Our Alarm Phone project faces its second ‘long summer’, during which intensified migration movements can be expected. The current political circumstances and climate make the Alarm Phone’s presence in the Mediterranean Sea even more urgent than before. The EU uses all violent means available to re-establish its border regime, in order to gain control over flight- and migration movements. Besides the closure of the Balkan route, the so-called Turkey deal heralds a new dynamic. In early April, EU forces began with mass deportations from the island of Lesvos. And already since March, NATO vessels patrol the Aegean Sea, and the logic of deterrence underpins its mission. Against this background, we have to expect the increased hunting down of people fleeing on boats in the coming weeks and months, in order to illegally push them back to Turkey. In the past weeks, we already had to witness shocking attacks by state authorities on refugee boats in that region, at times captured on camera.
Besides running our phone line, we want to mobilise public pressure to counter these practices by documenting and scandalising these human rights violations, if possible in real-time. We have been able to gain a lot of experience in the past year and our project developed within and through the dynamics of refugee movements in the Aegean: last October we were in touch with refugees on up to 100 boats per week. We have learned to cooperate with new networks of migrant and activist communities, also through the means of social media, including WhatsApp and Viber.
The historic year of 2015 saw the most successful struggles against the EU border regime up to date. However, a counter-reaction was foreseeable and early 2016 is characterised by a politics of racist containment on all levels and especially the external borders remain spaces of contestation.
We will continue to stand side by side with refugees and migrants: in the Aegean Sea, as well as in the Central and Western Mediterranean regions, where also thousands of people risk their lives on boats and where Frontex and other military operations try to prevent them from reaching safe shores.
In the past 15 months we were in contact with about 1500 boats. Uncountable times we were able to offer emergency support over the phone, thereby contributing to rescue operations and the daily struggles of people for the freedom of movement. At the same time, we created with ‘Ferries not Frontex’ a demand that seems today more necessary than ever and through which already tomorrow death and suffering at sea could be made history.
We want to continue to exert pressure, politically and every day, to create an open Mediterranean space, toward an open Europe, and a world without borders.
In order to do so, our activist-volunteer project requires further financial support for:
- The circulation of the Alarm Phone hotline number in refugee and migrant communities;
- Our members to go on trips, in particular to transit countries in order to support the local networks there;
- The production and distribution of information and campaign materials;
- The operation of the phone hotline itself, as well as for the charging of satellite phones on refugee boats with credit.
Since we operate our phone line continuously, it would be great to receive donations on a regular basis. It would help us a lot if you could support our work regularly with a standing order, for example with 5, 10, 20 or 50 Euros per month.
Lastly, we would like to point you to two short video clips and our campaign newspaper ‘Ferries not Frontex’:
ACCOUNT FOR DONATIONS:
Forschungsgesellschaft Flucht & Migration
Sparkasse der Stadt Berlin
IBAN: DE68 10050000 0610024264