Shortly after Italian police arrested Carola Rackete, the German captain of the Sea-Watch 3, for forcing the vessel into port Saturday to unload dozens of rescued migrants, two German TV hosts launched a crowdfunding campaign to pay her legal fees. By mid-Sunday, more than $550,000 had been raised, with pro-immigration activists calling Rackete a hero. The ship had been blocked for two weeks off the island of Lampedusa waiting for permission to dock.
How are European governments reacting? Italy’s Interior Minister Matteo Salvini said Rackete ramming a police boat was an “act of war,” while German officials argued that rescuing migrants shouldn’t be “criminalized.”