12 October 2018
We Are Here!
The demonstration on Saturday 6 October brought Palermo together with 60 other European cities in one cry: we are here!
Because, before acting, first we must become aware of our own presence. SOS Mediterranée and Mediterranea are here, as witnessed by the crowd that gathered at Piazza Politeama in Palermo to receive and demonstrate solidarity with both organisations.
SOS Mediterranée invited people to sign the petition in support of the Aquarius, which remains blocked at the port of Marseille, having had its flag removed, unable to return to the water.
Support was also given to Mediterranea, the new project that has challenged migration politics in recent months. Mediterranea is an “action of moral disobedience but of civil obedience.
” There are many similarities with the other NGOs, but two aspects are new: Mediterranea is the first ship to wave an Italian flag, promoted by a range of actors.
It represents the joint work of a heterogenous group of organisations and individuals, of different worlds: secular and religious, social and cultural, political and trade unionist.
Valeria Calandra, president of SOS Mediterranée Italia, repeatedly emphasised how the current moment represents an appeal to civil society, i.e. to all of us, to take responsibility for the situation in the Mediterranean, our sea.
The surprise intervention of Mayor Orlando (video) recalled how the flag of Palermo is flown by the Mare Ionio in homage to the “city, a symbol of welcoming for both yesterday and tomorrow.”
The Palermo Antiracist Forum was also present, and demonstrated its support for the liberation of the Mayor of Riace, Mimmo Lucano, who has been under house arrest since October 2nd, accused of aiding illegal immigration.
Project “OpenEurope” – Oxfam Italia, Diaconia Valdese, Borderline Sicilia Onlus
Translation by Richard Braude