The far-right were hoping to gather up to 380 in Calais. Less than 60 turned up and met at the train station. About 20 from Calais, nearly all from the collective ´Sauvons Calais´, Kevin Reche present. Some from other groups: ´Parti de la France´, the group ´Dissidence Francaise´ had a prominent presence, the German ´Pegida´ and the ´English Defence League´: both Pegida’s and EDL’s main element is islamophobia. The demonstration was against immigration, against Islam, against multiculturalism (‘genocide of the Whites’) anti anti-racism (‘anti-Whites’). Lots of French flags, singing the Marsillese, slogans: “France au Francaises”, “Calais au Calaisiens”, “Nous sommes chez nous”, “rentrez chez vous” (“we are in our home, go back to your home”) If they weren’t stupid and ignorant they wouldn’t be going to such demonstrations. They marched from the station to the theatre and back and were surrounded by riot cops from beginning to end. The people of Calais just ignored them.
30 – 40 turned up to oppose the far-right demonstration: anti-racists from Calais, ´No Borders´, English and international volunteers who help migrants in the jungle. Two migrants who came with us gave the far-right a good piece of their minds. The little anti-racist demonstration shone with courage and spirit. We could not stop the far right from marching, as sadly a call out for antifa to come to Calais went unheard. Local antifa are very few and cannot do much without support from outside Calais. However, we felt we could not just let the far right have their day, and we followed them around shouting : “No more hate!” and “Shame on you!” in English and French. An amazing African woman who lives in the jungle kept asking: “Why do you hate us? We came here to save our lives. We are human beings. Human beings love human beings”… and got death threats as an answer.
Two of our comrades were arrested by police: one for snatching a banner from ‘Dissidence Francaise’ was later charged with ‘theft’; the other for no reason at all, released without charges. Some other pro-immigrant activists were also stopped, pushed, searched, assaulted by cops.
We would like to know:
Why two of us got arrested and none of the far-right thugs got arrested, despite making death threats, lashing toward us, launching fireworks and burning a Koran in the middle of Boulevard Jaquard (the police took the Koran from them, but it had been mostly burned already)?
Why the far-right demonstration was authorized in the first place, and why the she-Prefect Fabienne Buccio did not forbid it, saying it does not cause any public order problem and it is freedom of expression? Even the UMP major of Calais Natacha Bouchart, who is a racist, wanted the demonstration forbidden for reasons of public order. A previous demo was forbidden, and the ´Sauvons Calais´ and friends had to limit themselves to a little rally indoors. These bastards gather for the very purpose of inciting racial hatred. Nazis connected with ´Sauvons Calais´ are the material authors of a long series of physical assaults on migrants and on whomever supports them, some very serious. In the past the police used to arrest the racists who attacked migrants, and they were sent to prison. Now they never catch them. Some migrants have pressed charges and identified the racists who assaulted them, but the police still can not find them. To authorize such demonstration is like giving the green light to the most violent racists and Nazis.