Today the court in Calais declared the municipality’s request for the eviction of the squat on Rue Caillette “unreceivable” for procedural reasons. This means that the city will have to resubmit and argue their case all over again before being able to evict, giving those living there more valuable time before being forced back onto Calais’ streets.
The ineptitude of the municipality in how they handled this case has been surprising although very welcome. Apparently, when forced to respect the law and abide by procedure the city does not know what to do, having gotten so accustomed to breaking down doors and throwing people out over the years (old habits die hard).
It has been amazing to watch the evolution of this squat over time as people from many different parts of the world have made it their home together and organized autonomously within it, proving once again what is possible if people have just a bit of security and control in their living space.
In the meantime another property on Boulevard Victor Hugo has been occupied and legal procedure forced, although is not yet in process. For the past weeks this building has been used by a mobile kitchen to cook food which is being distributed at the squats and jungles at night for those observing Ramadan and to help alleviate the general hunger that comes from living off of just one meal a day at Salam. Longterm, this space is intended to be used as a safe house for particularly vulnerable people such as women, children, and those who are ill or in an especially difficult situation. Despite the Adjoint Mayor Phillippe Mignonet’s statement that he will make life hell for us here (something which he added was not a threat but a promise for as much as a politician’s promises are worth) the space has been receiving much support from the neighbors and will hopefully continue to function as well as Rue Caillette in the future.