2009

Lundi 7 Décembre

Le weekend était relativement calme en comparaison avec les jours précédents mais quand même quelques arrestations. Le 6 Décembre à 2 heures du matin, dans un incident particulièrement dégoûtant, des CRS ont versé de l’eau froide sur quelques mineurs Afghans qui dormaient dehors, en dessous de quelques arches. Les couvertures étaient mouillées et inutilisables, et 12 garçons ont été arrêtés. On nous a dit qu’ils étaient 6 dans une toute petite cellule, qu’ils devaient se coucher sur le sol avec des couvertures sales et que la toilette n’avait pas de porte ni de murs, c’était juste un trou puant.

Il y a moins de monde aux distributions de nourriture, seulement 150 pour le déjeuner et encore moins pour le dîner. Il est très probable que les migrants ont pour de marcher dans les rues à cause de la répression policière lourde. Encore des rapports sur des tabassages et l’utilisation de gaz lacrimogène.

Jeudi 3 Décembre

9 arrestations à la plage hier vers 11.15pm, tout le monde a été libéré. Il y a 18 garçons qui dorment là-bas, tous Afghans et âgés entre 13 et 20 ans. Un des plus jeunes a été blessé quand un CRS lui a frappé avec sa matraque sur la jambe. La dizaine de CRS criait sur les gens et les insultait. La veille il y avait 8 ou 9 policiers en trois voitures qui ont arrêté 10 adolescents; 4 avaient des papiers, 3 étaient mineurs et ont été libérés, 2 ont été en garde à vue pendant 24 heures et on pense que le dernier est dans un centre de rétention. Les CRS et la police vont à la plage tout les soirs, jusqu’à trois fois et ils arrêtent tout le monde, les gens avec des papiers et les mineurs inclus.

15 Pashtouns, dont des très jeunes, ont été arrêtés dans la jungle ce matin vers 10h.

3 fourgons et 2 voitures pour transporter des personnes arrêtées sont passés par les squats des Ethiopiens et les Arabes. Pas d’arrestations.

Mercredi 2 Décembre

Encore des rafles. 15 Pashtouns dont plusieurs jeunes à partir de 11 ans, ont été arrêtés dans une rafle sur la jungle des Pashtouns. On aurait du libérer les mineurs ce matin, mais cela ne s’est pas fait. 8 Soudanais ont été arrêtés près de la gare (non-confirmé par nous, mais rapporté par les associations). Pendant les patrouilles nous avons été témoins de l’arrestation de 2 Soudanais près du port, dans leur nouveau squat/jungle. Nous avons interrompu 12 CRS (qui menaçaient d’utiliser du pepperspray) pendant leur tentative de rafle sur le squat Arabe (sans succès grâce à notre intervention !) ; nous avons pu avertir les gens dans le squat Ethiopien, et avons été témoins du rafle. Malgré la présence de 2 fourgons avec plus de 10 CRS, il n’y a pas eu d’arrestations. Après nous avons visité le site des Soudanais, où nous avons été contrôlés pour la troisième fois dans une soirée ; cette fois-ci par les PAF ; et ils nous ont menacés d’arrestation.

Il n’y a pas de repos pour les migrants à Calais. Samedi prochain nous aurons une réunion avec les associations sur le « délit de solidarité » et sur comment contester la loi qui illégalise l’aide aux migrants. Nous discuterons aussi la situation des abris. Nous trouvons des bâtiments à squatter tout le temps, mais la police est partout. Les gens ont peur ; mais en coopérants nous sommes forts. Avec la répression qui monte, les associations réfléchissent à des ripostes plus politiques ; et comme nous avons une présence permanente, nous construisons des réseaux forts. Venez à calais !

Mardi 1Décembre

Rafles des CRS

Nous avons été très occupés les derniers jours à Calais…

Hier après la distribution de nourriture 6 Soudanais ont été arrêtés, ensuite les CRS ont raflé le squat Arabe et ils ont arrêté une quinzaine de personnes. Puis ce matin à 9h., les CRS ont arrêté 18 personnes à la nouvelle jungle Pashtoun; et puis encore 20 personnes de la maison Ethiopienne à la fois. Cette après-midi vers 17h. ils sont revenus et ont arrêté encore 5 personnes. Ils sont retournés au squat Arabe aussi; tout le monde a pu s’échapper, malgré 3 fourgons et 2 voitures sur place.

L’activité de la police en civil (BAC) a fortement augmenté, ils observent et “contrôlent” (fouiller et vérifier papiers) les militants. Avec la menace de Besson de faire de Calais une “zone libérée de migrants” pour la fin de l’année toujours dans notre esprit, nous voulons encourager toute personne de venir et de faire un travail de solidarité.

Lundi 30 Novembre

Aujourd’hui un nouveau camp huminataire a été ouvert à Bailleul, à 80km de Calais. L’association Salam gère le camp et a la permission de loger que des migrants qui sont dans des situations exceptionelles (comme une maladie ou une blessure) – maximum 20 personnes à la fois.

Ce soir 5 Soudanais ont été arrêtés à l’extérieur de la distribution de nourriture. À 11h du matin les PAF ont arrêté tout le monde à l’intérieur du squat Arabe.

Samedi 28 Novembre

Protestation des deux côtés de la Manche contre le régime frontalier anglo-français

Ce samedi 28 Novembre 2009, des militants franco-britanniques ont organisé une manifestation solidaire des deux côtés de la Manche à Calais et à Folkestone.

Plus de 65 militants de toute la France et du Royaume-Uni ont protesté contre le durcissement des contrôles aux frontières et la collaboration entre les Français et les autorités britanniques qui créent une crise humanitaire accrue à Calais où des centaines de migrants survivent maintenant dans des conditions ignobles et sont victimes d’abus continus de la police, après avoir été empêchés d’entrer en Grande-Bretagne, après avoir vu leur campement de fortune à Calais rasé en septembre de cette année. La manifestation a commencé à 10h00 heure locale de Calais, et s’est poursuivie à Folkestone où la manifestation finale a eu lieu devant les bâtiments de la nouvelle « Joint Intelligence Unit » [Unité Conjointe de Renseignement], un centre à la fois dédié aux services britanniques et français spécialisés dans la lutte contre les « réseaux internationaux de l’immigration clandestine ».

Des militants de No Borders, Calais Migrant Solidarity, la CNT (Confédération Nationale du Travail) et du NPA (Nouveau Parti Anticapitaliste) ont franchi la Manche, et de futures collaborations sont prévues pour des mobilisations à Paris et à Bruxelles.

La police a détruit la bannière proclamant « No One is Illegal » [Personne n’est illégal]. La manifestation était « facilitée » par une « équipe européenne de liaison », une unité spéciale de la police du Kent qui supervise les activités des deux côtés de la frontière. le gentil policier anglais de service. Une autre manifestation le même jour au centre de détention de Campsfield House a vu 70 militants de différents réseaux de soutien aux migrants de l’Appel du Royaume-Uni pour mettre fin aux prisons de l’immigration et pour l’arrêt des plans de construction du plus grand centre de détention d’Angleterre.


Ce qui suit n’est qu’une partie de tout ce qui se passe, il y a bien plus de choses qui ont lieu et qui sont ‘normales pour Calais’

Alors que “Nord Littoral” (ci-dessous et déjà diffusé le 20 novembre) avait plutôt mis en relief l’aspect critique de la vision du HCR sur la situation dans le Calaisis, “la Voix du Nord” en relate la nature complaisante à l’égard des pouvoirs publics français, avec une validation des retours “volontaires”.

Ne pas oublier que le HCR est le spécialiste mondial de ces retours pour lesquels la liberté de la plupart des “volontaires” commence par une forte torsion du bras. Voir le rapport de la Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), du 24 juin 2009, intitulé “HRCP QUESTIONS VOLUNTARY NATURE OF REFUGEES’ REPATRIATION” (http://www.hrcp-web.org/Publications/RRefugees.pdf) à propos des rapatriements des exilés afghans installés au Pakistan (2 millions) signalé le 11 novembre

While the french newspaper “North Coast” (below) was rather emphasized the critical aspect of the vision of UNHCR on the situation in the Calais, an other french newspaper “la Voix du Nord” insists on the complacency of the HCR regarding French government, with validation of “self-willed” repatriations.

Do not forget that the UNHCR is the global specialist in such returns for which the freedom of most “voluntary” begins with a strong twist of the arm. See Report of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), of June 24, 2009, entitled “HRCP QUESTIONS VOLUNTARY NATURE OF REFUGEES’ REPATRIATION” (http://www.hrcp-web.org/Publications/RRefugees.pdf) to about repatriations of Afghan exiles settled in Pakistan (2 million)

“la Voix du Nord” (France), 19 novembre 2009

Wilbert Van Hövell, du Haut commissariat des réfugiés : « La situation des migrants à Calais s’est globalement améliorée »

Le Haut commissariat des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés est en place à Calais depuis six mois. Son but : coordonner l’action internationale pour la protection des réfugiés afin de sauvegarder leurs droits et leur bien-être. Wilbert Van Hövell, représentant régional pour l’Europe de l’ouest à Bruxelles, a rencontré hier les acteurs locaux. Bilan.

– Les bons points

« Depuis la fin de la “Jungle”, on remarque que le nombre de migrants à Calais a diminué, ce qui est un point positif », assure Wilbert Van Hövell qui a rencontré les associations, la municipalité, la police, le sous-préfet… « Le fait d’empêcher tout nouveau squat joue également en la faveur de cette baisse. On pense être passé de 1 000 à 250 personnes. La situation s’est améliorée depuis octobre et les soins sont toujours accessibles aux migrants… c’est bien. » Le centre de distribution rue de Moscou améliore selon lui les conditions de vie de ces personnes en transit, « et c’est une bonne chose. De plus, la mairie va mettre à disposition un local pour le plan grand froid. C’est positif… » Le fait que la sous-préfecture de Calais offre désormais la possibilité d’effectuer des démarches pour les demandes d’asile « porte ses fruits. Le nombre de demandes a augmenté et ils sont nombreux à opter pour un retour volontaire au pays ». Pour ce représentant du HCR, l’action internationale contre les réseaux de passeurs constitue aussi une bonne chose.

– Copie à revoir

« Localement, il manque de structures pour accueillir les mineurs en transit, une structure avec un hébergement, un traducteur, afin de leur offrir un toit, des explications, un accueil… ainsi qu’aux adultes qui, ont fait des démarches pour être demandeurs d’asile. Ce sont des personnes qui se présentent aux autorités, ce n’est pas évident, elles doivent être aidées. Dans des pays comme la Belgique, les migrants dans cette situation peuvent rester dans des centres d’accueil. »

– Problème non résolu

Pour Wilbert Van Hövell, s’il y a moins de migrants à Calais, « c’est bien parce qu’ils se déplacent probablement ailleurs. Ce qui signifie que le problème d’immigration n’est pas résolu pour autant sur le plan international ». Dans le Nord-Pas-de-Calais, en Belgique, Pays-Bas… les chiffres ne sont pas connus, mais il semblerait que les passeurs ne considèrent plus Calais comme unique point de chute au nord de Paris.

– Les charters ? – Que pense le représentant à Bruxelles de la polémique en France autour de l’organisation de charters ?

« Nous sommes favorables aux retours au pays, c’est une bonne chose dans l’intégrité de la procédure d’asile. Il y a eu des démarches, elles n’ont pas abouti, alors on renvoie. Mais je ne suis pas favorable au retour dans des pays en état de guerre et c’est une bonne chose que l’État a suspendu ces expulsions. On conseille d’attendre. Le mieux, c’est le retour volontaire ».

http://www.lavoixdunord.fr/Locales/Calais/actualite/ /Secteur_Calais/2009/11/19/article_apres-la-jungle-la-situati ion-des-migran.shtml

“Nord Littoral” (France), 19 novembre 2009

LE RESPONSABLE EUROPE DE L’OUEST DU HCR : « LES CONDITIONS RESTENT TRèS PRéCAIRES »

« Les conditions restent très difficiles, surtout sur le plan de l’hébergement de ceux qui ne sont pas admis à la procédure d’asile ». Willaert Van Hovell, responsable régional Europe de l’ouest du Haut commissariat des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés, salue certaines avancées sans oublier de dénoncer certains manquent à la politique actuellement menée contre les migrants : « A l’heure actuelle, trente à quarante mineurs isolés survivent à Calais. Il n’existe toujours pas de centre spécialisé pour les accueillir. Selon les spécialistes il serait très important de leur donner du temps pour se remettre de cette situation et faire le point sur leur avenir. » Actuellement les mineurs étrangers qui le souhaitent sont accueillis dans des centres avec d’autres mineurs qui n’ont absolument pas le même profil. Faute d’une prise en charge adaptée, ces mineurs étrangers quittent très rapidement ces centres pour retourner à la rue.

Quitter l’illégalité

Le représentant du HCR était à Calais hier où il a rencontré les associations et les migrants : « Nous sommes là pour aider ces personnes à quitter l’illégalité pour accéder à la légalité car cette illégalité est difficile pour tout le monde. » La difficulté se pose pour les gens qui ont été déboutés de leur demande d’asile mais dont la procédure est toujours en cours. Ceux-là sont renvoyés à la rue. Willaert Van Hovell soulève le paradoxe de la mission du HCR à Calais. Une problématique en forme d’oxymore : « Nous incitons ces personnes à quitter l’illégalité en leur demandant de se lancer dans une procédure à laquelle ils ne seront sans doute pas admis (simplement parce qu’ils sont entrés en Europe par un autre pays que la France, NDLR). » Preuve s’il en est de la difficile application de la politique européenne d’asile.

