At 6.30pm on Sunday, fire-fighters arrive at the new squat in Coulogne after local fascists threaten to throw more molotov cocktails and hang around outside holding gas cans.
“Sauvons Calais” (Saving Calais) a new fascist group in Calais has been attacking the squat for the last week and a half, attempting to mobilise mostly younger crowds to attack migrants and what is believed to be their shelters.
SHUT DOWN THEIR FACEBOOK :
* Go to the page and click the flower icon next to the Message button to report it for harassment/threatening behaviour. If enough of us do it, it might just work!
* Share this info on social media; get friends to report the FB page too.
Urgent antifascist solidarity is needed following a week of elevated fascist activity in Calais.
The squat in Coulogne continues to be attacked and harassed by local extreme-right fascists who’ve formed a group “Sauvons Calais”, (“Saving Calais), led by Kevin Reche – pictured below with the swastika tattoo, who also launched a facebook group by the same name.
“Sauvons Calais” is using the facebook group to mobilise local fascists to post pictures and target squats they believe are being used by people from mainly northern Africa and the Middle East for shelter.
Some of the same people in “Sauvons Calais” are also known to be well connected to another extreme-right fascist group – Génération Identitaire – who attacked a mosque in Poitiers in 2012 and hung a banner saying ‘Islam out’, and whose mission statement about the ‘Identity Movement’ declares :
“Our identity is to be defended at all times.. and oppose all that may be offensive to that identity. The [Génération] Identitaires therefore gather all those who believe that preserving identities against the world steamroller is a historic mission. We want to raise the standard of identity against uniformity. The identity commitment arises from the roots and thus the idea that we are the result of land and lineage, a link in a chain.”
Let their be no question that it is white supremacist proud-to-be-Nazis behind the new “Sauvons Calais” group, mobilising against “immigrants” and their supporters …
ACT NOW :
1. Go to Calais to support people there. French speakers especially encouraged.
Call: 06 45 46 59 86 (from inside France)
00 33 6 45 46 59 86 (from outside France)
Or email more in advance to let people know you’re coming :
2. Shut down the Facebook page: Go to the page and click the flower icon next to the Message button to report it for harassment/threatening behaviour. If enough of us do it, it might just work!
3. Share this info on social media; get friends to report the FB page too.
Saturday’s news from the inhabitants of 122 Rue Émile Dumont in Coulogn (suburb of Calais)
“We’re writing to you again with the latest news from the front. Our aggressors have reached a new level of violence. On Saturday 22, we were attacked by intensive volleys of stones from two in the afternoon until half past midnight. Around 4.30 pm, one man who had threatened on the facebook page of ‘Sauvons Calais’ (‘Save Calais’) to kill some migrants and throw them into the canal threw a rock, from 6 metres away, which hit the neck of a friend who had gone outside to talk with some of the neighbours. When we went outside to eat in the garden, we received a rain of some 20 stones in just a few seconds. As the numerous attacks on the roof and the windows went on, the crowd shouted encouragement every time a stone hit its target. As the most violent attack of stone-throwing was going on, the collective ‘Sauvons Calais’ was publicly hosting a buffet outside with food and coffee, between 6pm and midnight. They also used laser pointers against cameras and directly into the eyes of the inhabitants (legally these can be considered as weapons in this context). There were a maximum of 80 people protesting (at about 10.30pm), the last of them left around 1am.
During all this afternoon and until about 1 am, the police (National Police and plain-clothes ‘Brigade Anti-Criminelle’) were present, up to 8 in number. They were notable in their passivity, only intervening on two occasions in total. The first time, while our friend was hit by a rock to the neck in front of their eyes, they took him into their police car for less than a minute, then let him go. Another striking event was when a drunk man arrived with a packet of fireworks, the police confiscated a few of them and then let him approach the house with the rest. Indeed they went so far as to hang the protesters’ banner on the fence, and some of them were laughing as our attackers showed their joy when the stones hit their target. The police allowed the protesters to come right up to the gates of the house, while they stood watching a metre behind.
