day in which to remember that all the men and women who have lost their lives on migratory routes did so because they chose life. They had dared to dream of a better world for themselves and their loved ones. It is a day in which to demand concrete information on the thousands of migrants who have gone missing along these routes. It is a day in which to affirm that as long as migrants continue to go missing, there will always be a mother, a father, a sister, a friend, a partner who will look for them.
THEY WERE ALIVE WHEN THEY LEFT, WE ALSO WANT THEM TO ARRIVE LIVING!
Since the “Solidarity” village first opened, we have been speaking out against the squalid operations of the ex- Minister Maroni who actually experimented his new segregationist politics on asylum seekers by placing them in a village more than 10 km from the nearest inhabited centre. Furthermore, under the guise of the North African Emergency, tens of millions of euro were squandered on rent (€6million per year for Pizzarotti di Parma) and made accessible to the usual local clientele, all to create business at the expense of the migrants.
We speak out against the fact that the Mineo Cara (Hosting Centre for Asylum Seekers), a place of profound suffering (7 manifestations have taken place outside the gates and numerous cases of attempted suicide have been reported from within) has stolen more than a year of the lives of thousands of migrants who could, had they had their asylum applications’ rejected, made immediate use of a permit of stay on humanitarian grounds. This is especially true for those who arrived as a consequence of the war in Lybia (it is interesting to note here that 85% of military operations started from the Birgi (Trapani) or Sigonella Bases), just as was seen in previous years with those escaping the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Migrants have been placed indefinitely in the Cara, with the aim of squandering public money which would have been more effectively used had it been injected into the SPRAR (Service for the Protection of Asylum Seekers and Refugees) system. Many more people in small and medium sized towns would have been able to benefit through the favouring of their progressive social insertion and their possibility of joining the workforce. Instead since March 2011, the entire area has been militarised and those who exploit illegal hiring in order to have cheap labour to work on their land in the surrounding countryside have become better off. Many asylum seekers are still awaiting their permit of stay as a result of the numerous rejections based on fabricated grounds which are being issued which in turn lead to biblical waiting times for the consequent appeals. The 18th December is a global day of action against racism. This year we will again be organising an interethnic meeting in front of the disgraced megaCara calling for its closure. We appeal to the migrants and to all associations to help build a pathway of solidarity and to continue to fight for citizens’ and asylum rights.
Tuesday 18th December from 15h to 18h.
Interethnic meeting in front of the entrance to the Village of Oranges, Mineo.
Catania Anti-Racist Network, Voluntary Association for Civil Protection Astra-Caltagirone, Committee NoMuos NoSigonella (Ct), Committee NoMuos ondeevitare-Caltagirone…
Continued on: Global Migrants Action