« La possibilité de demander l’asile fonctionne bien »

Le HCR ne conteste pas que le nombre de migrants présents sur le Calaisis a fortement baissé, d’un millier de personnes à 250 ou 400 visibles en même temps au même endroit selon les jours. « D’un certain point de vue c’est un point positif, reconnaît Willaert Van Hovell. Le souci est que le problème est en train de se déplacer pas seulement en France mais aussi en Belgique, aux Pays-Bas et dans les pays scandinaves. La situation n’est pas résolue. » Selon l’humaniste, le déplacement du problème s’explique simplement par la destruction inlassable des squats et la répression policière qui s’exerce à Calais. Le réel motif de satisfaction de Willaert Van Hovell est « la possibilité de demander l’asile qui fonctionne plutôt bien » car « pas mal de gens utilisent cette procédure et pas mal de gens optent pour l’assistance au retour volontaire ».

http://www.nordlittoral.fr/actualite/la_une/article_1137239.shtmlAlors que “Nord Littoral” (ci-dessous et déjà diffusé le 20 novembre) avait plutôt mis en relief l’aspect critique de la vision du HCR sur la situation dans le Calaisis, “la Voix du Nord” en relate la nature complaisante à l’égard des pouvoirs publics français, avec une validation des retours “volontaires”.

Ne pas oublier que le HCR est le spécialiste mondial de ces retours pour lesquels la liberté de la plupart des “volontaires” commence par une forte torsion du bras. Voir le rapport de la Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP), du 24 juin 2009, intitulé “HRCP QUESTIONS VOLUNTARY NATURE OF REFUGEES’ REPATRIATION” (http://www.hrcp-web.org/Publications/RRefugees.pdf) à propos des rapatriements des exilés afghans installés au Pakistan (2 millions) signalé le 11 novembre]

oral.fr/actualite/la_une/article_1137239.shtml

* 22 Novembre

Coquelles: Fin de la grève de la faim/du refus de nourriture. Les 6 détenus qui refusaient de prendre de la nourriture ont repris les repas.

Une femme venant d’un pays Arabe ne mangeait plus depuis 5 jours.

Les 5 autres viennent d’Afghanistan, et l’un d’entre eux est un mineur qui n’a pas eu d’évaluation de son âge.

Ils vont tous être détenus pendant environ 15 jours et on les poussera à demander l’asile en France, avec la menace qu’ils seront déportés dans leur pays s’ils ne font pas la demande.

Chiara

Ethiopia House attaquée

La police est allée au squat Ethiopien hier matin à 9h30 et elle a arrêté 6 personnes. D’autres ont réussi à se cacher. La police était là-bas deux jours plus tôt à demander combien de gens vivent là-bas, et à prendre des photos. On dirait qu’ils se préparent à fermer le squat. Ethiopia House a déjà été vidée le 3 novembre, tous ceux qui n’ont pas réussi à s’enfuir ou à se cacher ont été arrêtés et tout ce qui appartenait aux gens a été détruit. Les activistes de CMS, avec Salam, ont aidé à donner des couvertures et des vêtements aux gens après leur remise en liberté. Beaucoup de gens vivent là-bas, des Ethiopiens, des Eritréens, et d’autres pays de l’Afrique de l’ouest. Beaucoup d’Eritréens ont déménagé là-bas après la destruction du squat Eritréen (Africa House) et très récemment beaucoup de Soudanais ont déménagé là-bas après que leurs abris près de la plage aient été détruits.

Comme nous sommes très peu sur le terrain jusque Jeudi, une aide urgente est requise. S’il-vous-plaît, venez à Calais maintenant si vous le pouvez. Jeudi, beaucoup de nouveaux arrivent, mais ça pourrait être trop tard.

*18 novembre

6 hommes Afghans sont en grève de la faim et de la soif contre leur détention continue au centre de déportation de Coquelles. Ils ont refusé la nourriture et l’eau pendant trois jours et ils ne reçoivent pas de soins médicaux.

De nouvelles arrestations

3 Afghans ont été arrêtés ce soir près des ponts. Des membres de CMS y ont assisté.

* 17 Novembre

Destruction d’un campement de migrants à Dunkerque

Ce matin la police a entrepris la destruction d’un autre campement qui abritait environ 70 migrants d’Afghanistan, du Kurdistan Irakien, ainsi que d’autres nations. Environ 30 personnes ont été arrêtées.

Dunkerque est une autre ville portuaire Française, où les gens essaient d’aller en Angleterre. Nous avons filmé la police en train de détruire les maisons des migrants, sans être capables de les arrêter. Une des choses que nous avons pu faire, c’était de prendre une partie des vêtements, des couvertures, et d’autres affaires appartenant aux migrants, dans leurs maisons, avant que tout ne soit détruit. C’était horrible.

Arrestations à Calais

Dans la soirée du même jour, de retour à Calais, la police faisait le tour avec beaucoup de vans dans le centre ville. Il semblait que cette fois-ci ils essayaient d’arrêter des migrants qui étaient dans les parcs. Nous avons patrouillé dans la ville et nous avons assisté à 5 arrestations – nous ne savons pas combien d’arrestations en tout ont eu lieu.

Nous avons l’impression que les actions policières deviennent plus intensives. A Calais il y a vraiment très peu d’activistes à l’heure actuelle. Donc si vous pensez venir, vous êtes les bienvenus, et on a besoin de vous.

Infos et communiqué de presse

Et puis il y a d’autres infos d’aujourd’hui et un communiqué de presse concernant la destruction du camp à Dunkerque:

20 Afghans détenus à Coquelles ont été transférés à Paris hier. Le sous-préfet a dit à un membre de Salam qu’ils voulaient envoyer un charter.

COMMUNIQUE DE PRESSE

Avec une débauche de moyens ( bulldozer, grue, tracteurs, camions bennes ), un grand déploiement de personnels du PAD , sous la protection d’un détachement important de police, les autorités ont une fois de plus procédé, à grands frais, au démantèlement du campement des migrants sur la commune de Loon Plage. Là où huit jours plutôt, la municipalité, en plein accord avec le port, avait médiatisé l’installation de douches en faveur de ces mêmes migrants !

Présentes sur le terrain à la première heure, nos associations ont assisté, impuissantes, à l’arrestation d’une cinquantaine de migrants qui ont été menottés pour être ensuite conduits dans les locaux de la police de l’air et des frontières ( PAF ).

Les engins amenés sur place ont ensuite procédé à la sale besogne consistant à saccager les abris d’infortune et ce qu’ils contenaient à l’exception des quelques couvertures, vêtements, chaussures, ustensiles de cuisine, que nous avons pu sauver.

Nos associations sont scandalisées par cette opération qui, une fois de plus, comme à Sangatte, comme à Calais et ailleurs, ne règlera rien, mais continuera de véhiculer une triste image de notre « identité nationale », synonyme de répression aveugle, d’exclusion, d’atteinte répétée aux droits de l’homme.

Est-ce ainsi que M Besson participe activement, à l’entrée de l’hiver, à la semaine de la solidarité internationale ! Dunkerque le 17 novembre 2009.

Signataires : Salam, Mrap, Ldh, No border calais, Modem Loon Plage, Calais Migrants Solidarité, Emmaüs Dunkerque.

* 11 Novembre

De nouvelles arrestations et destructions

La jungle Pashtu a été attaquée une fois de plus la nuit dernière, avec en théorie 20 personnes arrêtées et plusieurs abris détruits. Personne de No Borders n’était là au moment où ça s’est passé.

The Pashto jungle was raided again last night, allegedly 20 arrests and several shelters destroyed. None of us was there at the time.

A la place, on s’est bien amusé avec les flics en dehors du squat Palestinien/Egyptien, ils y sont allés encore et encore: la PAF (police des frontières) pas les CRS, ils ne sont pas rentré, peut-être parce qu’on était là ? Ils se sont concentés de nous harceler et de tenter de nous intimider. Pas d’arrestation.

* 10 Novembre

Arrestations et destructions

Un nouveau campement près de l’ancienne jungle Soudanaise a été détruit ce matin.

Des abris dans la nouvelle jungle Pashtu sont détruits chaque jour. La police arrive généralement peu avant minuit ou dans les premières heures du matin, les gens courent, ceux qui sont attrapés sont arrêtés. Plusieurs se sont blessés en fuyant la police, un groupe de gens se sont coupés les mains sur du fil barbelé pour passer par-dessus une clôture. Les CRS poursuivent ensuite en détruisant les abris et les couvertures, en coupant les couvertures plastiques avec des couteaux. C’est pour ça que pendant la journée vous voyez tellement de migrants marcher avec des rouleaux de bâche sous leurs bras, il leur en faut de nouveaux. Le sous-préfet a dit à Mèdecins du Monde que la police détruira toute tente qu’ils placeront donc ils ont abandonné l’idée et ne font que donner des kits de survie — qui seront détruits de toute manière dès que la police mettra la main dessus. Un autre bel exemple de la ‘dignité’ et de ‘l’humanité’ dont parle Besson.

Beaucoup de gens y compris des garçons mineurs dorment dans la jungle dans de petits abris bien cachés. Les ponts, où il y a au moins un peu d’abri de la pluie, sont presque désertés à présent: très peu de gens dorment là-bas parce que le harcèlement de la police est trop, ils vont là-bas jusqu’à trois fois par nuit. Un autre point chaud pour les arrestations sont les parcs.

Les activistes de CMS ont été à la jungle et aux ponts et il semble que ceci est une petite dissuasion face aux attaques policières. Malheureusement nous n’arrivons pas à y aller tous les matins et tous les soirs. S’il-vous-plaît venez à Calais !

Un grand squat, où vivent Palestiniens et Egyptiens, près de 25 personnes, a aussi été attaqué. La police y est allée Dimanche soir, a arrêté une personne, les autres ont couru et se sont échappés. L’avantage de quelques bâtiments délâbrés est qu’ils ont beaucoup de sorties. Un petit groupe d’entre nous s’y est rendu cette nuit, qui étaient venus à Calais pour une réunion, nous avons tous couru là-bas pour aider et la police est partie. Ils ne sont pas revenus…pas encore.

Kits de survie de Mèdecins du Monde – Les activistes et les migrants exigent les droits et l’homme et un hébergement

– Aujourd’hui, MdM a lancé la distribution décrite dans la mise à jour du 2 novembre. Un item qui a été ajouté au kit est du plastique pour protéger les migrants de la pluie. Un migrant a remarqué que des abris de fortune comme ceux-là sont facilement détruits par la police. Les activistes ont décidé de tenir une exposition près de cette distribution, et aussi, de fournir des banderoles et des rouleaux de papier pour que les migrants puissent écrire ce qu’ils veulent. Nous avions une table avec des tracts à distribuer aux gens du coin. Une énorme banderole, disant ‘migrer c’est résister,’ a été placé sur l’église voisine, dont il se trouvait qu’elle avait des travaux au moment en question. La présence policière était nulle la première heure, mais ensuite plusieurs voitures de police ont patrouillé la zone. Aucune tentative ne fut faite d’arrêter qui que ce soit. Voici quelques images:

img_0287

img_0286

img_0281

Comme il a été dit encore et encore, l’idée est de surveiller la violence policière, et quand des preuves de destruction sont disponibles, de les poursuivre en justice et d’obtenir une compensation pour s’acheter la même chose et redistribuer. Bien sûr, cela est vrai autant pour les tentes que pour les sacs à dos et quoi que ce soit sur lequel vous mettez votre logo. Pourquoi la hiérarchie s’est couchée et a offert une distribution sans-tente? Mystère. J’imagine que c’est parce qu’ils ont peur, ou qu’ils ont envie de se plier aux autorités.

– Le campement Soudanais a été à nouveau détruit ce matin; la destruction/l’incendie criminel que le twitter a mentionné a été confirmé(e). Nous savons que les CRS ont attaqué la nouvelle jungle Pashtu plusieurs nuits d’affilée. Hier soir, un activiste patrouillait la zone en vélo, et un van de CRS a poursuivi son chemin, au lieu de faire une descente. Patrouiller sur des vélos suffit à décourager les arrestations. Si vous pouvez venir à Calais, s’il-vous-plaît, faites-le. Nous avons un local où vous pouvez dormir, prendre une douche, manger. Nous avons même l’internet maintenant. Quand nous sommes faibles en nombres, il n’y a pas grand chose qu’on peut faire.

– Un communiqué de presse est en préparation. Le blog sera mis à jour bientôt.

* 6 Novembre

Hier, en fin de journée, des activistes du Sud du Pays de Gales ont rendu visite au squat Ethiopien et ont aidé les gens à réparer une fenêtre; ils ont aussi distribué des bougies, des rasoirs et des vêtements. Et ensuite, ils ont aidé à construire une porte avec du bois et une bâche; le squatest devenu tellement bien que les CRS l’ont confondu avec un hôtel et ont passé leur chemin. Je déconne. Voici une image du résultat:

dsc05399

* 5 Novembre

CRS sortis en masse pour arrêter des Afghans la nuit dernière

Au moins quatre arrestations à la gare (des activistes de CMS y ont assisté) et 6 arrestations dans la ‘jungle’. (Pas la jungle Pashtu d’origine qui a été complètement rasée, mais des gens qui dorment tel quel dans les bois pas loin, près à s’enfuir, surtout les gens qui n’ont pas de papiers et qui ont peur d’être déportés. Des mineurs dorment là-bas aussi.)

La maison Ethiopie re-squattée

N’ayant nulle part où aller, les gens sont revenus au squat Ethiopien après être sortis du commissariat. CMS a donné des couvertures, un matelas, un tapis, de la nourriture. Salam a amené plus de couvertures. Etant donné la manière dont ils opèrent, nous croyons que les CRS reviendront bientôt pour essayer de fermer l’endroit. Résistance requise!

