The “Forum Antirazzista Palermo” Protests Against the Continous Numerous Deaths in the Mediterranean

The history of the Mediterranean migration continues to grieve our hearts. Undeniably, it will go down as one of the largest migrations in history. However, I have established the need to be part of those who are audacious enough to acknowledge that there is a problem that desires fast solutions. The once beautiful sea has become a symbolic pool of blood, taking the lives of the innocent.

Again, the world needs to understand what is really happening and the vast cloud of sorrow being generated. Even the courageous souls who make it to Europe have told tales of how they could have never imagined what awaited them in order to reach the promised land. The land of wealth, The land of peace, The land of security.

A lot has been said about the terror associated with passing through Libya. The words and the thoughts about this extensively create an ambiance of evil and inhumanity. On April 23rd, more than 100 migrants disappeared while trying to cross the Mediterranean, in this case, disappeared means died. Only this year, vastly astounding considering that we are not even half-way yet, more than 350 people (known numbers) have been claimed dead, and despairing to say, these are the numbers stated as facts, there are no records of those who remain enslaved or even dead in Libya. Many have come to the conclusion that all this is not happening by accident or chance.

According to the New York Times, “The European Union unveiled a new attempt to cajole reluctant member nations into participating in a common system for handling asylum seeking, which means, offering money to take in refugees and a quick deportation of people who are denied asylum.”

The main question is , how desperate are they, and how far are they willing to go to do away with the migrants? Could this be a case of the exceeding pressure that Italy seems to be receiving based on it`s geographical location on the south hence being one of the major points of entry?

Mario Draghi, an economist who served as the president of the European Central Bank for nearly 8 years, was sworn in as the Italian Prime Minister on February, 2021. He comes out as an strongly opinionated man, famous all over Europe after his first speech as the ECB president in July 2012, “I will do whatever it takes to prevent the euro from failing…believe me it will be enough,” a speech motivated by the incidences of the euro zone debt crisis. It is quite evident that he is a man of his word and he is self-driven and ambitious enough to arrive to his set goals dismissing the “OBSTACLES.”

His suspicious swearing in as the Prime Minister after Conte’s resignation, leaves us with one question, WHY? Of course, most people understand best the situation behind all this, but as for me, the points that crossed my mind were:

  1. A successful economist who can save a failing economy during the brutal Covid times
  2. The Pressure on Italy to better handle the migration situation
  3. Both

In April 6, 2021, less than 3 months serving as the Prime Minister, he made a first trip to Libya, “to intensify Co-operation between the 2 nations in a range of sectors including infrastructure, energy and health,” he called it, “a rebuild of an ancient friendship, that he wishes to deepen,” he stated, according to Business Day.

His name was mentioned countless times during the overwhelmingly emotional peaceful protest in the city’s center (Quatrro Canti), On Sunday, 25th of April, 2021 (Italy’s Liberation Day, celebrating the end of the fascist regime and of the Nazi) organised by the the Forum Anti-razzista Palermo. A protest set to remember the death of the 130, and also to question the whereabouts of the humanitarian support and ceaseless counts whereby the lack of empathy has been demonstrated. The massive number of crowds was a clear conclusion that the people are justifiably alert of of the events taking place. As I stood there, among the crowds, it was an extremely emotional scene that stirred and swayed the hearts of many, tears were shed and voices were raised.

“We are here and we are searching to do something, to find solutions. They had children, they had sisters, now they cannot talk to their families anymore, only because they were searching for a better life. ” Cheick Baye Fall

Richard Brodie, Cheick Baye Fall, Ibrahim Bah and Fausto Melluso were some of the Palermo activists that expressed themselves during the protest.

It has been alleged that the Italian Government is using illegal methods and means to prohibit migrants the entrance into Europe. This includes registering rescue boats, as “not well functioning” or “not well maintained” to explore the waters.

However, “There is a duty pursuant to international law for a ship to attempt the rescue of persons at danger at sea. This duty is based on a long-standing and strongly felt moral obligation among seafarers.”the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) Article 98 the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), Regulation V-33. All states recognize this duty.”

“NON VOGLIAMO IL GOVERNO DI DRAGHI!” (We do not want the Government of Draghi!) was the slogan of the protest.

These are not packages of goods that are being shipped into Italy, these are sisters, brothers and mothers, THEY ARE HUMANS! Calling this injustice comes off as being too kind, it is inhumane. The fight for justice continues as we request AMNESTY, UNHCR and other Humanitarian Organisations to intervene.

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