After weeks of campaigns and rallies throughout Germany, the protest expanded to the streets across Europe: from Berlin to Barcelona and Paris to Rome and Brussels. Thousands of people met in different squares around Europe to show their solidarity with refugees and sea rescue organizations in the Mediterranean, under the common slogan “Build bridges not walls”, inspired by the famous words of Isaac Newton. The demonstrations throughout Europe took place last week from 25 August to 2 September 2018. The demonstrations also support the bigger European Citizens’ Initiative #WelcomingEurope! If this petition receives one million signatures from citizens in at least seven EU countries, the European Commission is obliged to hear our demands. But what are the campaign demands? First of all a safe passage, a decriminalization of sea rescue, and a humane welcome for people who have had to flee or are still on the run. In short: moving away from deportation and isolation and towards freedom of movement for all people. Nobody flees without reason. The campaign is also calling for the creation of cities of solidarity that provide decent care and the right to participation, education and work as well as the guarantee of safe havens where migrants can be assured of a save arrival and the respect of their fundamental rights.
SOLIDAR and its members (some of them also part of the campaign) strongly support this and other initiatives. We call for the urgent reform of European law on migration. SOLIDAR is deeply involved in the advocacy for a policy development in the field. We also strongly underline our support for NGOs and other organizations working in sea rescue and we condemn every act that manipulates and criminalizes them.