MAISON ETHIOPIE VIDEE

A environ 9h ce matin, 10 à 15 fourgons pleins de flics se sont rendus à la maison Ethiopie, ont arrêté tout le monde, détruit les couvertures et la propriété des gens, la routine. Les gens qui ont été arrêtés étaient environ 20, ceux qui avaient des papiers sont à présent relâchés les autres sont toujours absents.

Le Préfet, Mr Bousquet, a dit à la dernière réunion: “La police n’a pas le droit de détruire des couvertures et des vêtements”…. mais ça arrive quand même, la routine.

* 2 Novembre

Des activistes se sont rendus à la réunion de Mèdecins du Monde pour en savoir plus sur le statut du projet de distribution de tentes. L’idée était de les marquer avec un logo humanitaire qui rendrait la police attaquable pour destruction. Il a été initialement pensé que le projet était abandonné, mais l’information fut niée par un membre de MdM. Aujourd’hui nous en apprenons plus. MdM distribuera bien des trucs, mais pas la moindre tente. Pour une raison ou une autre, le conseil d’administration l’a refusé. Donc, ce que MdM distribuera, c’est: un sac à dos, et à l’intérieur: une couverture, un sac de couchage, un poncho, et un kit hygiénique. Tous les présents ont objecté que ceci est inutile contre la pluie, et le représentant de MdM est bien conscient de la faiblesse de ceci. Il tentera de continuer à mettre de la pression sur l’administration.

Néanmoins, le sentiment que j’ai eu de la réunion, généralement, c’était de la subordination, et de la peur de la mairie et de la sous-préfecture. Toutes les organisations semblaient dire que le nouvel emplacement de la distribution était génial, et qu’elles devaient fait extrêmement attention à ce qu’ils faisaient avec, ou autour. ‘L’accord est extrêmement strict. On ne peut que distribuer de la nourriture, rien d’autre.’ Si quelque chose d’autre est fait, la Mairie réprimera et fermera l’endroit. Je n’ai rien dit, mais je me disais, ‘Et alors ? On peut distribuer de la nourriture où on veut !’ Donc MdM devra distribuer autre part qu’aux distributions de nourriture.

La dernière partie de la réunion concernait les solutions d’hébergement pour les migrants. Rien de bien important ne fut proposé; pas à ma connaissance en tout cas; j’étais légèrement ennuyé à ce moment-là. C., un volontaire très énergique qui était encore avec nous il y a quelques jours, avait proposé de lancer une pétition pour suspendre le délit de solidarité, pour que n’importe qui puisse héberger des migrants pendant l’hiver. Nous travaillons à l’améliorer; elle pourrait être bientôt prête.

* 1er Novembre

Hier soir, un activiste a écrit sur les murs avec de la craie, quelques mots en Arabe, Pashtu, et Tigri, dans une tentative de permettre aux gens de communiquer un peu avec les migrants, et de montrer que tout le monde n’accepte pas la merde ambiante. Voici quelques photos:

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* 31 Octobre

Une amie nous rapporte ceci. Je la copie-colle:

Je viens de recevoir des infos de Belgique 120 activistes de l’Europe de l’ouest sont en train de bloquer 2 centres de rétention en ce moment en Belique. Ce sont les centres de rétention de Brugge et de Votten. Le blocage durera toute la journée.

Egalement, ces derniers jours, des activistes à Calais se sont occupés de coller des images en ville. Voici quelques unes d’entre elles:

Oui on en a mis une là aussi. C’était ma préférée. Elle a duré quelques jours. Le reste des images peut être trouvé là. Puis-je ajouter que la fontaine est toujours rouge, à l’heure où j’écris ceci ?

Pour en revenir à la situation des tentes, on s’est demandé qui exactement avait ordonné le vidage des ponts. Les flics nous ont dit que c’était un site privé, possédé par le Conseil Régional, mais après une petite enquête, nous avons découvert que personne ne voulait nous dire qui avait pris la décision. Le Conseil Régional nie l’avoir prise; cela signifie que les flics ont menti. A ces flics qui pourraient lire ceci et qui pourraient parler un peu d’anglais (A ∩ B=∅ probablement), je veux dire que ce n’est pas grave, on sait déjà que vous n’avez pas de valeurs, on s’attend à ce que vous nous mentiez. Continuez s’il-vous-plaît, cela pourrait être difficile de s’ajuster à une autre réalité.

Bref, Mèdecins du Monde avait cette idée de distribuer un tas de tentes, et de les marquer avec leur logo, d’en faire du matériel humanitaire. C’est un peu ce à quoi je pensais il y a quelques mois; prêter des trucs et les marquer comme nous appartenant, et quand les flics les jètent, essayer de les récupérer et se faire rembourser. Mais les activistes ont entendu dire que l’organisation avait abandonné, à cause, apparemment, de menaces par la préfecture que toutes ces tentes seraient détruites. Il semble que le préfet était assez énervé et que la hiérarchie de MdM s’est simplement couchée. [mise à jour de 19h: une conversation avec un membre de MdM révèle que le plan n’est pas entièrement abandonné; une discussion aura lieu bientôt et une décision sera prise.]

A propos c’est la seule autorité dont nous savons qu’elle a une part de responsabilité dans le vidage des ponts. A la réunion du 27, le préfet a dit que les tentes sous les ponts seraient parties. C’est presque comme si le préfet avait pris la décision tout seul. Qui est un grand garçon ?!

* 29 Octobre

Les ponts ‘nettoyés’

Il ne reste plus une seule tente sur la zone des ponts. Nous avons réussi à sauvegarder une petite partie des affaires, jusqu’à ce que la police intervienne pour demander qu’on quitte le site privé que représente le dessous des ponts. Il n’y a pas eu d’arrestation, et un migrant a réussi à partir avec des trucs, accompagné de deux Criminels en Uniforme qui apparemment avaient envie de se montrer magnanime ce jour-là.

Une policière s’est montrée particulièrement arrogante, considérant l’absence d’arrestations et le fait que le migrant ci-dessus put prendre les choses qu’on a mis de côté, et également, insultante, envers moi et un autre activiste. Ce ne serait pas la première fois selon lui.

* 26 Octobre

La police attaque les migrants à la distribution des repas

Salam a dit aujourd’hui:

“Aujourd’hui, la répression est plus forte que jamais et nous voyons même la police venir arrêter les migrants pendant le repas y compris dans la zone réservée à cet effet et organisée par la Région et la Mairie !”

Donc nous devons faire quelque chose de bien, pour les réfugiés quand ils veulent manger.

J’ai des idées.

Mais d’abord, il faut aller à l’endroit et arrêter la police! On sait comment fermer la porte !

Au moins 9 personnes qui étaient détenues à Coquelles ont reçu des arrêts de reconduite vers l’Afghanistan

Nous tentons d’organiser un soutien légal/des représentations ultérieures à la Cour Européenne des Droits de l’Homme avec le Gisti. Préparez vous aussi à agir s’il y a une autre tentative de déporter par charter ! Au moins deux mineurs détenus ont été déclarés majeurs après une visite à l’hôpital et des radios des mains pour évaluer leur âge – nous savons que ces évaluations ne sont pas sûres.

Fachos et skinheads

Ce soir une bande de jeunes fafs sont passés plusieurs fois à coté du pont sous lequel des afghans dorment (pas loin de l’ancien lieu de distribution de la Belle Etoile). Ils étaient à bord d’une voiture rouge super « tunnée ». Ils hurlaient des cris de singe et jetaient des pierres vers l’abris des migrants. Les afghans nous ont dit qu’ils passaient tous les jours. Peut-être plus ce soir du fait du week-end. Nous sommes restés une heure et notre présence semblait les empêcher de recommencer franchement. Il faudrait essayer de faire une permanence.

* 25 Octobre

pour chiara 2Vans de CRS vans aux ponts

Hier autour de 9h du soir, nous avons vu 4 vans de ramassage et des tas de flics aller aux ponts, ils ont arrêté 4 enfants, tout le monde s’est enfui ou s’est caché. J’étais tellement en colère que je voulais me faire arrêté aussi, ces garçons ont clairement moins de 18 ans, ils sont des réfugiés d’Afghanistan ou d’Iran, ils dorment sous des ponts et la police va les arrêter là-bas. Ces flics — et ceux qui les envoient — n’ont pas de honte ou de dignité. Nous avons essayé de suivre les vans de ramassage tandis qu’ils se dirigeaient vers la jungle mais nous les avons perdu parce que nos vélos sont trop lents.

Trois Afghans adultes ont aussi été arrêtés dans cette zone aux environs de 8h du soir, nous les avons rencontré le matin: ils venaient juste de sortir du commissariat après avoir été gardé là-bas toute la nuit.

Dans la zone du pont, nous avons aussi rencontré un jeune de treize ans qui dort là-bas, il était en compagnie d’un homme plus vieux, ils n’ont pas eu de problème cette nuit mais le jeune de treize ans a été arrêté avant alors qu’il dormait sous les ponts.

Ce matin nous avons aussi fait du vélo jusqu’à l’ancienne jungle Pashtun; nous avons rencontré 4 migrants d’Afghanistan qui dorment dans cette zone, ils disent qu’il n’y a pas eu d’arrestation la nuit dernière mais 20-25 arrestations la nuit précédente. Il n’y a plus de nouveaux camps dans cette zone, que je sache, ils ont tous été détruits par la police, mais les gens dorment à l’arrache partout, surtout les gens qui n’ont pas de papiers et qui se cachent, à moins d’être arrêtés et envoyés au centre de déportation; ceux qui dorment sous les ponts ont tous des papiers i.e. ils ont demandé l’asile en France, ou ils sont des mineurs et ils ne peuvent pas être déportés; la police les arrête très souvent et puis les relâche. Un nouveau camp près de la jungle Iranienne (où se trouvait le camp No Borders) a été détruit l’autre jour. Nous sommes allés après la jungle Hazaras, la situation est similaire.

pour chiara 4

Mineurs Afghans arrêtés, dans un van de CRS

A new camp destroyed

Un nouveau campement détruit

Après deux jours très occupés avec beaucoup de gens qui vont et viennent nous sommes à nouveau petits en nombre; s’il-vous-plaît continuez à venir, mais appelez notre téléphone de communication d’abord, 0634810710 et dites-nous si vous venez, et pour combien de temps si possible, sinon les choses deviennent compliquées et nous avons vraiment besoin de nous concentrer sur le travail que nous faisons. Les gens sont toujours les bienvenus, pour peu de temps ou pour longtemps, mais peut-être qu’on a besoin d’améliorer la communication. -Chiara

* 24 Octobre

7 arrestations hier aux ponts. Tous les hommes qui ont été arrêtés avaient des papiers, càd avaient demandé l’asile en France. Ceux qui n’avaient pas de papiers se cachent dans des endroits moins évidents. Mais la police va là-bas, fouille les gens, contrôle les papiers et ensuite dit que quelque chose ne va pas et qu’ils doivent amener les gens au commissariat pour plus de contrôles. Bien sûr tous ces hommes ont été amené au commissariat encore et encore. Quand ils en ont arrêté 7 ils ont dit “ça suffit” et ils sont repartis. 6 furent pris du pont près de la mairie, où des Afghans vivent, et un du pont à l’opposé, des Iraniens et des Afghans. Ceci est ‘normal’ à Calais. Seules les arrestations ont augmenté énormément après le début de la destruction des campements. D’habitude ces hommes sont relâchés après quelques heures, et doivent faire tout le retour à pied parce que la nuit il n’y a pas de bus. Il y avait 3 vans de CRS à un pont et un autre au pont opposé, près de 15 à 20 flics ont pris part à cette opération. Quelle intelligente utilisation de l’argent public.

* 23 Octobre

Hier, les CRS étaient sortis en masse. Près de 15 personnes ont été arrêtés au parc, tout ça sous les yeux des activistes de No Borders, qui se sentaient un peu inutile parce qu’il n’y avait rien qu’ils pouvaient faire pour arrêter tout ça. Un activiste était en vélo et a gueulé ‘Esclavage!Tyrannie!’ aux flics, l’un d’eux l’a invité à ‘lui dire ça en face’. N’étant pas complètement stupide, l’activiste a décidé de ne pas se trouver à portée d’un CEU avec une matraque, et a fui la scène. Malheureusement, l’incident n’a pas empêché la moindre arrestation. Autre part aux ponts, 5 Iraniens ont été arrêtés par les CRS aux environs de 10h du soir, et ils ont passé la nuit au commissariat.

P1030142Contrôle avant une arrestation/ l’exposition la Terre vue du ciel

Egalement, ce matin, le pont en face de l’ancien endroit de la distribution de midi de la Belle Etoile a été vidé. Des activistes faisaient du vélo dans la zone, et ont vu 3 vans de CRS se diriger dans la direction opposée, de l’autre côté de la rivière. Il y avait des employés municipaux avec des costumes blancs et des masques; ceci indique une nouvelle destruction d’affaires personnelles. Un activiste a déjà entendu dire, quand il attendait chez les Eritréens quand leur squat était encore debout, que c’était dangereux de rester là. ‘Vous pourriez attraper la lèpre’, on lui a dit. C’est à ce point là qu’ils sont racistes. Un autre camp a été détruit ce matin, près du camp Iranien.

Tout ceci au moment de l’arrivée des parlementaires Européens aujourd’hui. Ceci est une sorte de visite spontanée par des membres de divers Partis Verts d’Europe. Le programme était globalement: rencontrer les associations, rencontrer les migrants, voir la sécurité du port, et tenir une conférence de presse. Les activistes avaient pensé présenter un dossier qui compilerait l’histoire de la répression à Calais, malheureusement il n’y avait pas assez de temps. Nous pensons l’envoyer plus tard. J’avais personnellement des réservations sur le fait de parler à des gens qui font partis du même système de contrôle du mouvement dont nous nions la légitimité. C’était certainement déprimant pour moi d’entendre quelqu’un dire ‘Même ceux qui peuvent!'[n’obtiennent pas l’asile] Je suis sûr que, pour cette personne, ceux qui ne sont pas sensés l’obtenir, devrait quand même bénéficier de la gentillesse de l’Europe. C’est la différence entre No Borders et les parlementaires Européens sympathisants. On a tous une revendication prédominante à la liberté de circulation.

