Arrests and destructions

A new camp near the old Sudanese jungle was destroyed this morning.

Shelters in the new Pashto jungle get destroyed every day. Police usually arrive shortly before midnight or in the early hours in the morning, people run, those who are caught are arrested. Several have injured themselves running from police, a group of people cut their hands on a barbed wire to get over a fence. The CRS than proceeds to destroy their shelters and blankets, slashing the plastic covers with knives. That’s the reason why during the day you see so many migrants walking with rolls of tarpaulin under their arms, they need to get new ones. The sub-prefect has told Medicines du Monde the police will destroy any tents they put on so they dropped the idea and are only giving survival kits- that will be destroyed anyway as soon as the police lay hands on them. Another fine example of the ‘dignity’ and ‘humanity’ Besson is talking about.

Lots of people including several underage boys sleep in the jungle in small, well hidden shelters. The bridges, where there is at least some shelter against the rain, are almost deserted by now: very few people sleep there because the police harassment is too much, they go there up to three times a night. Another hot spot for arrests are the parks.

Activists from CMS have been going to the jungle and bridges and it seems to be a bit of a deterrent against police attacks. Unfortunately we do not manage to go every night/ morning. Please come to Calais!

A large squat where Palestinians and Egyptians live, about 25 people, has been also attacked. The police went there Sunday night, arrested one man others run and escaped. The advantage of some derelict buildings is that they have many exits. A big group of us were there on that night, who had come to Calais for a meeting, we all run there to support and the police left. They haven’t returned…yet.

Medicines du Monde survival kits- Activists and migrants demand human rights and accommodation

– Today, MdM went ahead with the distribution that was described in the Nov 2nd update. One item that was added to the kit was some tarpaulin to protect migrants from the rain. One migrant remarked that such makeshift shelters are easily destroyed by the police. Activists decided to hold an exhibition near this distribution, and also, to provide banners and paper sheets for migrants to write whatever they wanted. We had a table with leaflets to distribute to the locals. A huge banner, saying ‘migrating is resisting,’ was hung on the nearby church, which just happens to hold works at the moment. Police presence was inexistant for the first hour, but then several police cars patrolled around the area. No attempts were made to arrest anyone. Here are some pictures (more to come):

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img_0286Nice flashy rucksack, with a MdM button on it

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As it was said again and again, the idea is to monitor police violence, and when evidence of destruction is available, to simply sue them and get money back to pay for the same and distribute. Of course, that is true as much for tents as it is for rucksacks and whatever else you put your logo on. Why the hierarchy caved in and came up with a no-tent distribution is a mystery. I’m guessing it’s because they are scared, or feel like defering to the authorities.

– The Sudanese camp has been destroyed again this morning; the burning/destruction hinted at in the twitter was confirmed as well. We know the CRS have been attacking the new Pashtun jungle several nights in a row. Yesterday night, one activist was patrolling this area on a bike, and one CRS van went on its way, instead of raiding. Patrolling around on bikes is enough to discourage arrests. If you can come to Calais, please do. We have an office where you can sleep, have a shower, eat. We even have the internet now. When we’re low in numbers, there’s not much we can do.

– A press release is in the works. Blog will be updated soon.