We are a group of people appalled by the current situation unfolding in the English channel. As desperate men, women and children cross the strait in search of safety and a better life they've become the scapegoats of politicians and the right wing media. This hysteria will no doubt make their difficult journey more dangerous.
They need our help.
We are raising money to set up human rights patrols on the coast and at sea, modelled on efforts in the Mediterranean . We aim to monitor human rights abuses by the British or French governments or any activity that endangers lives. For this we need to buy boats, radios and binoculars and to be able to offer food, water and assistance when people make land We need money for legal costs and digital infrastructure.
None of this comes cheap.
We are asking for your help.
If you are also appalled by our government's response to this situation and want to do something about it, then please contribute to our efforts or get involved.
No Human is Illegal – please donate now.
If you are interested in volunteering for our patrols, or alternatively have skills and resources that you can make available to us, please feel free to contact us via our email using the subject line ‘helping out.’
We are especially keen to hear from those with seafaring, legal, linguistic or medical expertise. Please contact us if you have access to boats, mooring or storage facilities along the Kent coast.
We believe in solidarity and mutual aid - working together we can make a real difference right now.
We are currently focusing our efforts on creating land teams, to gather greater intelligence about migrant crossings, but also to act as human rights monitors on the beaches. We are in contact with several migrant solidarity organisations active on the Kent coast, who will provide the initial backbone for this Land operation. We intend to speak to activists in Greece who are engaged in civil coastal rescue efforts for greater guidance and operational advice.
We also intend to set up a boat team in the very near future, so as to monitor activity and human rights abuses at sea. We do not intend this vehicle for SAR purposes in the first instance, however we are taking every effort to ensure that those on our boat are component in SAR and crisis at sea situations, ready to stabilize an emergency situation and contact coastal rescue organisations.
We are taking advice on what boat to buy, our equipment needs and training needs.
How we intend to use your donations.
One of our team, Rosemary Coll, will be acting as an interim financial administrator, delivering the funds that we have raised to our shore and boat teams, in line with the operational needs they identify. Each team will produce an operational budget, submitted for consideration, and agreed upon by those who make up our interim organizing collective. Money will then be distributed to either team to spend on their requirements (in the form of cash). We will publish our spending online on our website, breaking down the costs of these operations, so that our supporters can see how their funds are being spent.
We are currently taking advice from Kim Heaton-Heather, an expert in search and rescue at sea, with thousands of sea miles logged during his time as a Bosun and as a head of mission with Seawatch (a non-profit civil search and rescue organisation operating in the Mediterranean). Under Kim's guidance we are building an operational budget to match your donations. Kim will assist us to purchase equipment necessary to start our patrols at sea. Kim is also helping us to build our boat teams, ensuring that the volunteers we put into our boats are trained to the highest possible standards.
Here is a rough guide to costs in the first instance.
At the time of writing (20/08/20) our campaign sits at the 15k mark. The budget below has been constructed
with this in mind. This can obviously expand.
RIB Purchase price
Long range VHF (High power fixed unit, Antenna hight extender)
Automatic Identification System (Garmin 800 Transceiver)
Emergency flares (Handheld, Parachute rocket, floating smoke)
Crew Lifejackets (Crewsaver Ergofit 190N)
Crew Drysuits (Typhoon MAX B or similar)
Crew Helmets (Petzl, vented)
Handheld DSC VHF Radios (Standard Horixon Hx890e)
Marine SAR Medical Kit (Supplied by Atlantic Pacific)
Binoculars 7X50 (Bynolyt SeaRanger II)
This leaves us a little over 3K for supplies (be that petrol, foodstuffs etc) as well as a tentative operational budget
for our shore patrols (equipped with hi-viz jackets, binoculars, space blankets, thermus etc).
Alongside friends from organisations such as KARN (Kent anti-racism Network) we are building local
contacts along the Kent coast in order to coordinate these vital land based teams.