Mass evictions of over six-hundred people across Calais!
At 6am this morning CRS riot cops and PAF border police accompanied by gendarmes evicted three squats – on Rue Massena, Rue de Vic et Rue Auber – which were housing over 70 people for several months.
At the same time, the three police forces surrounded SALAM, a food distribution point, and violently evicted over 500 people who had moved to sleeping there since the eviction and destruction of three of their camps a month ago.
All exits of the gated concrete yard of SALAM were blocked by the police and tear gas was used to prevent people from escaping.
Over twenty women and ten children were sleeping at SALAM this morning when the cops came, and another hundred+ minors were swept up in the police operation during the day.
All of people’s means of shelter were destroyed.
‘Activists’, associations and journalists were quickly separated to stop people intervening or bearing witness, so the eviction could happen out of sight.
Over 300 people were rounded up and taken away by coaches to detention centres in Coquelles (in Calais), Lille–Lesquin and le Mesnil–Amelot (near Paris). It seems many transfers of detainees across France had already been made to open up space in detention centres nearer Calais in preparation for today’s eviction.
Minors (including fifty from Sudan and Eritrea) were taken to a camp in Boulogne-sur-Mer.
Dozens of people tried to stop the coaches taking people to the detention centres by blockading the road as the coaches were trying to exit out of SALAM.
People fear these evictions will be followed by mass deportations to areas within and outside of Europe.
Big operations like this are often accompanied by targeted deportations as a method to clear Calais of migrants and refugees and incite fear into wider communities; so that more people leave and to ‘deter’ more people from coming; like the charter flights arranged for mass deportations of Afghans in 2009, or the attempted deportations of Sudanese during large eviction sweeps in 2012 and 2013.
Last month over thirty people occupying SALAM spent weeks on hunger-strike in protest against the constant police harassment and
repeated evictions. Many people moved to sleeping outside at SALAM in response to a large police operation on 28th May that saw hundreds of people evicted across three make-shift camps built up around the French port.
The latest eviction was authorized by a court order in Lille only days ago on June 27th. The Town Hall, under the direction of right-wing Mayor Natasha Bouchart who has spent many years hell-bent on trying to rid migrants from Calais, took the opportunity to move quickly to destroy the new camp.
At least three people were arrested for ‘rebellion’ during the eviction; the president of SALAM, a member of the Auberge des Migrants and a person associated with No Borders.
TO EXIST IS TO RESIST
From the Sahara to the Mediterranean through to Calais, people who are not privileged with a legal way to pass have to risk their lives to cross borders. This year there has been at least eight known deaths as a result of the conditions of the Calais border.
PLEASE COME AND SUPPORT!
Lets be creative and in solidarity with the people in Calais, from wherever you are. If you cannot go to Calais, inform people, make flyers and banners, collect tents and send them with your friends to Calais!
…and continue the daily fight againt these racist controls wherever you find them!
Free movement for all – the border regimes must fall!
Some reports on the eviction: