Liberation of a boat

Today, it was noborder’s action day against the practices of the coast guard and their support by the European Border Agency Frontex. At present, Frontex is here in Lesvos with one ship. We already managed to drive them away once, today, they retreated to the open sea and set anchor there. It it too obvious that they couldn’t accept out decent challenge, they seem to prefer to hunt migrants at night.

Around six o’clock, activists gathered at the infopoint in the city. Suddenly, people with around 40 small rubber boats appeared and entered the harbour. The coastguard was present with one large boat and two smaller, but powerful boats. As the noborder boats started to group, the coast guard immediately approached and started to attack the noborders in their usual way: circling at close range with their powerful engines, creating waves so that the boats would capsize. This was actually quite a stupidity, since they proved to everybody watching that this is indeed their everyday business: drowning people at sea, and they seemed to have quite a routine in that.

The activists however were not to be stopped by such a foolish behaviour and started to drive the coast guard boats out of the harbour. A smaller group went into the offensive and started to block the harbour in the area of the coast guard, while the other boats displayed a giant banner reading “Frontex Kills”. At that moment, one of the large ferries left the nearby port, and people were happy to note that it also carried an even more giant banner with the same message.

At that point, a demonstration formed and started to also move to the coast guard’s area to support the boats. On the other side, at the mole, also a group of activists gathered and display a banner against Frontex, denouncing it as the “EU migrant hunting agency”. Also at the side of the infopoint, some very large banners in different languages were displayed.

As everybody gathered, the action boats confronted the coast guards. Some were throwing paint, while another group managed to liberate a 10m-boat that had been seized by the coast guard. It was immediately labelled with “murderers” and brought to the other boats, to the joy of everybody. After some time and more actions, the boats retreated and the activists left the water. The demonstration returned to the infopoint, were everybody gathered.

DSC08306There was another aggression by the coast guard: They attacked one boat of ours that was coming from a different point with an engine. They approached fast, and immediately put a large cut into the hull with a harpoon-like device, making it sink. They did this in such a routine way, with such precision that it was a very scary demonstration of their everyday crimes at sea.

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About w2eu

This is the blog of the antiracist network Welcome to Europe. It was formerly known as lesvos09.antira.info.

 

The name Welcome to Europe expresses the discontent and anger we feel when looking at the fatal realities of the European external border: the long documented deaths and suffering have continued for years, and no end is in sight. We stand for a grassroots movement that embraces migration and wants to create a Europe of hospitality.

 

We maintain our focus on the European external border in Greece, but will not limit ourselves to that geographical area. The right of freely roaming the globe has to be fought for everywhere. Join us!

 

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Voices from the Inside of Pagani (2009)

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