More than 200 migrants and a smaller number of Maltese gathered in front of the law courts this evening to mourn the deaths of some 300 migrants off the coast of Lampedusa last week.

The migrants carried banners which read: “No more deaths at Borders” and “No to fortress Europe”. Others held candles and shed tears for their “fallen brothers and sisters”.

Moviment Graffitti spokesman Andre’ Callus insisted the tragedy was not an isolated incident.

“Something is going radically wrong when thousands of people are being left to die out at sea or in deserts,” he said, as he mapped out the treacherous clandestine journeys braved by migrants.

Mr Callus said the exodus of migrants in the past few decades was the result of continued colonisation of African states.

Some 19,000 migrants are believed to have died at sea in the past two decades.

Mr Callus lamented the “racist discourse” adopted by the government in the wake of this summer’s migrant influx.    

He also lambasted the government’s posturing of a bilateral migration agreement.

“Any bilateral agreement would be the extension of fortress Europe to external countries. This doesn’t work,” he said.

The gathering took a more sombre turn, when Ivory Coast national Dicko Osman repeated the phrase “No human is illegal”.

Mr Dicko insisted the gathering was as serious as the migrant’s clandestine journeys.

Sudanese Saleh Muhammed told the solemn crowd that Burden sharing was the only viable solution to the migrant influx.

“Malta is small but this is not going to stop. We have to spread migrants across Europe. We don’t care where we go as long as it is safe,” he said.

The gathering ended with the group lying down on the paving in front of the courts in a symbolic gesture to the dead migrants.

 

Independent journalism costs money. Support Times of Malta for the price of a coffee.

Support Us