26 March 2018

Saving lives is not a crime

Last Saturday in the harbour of Pozzallo around a hundred people participated in the protest organised in solidarity with the crew of the Spanish NGO ship Pro Activa Open Arms.

Illustrations by Guglielmo Manenti

Associations and citizens responded to the call put out by the Federation of Italian Evangelical Churches, Mediterranean Hope – Home of Culture and of the Methodist Church of Scicli, to express affinity with the “guilty” NGO that saved and brought 218 migrants, who were fleeing from the horrors they had been subjected to in Libyan prisons, to the nearest safe harbour.

The protest was well attended, despite access to the harbour being made extremely difficult by the police force who blocked entrances and proceeded to identify nearly all of the participants of the protest, slowing the arrivals of the protesters into the harbour.

There were also many asylum seekers from the territory’s reception centres present, they were there to express their gratitude to those who saved them at sea, allowing them to start a new life in Europe.

After an hour or so three members of the Pro Active crew thanked everyone for their expression of solidarity, reaffirmed their faith in the Italian judiciary and the awareness of having acted in the correct way, respecting the law and international conventions.

Those gathered formed a great human chain and chanted “Free Open Arms.” As adults and children took each other by the hand they restored a little faith in the future despite the shadow hanging over it.

Editorial Borderline Sicilia

Translated by Meg McLellan

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