* 22nd October

Full house! Finally, after a long time of having very few people on the ground, lots of people showed up, mainly from France. All very enthusiastic and energetic, lots of good work done. Please keep coming! (and call the communication phone beforehand).

* 21st October

A charter from UK carrying 25 Afghans stopped at Roissy and picked up three more Afghans detained France. They were all deported o Kabul. One of those from France was arrested in the jungle in Calais, one in Paris and one in Ventimiglia, close to the border with Italy. A fourth Afghan arrested in Calais hit his head on purpose and was taken off the flight. He was later released.

* 20st October

There was a large demonstration aganist the charter flight in front of Lille airport, over 300 people attended. Later we marched form the airport to the detention centre. The detanees responded shouting ‘freedom’, ‘no borders’ and ‘we love you’.

21:08 No charter from Lille this evening. Cancelled! But there may or may not be a flight from Paris tomorrow morning (21st)

There’s a joint charter flight from UK and France today, leaving Lille airport at 22:00. There’s a demonstration at 20:00 at the airport in Lille. Around 50 Afghans detained in various detention centres in France are expected to be on the flight. The only details on the UK part for now is that the flight is leaving from there.

*18th October

~Activists hear about an unusually important wild duck migration from Calais; it would be a sign of an extremely harsh winter coming. In other words: borders urgently needed to be abolished.

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At midnight last night we distributed some building materials and blankets with some of the Pashtun. 830AM we had to watch as the CRS arrested these same people where they slept in their continual attempts to clear the bridges. We followed 2 vans of CRS and their 'snatch van' to the old Pashtun jungle where they arrested 10 more people. With the cold weather and the police constantly chasing migrants, we cannot provide help fast enough. All over Calais there are the burnt our broken remains of camps, and many people are now too afraid to come to the food distribution for fear of arrest. some are even too afriad to talk to us when we try to work with them. If you can donate materials please contact us!

17th October

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In the evening the bridges were attacked by CRS again, people at the bridge next to where the Eritrean squat used to be threatened to jump into the water and the police left, but they arrested some Afghans on the side. Apart from desperate reactions such as threatening to jump into the water nobody has tried to defend the people sleeping out, or the new shelters and camps. We went around together with some Salam volunteers and others to try give some blankets and tents and saw so many new camps destroyed and burned down near the ex Pashto jungle. Search and destroy. Hundreds of people are sleeping out in these conditions, many are under 18, many are severely traumatised, one 16 years old Afghan boy broke his foot the other day trying to run from the police, a young Afghan limps because of sharpenel wounds, all his family have been killed or have gone missing, his wife and child are missing and he is sleeping out with no blanket but does not want a blanket because he thinks if he gets one the police will attack him more easily, he has been arrested and released so many times since the destruction of the Pashto jungle. There are very few of us on the ground at the moment, we do as much as we can, we keep sending appeals for more people to come so we can do more political work but we have been low in numbers for the past two weeks. Yet this is a crucial time, more than the spectacular destruction of the Pashto jungle that attracted so many activists and the media. Will the police succeed in making of Calais a ‘migrant free zone’, or will the migrants manage to resist somehow? They are amazingly reslient – and they have no choice no matter, but what support do they get apart from the over stretched Calais charities and a small handful of CMS activists? Where are the big NGOs, the human rights organizations, community organizations, churches, trade unions etc? Where is the interest around the humanitarian situation? When is a political response going to be?

Apart from the enormous frustration at the lack of support and political action, it is great to be here, we are making such good friends with the people who are sleeping out and they are wonderful; and with whomever else is out there to help. But things are so bad and people are shivering in the cold and rain, they get sick and somebody eventually will die if nothing is done.

Many migrants go to Paris and other places to escape police repression, they find themselves in similar situations, sleeping out, being harassed by police etc, only the showers in Paris seem to be better; eventually they return to Calais also because it is the shortest way to England.

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* 16th October

~Evening update: After hearing of the morning actions, activists on the way back to the office decided to cycle by the fountain and take some pictures of it. More information about why all this makes sense, below, after the afternoon update.

img_3357It is difficult to make out the color, but I assure you that it is still red, and this was taken around 7pm. Looks like Townhall either didn’t notice, or doesn’t know how to handle it. Good job.

~Afternoon update: This afternoon at 4pm, a ‘Council of Migrants’ was held at townhall, featuring discussions between the mayor and the various humanitarian organizations. Activists had first planned to hold an actual council of migrants outside of townhall, at the very same time. But the repression is so harsh that hardly anyone was ready to face the police. And police they would have faced, for guarding the entrance there were some 4 municipal police officers, and parked on the side were two national police cars, filled with other cops. The few activists that were there contented themselves with printing a leaflet and handing them out to the visitors. This is what it said:

TO THE COUNCIL AGAINST MIGRANTS

Today at 16h in front of townhall there will be a pacific demonstration against the Council of Migrants, a fraud which hides the negociation of various charity associations with the mayor of Calais, Natacha Bouchart, who stated last summer she would make all migrants of Calais disappear. No migrant will be at that council, it is therefore surprising that it would have such a name. Nevertheless, for the benefit of the persons present at that fraud, and in the event that they would not be completely impervious to the human beings whose liberty and living conditions are decided by others, we saw it fit to present the mayor’s position to a few actual migrants.

Zabi, who comes from Afghanistan, and who doesn’t know Ms Bouchart, answers thusly to this un-verified prediction of the mayor: “We do not want to stay in Calais. We want to go to England. Let us pass.” After having translated this in this man’s native language, it seems everyone agrees around us. Also, Sayeed, who comes from Iran, states: “We want to find shelter to be safe.” Zabi insisted to add: “I want to go to England to make a claim. Maybe they deport us, maybe they don’t. It’s about England. Not France. To have papers in Italy or Greece doesn’t mean anything. They don’t help us with work, or house. That just means you can sleep in the streets.”

Yesterday, the CRS have intervened to clear the bridges area of all its inhabitants; including their tents. This morning, a new fence has been erected to stop migrants from returning. In France, a migrant cannot sleep under a bridge, even in the rain and the cold. This is inhuman, immoral, and criminal. Sadly, all this evil repression against migrants does not stop some from negotiating with the Calais townhall, in the self-deluding hope that this whole system can be fixed by talking with the culprits.

THERE IS ONLY ONE WAY: FREEDOM OF MOVEMENT

Although this text is quite nice, our numbers were very low and activists did not stay long after 4pm, not feeling numerous enough to chant or deploy a banner, and thinking they could be more useful doing other things elsewhere. The results of the negociations will probably be publicized by the associations themselves, soon. These associations include Salam, Belle Etoile, and I even saw people from France Terre d’Asile and the UNHCR.-Matt

~Calais Migrant Solidarity this morning has received three reports by email of direct actions made in and around Calais in solidarity with the 100s of migrants in the area at the receiving end of constant police harassment and violence.

#1 “Several banners were last night hung from bridges over the A16 Dunkerque-Calais and the A26 Calais-Paris road reading ‘Solidarite avec les migrants’. We took these actions to draw attention to the less publicised conditions of migrants in Dunkerque and along the northern French coast who are forced to live in make shift shelters as they wait a chance to cross the channel to the UK. Many of these people are fleeing persecution and war that the EU is enagaged in. We believe these people have a right to move freely to safety and should be treated with respect not the constant police violence that has been evident these last years, months and particularly last weeks in Calais where migrants have been temporarily detained while their shelters are destroyed, only to be dumped back on the streets again. These state and police actions are inhuman, counter-productive and we believe illegal. No person is illegal – No borders are necessary – Freedom of movement for all”

#2 “The fountain opposite the town hall in Calais was this morning filled with harmless red die to symbolise the blood on the hands of French Immigration minister Eric Besson and UK Home Secretary Alan Johnson. Besson is the worst kind of politician, flitting from left to right, by his wife’s recent allegations a constant liar and cheat, seeking to advance his own position by standing by as ‘jungles’ in Calais are razed, calling them ‘inhuman conditions’, conditions his policies have created – making people seeking safety and help malnourished, unable to access basic medical care and despite his claims not given the possibility of making asylum claims with due process. Among these people by the police’s own reckoning about half are children, many seeking refuge from the wars we have created. We owe these people dignity, not the ‘delight’ expressed by Johnson as their basic shelters are destroyed and they are displaced yet again. The UK should take responsibility for the human fallout from its illegal wars and let these people into the UK. Calais is the shame of France, the UK and all of Europe. Governments have failed here, only solidarity between people on a human level can make any sense of this brutal daily trauma. No Borders! No Nations! Freedom of movement for all!”

#3 ” In solidarity with the migrants of Calais we would like to report that at around 3.30am this morning the Coquelles police/detention/law court complex south of Calais had it’s main vehicle gate and both pedestrian access gates locked shut with heavy duty chains and padlocks. This was an attempt, however brief it may have lasted, to disrupt the daily dawn mobilisation of CRS police units to terrorise migrants ‘jungles’ and squats with their gas and batons. Enough violence! Enough fascism on the streets of Europe! Fuck Besson! No Borders! No Nations!”

~If you have seen this Al Jazeera video, then you will know what this place is:

img_4575Again, sorry for the very poor quality. This is the bridges area that was cleared yesterday. They’re building a fence around it. That’s right. In France, sleeping under a bridge, in the rain and cold, is actually forbidden. I wonder what else they’ll fence up. Notice that all this is futile because all the migrants need to get back there is exactly what the above moron is using: a ladder, which we’d be happy to provide. This reminds me of a certain Ethiopian squat that was walled in; said wall only made police raids more difficult, because the migrants simply used their brains and fetched the kind of instrument I just mentioned. Townhall keeps demonstrating newer depths of stupidity and immorality.-Matt

* 15th October

It is beautiful and sunny but bitterly cold in calais; the CRS continue to escalate their campaign against the sans papiers…

Yesterday whilst we were in court in bolougne supporting those on trial for ‘rebellion’ (spontaneous demonstration during the camp) they came to the new sudanese area in the woods and cleared it; serving papers to many threatening them with deportation today back to Italy; several are applying for asylum in france we are helping them.

This morning 6am they raided the Ethiopian house (where now eritreans,

sudanese and ethiopians live) they arrested 5 eritreans. They smashed up

stuff inside the warehouse and said they will return tommorrow.

Then they went to another area on the island where people from the docks

have been sleeping under an old covered bridge near the fort… They put

locks on the bridge and removed them.

At 1100; with the the bulldozers continuing to demolish the eritrean

house in the background, they came to the bridges area and they cleared

the shelters of the kurds and pashtun who have been living there. They

came with council vans, destroyed their structures and piled the blankets

into a maintenance truck. They sprayed all the are with chemicals and

arrested 1 person. People tried to gather what they could but everything

was covered in chemicals.

Please if you are coming bring blankets and tents and sleeping bags…

as the CRS continue to clear ares everyone is preferring to stay mobile;

not trusting any place for too long, so sleeping stuff is really essential.

*13th of October

The number of activists in Calais is quite low at the moment, and it is therefore difficult to keep track of the arrests, let alone to be there when it happens. After the docks were evicted, after migrants were arrested and then released again, after their belongings were taken and destroyed, you would think that they would have enough of Calais and give up. Well, no. They’re still here, and they still look to get to England some day. They have simply regrouped in other places which I will not detail in order to assure them some safety from police raids. Yesterday, one migrant told me of such a raid in the new Sudanese jungle, and once again the procedure is recognizable: police officers not arresting anyone, but counting how many people there are, probably with a future destruction in mind. This morning, as I was checking to see if anything was going on yet on the platforms of the ex-docks [nothing was], I saw a police car head to what I’ll call the ‘other’ docks. Again, 4 police officers surrounded it, and went in, and then got out and drove away. Counting again how many people there were inside, I’m guessing. Speaking of the docks, I did see a security guard with a dog, two days ago. Here he is:img_4569

If you can’t believe what your eyes are seeing, maybe I can describe it with words. The docks are completely fenced up. No one can enter. But this guy is patrolling the place with a dog. There’s nothing; you cannot enter. But still, you never know. Some migrant might sneakily hide under a plastic bag. Sneaky migrants.

