The Australian Solution: A model for necropolitics at the border 7g - Violence at sea


Violence at sea

[imagecaption] Coda, a cast of footprints taken at a rural border crossing between the US and Canada. Artist: Jessica Segall. [/imagecaption]


There have since been similar, more recent examples in the Mediterranean like that of the Open Arms ship and Ocean Viking which in August 2019 rescued 134 and 356 people respectively. In both instances, people were left stranded at sea because the surrounding states refused to allow them to dock. After 20 days, a series of medical evacuations from the boat, and 15 people jumping into the sea in an attempt to swim to the island, the Open Arms was given permission to dock at Lampedusa. In the case of the Ocean Viking they were allowed to dock in Malta after 13 days at sea. In both instances, eventually Germany, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Romania offered to accept some of the people on board. 

The extreme violence towards refugees stranded at sea was exemplified in March 2020, when videos surfaced of Greek coast guards firing shots towards a group of migrants in a dinghy and physically pushing them back with a rod, in an attempt to force them to return to Turkey. Around the same time, another video emerged of a group of local Lesbos residents preventing a boat of asylum seekers from docking and yelling at them to ‘go away’.


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