Calais Jungle Eviction: a chronology of resistance so far

Afghan kid photographs burning shelters

Via the website rabble.org.uk, which is maintaining a chronology of resistance to the eviction in Calais and in solidarity in other places.

Today the southern half of the Calais ‘jungle’ enters it’s third day of eviction, in a process the authorities have now said will take 3 weeks to complete.

Here’s some of the acts of resistance that have been happening in & beyond the camp. It’s looking like it’s going to be a drawn-out process, so get busy researching, preparing and taking action now. This post will be updated as more action reports come through.

17th Jan:

Two vehicles used to carry out evictions were torched overnight.

24th Jan:

The UK Visas and Immigration office in Rome is graffitied with the words “standing side by side those who are fighting in Calais”.

22nd Feb:

Calais Migrant Solidarity issues a call for transnational solidarity actions, specifically asking people to target institutions of the French and British state and the companies involved in the assault on the jungle. Here is a list of some of those companies.

Stand up to Racism (SWP) organises a demo at Downing Street.

23rdFeb:

Responding at short notice, 30-40 people gather in Shoreditch, London to disrupt the launch of the French government’s ‘Creative France’ campaign, attended by the French ambassador. Smoke bombs are let off, rubbish fills the lobby, and the building is evacuated.

25th Feb:

The legal challenge against the eviction is lost – it will go ahead with the supposed exception of the social spaces (religious buildings, library etc.).

Bernard Cazeneuve, the French Interior Minister, delivers a speech and says that it’s not, and has never been, the government’s intention to use bulldozers in the eviction of the camp.

Banner drop from a bridge in Ventimiglia (French border with Italy), in solidarity with migrants in Calais.

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26th Feb:

Local council workers walk around the camp telling people to leave. Buses are brought in to take people off to centres around the country. The buses leave mostly empty – the authorities are furious, and blame no borders for the poor uptake.

29th Feb:

The eviction of the jungle begins. A massive police operation (around 55 police vans) is launched in the early morning. Bulldozers and workers from Sogea (a Vinci subsidiary) destroy people’s shelters, in blatant and direct contradiction of Cazeneuve’s statement the previous week.

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Inhabitants throw stones at the heavily armoured police. The police fire tear gas.

People begin occupying their roofs in resistance; a water cannon is used to try and move people. This protest tactic continues to be used over the coming days.

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A woman on a rooftop slashes her wrists, before being dragged off by the police.

Another demonstration takes place at Downing Street, organised by Stand up to Racism (SWP).

Two more companies (Baudelet Environnement, and Groupe SOS Solidarités, company details here) are identified by CMS for their key role in the eviction.

That night, large numbers of migrants occupy the motorway to force lorries to stop for a lift to the UK.

1st March

50 people demonstrate outside l’Institut Francais in London, then walk around Kensington chanting, distributing leaflets, and describing the situation in Calais over a megaphone.

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One jungle resident dies overnight, possibly of a heart attack.

The Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, makes a statement denouncing No Borders for disrupting the progress of the eviction.

Around 100 people, including many refugees, protest in central Paris against the repression in Calais, in spite of the state of emergency and continued ban on demos.

2nd March

12 Iranians living in the camp embark on a hunger strike, a number of them sewing their lips together. They receive phone calls and messages of support from other Iranian migrant activists in Europe.

The Calais Prefect Fabienne Buccio makes yet another statement parroted by the press that ‘no borders anarchists’ have been inciting a handful of ‘hardcore migrants’ to fight back. The idea that people might act to stop the destruction on their homes without the need for encouragement is clearly inconceivable.

Of the 5 so-called “no borders activists” from the jungle who were taken into custody over the preceding two days; 2 were apparently Iranians who were defending their shelters, 2 were Auberge des Migrants volunteers, and 1 was a Care 4 Calais volunteer. The Iranians and one other are released back into the jungle. The two others appear before a court accused of arson, but are acquitted.

Other demos:

3rd March:

Brussels Calais solidarity demo, 8pm, Place de la Bourse.

4th March:

Paris Calais solidarity demo, called for 6pm at the Gare du Nord.

5th March:

London2Calais have called for an “open the borders” demo in London, at a secret location to be announced on the day.

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A demo has also been called in Bath.

6th March

A demo has been called in Witney, UK.

18h March

Demo in Lille