The police left a few minutes after the last protesters and, five minutes later, a white pick-up truck parked at the corner of Rue Aristide Brillant and Rue Haut-Champs. Two men got out and walked towards us, then turned away as the police briefly drove past. The two men then returned with Molotov cocktails (beer bottles) in their hands, which they lit in front of the bus stop. One of the molotovs was thrown onto the roof. Fortunately it did not catch fire, but then they threw another which rebounded off the side of the bus stop and landed in the garden where it burned. We called the police to report the attack, they refused to listen and demanded to know our identities.
After one of us explained that he could tell them everything that happened, and could describe the attackers’ vehicle, but wanted to stay anonymous, the police left. One of us went into the garden to find the debris of the molotov cocktail. A police car drive past again and he tried to show them the evidence, but they only shone their torches in his face, refusing again to record the event. We wait with much apprehension the days to come. After the molotov attack, what next?”
Tomorrow, Friday 21st Feb, fascists have called a day and evening demonstration outside a new squat in Coulogne. This is the accumulation of five days of heavy fascist activity in the Calais area.
In the last few months a racist anti-migrant group, ‘Sauvons Calais’ have mobilised in Calais to ‘defend Calais from migrants’. Last week people squatted a farm house in Coulogne and since Sunday evening groups of up to 50 fascists and angry neighbours have had almost a constant presence outside the building.
The fascist’s actions this week have ranged from shouting insults at the people inside, throwing rocks, fireworks and standing there for hours on end. At 7am on Tuesday morning three fascists, who had been out drinking all night tried to break into the squat with a sledge hammer. Two of them were arrested. Members of the demonstration have also been recorded making death threats against migrants.
Today they are back outside again threatening the people inside. The fascists ‘Sauvons Calais’ facebook account has been used to mobilise people to descend on the squat. See https://www.facebook.com/page.sauvons.calais.
The squat became visible last week and the squatters have gained legal status for their occupation.
As the days have gone on it seems that the number of fascists coming is increasing. The situation is getting more hostile rather than calming down. This is unprecedented fascist action in Calais. People are asking for support tomorrow and in the coming weeks…
Cet après midi, les exilés du camp près de Salam ont organisé une manifestation au centre ville. Pour réclamer la liberté de circulation, le droit de vivre en paix, et protester contre la police qui vient les harceler tous les jours sur le campement.
C’est la colère qui les a motivé mais c’est la joie de manifester ensemble, d’oser manifester, qui a dominé. Chants et danses pendant toute la manifestation. Syriens, Afghans, Egyptiens, Kurdes, Soudanais… tous ensemble.
This afternoon, a camp of exiles near Salam organized a demonstration in the centre of town. To demand the freedom of movement, the right to live in peace and protest against the police harassment every day at the camp.
It is anger that is the motive but it is also the joy of marching together, daring to demonstrate, who is dominated. Chants and dances throughout the demonstration. Syrians, Afghans, Egyptians, Kurds, Sudanese … all together.
La Voix Du Nord report on the demo : http://www.lavoixdunord.fr/region/fatigues-par-leurs-conditions-de-vie-a-calais-une-ia33b48581n1905433
Since the big eviction wave in autumn 2013, most migrants in Calais are forced to sleep outside in tents. But weather and temperature are horrible at the moment. Wind and rain makes it very difficult or impossible to live like this.
On Sunday the police closed and destroyed one of last squats in Calais. Just five persons have found shelter in this house, which had been empty since months.
The Cops arrived in the afternoon, when some of the inhabitants were at home. Without any warning the Cops broke their door and entered the building. The persons living there explained to the police that they are sick and can not live outside. But they did not care about that fact. They forced the people to leave their home. The were not able to take all their personal belongings with them.
When the evicted persons went back the same day to collect their clothes, blankets, food etc., they saw that the cops had smashed and messed up everything inside the house. They had pepper sprayed beds, blankets and clothes, spilled cooking oil all over the floor and their things. They found their clothes in a puddle in the floor.
In addition, once more the cops stole personal property from migrants. Heaters, tobacco and bags were missing after this destroying mission.
