Despite their big push for a demonstration this weekend, members of Sauvons Calais and the other neo-nazi groups who had promised their presence in the centre of Calais on Sunday were nowhere to be seen.
On the other hand, there was an overwhelming response to the callouts from No Borders and other local groups and networks. With around 100 arriving in Calais to show solidarity with the communities here and to help defend the squats and camps against attack.
The prefect of Calais had announced on Friday afternoon that the demonstration of Sauvons Calais was not allowed because of the threat to public order. Although the fascists came up with a new plan to congregate near the food distribution instead, they cancelled this at the last minute themselves.
In the end, the weekend passed without much incident. The only time the fascists made themselves known was early on Sunday morning, when around 40 stood on the road that passes over the Eriterean camp singing the national anthem. But they did not stay around for very long. In fact, once people stepped out of their tents to see what all the noise was, they disappeared quickly and seemingly took the next train out of Calais.
The police presence on the other hand was substantial as the huge force of CRS that came for the eviction of the Sudanese jungle stayed around for the weekend just to make sure nothing would happen. For the most part they sat in their vans through the whole day looking like storm troopers while playing games on their smartphones. The police (or possible scouts for UK Premier League teams) also had an airplane that took photos of the football match that was played in the citadelle, where everyone had met once it became clear there was going to be no demonstration. The Sudanese were a strong side as usual, defeating both Ethiopia and the French Antifa to the cheers of Calais’ BAC police who were standing on top of a hill to have a better view.
All in all, it was one of the best days that has been had in Calais for a while as everyone was united in the desire to confront the fascists and when they didn’t have to, were able to have a nice time getting to know one another and enjoying the sun. In case anyone misunderstood, we were not recognizing anyone’s call for peace this weekend, but just didn’t end up needing to defend ourselves.
This morning at around 6am, as the sun came up, the camp known as the Sudanese jungle was evicted by the police. Following a tip off received this week suggesting the camp would be evicted and after speaking to the community who lived there, people in the camp and of the no borders collective were there doing morning watch.
The police came in incredibly large numbers, there were around 30 to 40 vehicles that came to carry out the eviction. Around 18 cars, 12 CRS vans and 6 arrest vans. They came to the jungle from four different directions, lining the motorway, to catch people that were running away. However, many people managed to avoid arrest and escape, because they had warning from the morning patrols that the police were on their way.
Because it is difficult to get near to big police actions like this, we do not know exactly how many people were arrested. At the moment we think that it was around 8. One person was not living at the camp, but was arrested for refusing to show their ID.
With a van people of the no borders collective managed to collect a lot of the tents, blankets and bicycles from the camp, before they were taken by the council workers. Some workers from the local charities showed up late.
One official was there chatting about human rights and saying he had agreed everything in advance with Jean-Claude Lenoir, of Salam, that the associations would be able to collect people’s stuff after the operation. However that seems entirely dubious because there was a load of cleaning workers throwing everything randomly in a big container headed for the dump.
There are now around 30 people from the camp that have lost their home in Calais. In the coming days we will be speaking to these people about their plans for what they would like to do now, but for now we are waiting for the release of our friends and are resting from the early morning wake up call.
If you are coming to Calais this weekend for the demonstration, or in the next couple of weeks, it would be very useful if you bring tents or sleeping bags to replace what has been lost today.
This Sunday 13th April, the neo-nazi group, “Sauvons Calais” (Save Calais) has announced a demonstration at 14:30 on Place d’Armes, a central square in Calais, against “mass immigration, insecurity, pro-migrant people and corrupt journalists”.
This demonstration is also being called and supported by Thomas Joly, the leader of Parti de la France and by Alexandre Gabriac the founder of Jenunesses Nationalistes and former member of the Front National.
Last summer the young nationalist movement, driven by Alexandre Gabriac, was dissolved by the French state after Anti-fascist Clement Meric was killed in a fascist attack in Paris. Gabriac was also evicted from the Front National in 2011 for making nazi salutes and having swastika tattoos.
The demonstration in Calais is being promoted as a solidarity demo with local fascist, and member of Sauvons Calais, Kevin Reche, who was last month spot lighted in the media for having swastika tattoos. His supporters claim he was a victim of media harassment.
Sauvons Calais have been active in Calais since 25th October 2013. Their emergence came just two days after Natasha Bouchart, the local Mayor, sent a public message denouncing squats opened by and lived in by migrant communities and No Borders in Calais.
Since, Sauvons Calais have been developing a consistence presence in Calais. They have held 2 demonstrations and last month were responsible for multiple attacks on a squat in Calais which included throwing Molotov’s in an attempt to burn down the house and throwing stones, destroying the building for over 5 days.
