This morning at around 6am, as the sun came up, the camp known as the Sudanese jungle was evicted by the police. Following a tip off received this week suggesting the camp would be evicted and after speaking to the community who lived there, people in the camp and of the no borders collective were there doing morning watch.
The police came in incredibly large numbers, there were around 30 to 40 vehicles that came to carry out the eviction. Around 18 cars, 12 CRS vans and 6 arrest vans. They came to the jungle from four different directions, lining the motorway, to catch people that were running away. However, many people managed to avoid arrest and escape, because they had warning from the morning patrols that the police were on their way.
Because it is difficult to get near to big police actions like this, we do not know exactly how many people were arrested. At the moment we think that it was around 8. One person was not living at the camp, but was arrested for refusing to show their ID.
With a van people of the no borders collective managed to collect a lot of the tents, blankets and bicycles from the camp, before they were taken by the council workers. Some workers from the local charities showed up late.
One official was there chatting about human rights and saying he had agreed everything in advance with Jean-Claude Lenoir, of Salam, that the associations would be able to collect people’s stuff after the operation. However that seems entirely dubious because there was a load of cleaning workers throwing everything randomly in a big container headed for the dump.
There are now around 30 people from the camp that have lost their home in Calais. In the coming days we will be speaking to these people about their plans for what they would like to do now, but for now we are waiting for the release of our friends and are resting from the early morning wake up call.
If you are coming to Calais this weekend for the demonstration, or in the next couple of weeks, it would be very useful if you bring tents or sleeping bags to replace what has been lost today.