On a more serious note, we are thinking of actions to carry out, but as I said, our numbers are so low that it would be difficult to put them into place. You have no idea how difficult it is to mount projects and get them running when you also have to do patrols and help people out with basic necessities. We are barely keeping up here. Speaking of necessities, a lot of people are asking for blankets, so if you’re unsure what to do from where you are, this seems like an important task, especially given that the temperature is likely to fall down to a considerable extent. -Matt

*10th of October

2 demonstrations are taking place in Lille and Paris; one against police repression and another for the regularization of all undocumented people. Some activists have decided to join the Lille demo this afternoon. The French newspaper, Nord Littoral, mentions the end of free showers for migrants. During the summer, the state authorities had taken over the showers first installed by the associations to deal with the scabies epidemic. As our readers know, taking a shower is not enough to treat scabies, and so it is quite a farce to now read state authorities say that the epidemic has been treated and there’s no point in maintaining the showers anymore. The showers were never enough in the first place, and more epidemics and diseases will spread if a minimum level of hygiene is not provided. The state does not want to provide it. Also, here’s more French folly, in the same vein as requesting permission for holding a demonstration: Secours Catholique has required permission from right-wing Townhall to build showers on the premises that it already owns, on Saint-Omer’s Route. You need permission by racists to build stuff in your own house. This is what one person in the prefecture had to say about it: “The State is in its role of mediation between local actors. The negotiations [between Secours Catholique and Townhall] are underway. It’s difficult. They must be brought to a conclusion as quickly as possible. We try to make the debate advance between the local partners.” Well how about Townhall minds its own business, instead of stopping Secours Catholique from working to provide the basic necessities of life to innocent people ? How about that ? Wouldn’t that make more sense ? I don’t know.-Matt

*9th of October

This morning, one activist decided to return to the Docks and see what has become of it. We have heard that the entrance was monitored by a security guard with a dog. I checked it out and didn’t see any such thing. As the twitter indicated, all the openings have been closed with fences; there is one gate on the southern side of the docks, and it is guarded by a private security van, which lets vehicles pass as they come. Here are two pictures:

img_4555Although this picture sucks ass, you can see that even the platform has been fenced

I took this picture from the southern side, the van guys didn’t want me inside and didn’t want to be photographed, but they’re just next to me, on my right.

img_4556A second picture, from the northern side this time

Everyone who has been there will recognize the tags, and everyone will see there is absolutely nothing going on on those platforms. The ‘owner’ of this place doesn’t have any use for those platforms. He doesn’t have any legitimate title to it, except the one given to him by the state, via a piece of paper with his name on it; that is, artificially. Without the state enforcing this fake property, and putting those platforms out of use, our migrant friends would still have this shelter, because, without the state taking on the task in the place of the ‘owner’, the eviction is just not worth the effort when the same ‘owner’ doesn’t even need the fucking platforms for anything. This guy simply didn’t like it that brown people were there. It’s the whole reason of the eviction: racism. And I’m not even mentioning the large blue container with all the personal stuff that belonged to migrants, I’m not even talking about the illegitimate control by the state of people’s whereabouts. This whole thing is completely sick.-Matt

*8th of October

Yesterday’s press release, please spread around:

PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE USE

This morning at 8.15am at the Paul Devot Dock more than 15 CRS vans surrounded the squats of the various communities that found solace there. Some 50 police then arrested over 30 migrants who were unable to leave as the police had blockaded the front exit with their vans and a new fence had been placed in the back exit the night previously which left them caged in from all sides. A No Borders activist was there at the time also and attempted to videotape the arrests but she was evicted from the premises. The Chamber of Commerce then had two large blue containers deposited for the migrants’ belongings and then with the use of tractors the destruction of the sleeping bags, mattresses, clothes and homes of the migrants could begin.

For years, this place has served as a shelter for these communities and activists have visited on a nightly basis to monitor the activities of the police due to reports of beatings and the use of CS gas on the members of the communities there. Although the people there were on private property – a property open to everyone, which didn’t seem to disturb anyone – it is difficult to see how that justifies the destruction of their private belongings. For the time being, we have no idea where the arrested migrants are ; we hope they will be released shortly, they will in any case be released at some point, and then their battle to find a place to sleep will occur once more, in the rain, the wind and the cold.

After having refused to give these people the freedom of movement which most European citizens enjoy, after having placed them in this artificial and useless destitution, the state has found it useful to worsen the poverty with this new destruction, in the sick hope that it would push them to abandon that which they have an inalienable right to.

The state has destroyed much but the migrants are still there, and so are we.

SOLIDARITE AVEC LES SANS PAPIERS.

—-

*7th of October

The Docks camps are being evicted this morning. Everybody who has no papers is being arrested.

Camp at the Docks dismantled around 10:15 French time. Docks are fenced off around 11.20 French time.

55 people were arrested this morning.

UKPA article on cancellation charter flight yesterday:

“Plans for the first joint British and French flight taking immigrants back to Afghanistan have fallen apart after Paris withdrew its co-operation at the last minute in the face of protests from refugee groups.

A charter flight leaving the UK on Tuesday night carrying a group of deported Afghans to Kabul was due to stop off in Lille, where Afghans detained by France, some detained during raids on the Calais “Jungle” camp, would have joined the flight.

The Home Office refused to comment but sources confirmed the British side of the deportation would go ahead as planned with around 25 Afghans originally held in Britain returned.

France’s last minute withdrawal followed vociferous protests by a coalition of refugee groups.”

Read more: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ukpress/article/ALeqM5gJQRrBaqam-5RkQ8PTdU6t-62Q-Q

* 6th of October

No charter flight today!

Apparently due to “Diplomatic difficulties” (Besson), there’s no charter flight today. They probably will try again later…

* 6th of October

1) The Hunger strike is over. The police managed to intervene and chased/scatter people away.

2) This morning 10 Afghans were arrested under the bridge next to the place used by Belle Etoile food distribution. One other was arrested at the other bridge, the other Afghans escaped. This guy was also beaten up by the police just because he tried to run away while he was ordered to stop.

5th of October

FRANCO-BRITISH “CHARTER” TO KABUL.

(translation of French communique)

A Franco-britannique deportation “charter” is scheduled for October 6 flying to Kabul. While the humanitarian situation and security continue to deteriorate in Afghanistan, that there has more civilian casualties than ever, and NGOs such as the Secretary General of UN expressed particular concern about the situation, France and Great Britain are trying, as they did in November 2008 with a joint operation. Afghanistan is a country at war. It is unacceptable to refer those that have fled to seek protection in Europe.

In France the Minister of immigration is mocking the decision of different courts to release 130 OF the 138 Afghans who had been arrested on September 22, for their removal, with the spectacular closure of the the largest “jungle” in Calais

These courts have highlighted the inanity of this media operation recalling the respect of the people rights and fundamental freedoms Several courts have cancelled the papers obliging the migrants to leave the French territory (APRF) with the motivation of the non respect of the right to claim asylum . the government has not remedied this.

The government remains locked in his rhetoric about the magnetic effect of the jungle, according to which Afghans, Eritreans, Iraqis, Iranians, Sudanese, etc.. don’t come to Europe to save their lives and their freedoms, but for reasons of pleasure and comfort. According to this rhetoric, the current raids are supposed to carry disincentive messages in the countries of origin. So it like this that the Afghans of Calais are being taken hostage to try to terrorize their fellow victims of violence in the country.

These “cleaning operation” are continuingas well as the placement of Afghans in detention .

The joint charters which are contrary to the principle of collective deportation . They are leading to arbtitrary discriminatory and inhuman practices , in defiance of peoples fundamental rights

We call upon the French and the Britsh authorities to waive any project of deportation to Afghanistan which would seriously endanger the lives of the Exiles

We reaffirm the urgency of making sense of asylum in Europe by providing a mechanism for all refugees to seek protection in the country of his/her choice. In the meantime, that France can and must suspend the application of the Dublin Regulation so it may host on its territory those who continue to flee conflict and take refuge in Europe.

PRESS CONTACTS:

Cimade Julie Chansel 06 82 24 03 47 julie.chansel @ lacimade.orgHYPERLINK “mailto: @ julie.chansel lacimade.org” julie.chansel @ lacimade.org

Organisations who signed this statement:

Organisations who signed this statement; ACAT France (Action des chretiens con tre la torture), ADDE (Advocats pour la defense des droitsdes etrangers), ANAFE (Association nationale d’assistance aux frontiers pour les etrangers), APSR (Association d’Accueil aux medecins et Personelles de Sante Refugies en France), Association Primo Levi, Auberge de migrants (Calais), CAAR (Comite d’aide aux refugies-Bois-Colombes), Calais Migrant Solidarity, C’SUR (Calais), Cimade, Collectif Migrants (Dunkerque), Collectif Solidarite Migrants (Angres), Collectif de soutien de exiles (Paris), COMEDE (comite medical d’aide aux exiles), ELENA (European Legal Network on Asylum), Emmaus-France, Federation de l’Entraide Protestante, Flandre Terre Solidaire, GAS (Groupe Accueil et Solidarite), GISTI (Groupe d’information et soutien des immigres), Itinerance (Cherbourg), LDH (Lige des droits del’homme), MRAP (Moovement contre la racisme et pour l’amite entre les peuples), PCF (Parti Communiste Francais), RESF (Reseau Education sans frontiers), SAF (Syndicat des advocats France), SALAM (Calais), SALAM (Dunkerque), Secours Catholique, Syndicat de la Magistrature (SM), Terre d’errance (Norrent-Fontes), Terre de’Errance (Steenvoorde), Touts du Monde (Orleans).

Updates:

* Following the announcement of the Franco-British charter with Afghans

The charter from the Lille-Lesquin airport,will be at around 23:30. The flight will deport people rounded up in the jungle of Calais. It leaves at 23:30. People are expected to be transferred from Mesnil-Amelot detention centre and perhaps from Coquelles.

* Friday 2nd October

Only one day after the anti-asbestos operation, the destruction of the Eritrean house is underway.

dscf0430This picture was taken 20 minutes ago. The twitter update was a little confused as the destruction is not over yet. Yesterday night, one activist recounted a previous experience of an anti-asbestos operation on her school, and she insisted it would take at least 15 days, even after the operation itself is over. There is an idea that you need to let the building ‘rest’ before you can enter again. Hence the weirdness of such a speedy destruction. The same activist conjectured that Besson’s presence this morning might have pushed the authorities to act precipitously.

* Thursday 1 October

No Borders demonstrates against the eviction of the Eritrean house.

eviction eritrean house

* Wednesday 30 September

Eritrean Squat evicted.

This morning around 7:30 seven CRS vans turned up at the Eritrean squat. They arrested 15 people, but 30 or 35 managed to escape, or they had papers. After the CRS emptied the building they put a big fence all around the building. Police and workers are there to keep an eye on the place.

Hunger Strike starts today at 12

In response to the brutal destruction of the ‘jungle’ migrant camp in Calais by French authorities, around 30 people demonstrated yesterday near the French Embassy in Knightsbridge, London.

* Tuesday 29th September

As of 9am French time today 11 migrants in Calais started a highly visible hunger strike in the port area.

The migrants, from regions including Iran, Afghanistan, Sudan, Palestine, and Egypt, say they will continue the strike until Western countries co-operate to offer them asylum. They are also demanding that no migrant in Calais is readmitted to Greece, Italy or Malta.

The migrants face constant harassment from police. Every day some amongst their number are arrested, taken to the police station only to be released in four to six hours. Occasionally they are held for as long as two days. Repression intensified recently with the destruction of the jungle where many migrants lived, the trigger-happy use of tear gas including on pregnant women, destruction of personal belongings and the targeting of migrants observing fasting during Ramadan by arresting them at nightfall and throwing away their food. If the police try to separate the hunger strikers or arrest them on spurious grounds, they say they will continue the hunger strike while under arrest and move again to a public space to continue the action when freed.

No Borders activists are already supporting the hunger strikers by standing alongside them, but the migrants are calling for support from all over the world. Messages of support can be left at  http://calaishungerstrike.wordpress.com and the hunger strikers welcome anyone who wants to join the hunger strike in solidarity whether in Calais or elsewhere.

Benjamin, 38, an asylum seeker from Iran, says: “The police tell us we cannot be here but we have nowhere to go. The world is ignoring us so we are making our suffering public by going on hunger strike in full view. Tourists moving through the port and exercising their freedom of movement will be forced to see our lack of freedom until Western governments work together to offer us somewhere to build a new life safely.”

With migrants facing increasing repression and winter approaching, the situation is urgent. But they say Western countries should not abrogate their responsibilities by readmitting migrants to the first European country they were fingerprinted in. Many migrants who are readmitted to Italy, Greece and Malta say the situation is much worse there than living clandestinely in Calais and that they are oppressed there. In Greece, readmitted migrants are often locked up for three months and increasingly for six months. On release, migrants still have nowhere to go and continue to be targeted by police who beat them and sometimes rip up their papers. Readmission is not the solution according to the hunger strikers – countries including the UK, Canada, USA and Sweden should take a proportion of the hunger strikers.

For further information, or to arrange an interview with one of the hunger strikers, call 0033634810710.

*Monday 26 September

Callout for support in Calais for migrants on hunger strike

Following a demonstration yesterday by No Borders activists, including migrants from places such as Iran, Sudan and Afghanistan, a hunger strike is being planned in protest about the situation here in Calais.

A growing number of people from different migrant communities are coming together to plan political actions. This hunger strike will begin tomorrow and the people involved have asked us to support them.

Numbers of activists in Calais have grown as news of the Pashtun Jungle destruction has spread, however numbers are now shrinking again and more people are needed to replace those who have to return to commitments elsewhere. The migrants are still here. Destroying their homes will not change that as most have nowhere else to go.

We have established good relationships with many of the migrant communities in Calais and now is a good time to get involved and show solidarity. No special skills are required, but those with medical, legal or media skills will of course be extra useful.

Those not able to come to Calais at this time can offer support by being media contacts and writing press releases, or by donating money or equipment. Contact us to find out the current wish-list, or to offer support or tell us you are coming.

calaisolidarity@gmail.com

Communications number (French mobile): (+33)634810710

Calais Migrant Solidarity Wish-list

People!

Bikes, bike tools, locks, chain, inner tubes,

Laptop,

Tools – especially a saw

Mugs,

Cooking knives,

Shoes – mens, size 40-46 especially

Memory stick for computer,

Camera, video camera

*Friday 25 September

This afternoon, twenty No Borders activists protested at the sous-prefecture in Calais, demanding an immediate end to the persecution of migrants and calling for freedom of movement for all. The activists unfurled a banner proclaiming « Human Rights have no borders », alongside others made by migrants in response to their eviction on Tuesday. One banner read, « The jungle is our house, please don’t destroy it. If you do, so then where is the place to go ? » The clearances which began on Tuesday were due to end today. However, Besson has now admitted that the operation is likely to continue for weeks. One activist commented « since the destruction of squats and jungles doesn’t offer a viable solution, the harsh repression of migrants has no end in sight » A fellow activist added, « Instead of attacking migrants, Western governments need to address the problems of war and economic inequality which force people into exile ». French news video, basically saying the No Borders militants were demonstrating against the continued police persecution of migrants in Calais.

