A summer of struggles for migrants rights in Sicily

Appeal of the Sicilian Antiracist Network (Rete Antirazzista Siciliana)

20.Jul.05 - Sicily has been these last years the place where, more than anywhere else in Italy, the government has implemented policies and practices of violation of fundamental human rights, towards migrants arriving on our coasts as well as towards those already on the Italian territory.

The island has now become a detention camp itself, out of the rule of law, from which leave deportation charters towards countries such as Libya, where migrants deported from Italy face (and, for some of them, have found) death. Sicily is more than ever, especially during summer, a place of emergency. We must keep in mind what happened last summer: Cap Anamur and its 37 passengers deported to a country which is not theirs; the tragic episodes of Lampedusa in October 2004 and March 2005, condemned by the European Parliament and by the European Court of Human Rights on the basis of the video made by the Sicilian Antiracist Network; the violences suffered by the migrants detained inside CPTs, and the recent opening of "Identification Centres", places of detention for asylum seekers, a newly criminalized category.

To manage the life of people, arriving or already present, the government acts in conformity with the "Fortress Europe" doxa, on the basis of the same racist mentality which leads the minister of Interior to identify with organized criminality all the migrants whose sojourn permits are not in order.

For all these reasons, the Sicilian Antiracist Network, which has chosen as fundamental principle "to be where things happen" together with those who suffer abuses and violences in order to denounce, inform and oppose institutional violence and arrogance, asks:

all the political and social movements, associations, groups, parties, citizens, to join together in Sicily (preferably with a car), in a camping which will be a logistical basis from where it will be possible to go where it is necessary, and also an occasion of analysis, information and encounter.

The emergency is already there, and even if it is difficult to guarantee our presence all the summer long, it seems possible to organize the presence of groups which will maintain information covering and spreading during the period between Sunday July 24th and August Saturday 6th.

The Sicilian Antiracist Network has found a place close to the sea, between Licata and Palma di Montechiaro (Agrigento), in a strategically important spot, with all the major facilities.

For information and joining, contact: campeggioras@email.it or zetalab@inventati.org. More information is available at rasweb.altervista.org and www.inventati.org/zetalab

Events scheduled:

Sunday July 24th
5:30pm Opening press conference
9:30pm Plenary Assembly

Wednesday July 27th
7:00pm in Palma di Montechiaro, theater against racism: “Un’Estate al mare”, and Public Assembly

Saturday July 30th
6:00pm Demonstration at the Pian del Lago CPT in Caltanissetta

Wednesday August 3rd
6:00pm Antiracist demonstration in Licata

Thursday August 4th
8:00pm Public debate in Licata on the rights of migrant and local workers

Date to be decided: Initiative in Lampedusa

Inside the camping will be organized cultural and information initiatives, among which:

Presentation of the book "Storie migranti", by Federica Sossi

Screenings: Hurria (Enrico Montalbano) The Take (Naomi Klein) Mare Nostrum (Stefano Mencherini) Approdo Italia (Christian Bonatesta) Lampedusa Scoppia (Rete Antirazzista Siciliana)

How to reach the camping:

from Palermo:
1) highway A19 Palermo-Catania, exit at Caltanissetta
2) in Caltanissetta take SS 191 to Gela
3) in Gela take SS115 direction Agrigento
4) in Licata go on for about 10 km until crossroad "Torre di Gaffe" where is the parking "Mille Stelle"
5) from here people from the Rete Antirazzista Siciliana will drive you to the camping

from Messina:
1) highway A18 Messina-Catania
2) in Catania take SVINCOLO for highway A19 Catania-Caltanissetta
3) in Caltanissetta take SS 191 to Gela
4) in Gela take SS115 direction Agrigento
5) in Licata go on for about 10 km until crossroad "Torre di Gaffe" where is the parking "Mille Stelle"
6) from here people from the Rete Antirazzista Siciliana will drive you to the camping