6 May 2019

„Abriendo Fronteras“, foreign communities get together in Palermo

Redattoresociale.it – Redattoresociale.it – Yesterday, an international meeting with music, songs and reports of participants took place in order to fight all forms of racism and to protect the human rights of all. “We demand strict compliance with the human rights declaration; that all migrants can move freely and have the same rights as the European population.”

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PALERMO – A big international embrace. For this purpose, Italians, Africans, people from the Middle and Far East and other foreign communities had met in Palermo yesterday afternoon to fight all forms of racism and to protect the human rights of all. Hundreds took part in the international initiative at the Foro Italico in Palermo, initiated by the Spanish “Carovana Abriendo Fronteras” (anti-racist, anti-militarist and anti-sexist), which contemporarily took place in Catania and Turin, in 20 Spanish cities, and also in Dublin, London, Belgrade, Athens and Thessaloniki, in the Swedish city of Malmö and in the US in San Francisco.

At the beginning and at the end of the demonstration you could hear rhythms of African drums at the sea promenade in Palermo, which were played by young migrants who live in Palermo for many years. The highlight of the afternoon, however, was a circular flash mob that ended with a big physical hug from everyone involved. Among them was also a small Serbian Roma community who previously lived in a camp in Favorita Park. “It’s important for us to participate,” said Nevena, a 55-year-old Serbian, “because we’re all the same in this world. We have many Italian friends and we too feel like Italians with the same rights. For 20 years, I had a home in the Roma camp, now I am staying in a facility with my husband where we are waiting for another accommodation. We wait and trust those who help us.” To mark the occasion, the birthday of the little Roma Giulio was celebrated with an international birthday song during the demonstration.

Part of the group was also Sevy, a young Congolese in a wheelchair who was driven by his friends. “As a result of the war, I am disabled with a quadriplegia,” says the 32-year-old. “I’ve lived in Italy for 13 years where I came to get proper treatment and to have a different life. We, the immigrants, are not the problem, but it is the current political situation in Italy. We respect the culture and laws of your country and we ask you to abandon all of the prejudices and reservations against us that make us suffer. I hope the situation in Italy can change, also because of the support of so many good and open Italians who believe in us and have confidence in us. Despite everything, I still believe in a welcoming Italy that will prevail against any form of maliciousness.

Among the African youth present are also Issa and Nadir, both from Benin. They came to Italy in 2014. “After graduating from middle school,” says Issa, 27, “I’m a gardener today, even though I’d like to become a driver. No one can judge us without having even met us. The first step in finding out who we are is trying to spend time with us in order to understand that we have the same thoughts, dreams and desires as you do. Anyone who behaves badly must always deal with the judiciary, but most of us want to make a significant contribution to Italy’s economic growth.” “So many people in our times,” says Nadir, 30 years old, “do not understand that diversity is a great fortune. We always have to remember that it is not an easy choice to leave your country and leave the family and all your close friends behind, but that it means a lot of pain. The world emerged as a place without borders, but throughout history, people in power drew borders out of political and economic interest. Consequently, we must all help each other and engage more and more with you Europeans to create a better future for our children.”

“When we talk about migrants, we have to try to say goodbye to the logic of the “poor guy””, says Marco, an activist, “to make us realize, on the contrary, just how much courage these young people had who left their loved ones behind and made such a dangerous journey to reach a better life. You can really learn from them for life. ”
“We are brothers and sisters with the same rights”, added Comboni missionary Father Jones from Uganda. “The world must be preserved as one big house without distinctions and injustices. Everyone must be given the same opportunity to live in dignity, with respect for the other.”

“Unfortunately, we are at war and we are not aware of it”, underlined the activist Virginia Dessy. “Precisely for this reason, we need to build an ever-stronger European community capable of facing racism and any way of thinking about division and isolation, and instead stand up for peace between the peoples.” “All the people of the world must be free and be respected in their dignity”, added Nirva. “Today, we are all part of a great human community united in solidarity in an embrace of music, dance and so much beauty.”

“We condemn the manipulation and the lies of the discourse of the right-wing and extreme right-wing forces, who are blaming migrants and refugees for the economic and social crisis in Europe and who disguise the responsibility of the European elite in this crisis”, write the organizers of the common platform of Carovana Abriendo Fronteras. “We condemn the European Union, the European governments and the transnational corporations that are responsible for the emigration of migrants and the resulting consequences: dead people, inhumane treatment, slave labor, deportation, exploitation, discrimination and violence that are brutally opposed on women, minors and LGTBI during their journey and in Europe. We claim strict compliance with the Declaration of Human Rights so that all migrants can move freely and enjoy the same rights as the European people. We demand an end of the externalization of borders, the production and sale of European weapons, the exploitation of resources and land acquisition, and we call for a substantial change in current economic policies.” In the Sicilian capital, the initiative is supported by the Forum Antirazzista, and further by Arte Migrante, Borderline Sicilia, Comitato di Base NoMuos, Sakalash SUD; Assemblea Anarchica Palermitana, Sustain, Unite, Develop, La Comune, Simogh per la Pace, Associazione Antimafie Rita Atria and UAAR Palermo.

 

Serena Termini

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Translation by Sandra Krause

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