Online with pics here: https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/02/515610.html
CALAIS: CALLOUT TO HACKTIVISTS AND EVERYONE FOR ANTIFASCIST SOLIDARITY.
Calais, North of France, 25/2/2014. Addressing antifascists, hacktivists, and all concerned people. After the arson by fascists of the occupied farmhouse in Coulogne, we urgently need your support to see off a surge in neo-nazi violence.
For years the situation for migrants in the French port town of Calais has been extremely harsh. They face constant police repression and harassment, and increasingly now also attacks from non-state fascist groups, particularly the neo-nazi gang “Sauvons Calais” (Save Calais).
Calais is the main French port for crossing the English channel to the UK. Several hundred refugees and undocumented migrants (mainly from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, East Africa and other war zones) are stuck there at any moment, trying to cross by any means such as hiding in goods trucks or under trains. Deaths are frequent: four people have been killed so far just this winter. Fatal accidents trying to cross are compounded by police attacks including beatings, repeated arrests, theft and destruction of tents, sleeping bags, food and belongings, etc.
Recently the level of violence against migrants, and also towards people of the ‘No Borders’ movement who offer solidarity, has been mounting. The escalation began last October when the right-wing Mayor of Calais, Natacha Bouchart, called for residents of Calais to report migrants occupying abandoned buildings in the town. The mayor’s call was taken up by a new anti-migrant group called “Sauvons Calais”. Representing themselves as concerned citizens without political affiliation, the group is in fact closely linked to neo-nazi and far-right movements including Front National and Generation Identitaire. Its spokesperson Kevin Rêche is a neo-nazi with a swastika tattooed on his chest.
In recent days Sauvons Calais led an attack on a farmhouse in Coulogne, a suburb of Calais, squatted by homeless people (in fact, in this case, not ‘migrants’ but mostly European persons including “French nationals”). On Saturday 22 February they gathered more than 80 supporters outside the house. From the afternoon until 1am the mob attacked the house with stones and later with molotov cocktails, destroying the windows and roof and eventually burning down one of the out-buildings. During the most violent period Sauvons Calais held a ‘buffet’ outside the house offering food and coffee.
French police were present throughout the assault. The inhabitants of the house wrote in a statement:
“The police were notable in their passivity, only intervening on two occasions. The first time, while a friend was hit by a rock to the neck in front of their eyes, they took him into their police car for less than a minute, then let him go. Another striking event was when a drunk man arrived with a packet of fireworks, the police confiscated a few of them and then let him approach the house with the rest. Indeed they went so far as to hang the protesters’ banner on the fence, and some of them were laughing as our attackers showed their joy when the stones hit their target.”
In short, we are seeing a situation that is all too familiar for anyone who has studied history or been following recent events in Greece and across Europe. State authorities (politicians and police) are working hand in glove with extra-legal fascist gangs attacking and intimidating “foreigners”, homeless peopled other outsiders, and their supporters. Are we going to let this become an everyday reality in Calais?
The attacks eventually led to a fire which burnt down one of the farm buildings. Fortunately, no one was killed or hurt. Burnt out, the inhabitants of the farmhouse have now been forced to leave. But with several hundred migrants and other homeless people sleeping rough and in deserted buildings in Calais, this story is certainly not over. Next time the consequences could be far more serious.
The demonstrations against the house were coordinated via two web pages, administered by active members of the group “Sauvons Calais”. These pages are also a window on their ideology, showing links with active and well-known fascist and neo-nazi movements across France.
One of these sites is a Facebook page:
This was used to organise the demonstrations at the farmhouse. It is also full of fascist individuals posting death-threats and appeals to violent action against migrants and “No Borders”.
The other is a blog administered by the same gang: https://sauvonscalais.wix.com/sauvons-calais
We invite all individuals and groups in solidarity to contribute to the struggle against these fascists and racists. Come and join “No Borders” in Calais, or get in touch to help strengthen the network against fascism in France and beyond. Or take action in your own ways, following your own ideas and talents.
