Despite their big push for a demonstration this weekend, members of Sauvons Calais and the other neo-nazi groups who had promised their presence in the centre of Calais on Sunday were nowhere to be seen.
On the other hand, there was an overwhelming response to the callouts from No Borders and other local groups and networks. With around 100 arriving in Calais to show solidarity with the communities here and to help defend the squats and camps against attack.
The prefect of Calais had announced on Friday afternoon that the demonstration of Sauvons Calais was not allowed because of the threat to public order. Although the fascists came up with a new plan to congregate near the food distribution instead, they cancelled this at the last minute themselves.
In the end, the weekend passed without much incident. The only time the fascists made themselves known was early on Sunday morning, when around 40 stood on the road that passes over the Eriterean camp singing the national anthem. But they did not stay around for very long. In fact, once people stepped out of their tents to see what all the noise was, they disappeared quickly and seemingly took the next train out of Calais.
The police presence on the other hand was substantial as the huge force of CRS that came for the eviction of the Sudanese jungle stayed around for the weekend just to make sure nothing would happen. For the most part they sat in their vans through the whole day looking like storm troopers while playing games on their smartphones. The police (or possible scouts for UK Premier League teams) also had an airplane that took photos of the football match that was played in the citadelle, where everyone had met once it became clear there was going to be no demonstration. The Sudanese were a strong side as usual, defeating both Ethiopia and the French Antifa to the cheers of Calais’ BAC police who were standing on top of a hill to have a better view.
All in all, it was one of the best days that has been had in Calais for a while as everyone was united in the desire to confront the fascists and when they didn’t have to, were able to have a nice time getting to know one another and enjoying the sun. In case anyone misunderstood, we were not recognizing anyone’s call for peace this weekend, but just didn’t end up needing to defend ourselves.