A friend of Hard Crackers in Paris has forwarded us the following article.
Pia Klemp, who faces twenty years in prison in Italy, has refused the medal that the mayor of Paris wanted to award her. “You want to give me a medal for actions you fight inside your own walls,” she says. The mayor of Paris insists, however, that migration policy is the responsibility of the [national] government and not the city.
No, she does not want a medal. In a press release, broadcast on social networks, Pia Klemp, one of the captains of the ship “Sea-Watch 3” with Carola Rackete, explained refusing the Verneuil Medal that the Paris City Hall wanted to award her for her services to migrants. This is the highest distinction awarded by the city.
In a post on Facebook, the young woman directly attacks Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris. “Mrs. Hidalgo,” the young woman wrote, “you want to decorate me for my solidarity action in the Mediterranean Sea …. At the same time, your police steal the blankets of people forced to live on the streets, while you suppress demonstrations and criminalize people who defend the rights of migrants and asylum seekers.” Continuing: “You want to give me a medal for actions that you fight inside your own walls.” Sea-Watch, the NGO of Carola Rackete, has asked the French authorities for help. In her post, the young woman explicitly refers to the installation of concrete blocks at the Porte de la Chapelle, in February 2017, to prevent refugee camps from settling. The post has already been shared more than 400 times.
For its part, questioned by The Parisian, the City of Paris hastened to deny the charges of the ship’s captain, who faces twenty years in prison in Italy: “The City of Paris is fully mobilized to support refugees to shelter them and to ensure a dignified and respectful reception of their humanity. Dominique Versini, Solidarity and Refugee Reception Assistant, wants to make contact with her ‘very quickly’.
“Dominique Versini will propose to meet her and discuss the action of the City on the reception of migrants,” said the City of Paris. Migration policy is the responsibility of the government, not the city, which does not have police powers in this area.”
The declaration of Pia Klemp in full:
THE CITY OF PARIS IS AWARDING PIA KLEMP THE MEDAILLE GRAND VERMEIL
Paris, I love you. I love you for all the free people that live in you. Fighting for their freedom everyday, standing shoulder-to-shoulder, distributing blankets, friendship and solidarity. I love you for those who are sharing their homes, love and struggles everyday – regardless of their nationality, regardless if they have papers or not.
Madame Hidalgo, you want to award me a medal for my solidarity action in the Mediterranean Sea, because our crews ‘work to rescue migrants from difficult conditions on a daily basis’. At the same time your police steal blankets from people that you force to live on the streets, while you raid protests and criminalize people that are standing up for rights of migrants and asylum seekers. You want to give me a medal for actions that you fight in your own ramparts. I am sure you won’t be surprised that I decline the Medaille Grand Vermeil.
Paris, I’m not a humanitarian. I am not there to ‘aid’. I stand with you in solidarity. We do not need medals. We do not need authorities deciding about who is a ‘hero’ and who is ‘illegal’. In fact they are in no position to make this call, because we are all equal. What we need are freedom and rights. It is time we call out hypocritical honors and fill the void with social justice. It is time we cast all medals into spearheads of revolution!
Documents and housing for all!
Freedom of movement and residence!
Translated from https://www.nouvelobs.com/migrants/20190821.OBS17384/la-reponse-de-la-capitaine-du-sea-watch-a-la- mairie-de-paris-qui-voulait-lui-decerner-une-medaille.html