Boats4People’s first campaign is a success, the maritime borders of the EU remain are as deadly as ever
B4P final press release:
Yesterday 19th of July, the last events of the July Boats4People campaign took place in Lampedusa. While an in-depth evaluation of the campaign and the planning of next steps will take place in the coming weeks, we may already say that the campaign was a success. These last weeks were however marked by several tragic events that prove that the closure of the EU’s maritime borders remains as deadly as ever.
One year ago, in response to the growing number of deaths at sea that occurred despite the heightened surveillance deployed towards the international military intervention in Libya, the idea of a solidarity boat and campaign to demand an end to the deadly closure of the EU’s maritime borders emerged. The challenge of organising such a campaign was taken up by the coalition of organisations that form Boats4People and this vision finally became a reality that we experienced during the last three weeks.
07.18.2012. Boats4People’s first action at sea is coming to an end. However, it is important to stress that the project is called upon to continue, and not only through its networking, legal analysis and litigation, observation and data collection activities.
Awareness-raising actions have already taken place simultaneously with the flottilla: Calais, Strasbourg, Frankfurt, Hamburg, Paris, Amsterdam, Tilburg, etc. This type of action will continue to lend visibility to the project everywhere in Europe, in the Mediterranean and worldwide.
As was the case with the voyage on board the Oloferne, the last phase has a special symbolic value, since its stage is the island of Lampedusa, gateway to Fortress Europe.
07/16/2012. Press Release n°8
After a short crossing from Tunisia, Oloferne arrived at the port of Lampedusa
This Sunday, July 15, 2012 at midnight, the Oloferne left Tunisia to Lampedusa with a new team on board. The crossing was an opportunity for self-study and discussions on legal and technical aspects of sea rescue and repression of migration in the Sicilian Channel.
As described in many accounts of migrants gathered by Boats 4 People, we were overflown by aircrafts patrols while coming close to the Italian coast.
The Oloferne was flown at 9:41 am at position 35° 44' 028 N - 11° 38' 204 E and then at 11:17 am at position 35° 37' 824 N - 12° 01' 546 E, both times at an altitude between 100 and 200 meters. We also spotted some large boats, with no tags AIS (Automatic Identification System). This system is compulsory for instant location of large vessels (see www.marinetraffic.org), which suggests that this would be military ships, but we cannot confirm it. A fast boat of Italian Coast Guard then went close to us about two hours before we arrived in Lampedusa at position 35 ° 32'277N - 12 ° 21'291E.