Kompass-Newsletter No. 78 - 05/2019



Alan Kurdi Rescue and for a civil MRCC +++ Since 2.5. exhibition in Berlin: Yallah - About the Balkan route +++ 10.5. in St. Gallen: Paul-Grüninger-Prize for Iuventa +++ 10.-12.5. in many cities: Action days on 100 years of deportation prison +++ 17-19 May in Hamburg: Solidarity City on the Right to City Forum +++ 17-19 May in Leipzig: Sol City at kritnet-Conference +++ 19 May in seven cities: Demonstrations for "A Europe for All" +++ 23.5.-Petition: Right to stay, not exclusion +++ 25./26.5. in Brussels: Noborderdays +++Mare Liberum is prevented from leaving +++ Together we are Bremen +++ Text: Further flight through EUrope - solidarity cities in connection?! +++ Solidarity4All - Newspaper against exclusion and racism +++ Review: Seehofer wegbassen in Berlin, Seebrücken Demo in Hannover +++ Outlook: June 13-14 in Berlin: Congress "Safe harbours - Cast off for communal reception"; 28.-30 June in Munich: Solidarity City Conference; 9-14 July near Nantes/France: Transborder Summer Camp; 24 August: big demonstration in Saxony; 31 August in Büren: big demonstration against 100 years of deportation prisons

Dear friends!

On April 3, the Sea Eye ship, renamed Alan Kurdi, rescued 64 people from a rubber dinghy off the Libyan coast. The engine had failed and via satellite phone the affected people first alerted the WatchTheMed Alarm Phone. They sent their GPS position to the hotline project. Alarm Phone then sent the SOS to the so-called Libyan Coast Guards and also informed Sea Eye at the same time. "Due to the transmission of the coordinates the ´Alan Kurdi` could reach the position within one hour. The lifeboat was launched to make contact, check the situation, calm people down and distribute life jackets so that from then on no one would drown and slip off the inflatable". (Sea Eye on 3.4.19). While in the weeks before and afterwards boats were lost or intercepted by Libyan militias and brought back to the detention camps, the example of Alan Kurdi - as in March with Mare Jonio - shows that support for refugees and migrants at sea is not only necessary but also possible. In the evening of the same day, the Alarm Phone tweeted: „The last days in the Central #Med demonstrate clearly: MRCCs in #Rome, Valetta, and Tripoli are dysfunctional. They reject responsibility, leave people to die at sea, or conduct systematic refoulement. We urgently need a civil #MRCC to which all rescue organisations contribute! From the sea to the cities! Against the deadly EU border we build corridors of #solidarity. Towards a civil #MRCC & a transnational alliance of social movements & municipalities that works toward open ports & transfer of the rescued to desired cities of arrival.“

Important to see: Not only in the western Mediterranean and in the Aegean Sea boats continue to take off permanently and reach the coasts of the EU on their own. Also in Lampedusa and Sicily so-called ghost boats from Tunisia, Libya and even Turkey landed in the last weeks, which were not seen before by any coast or border guard. And they have also made it through without any civilian support.

Nevertheless, in view of the murderous EU border regime, there is a need for independent rescue coordination of civil society, which must extend from the sea to - as Alan Kurdi's example once again demonstrated - the safe port city. For once again the 64 rescued and the crew of the ship had to wait ten days at sea until the representatives of several governments could finally agree in an unworthy political haggling on a distribution and thus first reception of the refugees in Malta.

Against this background, numerous NGOs published an open letter to Merkel at the beginning of April and more than 200 members of the Bundestag signed a cross-party Easter appeal against the criminalisation of sea rescue and for the reception of the rescued. However, it is obvious that new appeals are not enough to change anything. Further sea bridge mobilisations and pressure campaigns are and will remain central and in the coming weeks it will be important that the first of the 53 city councils or mayors who have agreed to take in the rescued people can implement and enforce this. 

Leoluca Orlando, the mayor of Palermo, was invited to an event in Frankfurt at the same time as Alan Kurdi was waiting for an open port. Orlando publicly offered again to take the rescued immediately and encouraged Sea Eye to come to Sicily, pointing out that "Italy is not only Salvini". Orlando once again made a great plea in Frankfurt for the right to mobility and denounced the whole system of "residence permits as a new form of slavery". This system creates restrictions and (exploitative) dependencies which are to be rejected out of a consistent human rights approach. Encouraging announcements in difficult times!

„The fact that despite all movements of the last months the fundamental political situation has not changed in our sense and has even aggravated much is an hint to us what is still to come. Europe's authoritarian governments have made it quite explicit that they don't give a damn about the rights of millions of migrants and the demands of the social movements and that they don't hesitate to enforce their policies - against all and each single of us.“ In this way the network We`ll Come United expresses its estimation on the current situation. And continues: „So we are in the middle of a battle for a future - for the question in which society we are going to live. The uprising of solidarity against the racism of the AfD, Nazis, authorities and European governments remains our path and our goal. We must continue with what we started: Building new social coalitions of solidarity. And we do this by interpreting the great image of our parade in Hamburg as a promise and a mandate to all of us. By making the symbolic act of a germanwide parade reality and everyday life, in cities and communities…. Encourage each other, exchange experiences of resistance, build up structures. And intensify the everyday struggles. For a society without racism and exclusion. For a society in which we want to live!“

With this in mind, we call on you to take part in the various actions against the deportation prisons this coming weekend. In addition, the Solidarity City network will hold strategic and practical debates in Hamburg in May within the framework of Right to the city. And also the Transborder Summer Camp in July in France will be marked by everyday struggles and transnational solidarity structures along all routes of flight and migration.

With persistent greetings,   

the compass crew