Police blockade newly-opened space for migrants and activists in Calais

For Immediate Release: 05/02/10

Today, despite a heavy police presence migrants successfully entered the newly-opened Kronstadt hangar at the invitation of NoBorders activists. The hangar is intended to be a space for information-sharing, debate and practical solidarity.

Together, around 100 activists and migrants broke through police lines chanting “Freedom! Freedom!”. Riot police in full body protection are currently circling the building and threatening the migrants with mass arrests. People are currently occupying the building.

Stephane Blois, from Calais Migrant Solidarity, explains: “When the police cleared the jungle, they used coaches like those outside the hangar to transport hundreds of migrants to the detention centre.

What we see here tonight is another example of repressive policing where migrants are routinely arrested and then shortly after released shortly. We want to work together here to resist this coordinated strategy of cross-channel oppression.” (1)

The increase in opposition to the policies of the French state inCalais are testimont to the failure of an immigration system which rests on using police repression to drive away migrants (2).

Besson´s attempt to make the town a “migrant-free zone” can never be succesful because it does not acknowledge the number of factors that contribute to migration.

The events of tonight show the force of the state´s response to any form of opposition to the current border regime. The hangar was opened in response to the extreme situation in Calais and as an act of solidarity with migrants.

Jenny Roberts said: “This is not a new Sangatte. This is the result of the endless persecution of migrants in Calais, and the hangar was opened with the support of local humanitarian organisations and some residents”(3).

To speak to someone in the hangar call 0033 699 746 700

Contact in France: noborder-groupelocal-calais@hotmail.fr

Contact in the UK: calaisolidarity@gmail.com

http://noborders.org.uk
https://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com

NOTES TO EDITORS

(1) In November, NoBorders activists from both sides of the Channel organised a demonstration at the centre of joint intelligence in Folkestone and in December the first joint charter flight between the UK and France took place.

(2) The media response to the high-profile destruction of the jungle in September showed the concerns surrounding the methods used by the French government . Alan Johnson, the UK Home Secretary, said he was “delighted” with the operation.

(3) NoBorders activists have maintained a presence in Calais since the NoBorder camp last June, and this new collaboration with associations is an expression of the urgent need to have a political response to ongoing oppression which has escalated since the destruction of the jungle in September. For an overview, see

www.calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com