No Borders activists and a substantial number of migrants participated in a protest called by the C’SUR collective against the harassment of migrants in Calais.
Following the C’SUR demo, participants headed towards the site of daily food distribution. Three police vehicles arrived and officers poured out to try and arrest the migrants. They succeeding in catching five of them, one of whom was on crutches and therefore unable to escape.
It is worth highlighting the problem of broken bones in Calais; many migrants break limbs after running away from the police, or from falling off trucks as they try and get to the UK. For those with broken legs, things are particularly difficult – not only is it then harder to get away during the daily police chases, but it takes a healthy person one hour to walk back from Coquelles, where many are taken after their arrest. Forcing someone with a broken leg to undertake that walk back to Calais on a regular basis is just another aspect of the wider war against migrants in Calais by the French and British governments.
A silent protest was also held near an official VE Day ceremony, VE day supposedly signifying the triumph over facism in World War II. Activists wore white overalls with images of arrests of Afghan migrants and of some of the repeated raids on, and thefts at, ‘Africa House’, all perpetrated by the French authorities.
Apparently unable to bear the embarassment and shame of having the ugly truth made available for all to see, the two activists wearing the display were promptly handcuffed and whisked away by the police. They also arrested activists people filming the event. All were released shortly after.