Cross-channel Protest against Anglo-French Border Regime

On Saturday 28th November 2009, French and British solidarity activists staged a cross-channel protest from Calais to Folkestone. Over 65 activists from across France and the UK protested against the tightening of border controls and the collaboration between the French and the British authorities, which is creating a heightened humanitarian crisis in Calais where hundreds of migrants now sleep rough and suffer constant police abuse, after being stopped from entering Britain, and having their homes in Calais bulldozed in September of this year.

The protest began at 10:00 local time in Calais, and in Folkestone the final protest was held outside the newly built Joint Intelligence Unit, which is a centre for both the British and French services who specialise in trying to combat international ‘illegal’ immigration networks. Activists from No Borders, Calais Migrant Solidarity, the CNT (National Confederation of Workers) and the NPA (New Anticapitalist Party) all crossed the channel; and future collaborations are planned for mobilisations in Paris and Brussels. Police destroyed one banner
proclaiming ‘No One is Illegal’. The protest was ‘facilitated’ by the ‘European Liaison team’, a special unit of police based in Kent, who monitor activities on both sides of the border.

Another demonstration at Campsfield House detention centre saw 70 activists from different migrant support networks from the UK call for an end to immigration prisons and a halt to plans to build the biggest ever detention centre in England.