In this last week there has been several sweeps of squats, jungles and in the streets of Calais – with ID controls, raids, arrests and some people picked out and taken to detention centre – by both CRS and PAF (there seems to be a lot of new faces amongst the PAF these days).
Last Wednesday (30th Jan) a new squat was raided in the morning with about 15 people arrested. One No Border person was also arrested and has been charged. Five people, from Afghanistan and Pakistan, were taken to the detention centre and will be deported to Italy this week. People in the detention centre complain again the food is not halal – and the police refuse to respond, despite this constantly being a huge problem for people who will not eat non-halal food. Many people in the past have gone on hunger-strike because of these conditions.
On Saturday (2nd Feb) PAF raided the biggest of the African squats. No-one arrested.
On Sunday (3rd Feb) some people from Afghanistan were arrested from the street and are still no-where to be found. They are not in the detention centre and friends cannot get hold of them.
On Monday (4th Feb) the Egyptian squat was raided by PAF in the morning, six people were arrested. All released the same day. In the afternoon the PAF swept through the Mall in the centre of town, where many people now go in the day to stay out of the cold and rain. All migrant looking people were hoarded into a pen and ID controlled. Two people were arrested.
Some people also say one person from Iran was badly beaten by the police at night at the border last week. And people have now lost contact with this person.
La Belle Etoile have given news that they will close from the 1st March : at the moment they provide lunch meals Mon-Fri. Its unclear whether other associations will be able to provide lunch meals in their place. For 6 months now there has been no (except the infrequent exceptions) breakfasts for people.
Weather is grim : strong winds, heavy hail storms and very cold!
We are still constantly out of supplies of sleeping bags, blankets and tents.
There is maybe 300 people now in Calais. Very dispersed. There are many smaller squats still – in a cycle of being closed, re-opened or moving to new spaces. It is has still not been possible to keep a larger place.
There is also now more different jungles further out past the port. Re-occupying some of the old places of the big camps of 2009.