*Thursday 24 September

see Twitter on right for updates

*Wednesday 23 September

Brighton city centre
Brighton city centre, Wednesday 23 September

14.40: People who made asylum claim in France have been released, but with nothing, even their green cards taken and shoelaces. 30-35 migrants from jungle taken to Toulouse

14.22: Activists have been doing medic work with migrants today. Everyone afraid. Activist still held in Coquelles detention center/police station. CRS clamping down on us. 100 Pashtun from Calais in Lille detention center. 50 Afghans arrested in Dunkerque. 4 Afghans arrested in Grand Sant. CRS told Palestinians by dock that they will be cleared tomorrow morning.

08.46: 1 No Borders activist arrested last night for driving with 3 Iranians in a car. Still in custody. Will send more info, only sketchy details from the police so far.

08.25: 19 people left dockside, the ‘Palestinian’ squat in the centre of Calais – everyone else has fled. We have been finding alternative acommodation for people… new arrivals all the time. Looked after three 13 year old Afghans yesterday left with nothing – they are safe now. The Pashtun ‘jungle’ is just a pile of rubbish and dirt now.

08.02: 11 arrests this morning, 2 Vietnamese and 9 Eritreans. Last night many Eritreans fled from their house (squat). The CRS just came, they cleared the area but several people managed to get away.

*Tuesday 22nd September

Joint Declaration. Destroying the jungles: a false solution – announcement from Associations

11.48: Sub Prefect of Police in Calais Debousquey announces that 278 Pashtun arrested, 146 over 18 years old, 132 under 18 years old. Not being held in police station or Coquelles detention centre, not sure where.

In his statement to the press outside the cleared Pashto ‘jungle’ Debousquey states that “…we couldn’t accept this jungle which is a scandal in terms of rights and sanitation, in terms of delinquency of whom the first victims were the migrants who camped here”. Yet the police and Calais authorities:

> refused showers to be set up by Secours Catholiques in July

> maneuvered legally to frustrate Medecins du Monde and Medecins sans Frontieres’ plans to attempt to deal with the scabies outbreak among migrants in Calais

> reneged on their legal responsibilities to house and support under 18s, by Debousquey’s own reckoning about half of those arrested this morning

> regularly harassed migrants on their way to the afternoon PASS medical clinic, often picking up migrants and dropping them off 3km out of Calais

> and many indiscriminate violent and illegal actions against migrants, individually and collectively, such as spraying the one water hydrant at the Pashto jungle with tear gas to make it unusable

> FRENCH LAW makes it illegal to support anyone without papers – an activists was arrested earlier in the summer for lending her mobile phone to a migrant. We have obviously flouted this ridiculous law in our work with migrants

Hear Debousquey’s statement here

11.10: Besson (French immigration minister) announced all the jungles to be cleared by Friday, all the extra CRS staying in Calais until then.

08.15: Prefect of Calais just went into the Pashtun ‘jungle’ which is now totally cleared of people. Activists unable to see what destruction of dwellings is happening. The Prefect said there will be more destructions later today. Activists were kettled in by police outside Pashtun ‘jungle’, now released. CRS running around snatching people. Media circus left now, preparing for Besson press conference at Town Hall at 10.30 (9.30 BST)

banner3

07.19: 300-400 CRS (French riot police) broke ring we made around Pashtun used knife to cut rope and ran at us with it. Taking away mainly young Pashtun, all arrested. Not in full riot gear, no gas used. Helicopters overhead, trucks. Not dignified as Besson claimed. Several activists assaulted.

banner 4

12.09: Besson coming to Calais 1030. Bloackades been set up by Pashtuns in the main ‘jungle’ – about 250 migrants left. Some media. Lots of banners migrants made with No Borders, good spirits. No CRS came in the night but moving in now. Iranians served papers due to be cleared so they found a new home. Army jeeps, trucks and helicopters sighted.

evictionresistance

Is this operation going to achieve anything???

*Monday 21st September

Come to Calais to protest against the destruction of camps and squats of migrants!

International solidarity actions in front of all French embassies in Europe!

The French government, no doubt under British pressure, has proposed a definitive ‘solution to the ‘problem’ of the migrants in Calais. We call on all people concerned for the welfare of the migrants in Calais to mobilise and oppose the ‘solution’ which will, according to the Minister of Immigration and National Identity Eric Besson, be carried out this week by the French riot police to eradicate the jungle. We denounce this act of aggression against migrants who have already suffered greatly and endured much in the journeys to Calais.

Besson said in May that he wanted to make the Calais region a migrant free zone. Since then, squats and camps in Calais have been destroyed on multiple occasions. It is now the turn of the Calais jungle.

We do not regard migrants as the ‘problem’, and our solidarity is the only possible response to the situation they have been put in.

We reject the normalisation and abusive misuse of the words ‘clandestine’ and ‘illegal’, and support the spirit of Article 14 of the 1951 Geneva Convention which stipulates the right of each individual to claim asylum anywhere they choose.

However, we go further than this narrow conception of asylum, which excludes people fleeing non-state violence, rape and also ignores those forced to leave through the violence of a poverty imposed on them by the trade rules fixed in Washington and Geneva. The wars that capitalism is waging against people, to secure and exploit their resources and labour, create these forms of violence.

We believe that all people ought to have the freedom to move and to settle, and that this freedom should not be reserved for a minority, because we believe in equal rights for all, rights which should not be given or bestowed by governments but which should be guaranteed to any human being.

For migrants, leaving their homes, families and lives, perhaps forever, is never an easy choice, but often a necessary one. It is an act of survival for the migrants’ families, a great sacrifice with unknown rewards or failures. People are prepared to risk their lives because it represents a chance of a better future. Failure is not an option, and governments, despite all their efforts, will not be able to stop them.

A very important aspect of the Geneva Convention recognises that failure to carry a valid passport is not in itself an illegal act. The migrants in Calais have had no choice but to become ‘clandestine’, there are no legal avenues for them to get to Europe or the UK overland, all legal routes are closed off, which is why they are forced into hands of smugglers and all the dangers and expense that incurs.

The ‘choices’ in Calais: voluntary returns and the European asylum system

With Besson’s plan there are only two choices left open for migrants in Calais. The first is the so-called ‘voluntary’ return, which is clearly no such thing. The approach taken in Calais, and increasingly across the jungles of Northern France, is to grind down the resolve of the migrants by subjecting them to extreme levels of police violence and intimidation. The solution of ‘voluntary return’ is proposed by the IOM and now by the UNHCR, recently present in Calais, to give its ‘blessing’ to this operation.

The second option is to claim asylum in France. Most of the migrants are rightly very afraid since this is a potential trap for them. They are likely to have been fingerprinted and recorded on the Eurodac database, and according to the Dublin II agreements, if they claim asylum in France or anywhere else in Europe and have had their fingerprints previously in a so called ‘safe’ country, usually Greece or Italy, they are likely to be sent back. Greece receives money from the EU commission for each Dublin case it receives back there.

In Greece, Iraqis and Afghans have a 0% success rate of asylum, yet for most European countries Greece is still regarded as ‘safe’ to send people back to. Norway and more and more courts have started to rule that it’s dangerous to send people back to Greece, now other European governments should follow suit.

The British and French governments, as well as the mainstream media, claim that the migrants are not ‘genuine’ refugees as they are not claiming asylum in these countries. But who would when it potentially adds up to an act of suicide? Through these arrangements, the European states have created a system that is destroying peoples’ chances of asylum and obtaining refugee status.

The consequence of Franco-British agreements

One could regard the ‘problem’ of the migrants in Calais as having been entirely created by the British refusal to join the Schengen space, and the French government’s compliance to this. In fact, it is the result of a sort of anomaly created by the ‘special’ bilateral arrangements between France and Britain. The problem also relates more generally to the closure of Europe’s borders to migrants, coordinated through the European pact on Immigration and Asylum.

The bilateral agreements between France and Britain after the closure of Sangatte camp have led to the seemingly endless implementation of more and more expensive and sophisticated borders controls, and to the movement of British border controls onto French soil. As the French government has ceded to the British and accepted to implement its politics of border closure and reinforcement, the obvious consequences are that people are blocked for longer at the border.

So as tighter immigration controls cause the build up of people behind the border, the ‘solution’ taken is destruction of the jungles. The migrants are thus dispersed and deported as a means of making the problem ‘disappear’. Besides the barbarity of these methods, these policies remain fundamentally ineffective, as they force people to become even more dependent on smugglers.

When Sangatte was shut down in 2002, we were told that Sarkozy had solved the ‘problem’ in Calais. Of course the migrants have kept on coming, and the aim has since then been to try to make their presence invisible. Until now the governments had several options to make the migrants disappear:

1) Let people pass when there are too many.

2) Subject them to levels of intimidation and violence, so that they leave and try to pass from somewhere else

3) Destroy their living spaces and belongings

Now the government pretends to resolve the situation, justifying its actions with talks of networks of smugglers, shameless lies claiming that local people are being attacked every day and of the need to protect migrants as well as local businesses.

Such lies have always been expedient for politicians wishing to create a scape-goat, the consequences of such irresponsibility are well known and are very well recorded. To cover his policies with a humane veneer, Besson talks of the 170 migrants who were given asylum in Calais in the run up to the closure of the jungle, a fact which turns out to be a complete fiction: according to associations in Calais precisely none have been given asylum.

Today, we are about to witness a “clearance” of migrants beneath claims of humanitarian concerns. Besson pretends under the bright lights of the media that he has found a dignified ‘solution’ for them, but this is clearly not the case.

The real problems that so often force migrants to leave their homes will never be resolved unless all governments, and particularly the British, American and French governments, examine and change their own warmongering approaches and their economic, political, and ecological foreign policy aims throughout the so called ‘developing’ and ‘undeveloped’ world.

Migrants will not stop coming and they are welcome here. Freedom of movement is everybody’s right!

We call on people everywhere to come to Calais this week to show solidarity and to denounce current migrant politics!

We call for the end of Dublin II, selective migration policies and any other rule that stops people migrating where they choose to or need to!

We call for solidarity actions outside French embassies and consulates, to protest against the destruction of refugee and migrants camps by this country that likes to call itself the home of human rights.

No Border Calais

*Friday 18th September

Ethiopians have been relase from detention and are back in there now empty squat
At about 9am about 20 police from about 5 civilian cars were at Pashtun jungle, they walked around with arial images, laughing and joking with each other. very funny!
3 to 5 arrested at Dockside squat at about 2130
At about 2200 4 or 5 eretreans were arrested after raid. 4 crs vans, they kicked in the door of squat. cms activists getting hassled and controlled.
feeling of hightened police activity

*Thursday 17th September

Statement from CFDA (french coordination for asylum seekers):

Closure of the jungle: the rights of people must not be kicked out

In announcing yesterday, September 16th, the “closure” of the ‘Jungle’ next week, the French Immigration Minister Eric Besson turns a blind eye to the massive violations of human rights in countries from which migrants originate, and the extreme precarity of their living conditions. The Minister must not delude himself: to proclaim the “closure” of the ‘Jungle’ simply means to make invisible a problem which will persist, repeat itself and take place elsewhere. The inability of French and European authorities to apprehend correctly and in a coordinated fashion this situation will have a cost: the disgraceful conditions in which migrants and asylum seekers are forced to live, despite the daily assistance of many volunteers.

The minister has already scored points with his announcements in recent months: indeed, as he today says “there were about 700 people three months ago, now there are approximately 300”. Hundreds of these people, real men, women, children, have been scared into continuing their wandering to new places, new countries, and therefore are faced with new challenges and new violations of their rights.

To justify himself, the minister puts forward the “very sharp rise in crime in the Calais region”, “attacks on the inhabitants of Calais” and says that “companies can no longer work normally”. This does not correspond to the observations of organisations working on the ground. Rather than providing solutions to the real causes of this situation, the minister chooses to scape-goat “migrant-asylum seeker”, presented as a dangerous and delinquent person, and this under the guise of tackling smuggling.

Today, as with every announcement, the minister hides that these migrants he wants to displace come from countries where violations of human rights are massive, which explains their desperate flight, and their acceptance of such precarious conditions of life.

Whilst in July the minister spoke of 36 asylum seekers “allowed to stay”, he said today that 170 applications have been recorded since January 1st with residence permits and accommodation. These are the figures recorded by the organisations: many of these people, having passed through Greece and Italy and forced to burn off their fingerprints to avoid being deported, receiver neither the one nor the other.

How could Eritreans accept a “voluntary” return to their country? Why would Afghans or Sudanese accept, under a European text, Dublin II, their transfer to Greece , regularly denounced and condemned for repeated abuse and bad treatment of asylum seekers and migrants in general?

Tomorrow, Eric Besson goes to Greece , but unfortunately not to agree on the suspension of transfers to this country where the asylum system is regularly denounced by the UNHCR and the Council of Europe. In fact, this visit is announced “in the context of France ‘s efforts to strengthen the policy against illegal immigration.”

A politics that respects rights must have the courage to see that European policy is failing. The French authorities are losing an opportunity to open and to open our eyes on the human tragedy hidden these situations. Our organisations demand once again for the withdrawal or at least the revision the Dublin II regulation, which creates more victims than it brings solutions.

To end the Law of the ‘jungle’, you must put the European asylum system on its feet and stop denying the needs of individuals for protection and providing a mechanism that enables them to seek asylum in the country of their choice or where they have familial, linguistic or cultural ties. Whatever their choice, we must also ensure their reception conditions are consistent with the dignity of people by providing accommodation facilities open to all.

*Sunday 13th September

Nothing open, including pass clinic so we can’t get the medicine for A as promised. We drive to Hazara to tell him and offer to drive him to hospital instead. He accepts reluctantly as he is in a lot of pain. We all wait in A+E for a long time.

