Coordinated Social Movements Are The Key Against the Fortress Europe

European and African Platforms and Organizations meet in Barcelona during these sessions organized by Stop Mare Mortum and LaFede

Civil Society is more powerful as expected but we need to be coordinated: Only a well- organized network between organizations and social movements from both the North and South of the Mediterranean Sea defending the free movement of people can defeat the so- called Fortress Europe, this Europe closing borders and turning a blind eye to the violation of human rights with increasing restrictive migration policies. Under this premise, organizations from the Mediterranean area led by Stop Mare Mortum and LaFede, have met during 2 days in Cotxeres de Sants civic centre (Barcelona) in order to weave complicities for the international mobility.

“Resistance is possible” declares Harald Glöde, a German speaker and founding member of Borderline-Europe, an organization that Works to provide public information and create European networks to pressure the both national governments and EU. According to Mr. Glöde, examples of this resistance are: the 13 boats that everyday save lives in the Mediterranean Sea next to an Europe that is preparing war against refugees”. At the same table, Andre Romial Kenmogne from ADYNE, a platform of Young Africans living in Europe, declares that “if we want to generate global benefit, the we have to row together in the same direction, through transparency and truth”. This opacity on the migration issue is also denounced by Tcherno Hamasou Boulama, from the association from Nigeria called Alternative Espaces Citoyens. To combat this situation, he calls for information that goes beyond governments and requests media from the north area of the Mediterranean sea to stop “offering distorted information including stereotypes”. According to Mr. Harald Glöde, this will only be accomplished if the civil society receives “true” and “with hidden interests” information and works together at international levels. “The goal is to explain what actually happens and increase awareness so countries like Germany (this is, my country) change the asylum polices”.

We must take advantage of this collaboration between the northern and south area of the Mediterranean Sea to unmask the mafias who traffic people who are paying to arrive to European coasts who, according to Ms. Boulama, are “victims of the violence of organized corruption”. The African activist is committed to continue “the work of deconstruction” of the immigration speech that turns the immigrant “a threat similar to terrorism”. According to Glöde, this migration issue is partly because of Europe whose trade agreements are impoverishing African countries “such agreements should be reviewed” he added. "If the gap between the rich and poor grows, migration will grow” he said. Romial Kenmogne also demands the African countries involvement “Europe is not the solution. If African governments gave work to the people, there would not this problem of emigration” he highlighted.

Author: Carina Bellver. Image: Stop Mare Mortum.