Here are just a few ideas that have been suggested, but please come up with your own ideas too:
** 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.
** A demonstration “for tolerance and solidarity” will be held in Calais on Saturday 1st March, 2.30PM in the main square Place d’Armes. Please come along, or help spread the word. Further information here: http://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/2014/02/24/solidarity-demo-rally-for-tolerance-1st-march-1430/
** 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.
For further information see:
calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/ (English and French)
http://luttennord.wordpress.com/2014/02/22/sauvons-calais-les-miliciens-sont-dans-la-rue/ (detailed expose of the fascists in Sauvons Calais, in French)
Quelques personnes solidaires et révoltées !!
With the fascist attacks continuing to escalate (see here for details: https://www.indymedia.org.uk/en/2014/02/515552.html), anti-racist residents of Calais have called for a public show of support, meeting in Calais town centre on Saturday 1st March. (Though if you can come to Calais before this please do!)
ASSEMBLY AGAINST FASCISM AND FOR TOLERANCE AND SOLIDARITY
Call-out from anti-racist residents of Calais.
Gathering with music and dance, words and food.
Saturday 1 March 2.30 PM. Place d’Armes, Calais.
We are indignant to see that hundreds of people are living in the street whilst houses are empty and abandoned. Indignant about the passivity or hostility of the authorities and for the demonstrations of fascist hatred in these last days.
These fascists do not represent Calais. There are also many more people who have been engaged for years, as individuals or with groups, in hospitality and openness.
Whether we are long term residents of Calais or passing through, we will come together to share a moment of tolerance and solidarity.
RASSEMBLEMENT POUR LA TOLÉRANCE
Prises de parole, musique et danse, goûter solidaire.
Samedi 1er mars à partir de 14h30 place d’Armes à Calais.
Nous sommes indignés de voir des centaines de personnes à la rue quand des maisons sont vides et abandonnées. Indignés par la passivité ou l’hostilité des autorités, et par les manifestations de haine de ces derniers jours.
Mais ce n’est pas tout Calais. Il y a aussi toutes ces personnes qui s’engagent depuis des années à titre personnel et dans les associations, toute une hospitalité invisible, tout un désir d’ouverture.
Que nous soyons d’ici ou de passage, venons partager un moment pour la tolérance et la solidarité.”
At 6.30pm on Sunday, fire-fighters arrive at the new squat in Coulogne after local fascists threaten to throw more molotov cocktails and hang around outside holding gas cans.
“Sauvons Calais” (Saving Calais) a new fascist group in Calais has been attacking the squat for the last week and a half, attempting to mobilise mostly younger crowds to attack migrants and what is believed to be their shelters.
SHUT DOWN THEIR FACEBOOK :
* Go to the page and click the flower icon next to the Message button to report it for harassment/threatening behaviour. If enough of us do it, it might just work!
* Share this info on social media; get friends to report the FB page too.
Urgent antifascist solidarity is needed following a week of elevated fascist activity in Calais.
The squat in Coulogne continues to be attacked and harassed by local extreme-right fascists who’ve formed a group “Sauvons Calais”, (“Saving Calais), led by Kevin Reche – pictured below with the swastika tattoo, who also launched a facebook group by the same name.
“Sauvons Calais” is using the facebook group to mobilise local fascists to post pictures and target squats they believe are being used by people from mainly northern Africa and the Middle East for shelter.
Some of the same people in “Sauvons Calais” are also known to be well connected to another extreme-right fascist group – Génération Identitaire – who attacked a mosque in Poitiers in 2012 and hung a banner saying ‘Islam out’, and whose mission statement about the ‘Identity Movement’ declares :
“Our identity is to be defended at all times.. and oppose all that may be offensive to that identity. The [Génération] Identitaires therefore gather all those who believe that preserving identities against the world steamroller is a historic mission. We want to raise the standard of identity against uniformity. The identity commitment arises from the roots and thus the idea that we are the result of land and lineage, a link in a chain.”
Let their be no question that it is white supremacist proud-to-be-Nazis behind the new “Sauvons Calais” group, mobilising against “immigrants” and their supporters …
ACT NOW :
1. Go to Calais to support people there. French speakers especially encouraged.
Call: 06 45 46 59 86 (from inside France)
00 33 6 45 46 59 86 (from outside France)
Or email more in advance to let people know you’re coming :
2. Shut down the Facebook page: Go to the page and click the flower icon next to the Message button to report it for harassment/threatening behaviour. If enough of us do it, it might just work!
