Join the Alarm Phone non-stop performance in Brussels!
We, the Alarm Phone Creative-Action-Group, invite you to our first action.
“We kindly request you to stop killing” is an attempt to deal with the systemic indifference we face in matters of life and death on the Mediterranean Sea. Every year since 2014, the Alarmphone sends out thousands of SOS-Emails alerting authorities to boats in distress at sea. Thousands of standardized words, numbers and GPS-Coordinates, reporting urgent situations of distress and the too long wait for interventions. Thousands of repeated kind requests for rescue, many of them unanswered.
Oftentimes when we alert authorities about a boat in distress and send updates every hour, they don’t react or later claim not to have known. Responsibility is outsourced to other countries, made ambiguous between different agencies or denied altogether. Sometimes we ask the same people who violently and illegally carry out systematic pushbacks to assist a boat in distress because there is nothing else we can do.
We witness those who denounce a person’s right to claim asylum as “illegal immigration” break international maritime laws on a daily basis. In a space that is so incredibly surveilled, authorities turn a blind eye at their convenience and information is guarded with silence. We often don’t know when or if at all a boat will be sent to the people in distress at sea. All we know is that now, in this moment, in that location, there are so and so many people for whom everything is at stake.
When someone calls us from a boat in the hope that on the other side of the line a human will answer and not a machine, we take each unique voice and convert it into a standardized bureaucratic language so authorities might pay attention. We transform people into numbers, and lives into coordinates. We strip away the anguish, the fear, the rage, the hope until we become bureaucrats ourselves. We log each call and politely state our cause, one email at a time, 4325 emails a year.
But we are not as kind and polite as it may sound! We are not as patient as it might seem when it goes again: “Dear officer on duty…”.
We are angry! We are tired! We are desperate! We want answers! We will keep on fighting for the end of border violence and freedom of movement for all!
We will read aloud all the Emails that the Alarmphone has written to authorities from January first and the first case of 2023 until the day of the read-in at the end of June. In front of the EU Parliament – 300 km from where human rights were invented, 600 km from where the convention on the status of refugees was signed, right where decisions are made that deny freedom of movement to millions, that send thousands back against their will, that install surveillance and security systems, that send drones and built barbed-wire fences, that claim to protect lives and rights but in reality, kill and violate their own laws.
We will read these Emails at the place where the repetitive, deadly spectacle of bureaucracy and foreclosure policies that keep people waiting in distress at sea is made.
This is where we won’t stop reading. Day and night.
This is where we kindly request to stop killing!
Our read-in will be accompanied and interrupted by a real time alarm – the first public appearance of the Alarmbox that reports about current and ongoing distress situations in the Mediterranean.
Join our action or support us by reaching out at email@example.com
We are angry!
We are tired!
We are desperate! We want answers!
We will keep on fighting for the end of border violence and freedom of movement for all!
Article published in Echoes#6