On Saturday night, hundreds of people drowned in the Mediterranean sea, just off the coast of Libya. They were aboard a ship carrying 900 migrants from Libya to Italy which lost its way and capsized, possibly after a collision with a fishing boat.
Last year, the EU decided to scale back search-and-rescue operations for those undertaking the dangerous passage from North Africa to Europe on overfilled, badly staffed and illegal ships. It’s clear by now that this was a mistake: Saturday’s tragedy takes 2015’s migrant death toll to 1,500 – at least 30 times higher than the total this time last year.
Today in Brighton, Amnesty International volunteers took a stand against the decision. Around 200 zipped themselves into body bags and lay in neat formation near the pier, next to a banner reading “#DontLetThemDrown”.
Amnesty has also launched a petition, which asks signatories to:
Tell David Cameron to make saving lives the priority – there is no justification for leaving people to drown.
A total of 9,293 people have signed so far.
The direct action comes ahead of a summit in Brussels tomorrow, where European heads of state will attempt to resolve the problem. Let’s hope it hits home.
Here are some more pictures of the protest.
All images: Peter Macdiarmid/GettyThis article is from the CityMetric archive: some formatting and images may not be present.