3. Share this info on social media; get friends to report the FB page too.
Saturday’s news from the inhabitants of 122 Rue Émile Dumont in Coulogn (suburb of Calais)
“We’re writing to you again with the latest news from the front. Our aggressors have reached a new level of violence. On Saturday 22, we were attacked by intensive volleys of stones from two in the afternoon until half past midnight. Around 4.30 pm, one man who had threatened on the facebook page of ‘Sauvons Calais’ (‘Save Calais’) to kill some migrants and throw them into the canal threw a rock, from 6 metres away, which hit the neck of a friend who had gone outside to talk with some of the neighbours. When we went outside to eat in the garden, we received a rain of some 20 stones in just a few seconds. As the numerous attacks on the roof and the windows went on, the crowd shouted encouragement every time a stone hit its target. As the most violent attack of stone-throwing was going on, the collective ‘Sauvons Calais’ was publicly hosting a buffet outside with food and coffee, between 6pm and midnight. They also used laser pointers against cameras and directly into the eyes of the inhabitants (legally these can be considered as weapons in this context). There were a maximum of 80 people protesting (at about 10.30pm), the last of them left around 1am.
During all this afternoon and until about 1 am, the police (National Police and plain-clothes ‘Brigade Anti-Criminelle’) were present, up to 8 in number. They were notable in their passivity, only intervening on two occasions in total. The first time, while our friend was hit by a rock to the neck in front of their eyes, they took him into their police car for less than a minute, then let him go. Another striking event was when a drunk man arrived with a packet of fireworks, the police confiscated a few of them and then let him approach the house with the rest. Indeed they went so far as to hang the protesters’ banner on the fence, and some of them were laughing as our attackers showed their joy when the stones hit their target. The police allowed the protesters to come right up to the gates of the house, while they stood watching a metre behind.
The police left a few minutes after the last protesters and, five minutes later, a white pick-up truck parked at the corner of Rue Aristide Brillant and Rue Haut-Champs. Two men got out and walked towards us, then turned away as the police briefly drove past. The two men then returned with Molotov cocktails (beer bottles) in their hands, which they lit in front of the bus stop. One of the molotovs was thrown onto the roof. Fortunately it did not catch fire, but then they threw another which rebounded off the side of the bus stop and landed in the garden where it burned. We called the police to report the attack, they refused to listen and demanded to know our identities.
After one of us explained that he could tell them everything that happened, and could describe the attackers’ vehicle, but wanted to stay anonymous, the police left. One of us went into the garden to find the debris of the molotov cocktail. A police car drive past again and he tried to show them the evidence, but they only shone their torches in his face, refusing again to record the event. We wait with much apprehension the days to come. After the molotov attack, what next?”
Tomorrow, Friday 21st Feb, fascists have called a day and evening demonstration outside a new squat in Coulogne. This is the accumulation of five days of heavy fascist activity in the Calais area.
In the last few months a racist anti-migrant group, ‘Sauvons Calais’ have mobilised in Calais to ‘defend Calais from migrants’. Last week people squatted a farm house in Coulogne and since Sunday evening groups of up to 50 fascists and angry neighbours have had almost a constant presence outside the building.
The fascist’s actions this week have ranged from shouting insults at the people inside, throwing rocks, fireworks and standing there for hours on end. At 7am on Tuesday morning three fascists, who had been out drinking all night tried to break into the squat with a sledge hammer. Two of them were arrested. Members of the demonstration have also been recorded making death threats against migrants.
Today they are back outside again threatening the people inside. The fascists ‘Sauvons Calais’ facebook account has been used to mobilise people to descend on the squat. See https://www.facebook.com/page.sauvons.calais.
The squat became visible last week and the squatters have gained legal status for their occupation.
As the days have gone on it seems that the number of fascists coming is increasing. The situation is getting more hostile rather than calming down. This is unprecedented fascist action in Calais. People are asking for support tomorrow and in the coming weeks…