Enough is enough. Evacuate now!

For years, we have witnessed the harmful impact of the European migration system on people’s lives: appalling conditions in camps on the islands, numerous deaths at sea, violence and pushbacks at the borders of Europe.

Moria camp was more than an overcrowded and unsafe camp – it had been a central piece of the EU ́s brutal migration policy. It had become a symbol of how Europe treats people on the move. The fire in Moria was just as horrific as it was predictable. The suffering of the people who fled the fire is unbearable and it gets worse hour by hour, unless we intervene. That is why we call on all European governments to act now. We demand to immediately evacuate allrefugees from the Greek islands and make way for a municipal reception across Europe.

The Moria fire is a brutal lesson on failed EU politics: putting people into detention centers or resorting to illegal pushbacks brings nothing more than misery but remains nowhere near to any viable solution. Now the first real autumn storm swept over Lesvos and what was expressly warned about already happened: The newly built camp Moria 2.0 is sinking into mud. Whole rows of tents were flooded, water flows under the tarps. Only a few meters away the sea and the permanent threat of a flood. 7,700 people are completely soaked for the second time in one week, just like their belongings.

The catastrophic conditions in the new camp are not unexpected or surprising. Really everyone must have been aware of what happens when it rains, storms and floods. But these conditions are politically desired, they are part of the system of deterrence, exclusion and control. There will be no humane accommodation for people seeking protection in these camps. Therefore the EU hotspot system should be rejected. The camps on the Aegean islands must be evacuated and closed as soon as possible!

The EU migration policy must stop relying on isolation and deterrence of people who seek help and shelter. It is impossible to claim asylum in the lawless border camps. Instead, European governments must implement policies that ensure protection, as opposed to detention and exclusion. Together, we can reimagine the European migration politics with solidarity cities and universal human rights at its center.

Hundreds of cities and towns across Europe showed their willingness to welcome refugees: around 180 German municipalities have passed safe harbour resolutions since 2018; dozens of cities in Spain, France, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Italy expressed their solidarity with people on the move as well as their readiness to take them in. The strong signal from European mayors and local politicians to the EU authorities is amplified by an overwhelming solidarity wave coming from countless civil society initiatives and movements across the EU, taking it to the streets for years now. Since last Tuesday demonstrations for a complete evacuation from the Greek camps took place in 45 German cities as well as in other European cities like Florence and Malmö.

We have the reception capacity and we want to help. The only thing missing is the political will. It’s time for EU politics to keep up with it.

We will continue fighting for our vision of welcoming communities and equal rights for all people in Europe. In the coming days, we will demand an immediate evacuation to European countries in the cities ofArnhem, The Hague, Brussels, Madrid, Berlin, Birmingham, Lisbon, Malmö, Paris, Utrecht, York, Helsinki and Rome. United by the common cause across Europe we will take to the streets again and say loud and clear: there is enough space for everyone! Join us to stand up for a European solidarity without borders!

Seebrücke and Europe Must Act