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Stop the Boats? Free the Captains!

June 16, 2023 @ 7:30 pm - 11:00 pm BST

The British government is opening a new chapter in a long history of its racist and classist border regime, promising to “stop the boats” crossing the channel – even in opposition to international law. In Italy, the post-Fascist Meloni government has introduced laws that attempt to further criminalize migration across the Mediterranean. In both countries, a part of this strategy of oppression is to arrest and imprison so-called people smugglers and boat drivers, often sentencing them to decades of prison. Over one thousand people – from Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe – are in Italian prisons accused or sentenced for this reason.

Join us on Friday 16th June at May Day Rooms in London to find out more about the campaigns in defense of the boat captains and people accused of people smuggling more generally. We will be joined by activists from “Porco Rosso”, Watch the Channel and Captain Support, to learn more about how British, Italian and European authorities criminalize boat drivers, the challenges they face, and what we can do to stand in solidarity with them.

The meeting will start at 7.30pm, and will be followed by drinks until 10pm.

Porco Rosso is a social and cultural centre in Palermo, Italy, and is affiliated to the ARCI civil society organization. Among other activities, in 2021 they produced a report (along with Alarm Phone) into the criminalization of boat drivers in Italy (‘From Sea to Prison’) and continue to support criminalized people, both in and outside of prison. www.fromseatoprison.info

Watch the Channel is the Channel regional team of the Alarm Phone network. WtC supports people before, during, and post Channel crossings by sharing safety at sea information, alerting the Coastguard to boats in distress and doing follow up.

Captain Support is a transnational group of (mostly) European activists working together to denounce the criminalization of facilitation of migration, as well as to offer alternative legal support to criminalized people on the move in Europe. The Captain Support network stands in solidarity with people who are criminalized for facilitating freedom of movement and against the carceral violence of the border regime.
To reach out for support and read our material:


June 16, 2023
7:30 pm - 11:00 pm BST
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MayDay Rooms
88 Fleet Street
London, County EC4Y 1DH United Kingdom
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