Petition to: The President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani; the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker; the European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos; the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk; the Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte, and the Mayor of Palermo, Leoluca Orlando.
BARCA NOSTRA, a migrant initiative, presents its petition for the procession ‘March from Palermo to Brussels - A Monument to the European Union’ to bring the recovered refugee shipwreck of the 18th April 2015 from Italy to Brussels and install it as a monument in the centre of European politics.
The procession through Europe with the recovered shipwreck of the refugee boat that sank in the Sicilian Channel in spring 2015 and caused one of the largest civilian tragedies in the Mediterranean Sea, with 700 to 1000 people presumed missing, will start in Palermo in 2018 - referencing the Charter of Palermo and the freedom of movement as a human right, as well as the local tradition of the syncretic Santa Rosalia procession as a victory over the plague and a celebration of life.
The procession will move through Italy, crossing the borders of France, Germany and Belgium, and finally to the headquarters of the European Union in Brussels. There the shipwreck will be displayed in front of the European Council and Commission as a reminder of and transnational monument to Europe’s failed migration policies and its legislative machine that creates illegality and social destruction. By upholding the obsolete difference between political and economical refugees and the externalisation of migration control to some transit countries, European migration policies continue to produce ‘illegal immigrants’ and fuel an exploitative system of organised crime against humanity.
So far, more than 20 million euros of Italian and European taxpayers’ money has been spent to recover the shipwreck and investigate the remains of the deceased. It is fundamental to recognise the ethical right of migrants to appropriate their shipwreck symbolically and politically and the impact this vessel can have by marching it over borders into the heart of European politics – not only as a collective monument and memory but also as a realised bill of rights to mobility and movement to transnational solidarity.
BARCA NOSTRA, a collective monument to contemporary migration - produced by European politics and funded by the European people, is a reminder that Europe shall take responsibility for its colonial past and its continuing politics of exploitation. The procession with the shipwreck through Europe embodies and executes the human right to mobility, to life and liberty, commemorating all casualties of migration caused by inhumane politics. In a democratic and globalised political system, where there is free movement of information, money and goods, free movement of people should be manifest.
We, the undersigned, support the migrant initiative BARCA NOSTRA and herby call on the European Union and its political institutions to modify their migration policies to implement a humane approach for the freedom of movement and urge to take immediate action.
We ask the President of the European Parliament, Antonio Tajani; the President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker; the European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos; the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk; the Prime Minister of Italy, Giuseppe Conte, and the Mayor of Palermo, Leoluca Orlando to support the migrant initiative BARCA NOSTRA, to bring the recovered refugee shipwreck of the 18th April 2015 from Italy in a transnational procession - for the freedom of movement over national borders - to the EU headquarters in Brussels and make it a Monument to the European Union for future generations to come.
BARCA NOSTRA, a migrant initiative, is supported and initiated by Fondazione Manifesto, a non-profit art organisation.