Artist Banksy has been in the news again this week for his humanitarian aid in the regugee crisis. Banksy has helped to fund a rescue boat which will operate on the Mediterranean helping any refugees in danger.
The boat is already operational and has responded to the distress calls from an air reconnaissance plane spotting refugees whose lives are at risk. According to Love Welcomes, the Louise Michel boat has helped rescue up to 89 people and are now looking for a safe place to disembark.
Banksy posted a video on Instagram and tagged mvlouisemichel.org. In the video, alongside footage of refugees and the Louise Michel boat, Banksy writes "Like most people who make it in the art world, I bought a yacht to cruise the med....It's a french navy vessel we converted into a lifeboat because E.U aithorities deliberately ignore distress calls from 'Non-Europeans'."
Courtesy of @MVLouiseMichel Twitter
The Louise Michel boat is named after French feminist anarchist, and was bought with the proceeds from the sale of Banksy's artwork. The boat has also been decorated with Banksy's girl wearing a life jacket holding a pink heart shaped buoy, and has sprayed pink paint using a fire extinguisher.
Photos Courtesy of Louise Michel
The website for the rescue ship says:
“The people at sea are not unlucky casualties of the elements. This crisis is not a natural disaster. It is created by political decisions and a failure of humanity. It cannot be solved by lifeboats. If we want to sustainably stop the drowning we have to stop forcing people onto these boats. So if you want to contribute - speak up against racism, join the movements for climate justice - take any kind of action to defend global respect for all forms of life, near or far.
How societies manage migration is a complex issue that involves us all. But it should never be one that casually dispenses the death penalty.”
The situation has been described as "close to a state of emergency", with 130 passenger's currently onboard the Louise Michel, which can only carry 120. 89 of the passengers are migrants, dehydrated, exhausted and covered in fuel burns, with reports that there was a deceased person onboard the rubber dingy that the passengers had spent several days at sea on. Maltese and Italian authrorities have not responded to the crews alert's.