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SOLIDARITY WITH THE VICTIMS OF THE LIBYAN FLOODING-Climate justice must be anti-racist & anti-coloni

Mustafa al-Trabelsi died in the tragic flood in the city of Darnah. Graphic source:

We stand in solidarity with the people of Eastern Libya, who are now facing a devastating situation.

Eastern Libya,and particularly the city of Darnah, was destroyed by the same storm (Daniel) that caused devastations in Greece (as well as Bulgaria and Türkiye) just a few days earlier - where our friends and comrades were harmed by the floodings, and where thousands of people without papers went missing with nobody trying to rescue them.

In Libya, these unprecedented floods caused the failure of two dams on 11 September 2023, destroying a large part of Darnah and killing thousands of people. Tens of thousands of people are still reported missing, probably trapped under the floods and with little or no hope to be found alive.

More than ten thousand people were taken away by flooding within just a few hours. But in Italy, Europe and the rest of the world, not many seem to pay attention. Similarly to what happened in Marocco a few days earlier, these tragedies and deaths are not considered newsworthy, as if it was all happening in some "far away land" where "horrible things happen", outside of European control/responsibility.

What would have happened if these events hit a European country or killed European citizens?

Libya is very close to Italy and Greece, it shares the same waters of the Mediterranean Sea, and it has a historical relationship to Italy due to its violent colonisation.

But similarly to the massacres happening in this Sea that we all share, where tens of thousands of people have drowned, nobody seems to care about the fate of the people drowned in this latest climate catastrophe, of those who survived it, and of those who are working incessantly to search for survivors, or recovering bodies to return to families and friends. Again, we see how racism defines the value of life and death, whose lives matter and whose lives are considered disposable.

On Italian news (Rainews), Darnah was described as a city "modernised by Italian colonisation". Not only does this reveal a total lack of historical consciousness, but it also reveals a celebration of colonialism as a motor of civilization rather than as one of the driving forces for the current political and economic instability. An instability that led to the mismanagement of the dams and to poor housing conditions, which exacerbated the tragic consequences of the floodings.

Floods and their consequences are not simply natural disasters and do not affect everyone equally. They are the direct result of climate change. A climate change that is colonial and neo-colonial in its causes, fueled by the greed for profit and extractivist practices in the Global North, but affecting mostly the Global South, with a clear racial divide between who is benefitting from capitalist exploitation of our planet and who is killed, displaced, or forced to migrate by it.

The so-called climate crisis is in fact a capitalist crisis and a colonial crisis. It is also a racist crisis.

In expressing our solidarity with all the people affected by this massacre, we call for a deeper intersection of our struggle for justice, as there is no climate justice without decolonisation, without anti-racist struggles, without no-border migrant justice.

Signed by:


FAC research

Forum Antirazzista - Palermo

Fridays for Future Palermo


Mem.Med Memoria Mediterranea

Ragazzi Baye Fall - Palermo

Refugees in Libya

Refugee Platform in Egypt

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