PayPal’s online payments system has blocked contributions to a fundraiser by a French nationalist group, which planned to charter a boat to block migrant busing activities in the Mediterranean. The blocking came after leftist social media campaign.
“Our policy is to prevent our services being used by companies whose activities promote hatred, violence or racial intolerance,” PayPal said, explaining the move to French-language Rue89 website.
France-based Generation Identitaire (Generation Identity), backed by similar groups from across Europe, launched its “Defend Europe” campaign in early May.
The group said it was planning to gather “a team of professionals, charter a boat and sail in to the Mediterranean to thwart NGO ships” that operate in the area, busing hundreds of migrants from trafficking vessels.
Generation Identity, a youth branch of the Bloc Identitaire movement, said that if it encountered migrants in distress it would assist the people, who would still be returned to North African shores afterward.
PayPal was among the payment systems that allowed financial contributions to the “Defend Europe” campaign.
The initiative turned out a success, as Generation Identity managed to surpass its initial target of 50,000 euros in a few weeks, collecting a total of about 65,000 euros.
However, some French left wing interest groups were outraged by the initiative and launched an online petition for “Defend Europe” and similar fundraisers to be banned.
Left wing radicals pressured PayPal with calls to boycott the system for doing nothing to prevent the nationalists in achieving their goal and special #StopDefendEuropePayPal hashtag was launched.
— Radis cool (@naklabic) June 7, 2017
How many people want to come to Europe across the Mediterranean Sea?
About 6.6 million people are currently waiting in North Africa, Jordan and Turkey to enter into Europe, according to a document of German security authorities.
For several years, the numbers of people that want to cross the Mediterranean Sea, in order to reach Europe, has been increasing: in 2014 170,000 people arrived in Italy, 153,842 in 2015 and 181,436 in 2016. For the current year 2017, Italian officials expect a new record high, since the numbers already has increased by about 26.6%, compared to the year before.
Which NGOs are present in the Mediterranean Sea?
The following NGOs are present and active in the in the Mediterranean Sea (budget in brackets): Sea Watch (€ 1.5 m.), MOAS (€ 6 m.), Sea Eye (€ 500,000), Proactiva Open (€ 2.5 m.), Jugend Rettet (€ 480,000), SOS Mediterranee (€ 4 m.), Lifeboat (€ 360,000).
Do the NGOs interfere with the work of authorities?
According to Frontex director Fabrice Leggeri the activities of the NGOs make it increasingly harder for security authorities to find out more about the traffickers through questioning the migrants in order to start investigations and prosecutions.
The senior Libyan coastguard official Tarek Shanboor makes it clear:
“The non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are adding to the crisis by actively encouraging increasing numbers of migrants”
Are the NGOs’ activities legal?
According to the Italian Ministry of Defence it is forbidden for NGOs to provide humanitarian corridors through the Mediterranean Sea. Moreover they are obliged to bring the migrants to the next secure harbour.
The NGOs argue that there are no secure harbours in Egypt, Tunisia, Cyprus and Libya, which is a lie, because to all these countries deportations are carried out from Europe, which would not be possible if they were not secure.
If You want to help Defend Europe, please donate on their website, here.