In October, an Italian rescue left for waters off Libya, in a direct challenge to Italy's far-right interior minister, Matteo Salvini. It was the first non-military, Italian-flagged boat to operate in the Mediterranean since the migration crisis began. In contrast to rescue ships operated by humanitarian NGOs, which had been blocked in recent months by the Italian government, the Mare Jonio flies an Italian flag and is mainly operated by an Italian crew. It can thus not legally be refused entry to an Italian port, though the interior Minister could still move to prevent people from disembarking. The boat was bought and equipped by a coalition of leftwing politicians, anti-racist associations, intellectuals and figures in the arts, under the supervision of two NGOs. Its mission, called Mediterranea is "not only about providing humanitarian aid but protesting against the toxic politics of Italy, Europe and the US."