Pre-Ramadan party and more

Arrests at food distribution 9.45 am: a arrest van with 4 migrants inside arrived in front of food distribution and the CRS tried to snatch more migrants, they stopped thanks to the intervention of No Borders activists but took the 4 they had already arrested to police station they were all very young and two clearly under age.

The associations made a complaint with the authorities as there is an agreement people should not be arrested outside food distribution, for 20 minutes before and after.

A party in the park was organized by CMS and Ecotopia as it was the night before Ramadan. People attended after food distro and had a nice relaxed hour or so with music and some dancing. It was a welcome break to the usual constant harassment by Police. Unfortunately it didn’t last long and a mass raid was carried out on the Pashto and Hazara while they were returning to their camps from the party. The Afghans were taken from two sides so they had no escape, three arrest vans were filled, about 35 – 40 people including some minors as young as 13 and people with papers were arrested.

The racism inherent in UK border control

The police have continued to arrest people with papers. In one incident last week, they arrested a student from the UK who was travelling via Calais on his way back home to Iraq. He had stopped off in in the port town to find out more about the situation of migrants there. Whilst sitting outside the food distribution point, the police pulled up, chose to ignore the fact that he had legal status in the UK, and arrested him.This is just one of many examples of how Anglo-French immigration practices are tied to skin colour and country of birth rather than immigration status.

More reports have also emerged of cruel and humiliating treatment in detention; yet more allegations have been made about the drugging of food; that speakers in the cells have been used to subject detainees to anonymous insults and that detainees have been deprived of water and toilet paper.

On a positive note, a basketball hoop was set up at Africa House, and a cricket bat & balls delivered to Afghan migrants, both of which were very popular and helped relieve the boredom of life in Calais. English lessons continue in the African and Palestinian squats and are well attended.