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Δευτέρα, 31 Αυγούστου 2020

Four things to know about Banksy’s boat “Louise Michel”, in difficulty after having rescued more than 200 migrants in the Mediterranean

ΣΧΟΛΙΟ ΙΣΤΟΛΟΓΙΟΥ : Όταν ο αναρχικός καλλιτέχνης Banksy βαριέται να λερώνει ντουβάρια και θυμάται που ανήκει, τηλεφωνά στους επαγγελματίες ταραχοποιούς που έχουν ειδικότητα και σε θαλάσσιες επιχειρήσεις, βλέπε “European activists with a long experience of search and rescue at sea” , αγοράζουν σκάφος και πιάνουν όλοι μαζί δουλειά.
The rescued castaways were taken care of on Saturday by the Italian coast guards and by two humanitarian ships that came to the aid of the “Louise Michel”, which was immobilized and overloaded.
“We demand a safe place for all survivors”, wrote the ship’s crew on Louise Michel, Saturday August 29, in the evening. Since the day before, the colorful boat has been increasing calls for help in the Mediterranean, after having rescued more than 200 people. The survivors were finally transferred to two other humanitarian boats and an Italian coastguard ship on Saturday evening. Here are four things to know about this ship chartered by artist Banksy.

1A discreet ship, a German captain

Baptized Louise Michel, in memory of the 19th-century French anarchist, the ship is funded by artist Banksy, the British newspaper revealed The Guardian (in English). The artist explained Saturday, in a video posted on his Instagram account, having bought the boat, because “EU authorities willfully ignore distress calls from non-Europeans”. The boat is a former French customs vessel. 31 meters long, it is much faster than the usual NGO ships intervening for rescue operations in the area. A precious speed that allows the aircraft to overtake the Libyan Coast Guard.
The ship was prepared with the utmost discretion and left on August 18 from the Spanish port of Borriana, near Valencia. The boat is decorated with graffiti depicting a little girl in a life jacket, brandishing a heart-shaped buoy. The crew has about ten members, “European activists with a long experience of search and rescue at sea” and is headed by Captain Pia Klemp. According to Guardian, Banksy is said to have contacted her in September 2019. The German human rights activist has made herself known by leading several other rescue ships, including the Sea-Watch 3. She was prosecuted in 2019 by the Italian justice for having rescued migrants illegally in the Mediterranean. A petition in support of it had collected more than 80,000 signatures.
The ten sailors of the Louise Michel all say “anti-racist and anti-fascist activists in favor of radical political changes”, according to The Guardian, got in touch with them.

2More than 200 migrants rescued

The Louise Michel claimed to have rescued 219 people: 33 of them spent long hours in a dinghy moored to the boat for lack of space on board. “There is already a dead person on the boat”, explained the crew on Friday on Twitter (in English). People rescued “show burns associated with the mixture of gasoline and sea water”. These castaways “are in a rather violent state of shock, traumatized by what they have undergone” Claire, a member of the crew, told Franceinfo the next day.

3Two aid ships and Italian coast guards came to the rescue

Two humanitarian boats, the Sea-Watch 4 and the Mare Ionio, from the left-wing Italian collective Mediterranea, and the Italian Coast Guard responded to calls from Louise Michel, Saturday August 29. “In view of the dangerousness of the situation, the coast guards sent a patrol boat from Lampedusa to the site which took on board the 49 people considered to be the most fragile, including 32 women, 13 children and 4 men”, explained the latter in a statement. The coast guards transported them to Lampedusa. A body was also evacuated.
The remaining castaways were taken care of on Sea-Watch 4, which was in the Mediterranean, where he had already rescued 201 migrants and was looking for a reception port. The SeaWatch association and the Médecins sans Frontières organization which charters the boat announced in the evening that they had taken care of some 150 additional people, and now have around 350 passengers on board. These new arrivals were taken care of by their medical teams for “fuel burns, dehydration, hypothermia and traumatic injuries”.

4Marseille proposes to open its port, the European authorities remain silent

The first deputy mayor of Marseille, then the mayor, Michèle Rubirola, expressed on Saturday evening their willingness to help the crew of the Louise Michel by offering to give them access to the port. “I ask Emmanuel Macron to accompany us and the State to take its responsibilities”, wrote the elected on Twitter.


“The obligation to rescue at sea is an obligation under international maritime law. This obligation applies to anyone in danger at sea – regardless of their nationality, the reason for their flight or their legal status”, wished to remind the crew of Louise Michel Sunday August 30 in a tweet (in English), accusing the European authorities of not respecting their “own laws”.
The president of the Sicily region, Nello Musumeci, on Sunday called for the organization of a meeting of “humanitarian and health crisis”. On his Facebook account, the elected official wrote to the government that the region of “Lampedusa can no longer do it. Sicily cannot continue to pay the indifference of Brussels and the silence of Rome”. The Sea-Watch 4 is still waiting for an authorization to disembark the people rescued.

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