After one hour they washed his feet, after another hour they said they had no scissors, so they went to get some and never came back. M_ left with ‘five hours’ written on his forehead in biro.

*Saturday 12th September

We went to market and got lots of free food.

Drove past some police (not CRS) around a man who appeared to be unconscious and another French man we are friendly with. We heard that the unconscious man had got inside the fence of the dock but was seen by security and jumped from the bridge. We were ushered on by the cops but we will go to hospital with the man, who we know.

Took some of the food to the Hazara Jungle, where we were greeted by “Water! Water!” The Hazara were dry and unable to carry water by hand as it’s such a long way (out by the old hoverferry terminal). A man who usually gets it for them has not been by in a few days. We loaded the van up with empty bottles and containers and drove out to the water pump at the car park where La Belle Etoile destribute food, accompanied by an Iranian man who is living at the Hazara Jungle. He has been in Calais only two days and is a good contact to make as his English is excellent. He was tortured in Iran before the election – He showed me where they burned his arm with cigarettes.

At the water pump I hold the water bottles while some of the men who had been hanging around came over to help wind the pump.

When all the bottles were full, returning to the van it was getting mobbed by gathering crowds who had seen the food in the back. We gave away all but one box of food, which we saved for the Sudanese camp. We also gave out lots of the clothes we had brought with us from England. Felt like aid workers and having enormous power as to who could receive and who not.

We drove the water back to the Hazara, where I photographed the Iranian man’s wounds with my phone. He had pictures of his injuries before, but they took his camera from him in Greece, where they locked him up for three months and took his fingerprints. There is an injured man at the Hazara who is out of medicine. We promise to bring him some tomorrow.

Manu Chao gig in Calais tomorrow and we will have a stall there. Also an initial false rumour that he wanted to play a gig IN the Pashtun Jungle. Turned out to be a mis-communication and Pashtun not up for it anyway: Ramadan and they don’t trust us. Our relationship with that particular Jungle is unfortunately bad now as the people who run it have told the others not to trust us. We have been told it is dangerous for us to go there. Our relationship with all other Jungles is very good at present and we are looking for ways we might be able to help heal this one, maybe when Ramadan is over.

Met the others at the Ethiopian squat, where they dropped off the car battery we had charged up for them. They now have lighting, although the CRS have smashed one of their lights.

We went on to the Dockside (formerly called Palestinian or International) and Sudanese camps briefly to deliver clothes and food. Hung out with Sudanese by train tracks for a while, then the Docks, where I had a fascinating discussion about Anarchism with a Sudanese man who had never heard the word before. We also saw the man from this morning who had jumped from the bridge and been taken to hospital. He seems ok but is in pain. His foot is bandaged up. Apparently he was in Dover two days earlier, but got caught and sent back. Now he will have to rest.

*Friday 11th September

Today we found the Kurdish Jungle near to the Iranians deserted and destroyed with only a pile of bags remaining. The bags contained papers and IDs so we decided to go back for them later.

Heard confirmation that the CRS had cleared the Kurdish Jungle. We went back for the bags, but alas they had already been gone through. Others went out for late patrol.

*Thursday 10th September
The early patrol bumped into the CRS who were raiding the Ethiopian squat. Got there to find cops already inside and two activists being pushed around outside by CRS. One with a ginger moustache hit one activist on the arm with his baton. 9 arrests. The CRS left and we went into the squat. A couple of minutes and people started crawling out of all sorts of hiding places. Much laughter.

Went with the Armenian families to the prefecture, they are trying to claim asylum in France. Due to some bureaucratic error they will have to go back again on Tuesday. The families came back to the flat and all was chaos with children everywhere and us trying to have a meeting in the middle of it all.

* Wednesday 9th September

We have been helping two Kurdish Armenian families, both with young children, who arrived together in Calais and were found by activists two days previously. The families have no money and nowhere to go. Last night they were put up in a cheap hotel by one of the humanitarian organisations here in Calais. Went to meet them and to have a sly shower in the hotel (the families insisted!)

Went to collect unsold food from the market and deliver it to the Sudanese Jungle in the van that has arrived. There has been no transport here for a while and only one bike, so the van will be extremely useful.

Later we went to find a Vietnamese Jungle we did not know about before. It took us ages to find it and we hung about outside for a while unsure of how to make contact as we didn’t want to freak them out or intrude into their space. Eventually we went in cautiously holding some of the fruit we had brought with us. A woman came out to meet us and immediately invited us in, without even bothering to ask who we were or why we had just appeared on their doorstep bearing fruit. She is the only woman in the camp and is living there with 19 men. They came together in a big group and the atmosphere in the camp is very pleasant. They were extremely polite and hospitable and invited us to eat with them, which we did.

Tuesday 8th September at 7am it took 82 cops to detain 85 migrants at a long established camp (2007) sited on farm land close to the A26 The cops then cut down the trees in the copse where the camp was sited and torched everything except the single bag of possessions that each migrant was allowed to take and the equipment that local supporters from Fraternité-migrants were allowed to retrieve.

http://www.lavoixdunord.fr/Locales/Lens/actualite/Secteur_Lens/2009/09/09/article_angres-le-camp-de-vietnamiens-clandestin.shtml

http://www.lavenirdelartois.fr/actualite/Faits_divers/Faits_divers/2009/09/08/article_groupe_nord_littoral_1101062.shtml

But it is the local support that is the real story. 52 of the migrants were taken to Coquelles and 28 detained at the National Police station in Liévin. The later were released that afternoon, collected by volunteers and taken back to Angres. At 6pm there was a town meeting at which it was decided to set up a camp outside the town hall to house the 28 Vietnamese and 7 others who were found wandering around after the camp’s destruction. Volunteers stayed in the camp overnight as the old camp had been attacked on the previous Friday night and a couple of migrants beaten up.

Check out http://www.politis62.org/index.php?title=Camp_de_migrants_sur_la_place_d’Angres

http://www.lavoixdunord.fr/Locales/Lens/actualite/Secteur_Lens/2009/09/09/article_vingt-huit-migrants-relaches-hier-apres.shtml

Also http://www.politis62.org/index.php?title=Cat%C3%A9gorie:Fraternit%C3%A9-migrants_bassin_minier_62

THE 52 DETAINED AT COQUELLES (near Calais) ARE THREATENED WITH DEPORTATION, CIMADE AND OTHERS ARE ORGANISNING THEIR LEGAL SUPPORT – and looking for interpreter…as the one they have cannot cope with so many cases.

Vidéo de France 3 sur le démantèlement du camp d’Angres

http://nord-pas-de-calais-picardie.france3.fr/info/nord-pas-de-calais/Angres-:-un-campement-de-migrants-d%C3%A9mantel%C3%A9-57076993.html

*Friday 4th September

This is the translated section on Calais from Besson’s longer interview with Nord Littoral

Back to work Conference of Eric Besson, Minister of Immigration

“A full-scale simulation of the dismantling of the jungle in October”

Friday, 04.09.2009, 14:00

Nord Littoral

“The United Kingdom remains a very attractive hub for smuggling. I announced a plan with three components: the restoration of the rule of law with a view to dismantling “the jungle” before the end of the year, the strengthening of border controls, the only way of ‘illegal channels to send the clear message that you no longer pass to England from Calais; the establishment of a scheme involving humanitarian scheme for the opening at Calais a surgery to receive applications for asylum, a permanent access to care, a point of distribution of meals, a place t wash, showers and a point for drinking water.

You confirm the dismantling of “the jungle” before the end of the year. Can you be more specific in time and what are the different steps that will lead?

“Several dismantlings of unplanned settlements and squatters were held this summer. The jungle located near the port of Calais will be dismantled before the end of the year. When? I cannot tell you even if I knew I would not say for obvious security reasons. To make this operation as dignified as possible, the operation from a logistical point of view is very difficult to implement, I have established several criteria that must comply with the Prefect. The operation will be triggered only when all these criteria are met. In the meantime, I asked the prefect to hold a full-scale simulation of the dismantling of “the jungle” in early October. It will determine whether we are ready to bring in police, interpreters and doctors in sufficient numbers to achieve the decommissioning. This operation will serve as dress rehearsal so that we can carry it out in the utmost respect for human dignity. ”

*Wednesday 2nd September

Last night at 2100 the CRS came again for the Eritreans. 3 vans containing 10 cops pulled up around the side and 2 CRS went into the house. CRS threw a potato or a stone into the front yard over the wall. An unmarked white estate then arrived by the front. CRS ran out and tried to snatch people. The Eritreans hid and No Borders activists managed to stop the CRS snatching anyone. We filmed them and stopped them from entering. The CRS have begun filming us so we had a camera stand off for a while before they drove away. They were unable to find anyone. We think these raids are illegal because they do not have authority to enter the house please can someone check this? I followed them on a bicycle on my own (not advisable). They went to the park (they have started to snatch migrants here late at night). The van got 2 people; I think they were Hazara. Another van arrived and the unmarked car. I got off the bicycle to try to talk to the migrants. I had been shouting for some time which the CRS do no like!2 CRS snatched me as I tried to escape. They grabbed me; got the bicycle; let down the tyres and kicked it.Then 9 CRS cops circled me and pushed me.They tried to make me pay a fine 135 euro! I said I had no money. They shouted for a while and checked my passport before letting me go; I could not help the migrants. I went back to the Eritrean's; they were ok; then the unmarked car came back again; but once again; when it saw we were there they did not try to enter. These patrols are essential. We have 7 jungles to patrol; plus the park now. If we are always at the Ertireans they will go somewhere else; but it is clear that we are directly stopping them making arrests. Please come to Calais now; and bring a bicycle or a car or van; we need numbers here!

*Monday 31st August

Activists Disrupt CRS Raid on Eritrean House Last night (30/31st) at around 9.00pm the CRS made a raid on the Eritrean house. Four vans including a police “snatch van” descended on the property. Activists on the scene were able to bear witness to them detaining three Eritreans, as well as emptying bottles of cooking oil over migrants’ beds and clothing. Other activists were able to get inside the property and follow the police out. Enough of a scene was created with activists darting around the police heckling and obstructing that they left without making any further arrests. Later that evening activists witnessed the CRS arresting two Pashtu Afghanis near the Eritrean house. The two activists disrupted proceedings by engaging the refugees in conversation, shining torches on the police and calling them bullying fascists, to which they seemed to take offence. A snatch van arrived with a third young Pashtun already inside and the CRS bundled the other two in with him. The two vans then headed back to t he Eritrean house and attempted to arrest further migrants but they all produced satisfactory documents. Activists were on the scene and slowed down operations by strolling in front of the vans, heckling, shining torches in the faces of the police and warning the Eritreans gathered around the nearby house. One CRS officer lost his temper and began violently shoving activists until he was given a stern talking-to by his Commander, to the delight of the three Pashtuns watching the spectacle from inside the snatch van. Clearly struggling the CRS harassed an Albanian near the railway bridge but had to let him go when he produced his papers. Unknown to activists the CRS then attempted to raid the Ethiopian house across town. This time they were more successful in scaling the 8’ wall designed to keep Ethiopians out, and searched for migrants with flashlights. However, no-one was found and no arrests (or beatings) took place. The cops then finished their shift and left without managing to fill their evening arrest quota. All in all a good night’s work. Unfortunately they managed to ruin this tranquility by raiding the Sudanese jungle early in this morning (31st) and arrested five Sudanese. Hopefully we will see them come back safe and sound within 24 hours.

*Sunday 30th August

The last few days have seen the CRS stepping up their tactics and causing

further distress to migrants in Calais. Yesterday morning at 8.00 am four

Eritreans were arrested, and last night another five were also arrested

and taken to Cocquelles. These arrests can be fatal for migrants as the

police can sometimes detain them for days, take them to the German border

and leave them or occasionally deport them if they are repeat offenders.

It’s not clear whether all in question have been released yet.

This morning at around half past seven/ eight the CRS made a raid on the

Palestinian squat. Following an unusual patrol late last night, the CRS

targeted certain people including Palestinians, Sudanese and Eritreans.

Altogether nine were arrested and a shelter partially destroyed. Activists

were prevented from entering the area although many found alternative ways

in. The CRS refused to believe that we could be friends with the migrants

and checked our passports telling one activist; “England is over there, go

home, swim”

Activists continued to follow the CRS and spotted them at the Pashtun

jungle. They managed to arrest one Afghan but left quickly when we

arrived. It seems they don’t appreciate being filmed or watched.

The Hazara Jungle was once again raided on the 27th August. The police destroyed the main shelter, attacked sleeping people causing internal injuries and bizarrely stole their pet kitten, Mimi. They used pepper spray on the

ruins that they left to ensure that they could not be used again. 15

migrants were arrested but subsequently released. Efforts from Salam, No

Borders and other organizations ensured that they had food and enough

materials to rebuild. However the jungle remains highly vulnerable

especially since the arrival of a family including a nine month old child

and several children under ten years old.

The Palestinian Squat was also attacked and a shelter partially dismantled

causing a head injury. The Police claimed to be retrieving stolen wooden

pallets from which the Palestinians had created their shelters. Several

attempts have also been made to arrest one elderly Sudanese man living in

the squat.

Notable arrests include several Ethiopians who were arrested in the park,

one young man was badly beaten.

This is a quick reminder of the brutality and suffering endured by those

who have already suffered enough, people from Darfur, Gaza, Afghanistan,

Iraq and Eritrea. If you can help in any way, donations, clothes or your

presence, contact us.

