Demo today to remember those killed at the border

 

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Today there was a demonstration in Calais remembering the people killed, and calling for the border to be opened. Between 2 and 300 people took part, of all ages, from all of the nationalities living in the jungle, and also many French and other Europeans.

We met at the bridge at the entrance to the jungle at 2PM. Strips of red cloth were handed out as a symbol of remembrance and rage, which people wore as armbands or headbands or to cover their faces. Some carried placards each with the name of one of the people killed at the tunnel, on the road, murdered by the border and by the police. Some carried long banners with slogans written mainly in English and French, such as: “Open The Border”, “No Border for Immigrants”, “Stop Police Violence”, “Que Tombent Les Murs” (may the walls fall), “Liberons les frontieres”, “Mort pour La France” (Died for / by France).

The back of the march was brought up by an open truck which carried people when they got tired, and another van carrying water and other supplies. Behind them, the police, following and watching. It was a hot day with the sun beating down and little shade most of the way.

We walked part of the same long route people are taking every night, kilometres of hard road ending in hope or disappointment. From the camp down the long straight stretch past the chemical stink of the Huntsman Tioxide factory. Then to the port, and along the port fences and barbed wire that keep people from freedom. We stopped, shook the walls, shouted sorrow and anger, tied ribbons to the fence.

Then through the old town onto the city beach. A ceremony was held on the pier, with white kites flown, and paper boats cast into the water. There were lots of people on the beach on a hot Saturday afternoon, Calaisiens and tourists. Some were hostile, but quite a few more joined in the ceremony.

Once again, the main chant was the one demand, the same three words: “Open The Border”.

 

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