Sauvons Calais have been using their facebook group to mobilise local fascists to post pictures and target squats where migrant communities are living. Following international pressure and campaigns to close the group last month they announced that they were disbanding. However this month the facebook page has been re-opened.
Counter demonstrations have been called for Sunday 13th April by No Borders and the collective Calais Ouverture et Humanité.
No Borders have called for a counter demonstration on Sunday and a presence in Calais for the weekend in solidarity with affected migrant communities and to show that these dangerous and racist ideologies are not the prevalent opinion.
Calais Ouverture et Humanité call a manifestation for tolerance, peace and respect. The manifestation will take place at 2.30pm in the parking area next to the big migrant camp, also known as the Salam or Syrian camp, on Boulevard des allies.
Look for all possibilities of resistance.
** Come to Calais to join the struggle on the ground. To get in touch with No Borders call 06 45 46 59 86 (from France) or 00 33 6 45 46 59 86 (outside France). Or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
** ** The facebook and blog of Sauvons Calais should be taken out of action along with other sites of their Nazi friends. Numerous people have reported the Sauvons Calais page to facebook for harassment and threats (to do this, click on the flower next to the ‘message’ icon). Facebook have refused to take the page down. If you know other ways to help, please do.
** These fascist sites are also potentially full of information about the attackers, for example names, telephone numbers, addresses, email addresses, contacts, etc.
** Finally, we remember that the struggle against borders, and against a world of controls, surveillance and oppression, does not stop with particular fascist gangs. We equally invite you to take action wherever you are against all those who are part of the construction of this totalitarian world, including the French and other governments, the European border police force Frontex, mercenary corporations such as G4S, Serco, Mitie and others who run migration prisons and border controls, and all those individuals and companies who profit from their actions.
15th March : Abdullah, from Ethiopia, was killed having hit his head whilst hiding in a truck he thought was to going to England.
14th March : At midday, Senay Berha from Ethiopia, was found dead in the river near the camp known as the Eritrean camp. He had been missing for some days.
12th March : In the night, Mesfin Germa from Ethiopia, died on the A26 motorway near the rest area Rely, struck by a vehicle. The driver did not stop .
9th March : an Albanian man was stabbed and killed on the motorway outside of Calais.
30th January : a 17 year old boy from Iran is killed by being driven over by a truck whilst trying to cross the border into the UK.
10th December : Yemane Gaberanguse, from Eritrea, died from suspected heart failure on his way to trying to cross for England. Yemane had been sick for a number of days. He was not given the right diagnosis and treatment from the hospital as he did not have ID and his records were not obtained, the following days he died.
4th November : the body of Robiel, a young Eritrean, was found dead in the waters of Calais port.
6th August : Commanden, a young Afghan stabbed in a reprisal attack by mafia
7th July : 28 year-old Noureddin Mohamed, from Sudan, was found dead in Calais’ city canal. Police claim it was suicide, friends believe he was killed by police. No autopsy or investigation was undertaken despite pressure from family and friends.
9th April : Zenebe, a young Eritrean man, was found dead in an abandoned lace factory
22nd December : Ismael, a young Ethiopian man, was found dead at the foot of a bridge. Police claim it was suicide, friends believe he was killed by police or facists. No autopsy or investigation was undertaken despite pressure from friends.
9th December : Iranian man killed after being hit by a bus walking along the road at night
17th November: Two Egyptians being transported in the boot of a car are killed during a crash. The other passengers survived.
11th September : Yousuf, aged 28, Sudan, is killed whilst trying to cross
10th May : Iranian man is killed whilst trying to cross, apparently falling from a lorry
22nd February : Afghan man, aged 24, drowns in the canal whilst being chased by the PAF border police
10th April : Rahmaddin, a 16-year old Afghan, is crushed by a lorry during an attempted crossing
9th April : Eritrean migrant found dead in an abandoned building
15th December : A 15-year old Afghan boy, is killed trying to cross
30th October : 25-year old Indian man found dead in lorry during attempted crossing
13th June : Aman, a 35-year old Eritrean man died trying to wash in the canal, showers being refused by the authorities
19th May : Vietnamese woman is found dead on the road after apparently falling from a lorry
5th April : An unnamed man is killed after falling off a train in the channel tunnel
25th February : Glara, a six-day old Iraqi Kurdish baby dies as parents were forced to sleep in the cold
7th January : A 30-year old Afghan stabbed in a fight
1st April 2014 : Gathering to support the houses of Auber, Vic and Massena
8am Tribunal Administratif de Calais, Place Crèvecoeur
At the End of February 2014, four houses were occupied by the collective “Salut o Toit” for the right to housing for all. One of them, located rue Leclercq, was evicted on February 28 , and on March 2 reoccupied by its habitants then evicted again the next day . Both were illegal evictions .
