Since a couple of months there are working volunteers and migrants together with the organisation “Maison Pour Tous” (MPT) – a house for everybody – to make a festival called “A l’uni son, united people festival”. Originally it was planned for this weekend. An exhibition was arranged, a cabaret about the migration in Calais and two nights full with music and more than 10 bands.
The idea behind the festival was to make a link between the people from different cultures, who live in Calais, and to support the refugees. Last Friday, 10 October, the mayoress from Calais Natacha Bouchard send a letter to MPT in which she announced her rejection.
According to her opinion this event doesn’t agree with the contract the town made with MPT. She also claimed that this festival would be a sublease and she hasn’t been informed about it early enough.
In addition she said that the festival is a political and left event, which is not consistent with the contract because the contract just allows cultural events.
The mayoress threatened to cancel the contract and put the organisation under enormous pressure. And so the mayoress bans a festival, which was from the beginning neutral as it was meant to establish a bigger awareness of the situation. The mayoress wants do divide us in two parts by threatening the population. And again the refugees are suffering by this act. Apart from that it makes it very difficult for the organisation who want to help the migrants in Calais to gather in public or organise events. Its impossible to get a room where it can take place and even if there is a room, its impossible to come together.
The circumstances don’t matter, as long as there are refugees involved, the city Calais vetos. We condemn this kind of abuse of power and hope that this censorship will be commented by other organisations.
This saturday, 19.10.2013 there will be a demonstration against this act. The people will gag themselves by scarfs, as a symbol.