A new squat near the post office resisted attempts to evict occupants several times today. The squat is owned by the city, in the morning a city worker attempted enter the building, but was unable to unlock the door. Later in the day a second attempt was made by a locksmith, accompanied by a Police Nationale, but again they were not able to get in.
Occupants had placed a legal notice on the door displaying the legal process that should be followed ie if a building is occupied for over 48 hours the owner must seek a court order to remove the residents and the police/bailiffs do not have authority to enter before a court judgement is made.
Time and time again evictions of squats in Calais have been illegal. Residents are always meant to be informed of the eviction before it happens, a notice must be placed in the Town Hall and on the building set to be evicted itself, and people should be given the opportunity to contest the decision and how to do this should be included in the notice. The police are also meant to show the judgement when making the eviction.
Also at the moment there is meant to be a ‘winter truce’. The ‘Trêve Hivernale’ law supposedly prohibits evictions during the ‘cold period’ of 1st November – 15th March if the occupant of the building are homeless.
Of course for years and years we know the police and owners of buildings have been totally ignoring these processes with impunity.
After several attempts to enter the building, the city locksmith and police seemed to acknowledged the explanations of the legal process and left.