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June 06 2017

mr-absentia

Far right raises £50,000 to target boats on refugee rescue missions in Med | World news | The Guardian

“Far-right activists are planning a sea campaign this summer to disrupt vessels saving refugees in the Mediterranean, after successfully intercepting a rescue mission last month.

Members of the anti-Islam and anti-immigrant ‘Identitarian’ movement – largely twentysomethings often described as Europe’s answer to the American alt-right – have raised £56,489 in less than three weeks to enable them to target boats run by aid charities helping to rescue refugees.

The money was raised through an anonymous crowdfunding campaign with an initial goal of €50,000 (about £44,000) to pay for ships, travel costs and film equipment. On Saturday the group confirmed they had reached their target but were still accepting donations. A French far-right group hired a boat for a trial run last month, disrupting a search-and-rescue vessel as it left the Sicilian port of Catania. They claimed they had slowed the NGO ship until the Italian coastguard intervened.”

“The crowdfunding campaign began in the middle of last month when a French faction, Génération Identitaire, set up a ‘defend Europe’ website to target refugee rescue boats, mimicking the direct action tactics of groups such as Greenpeace. Its mission statement says: ‘Ships packed with illegal immigrants are flooding the European borders. An invasion is taking place. This massive immigration is changing the face of our continent. We are losing our safety, our way of life, and there is a danger we Europeans will become a minority in our own European homelands.’

An accompanying video, filmed on the Sicilian coastline, features a far-right activist saying: ‘We want to get a crew, equip a boat and set sail to the Mediterranean ocean to chase down the enemies of Europe.’”

“Last month three young members of a French Identitarian group targeted a search-and-rescue vessel belonging to the charity SOS Méditerranée as it left Catania. Italian coastguards intercepted the far-right supporters and briefly detained them. The SOS Méditerranée website says that the charity was created because of the ‘dramatic increase of boats in distress and the insufficiency of existing measures’ to the Mediterranean crisis.

The efforts of humanitarian organisations have been credited with saving huge numbers of refugees. Médecins Sans Frontières began operations in the Med in May 2015 and rescued more than 22,500 people, many off the Libyan coast, over the next seven months.

During the first five months of 2015, no European or NGO search-and-rescue operations took place with 1,800 people drowning trying to make the crossing. In April alone 1,000 lives were lost. All search-and-rescue operations in the Mediterranean are coordinated by the official Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre in Rome in accordance with international maritime law.

Yet the European far-right groups have accused NGOs of working with traffickers to bring migrants to Europe and claim that search-and-rescue boats are not carrying out a humanitarian intervention. The central aim of the new wave of far-right groups is preserving national differences in the belief that white Europeans will be replaced by immigrants, a stance that is articulated with anti-migrant, anti-Muslim, anti-media sentiments but repackaged for a younger audience.”

May 26 2012

mr-absentia

26 May 2012: Tibet Needs You Now! (ENOUGH)

On 26 May Tibetans and Tibet supporters around the world will gather in cities and towns for a Global Day of Action for Tibet; a huge wave of solidarity with Tibetans in Tibet.

In Vienna His Holiness the Dalai Lama will address a special European Solidarity Rally for Tibet, kick starting a day of action when individuals will urge World Governments to Stand Together For Tibet.

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