Yesterday afternoon around 80 people gathered outside the police station / detention centre at Coquelles for a noise demo to protest the violence of the border regime. They we’re joined by a bunch of cops and some local fascists from the group Les Calaisien en Colere, who didn’t do a very good job of remaining incognito.
The demo brought together a mix of people – some connected to Calais Migrant Solidarity, antifa militants, activists and volunteers from the distribution teams in the jungle, and people with and without papers living in Calais – who all wanted to show their solidarity with those imprisoned in the detention centre and their rage at the system that imprisoned them.
Gathering outside the front entrance of the police station, the crowd made a fierce and joyous cacophony with pots and pans and musical instruments, accompanied by a trombone playing duo and a sound system playing classic tunes from the jungle. Banners were hung on the fences around the prison, with slogans such as ‘From conflict to cage: Welcome to Europe‘, ‘Freedom of movement for all‘, ‘Free the Channel Tunnel 3‘, and ‘No borders, No Nations, Stop Deportations‘.
From the start at the entrance gate to the detention prison, the group moved around the outskirts of the prison. The crowd moved to the back of the building, the part where people are held in detention, and marched up to a line of cops who were there waiting for them with their cans of pepper spray in their hands. The crowd stayed outside, making an impassioned statement of solidarity with those interned on new years eve that felt strong. The party lasted several hours until everyone decided to leave. Speeches were made which also expressed the sentiment of the party: that it is incomplete until everyone is free from behind the bars of the Coquelles detention prison.