*24th August

The 22nd was the first day of Ramadan and also a day of no CRS presence. The CRS was changing company, team. It was a day of peace and freedom to breath. Unfortunately this didn’t last long. On the 23rd new CRS was cruising around town, showing off at the internet cafe where migrants try to get in contact with friends and family. Slowly passing by as if they could stop and snatch people any minute, blue lights on flashing, a short sirene and police laughing at migrants. Like hunters staring at their prey… They wanted to let migrants know there back and ready for their daily hassling migrants, violence and arbetrary arrests. Later in the evening we saw the CRS also cruising around jungles, same thing with lights, short sirene beeps and staring and laughing.

That night the new CRS made their first hit when 3 vans of police arrested 30 Afghans in a place near Calais. Three of them were released shortly after the arrest, but up till now there is no news of the rest of the people. One Afghan guy was brutally beaten up by the police in prison because he asked if he could use the toilet…

*23rd August

On the 22nd there was a demonstration at the Coquelle detention centre. It was a lively rally with music, slogans, chalking and many banners. Thirty people joined the rally and at the Centre Commercial leaflets were spread to inform people what’s happening right under their noses.

*22nd August

The morning patrols of the 21st of August turned out to be quite effective. At the Hazara jungle the CRS hanged around for a while, but were not able to do anything because of our precense. The same situation was at the Pashtun jungle where 3 CRS vans were cruising around. The CRS checked our car papers and warned us for the extremely dangerous migrants… Whats more scary, a riotcop in full armour showing off authority and power or migrants offering you tea??? We had people present at almost every squat and jungle that morning.

In the end of the afternoon 5 CRS vans appeared at the Pashtun jungle and we went there asap. Around 8 Afghans were arrested around the jungle. We witnessed the situation and the police clearly didn’t like that. We made photos and because we had an official paper of the French journalist union saying filming is legal they could not do anything. They made a false accusation of insulting the police, to the person who was holding the camera and threatened with arrest, but didn’t do it in the end. The men from our van were searched and one guy was strangled by a police officer to take a close up photo of his face. We dealt with the hassle and hanged around the Pashtun jungle until the police was completely gone.

The morning of the 22nd was very quiet, no CRS. It’s the first day of Ramadan. At the moment there is the Rally going on at the detention centre in Coquelles. A report of this will follow soon.

*21st August

The French government is exploiting a scabies epidemic to clear the migrants from the ad-hoc encampments known as the ‘Jungles’ in the Calais area. At approximately 10am, scores of unknown individuals wearing gasmasks and dressed in white uniforms, entered the Tajik/Hazara squat in scrubland near the ferry port, tore apart their shelters and sprayed an irritant chemical over their belongings. They claimed to be disinfecting the area as part of a programme to treat scabies, despite the fact that the operation was officially cancelled by the French government. Cooking utensils were contaminated, and the absence of running water in the camps made cleaning their equipment especially difficult. “ We are not animals.” One Afghan said. The unknown individuals also seized essential materials such as clothing, and arrested six people, all under the gaze of several vanloads of CRS police. Humanitarian groups and activists from the No Border Network and Calais Migrant Solidarity had been monitoring the situation in the numerous camps – which in all, are inhabited by some 1,800 migrants from countries such as Afghanistan and Sudan – but the raid occurred shortly after they had left the camp for the morning. This incident indicates change in tactics by the French authorities as they now seek to justify the continued repression of migrants in Calais, which has been drawing increased criticism by human rights groups. They intend to protest against the daily raids and police repression with a demonstration leaving from Coquelles detention centre at 2pm on Saturday 22nd August.

*20th August

Around 9.00 this morning four CRS vans arrived at the Hazare jungle. The police smashed up peoples homes completely and arrested lots of people. According to a migrant who managed to escape the violent attack everybody is released now.

Yesterday morning we managed to prevent the police pepperspraying the water point at the Pashtun jungle. A CRS van passed by 2 times but because we were there they didn’t do anything. Unfortunately the police came back a third time after we left and sprayed it anyway. Victims of the peppersprayed water point told us that the water burned on their faces and that they had a burning pain inside their chests after drinking the water, not knowing it was poisoned.

Yesterday evening Salam organised a theatre play at the food distribution point and the Pashtun Jungle. Lots of people enjoyed the play, but shortly after the play at the Pashtun Jungle the police arrested 3 people.

*19th August

Yesterday morning around 9 o’clock the CRS raided the Pashtun jungle. According to some migrants around 15-20 people were arrested. Later that day, around 12 o’clock 4 Eritreans were arrested, 2 of them were released shortly after the arrest, but the other 2 haven’t returned yet.

We picked up patrolling again which turned out to be useful. This morning at the Pashtun jungle CRS arrived at the waterpoint, but drove on when they saw us. A bit later the CRS came back to the waterpoint and again drove on. After this migrants came to the waterpoint and told us that the CRS arrested 2 migrants in a different part of the jungle.

The last 2 days quite a few new migrants arrived. We gave them directions to useful places and hand out maps of Calais.

*18th August

We are going to the squats and jungles in town, we ask what people need and want, try to get it, like razors, toothpaste, shampoo, etc, etc, etc. The first aiders in our group do some first aid if necessary, mainly treating cuts and bruises from police violence. If necessary we go to the Pass clinic and/or hospital with people. At the moment we are helping out a guy with a badly swollen knee, going to hospital and Pass clinic, getting X-rays and a specialist. Due to misinformation things take longer with the normal hospital, this is the 3rd day we are going with him to the Pass clinic who is helping out making an appointment with a specialist.

We also hang out with people. We chat, listen to their stories (write them down), answer the questions people have or get the right information, make music, play games. Yesterday the Sudanese/Palestinian camp invited us for a vegetarian dinner, that was really nice. We learn some new languages and share some English. We make friends.

We are going to try and pick up patrolling again too, but lack transport at the moment. In Calais the police violence and arbitrary arrests of migrants is daily business. “Normal For Calais” as we say, which is actually brutal and bizarre.

The CRS lowers themselves to the lowest, they not only pepper-spray water points, but last night people from the Sudanese/Palestinian camp told us that 3 weeks ago the CRS pepper-sprayed the food they were cooking.

We just got the news that the Scabies operation proposed by Medecins du Monde and Medicins sands Frontier on 17-21 of August is cancelled for now. The council is providing ‘medical help’ at the moment, which they have to according to European law. Medicins du Monde cannot intervene with this and has to wait till the council’s program has ended. After the program has ended there will be a review of the council’s initiative and it’s effects on the scabies epidemic and if necessary there will be Scabies operation organised.

Clearly the council’s program is appaling, just providing a couple of showers and treatment at the Pass clinic for the amount of migrants living in Calais is not enough. It will not effectively treat the epidemic when the places where people live stay untreated and people and places are not being treated at the same time.

*Saturday 15th August

I’ve talked again to our very energetic friends of the medics team, and they said they had collected testimonies that confirmed what is written above, in the general outlines. The details were a little different.

Somewhere around 2 months ago, during a police raid on the eritrean squat, a pregnant woman who was asleep, got pepper-sprayed in the face, and subsequently lost her baby. There is no trace of her, we don’t know her name, where she is, where she went. The team will try to find out more.

Also, the rock-throwing actually occurs during weekends, and migrants say it’s probably drunkards doing it. They arrive by car, get out, and throw rocks and bottles. Sometimes the migrants throw stuff back, and the thugs just get back to their cars and drive away. The team has decided to do a patrol tonight, and see what’s what.

I was also told of a guy in civilian clothes who once used pepper-spray in one of the holes on the front of the squat.

*Friday 14th August

Calais Migrant Solidarity learned that the Ethiopian squat in Calais had

been blocked up by the CRS. They used breeze blocks to create a situation

where entry to the building is limited to climbing a plank of wood over a

high wall. All windows and doors have also been bricked up and sealed,

leaving those inside in total darkness. At their request a delegation

from No Borders South Wales was able to deliver some 12volt car batteries,

lights, LED lamps, a volt meter and a car battery charger (all donated by

those in sympathy with the migrants’ plight). We also handed out soap,

razors, toothbrushes, toothpaste and some vitamins. The level of police

repression toward migrants is astonishing; one Rastafarian even had his

dreads cut off by police when he was last arrested, and yet they manage to

keep a smile and share a cigarette with anyone who offers them help or

companionship. They told us that some of the locals are friendly and

often play music and wave to them from the nearby flats. The squat itself

is a really unhealthy space, with massive gaps in unstable wooden floors,

and the risks posed by prolonged inhalation of brick dust and ammonia. One

of the women living there is pregnant; we found it astonishing that such

vulnerable people are forced to live in such harsh conditions.

8.30pm The medics team reported, during today’s meeting, claims by migrants that the eritrean squat has been undergoing rock-throwing for the last 3 nights, around 3-4am. Also, they heard that racists had gone in and used pepper-spray on a pregnant woman, who then lost her baby, due to that. This still remains to be confirmed and detailed. The team hopes to speak to more people tomorrow and see if they can get converging testimonies. —- My own experience with white thugs in the neighborhood is similar, they are very much into shouting at passers-by at night, and they sometimes throw rocks/chunks of earth, either at people or at houses. Nevertheless, 4am is very very late for such things to happen. Usually the little thugs are quiet/home by that time. So it sounds more to me like action by racists.

*Tuesday 11th August

Arrest of 4 Iranians

Photo of the arrest by the CRS of 4 Iranians from their jungle, Tuesday 12th August at around 3pm.

Report to follow.
The myth that the French state is dealing with the scabies epidemic following Immigration Minister Besson's statement yesterday that he was ordering showers and scabies treatment for "as long as it takes" is shown up for the bullshit it is in this message from a migrant who spoke with people who had visited the clinic where the showers have been set up: "Today afternoon I saw migrants coming from the PASS medical clinic, which is open every weekday afternoon. I asked them what was going on up there, they just told there were four new showers. They give you a scabies spray in case of need, or if you've got itching skin or something like that, but no showers allowed without excuse only for those who have scabies. France is the first country that treat scabies with showers ! haha that seem funny for me... and the migrants think this will work! I already told them it is a normal bath, which isn't effective in the removal of scabies or even a proper treatment." Read more about the planned Medecins du Monde scabies operation that this manouevre by the French government seems intent on undermining. Also our concerns about this operation being used to not just clean up but also clear out the jungles in Calais.

Bridge from ferry port

Painted message appeared on main roundabout from Calais ferry port. English: "BORDERS = SUFFERING"

*Monday 10th August

Palestinian 'jungle' police harrassment

Monday 10th August: The picture above shows CRS (riot) police clearing the Palestinian jungle in the centre of Calais. The officers stand by while a man on crutches is forced to climb into a shopping trolley helped only by his frend.

As Immigration Minister Besson announced last night (10/8/09) that he would provide free showers to migrants (four of them for 120-1800 people) as a measure to treat the scabies epidemic (showers do not treat scabies, which he knows being a former doctor) and demanding that the local authority support this work for “as long as it takes” (the same local authority that in July refused to allow humanitarian associations to set up showers), this photo show the reality of the “dignified” treatment of migrants in Calais that Besson has been infamously quoted as saying he supports.

2.00pm CRS arrest two people by the marina in the centre of town. This is filmed and documented. As the unmarked arrest van and CRS van escorting it wait for the swing bridge to shut and make their way back into town, there is a call from the Palestinian squat near by (attacked by police yesterday) that CRS have returned. Activists and journalists arrived as a CRS van pulled up and an officer jumped out wielding his baton in the air, making towards a group of migrants sat by the local fishing boat dock. As activists cycled up a second officer was getting out of the van with his tear gas canister ready, saw he was being watched and called his colleague back. The arrest van and escort CRS van arrived, the escort van immediately headed off , leaving two vans of CRS to confront activists.

The journalists filmed and observed discreetly from inside the Palestinian squat. Activists placed themselves between the vans and migrants at the dock and in the squat. After a brief standoff activists were made to hand over ID for checking. During the radio check demands to “back off” were repeatedly made by the police; “if you can’t speak French go back to England”; when we spoke in French being told we could not take photos of police. We were asked if we had press idea, and that “if you are press you can take photos, no press, no photos” so they seem to have understood that bit of law. We were also informed several times that “we are the police, you are not the police”, which was a helpful confirmation of our respective roles.

In French law you can photograph police, but it is the way in which those images, and anyone else’s images in France, are subsequently used that is the issue. Activists were then photographed from about two feet away, an attempt at intimidation as much as one of intelligence gathering.

We occupied their time for at least 30 to 40 minutes, while some migrants walked off, or remained cooking their meals unhindered. This felt like a real practical prevention of police attempts to hassle, arrest and quite clearly attack (evidenced by the raised baton and charged tear gas canister) migrants in broad daylight in the centre of Calais in front of tourists and Calaisiens. This was made possible by our numbers increasing only slightly today, so come to Calais and continue the work to support migrants here. Lots of recent info elsewhere on this blog.

Around 9.ooam the CRS had blocked off the road leading to the middle of the Pashtun (Afghan) jungle and unconfirmed reports of 20 to 30 CRS vans driving past. Also unconfirmed reports of them driving into the jungle, spraying the one water hydrant with tear gas, and filming people in the jungle. When we arrived a man with a fresh head wound pointed towards a recent police presence. It may be that this was a CRS battalion, usually of around 24 vehicles, redeploying and making a show of force on its way out of Calais. There is one battalion of CRS riot police for each department (province) in France, with the Pays de Calais battalion permanently deployed in Calais and one from elsewhere, making a permanent prescence of 2 battalions at any one time, with about 100 officers each.

* Morning 27th July-We arrived at the Pashtun jungle just after the police raided it, they were there between 8am and 8.45 with three police vans and a bus they filled with Afghans, they won’t tell us how many but one cop said they will get out in few hours.-Before (7am) we were at the Sudanese ex-squat; the police was there and checked our IDs.-We also checked the Eritrean squat but no visible police activity there.Footnotes:The police were rather talkative and told us they know some of their colleagues are using tear gas and beating people. They also said they know politicians are using them for nonsense.

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