Building links at Africa House

The last couple of days have been fairly quiet around Africa House. We think after the sucess of our tactics over the week the CRS may have been reprimanded by their commanders for getting so few arrests, and have decided to target other groups. The Hazaras were raided at midnight on Wednesday and 8am Thursday morning but no arrests were made on either occasion. The Pashtun continue to be heavily hit.

A couple of No Borders activists prevented arrests on the port road early this morning, loudly confronting the CRS as they chased a group of Pashtun. The CRS were distracted and only managed to catch one guy. Clearly angry, they threatened to pepperspray and hit the activists, but didn’t follow through. All in a morning’s work.

English teaching at Africa House is going really well. The first few lessons have concentrated on basic English grammar and vocab, incorporating role-plays to allow people to practise with each other. Yesterday’s lesson focused on how to buy things in English, how to ask how much something was, and served to familiarise our friends with UK money. Today’s lesson will be on telling the time in English. It has been a quality experience so far, for both activists and migrants.

Our ties in Africa House are now very strong, and the other day we held a meeting to allow migrants to request our help in specific areas, and give feedback on how we have been working. No-one had a bad word to say. As I write this in the internet café I have just come away from a minor confrontation with a van full of CRS. It’s worth noting that the cops tried to get photos of the three of us as we stood watching them on the corner. This tactic is not widely used in France, so this incident, although small, marks a turning point in the evidence gathering approach of the police.