Raid on new Africa House

The new space inhabited by around two dozen East African and Pashtun migrants was raided this morning in a fairly large CRS operation.

Last night, officers from the PAF (Police Aux Frontieres) cut the chain around the gate to the squat known as ‘Africa House’, and warned residents that they would be back the next day. A large number of No Borders activists remained on site overnight in anticipation of a raid.

At around 7.30 this morning, approximately 5 vans full of CRS officers surrounded the building. Officers attempted to catch as many migrants as possible; eleven people were arrested.

They then arrested three No Borders activists for not leaving immediately. They were held on the ground, pressure-pointed and insulted, but were released three hours later.

Workers from the muncipal council then seized essential possessions, such as bedding. Residents were told that the buildings would be demolished on Thursday – ironically – with a view to replacing the warehouses with HLMs (low-cost housing).

Raids have continued in other areas; on Saturday, 3 people were arrested at 6.45 am at the Kurdish jungle, while 3 sudanese men were arrested at 8.30 on their way to Africa House. Many still fear walking from their shelters to the food distribution point, as they are highly vulnerable to arrest in town.

At 11.30pm on Monday, a number of Pashtuns were arrested near their camp, while the PAF managed to catch 3 migrants at the African/Pashtun squat at around the same time.

English classes have begun at the Palestinian squat and continue to be well attended at the African/Pashtun squat. We have also been distributing sleeping bags and tents and doing water runs in the day.