On the 15th of October, activists from Mediterranea Saving Humans and other NGOs gathered in front of the Italy-Libya Chamber of Commerce offices to carry out an action and demand a stop to the renewal of the memorandum with Libya. Many demonstrations were organized across Europe.
Another gathering was organized in Rome on the 26th of October. Over 40 civil society organisations promoted this initiative characterised by a counter-information campaign on the nature and consequences of the pact with Libya, signed by the “centre-left” Italian government in 2017 and thereafter confirmed by successive parliaments and governments. In November 2022, this agreement was renewed for another 3 years, feeding a system of exploitation, extortion and abuse in which so many migrants find themselves trapped.
The day was divided into two moments: a public press conference near the parliament building, and a presence in Piazza dell’Esquilino, in the centre of Rome. The denunciation of the truly ‘criminal’ nature of the memorandum, which over the past five years has caused death and suffering to thousands of people imprisoned in camps in Libya, or left to die at sea, was accompanied by the relaunch of the practices of reception and civil rescue at sea. Many speeches took place in the square, including one by David Yambio, one of the spokesmen of “Refugees in Libya”.
The demonstrators asked to revoke the Memorandum of Understanding with Libya; to immediately stop all funding and collaboration with the militias that animate the so-called Libyan Coast Guard; to restore an Italian and European search and rescue mission in the central Mediterranean; to block trade agreements with Libya under conditions of violation of human rights; to facilitate in every way the evacuation of refugees from Libya through legal and safe channels of entry into Europe.