Its a facebook message which the mayor, Natacha Bouchart, posted on Wednesday the 23 of October. A “status“ in which the UMP party addresses the citizens of Calais. She invites residents to help instigate and inform the mayor if they see migrants squatting or / and living in a house in the city.
“I appeal to every citizen who is concerned by thy many migrant squats in Calais.
The situation isn’t complicated, that’s why we the maximum for you. Don’t hesitate to send an e-mail to the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The police is able to interfere and will use a special procedure which is possible within 48 hours to assert an intrusion in order to clear the place.“
Natacha Bouchart thinks that this massage on facebook is a matter of security: “We have dramas, we even had a murder in a squat. We want to avoid that squat get established in order to avoid human dramas. There is a high tension between the different population. They fight. There will happen more murders. There are fights between the migrants, migrant who kill or punch-ups everywhere in the city with 50 people.“
She also added that this kind of denunciation is legal, since July 2012. “Its the same procedure as if someone breaks in a house.“
It is a sanctimonious statement given the brutality of the authorities, overseen by the Mayor and enforced by riot and border police, who inflict an environment of daily harassment, humiliation and violence against the most marginalized people in Calais, systematically damaging or destroying shelters and belongings and forcing people to survive off the street or find whatever shelter they can.
Tensions run high when you have no-where to sleep except in park bushes, under bridges or in overcrowded squats that are constantly being shut down. Living off one meal a day and carrying everything you own you spend your days and nights at the hands of cops who chase you around the city and mafia who exploit and steal everything you have.
Fights result when living in these conditions. And from the authorities it is collective punishment against all when fights break out between some. The abuser likes to play victim, the Mayor does it from her Town Hall Tower with its pristine gardens, when there are countless number of people on the streets who are suffering and dying at the hands of racist immigration controls and these situations they create.
There has been four murders in the centre of Calais in the last 2 years; Commanden (from Afghanistan) Zenebe (from Ethiopia\Eritrea) who were killed by people they knew in their own community and Ismael (from Ethiopia) and Nouriddin (from Sudan) who people believe were killed by the cops.
The Mayor talks of fights as if it is a condition of migrants to live this way, when it is the micro-police state at the border that creates these conditions with the back-up of Calais’ cops, hired thugs notorious for beating on people, inflicting injuries from the manhunt at the border and destroying what little shelter people have, most of the time out sight and mind of the public.
This facebook appeal is an all too familiar far right tactic to incite fear and xenophobia amongst the public… not so dissimilar to UK Tories racist “go home or face arrest” van adverts piloted in London, encouraging your “good citizen” to help the government remove from society the people it regards as “non-citizens”, those without the correct identity or bank balance to live amongst the so-called “first world”.