The other three houses, Rue de Massena , Rue Auber and Rue de Vic , belong to the DPO and were visited by a bailiff in early March, with a notice to the Administrative Court for March 18 . At our request, the court was delayed and will be on April 1st.
Just like Victor Hugo, the house which enables women, children and sick people to find a space for rest and life, these three houses allow people with or without papers (asylum seekers), to have a roof and a space to live and rest in safety. A place other than the streets, bridges and parks.
For some months “Save Calais “, a local fascist group, have been supporting Bouchart, the local mayor, in her anti-migrant fight. These new features make these living spaces and activities , as well as their support even more necessary . Despite being unused for years, these places are already threatened by eviction proceedings conducted by the DPO . If they are expelled , they will probably stay empty.
A demonstration will be held on Tuesday April 1st at 8 am in front of the Administrative Tribunal of Calais. Your presence is important to affirm support for different people living in the houses and to oppose the hatred broadcast by Bouchart and “Save Calais”.
1er Avril 2014 : Rassemblement en soutien aux habitant.es des maisons rue Auber, Vic et Massena
Dès 8h au Tribunal Administratif de Calais, Place Crèvecoeur
Fin Février 2014, quatre maisons ont été occupées par le collectif "Salut Ô Toit", collectif pour le droit au logement pour toutes et tous. L'une d'entre elle, située rue Leclercq, a été expulsée le 28 Février, réoccupée le 2 mars par ses habitant.es puis expulsée de nouveau le lendemain. Ces deux expulsions étaient pleinement illégales.
Les trois autres maisons ouvertes, rue Massena, rue Auber et rue de Vic, appartiennent à l'OPH et ont reçu la visite d'un huissier début mars, avec une convocation au Tribunal Administratif pour le 18 mars. A notre demande, un report a eu lieu au 1er Avril.
Tout comme la maison rue Victor Hugo permet aux femmes, enfants et personnes malades de trouver un espace de repos et de vie, ces trois maisons permettent à des personnes avec ou sans papier (demandeurs d'asile), d'avoir un toit et un espace où vivre et se reposer en sécurité. Un endroit autre que la rue, les ponts ou les parcs, qui sont ce que l'Etat leur laisse, à défaut de remplir ses missions et de proposer des solutions de logements.
Depuis quelques mois "Sauvons Calais" vient appuyer Bouchart dans sa lutte anti-migrants, et s'est déployé il y a quelques semaines comme la branche opérationnelle de l’appel à la délation de la maire de Calais. Ces nouveaux éléments rendent ces espaces de vie et d'activités, ainsi que leur soutien, encore davantage nécessaires. Malgré leur inutilisation depuis des années, ces lieux sont déjà menacés par une procédure d'expulsion menée par l'OPH. Si ils se font expulser, ils resteront encore vides probablement pendant longtemps.
Un rassemblement est organisé ce mardi 1er Avril à 8 heures en face du Tribunal Administratif de Calais. Votre présence est importante pour affirmer un soutien aux habitant.es des différentes maisons occupées et une opposition à la haine de l'autre que diffusent Bouchart et "Sauvons Calais".
Pas d'expulsions sans relogement ! Un toit pour toutes et tous !
Nous lançons un appel à dons pour le rapatriement en Éthiopie du corps de Saney, retrouvé mort dans le canal devant le camps des Érythréens vendredi 14 mars. La famille est en attente du corps.
Tout est prêt administrativement parlant mais il nous faut réunir la somme de 3800 euros. Les amis de Saney en Angleterre ont déjà réunis 1000 euros, le Secours Catholique et Salam donnent 1000 euros.
The bailiff came for all the three houses – Rue Massena, Auber and Vic and issued papers.
A court date was proposed in the papers. The lawyer succeeded to delay the court procedure for all houses.
A new date has been set for 1st April. They don’t give us much time at all.
Houses are safe for now, they are lived in by communities and continue to be maintained and improved everyday. We continue to make the legal case.
We have started to build up a bike workshop in a new space in Calais.
We have some basic tools and some second hand parts. Everyone is eager to build and fix bikes to be able to get around and make daily life easier. People are coming everyday to search for bike possibilities and fix what we have with very limited resources. The only tools we have now are basic DIY tools but not bike tools.
It is the perfect time to bring bikes to Calais as the space we have is big for working and storing parts.
- bikes! (in any condition)
- wheels, tyres and a lot of inner tubes
- brake parts
- DIY and bike tools
- spare parts
- lights (long lasting)
- lamps for night work (rechargable, not electric)
- bike locks
Second hand tools or parts are great, everything is possible in Calais! We don’t know how long the space will last so hurry.
Contact to let us know when you will come and to ask any questions:
06 45 46 59 86 (from inside France) 00 33 6 45 46 59 86 (from outside France) email@example.com
For general updates: http://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/