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'Saving Lives Is Not a Crime': Captain of Refugee Rescue Ship Arrested in Italy, Faces Up to 10 Years in Prison

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/news/2019/06/30/saving-lives-not-crime-captain-refugee-rescue-ship-arrested-italy-faces-10-years


Good on you, Captain Rackete!

Italy’s far-right, anti-immigrant Interior Minister Matteo Salvini accused 31-year-old Sea-Watch 3 captain Carola Rackete of attempting to “sink” a police boat while docking her vessel, which he described as “an act of war.”

Meanwhile in a land where Lady Liberty ostensibly welcomes the downtrodden, our far-right nut job outlaws water bottles in the desert and toothpaste in his concentration camps.


All over the world we see the evolution of change being lead by brave women … while Schumer and Pelosi whimper.


Italy has long held far right sentiments, Mussolini was a proud fascist and an ally of Hitler in the war against the Allies, so maybe this is nothing new, or is it. I might just be going crazy, but it seems like as America becomes more and more fanatically right wing, that other countries are emboldened. I start to hear echoes of foreign news stories that look a lot like the ones we have here in the US. Case in point - this story is not so different from a recent story at Americas border:


Article 10 of the Salvage Convention has three parts.

The first part provides: “Every master is bound, so far as he can do so without serious danger to his vessel and persons thereon, to render assistance to any person in danger of being lost at sea.” The second part requires the signatory countries to adopt measures necessary to enforce the first part.

Captain Rakete was following International Law. The Italians broke that law.

These people are also refugees, just like those at the US border. The US, like the Italians, are breaking International Refugee laws. Both countries are currently headed by Fascist racists.


In the book The Essential Path it talks about how humans are going against their natural instincts.
This is part of our Cultural Story story that is based on self preservation .If self survival was your instinct you would never try and save a baby from a burning building or a person from drowning. It’s built into our cells at the foundational level.
It’s not natural to go against our nature like going to War it might be normal but its never natural.


She deserves the peace prize.


As someone who grew up in Italy I would say that Italy-as France, Spain Germany–had the “extremes” with a little in the middle. And then of course enter the Mafia which actually was the shadow government although originally a liberation front to kick out the French invaders. I grew up with the communist party and their posters were everywhere. My sympathies were and always will be with the oppressed no matter who they are.

Now, about the US: never have I experienced a more mean spirited nation myths not withstanding. Never. The more I grow in awareness and knowledge of US America’s history the more I cringe. But I am coming to understand a few things: The invaders of the US America practiced and continue to do so a “for profit” religion which made the theft of land and lives of the indigenes (amongst whom, maternal matrilineal I have ancestors) possible, where colonialism mutated into settler colonialism (which is genocidal by nature) and the capture and enslavement of Africans to work, under the bullwhip, this stolen land; because we have yet acknowledged these crimes let alone atone for them, creates a diseased collective unconscious leading to the dropping of two atomic bombs over Japan, the bullying and destructive interference all across Latin America, African, Asia, Europe and endless war and nuclear proliferation. What will finally unite us all is to develop the consciousness of a global citizenship as Captain Rakete has for sure. We must do it to heal the many wounds and to solve the immanent existential threats of nuclear winter and ecological collapse.


A lot of education might go a little ways. America, where I grew up, doesn’t learn about its own history. Most Americans have no Idea what the history of their own country is. They are steeped in nationalism, about how its a great nation, one who cherishes human rights and liberty. Children may even learn a paragraph or so about how once there were slaves here, or about The native Americans who greeted Columbus. Perhaps an amusing fairy tale about a tea party or some long past war or two. When our history speaks about atrocity it’s always someone else’s responsibility, the evil Spanish Conquistadors, or the Wicked King of England. There are almost none here who recognize the constant and increasing internal racism, the massive native American genocide campaign, the true evils of slavery, and the constant war America is addicted to. We used to hear how Russia was evil because it was so aggressive and oppressive, but today the descriptions of why we should hate Russia are less clear. If clear reasons were available, it would be hard to distinguish them from an honest self assessment. Howard Zinn’s “A Peoples History of the Unitred States” sheds some light on our past, and authors like Gore Vidal, or Noam Chomsky, but few read these accounts and fewer believe them, and internalize them. Rampant religious zealotry here only confuses, and adds its own twisted version of historic revisionism, while deftly avoiding any in depth discussion of ethics. Finally you are right, we must come to terms with our origins and our nature, but we are going instead, rapidly in the other direction, and turning that around is urgent, and very difficult by itself.


Excellent points, and —

Fewer and fewer read at all.

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It’s called cashing in, has nothing to do with whimpering. Any talk of “spinelessness”, “caving”, “not having learned the lesson” etc, misses the point and actually embeds propaganda by omission.

The Captain is committed fully to justice. Pelosi, Schumer, and their ilk have a strong spine, and never whimper when standing up for their primary constituents…large corporations and super wealthy and powerful individuals.

They are tenacious, and they are steadfast in that mission.


What a great line. “When legality is a matter of power rather than a matter of justice.”
It also describes trump to tee as well.


Once the right wing insanities, cruelty begin to roll across the land
it creates FEAR in people which kind of causes them to roll along with it –

The linked article says she was arrested for ramming an Italian patrol boat. It don’t really mention anything about it having to do with rescuing asylum seekers.

Correct, the article didn’t mention it.

The Italian police however interfered/obstructed her carrying out her legal obligations under maritime law, instead of helping her.

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" Salvini’s refusal to allow Rackete to dock resulted in a tense 16-day standoff in the Mediterranean, with Rackete urging the Italian government to allow her desperate passengers off the ship."

Not sure why she was so dead set to take them to Italy. She could have reached any other Mediterranean port in less than 16 days. Both the Tunisian shore and Libya were less than 200mi way.

Good news: