Police brutality: daily life in Calais Jungle
Monday 31 August
Late this evening over two hundred people ran out onto the motorway to create a blockade. Once traffic had been stopped, eight nearby police officers came onto the scene tear gassing people. As more people began to run in to block the motorway the police began to use their chemical spray more heavily. This created chaos, a dangerous situation as the motorway is situated at the top of a steep slope. A police officer in confrontation with one man, made direct eye contact and sprayed him in the eyes from a distance of less than 50cm away. He fell to the ground instantly. People demanded an ambulance be called, but police refused to do anything. Bystanders helped the fallen man recover by blowing smoke into his eyes to allieviate the chemical sting. The police demanded no pictures be taken of the situation and threatened to use their pepper spray. The presence of white activists caused an obvious reduction in the physical aggression of the police. After 50 minutes, the fallen man began to regain consciousness and blink his eyes. The police tried to push people back at this stage, using pepper spray. This was extremely dangerous as the location on the cliff, with a 3m drop below. The spray forced the crowd down, but put everyone at risk of being trampled. A young boy of 12 nearly fell during the rush from this top. This recurring scene occured just a few hours after French prime minister Manuel Valls’ highly politicised visit to the Calais Jungle.