Today February 5, 2014 there was scheduled for trial an injunction against the French State and the OPH due to the illegal eviction of the squat at 221 Rue de Saint-Omer. Originally scheduled on January 22nd, the trial was postponed until February 5th. ‘Coincidentally’, the prefect waited until the day before to instruct the trial lawyers to represent him, these latter requested an adjournment, granted despite the precarious situation of those evicted from Rue de Saint-Omer .
In contrast to the OPH, the representative of the State, the prefect in this case , had not sent any documents to the other party, the evicted, until the date of trial. It is therefore only today that the court of Boulogne-sur-Mer informed the applicants and their lawyer of the conclusions presented by counsel for the State. In two pages and one staple the State rejects the application, stating that the complaints against the State should be directed to the judicial authorities of the state and not directly to the prefect.
The State and its accomplices, unpunished for 10 years, systematically expelling squats illegally, They must feel near the end of arbitrary rule? In this new case, it is no doubt that the state is playing for time, wanting to enjoy the last moments of the area of no-rights that the city is
now. The system has only cracked, the impunity of the Calaisienne land
speculator clique, the unscrupulous politicians and their guard dogs is
coming to an end.
Meet March 12th, 2014 at 9am in Court of Boulogne-sur-Mer for the next episode.
Translation of La Voix Du Nord article : http://www.lavoixdunord.fr/region/meurtre-d-un-migrant-a-calais-l-homme-interpelle-ia33b48581n1896219
Murder of a migrant in Calais: arrested man released, twenty migrants demonstrate
Around 20 migrants of different nationalities tried to occupy the port of Calais this Tuesday afternoon, in response to the death of two fellow migrants in recent days, and to protest against their living conditions in Calais.
The news of the murder of one of the migrants on Sunday evening in the zone Marcel-Doret in Calais was too much. So this Tuesday morning, around 20 migrants of different nationalities – the majority of them Syrian and Egyptian – decided to occupy the port. Upon arrival at the footbridge of the ferry terminal, they were very quickly pushed back by the port security. The CRS and the police nationale came on the scene to block all access to the port for the migrants.
The 20 or so men were accompanied by several activists and association members (Calaisiens engagés, No Borders and several members of Secours Catholique were there). They stayed in front of the fences of the terminal for an hour and a half, surrounded by the CRS. Several of them showed their deep sadness and anger after the death, in recent days, of two migrants: one who was run over last Thursday night/Friday morning, and the other killed by a bullet in the industrial zone Marcel-Doret on Sunday evening. These two dramas occurred in the continually difficult context for the migrants in Calais. “We fled war to come here and our friends die on the roads. We sleep in tents, where the water invades us when it rains and no one come to see us to help” explained one of them.
Several of them complained of repeated police checks and body searches in their camps, and say that they have been verbally abused or hit by the CRS in these past weeks.
Questioned on this, the sous-préfet of Calais Alain Gérard said he was “very surprised” by these allegations. “To be clear, we have not received a single complaint on behalf of the migrants, either from associations or from other people. No fact of violence towards the migrants has been established and we need to treat these allegations with caution” he explained. Alain Gérard restated that the CRS (whose presence has been reinforced following the visit of minister Manuel Valls to Calais) “do their work and question people on the request of the prosecutor, but without violence and insults. If there had been the slightest derivation from this, we would have been informed”.
Towards midday, 2 police offices went to meet with the migrants to learn of their intention and convince them to leave. They decided a time until which the group could demonstrate, up to the sous-préfecture of Calais, or even to the town hall, in order to find someone to talk with to demonstrate their anger, but then this idea was abandoned. The action finished without incident around 12.30pm.
Homicide: the arrested man released
The enquiry started after the discovery of the body of a migrant on Sunday night/Monday morning in Calais. The autopsy, which was done this Tuesday, confirmed that the man was killed after receiving a bullet in the thorax. The murder weapon was probably a shotgun. The victim is said to be a migrant, about 30 years old, probably Iranian or Iraqi. A man presenting himself as one of his friends alerted the emergency services on Sunday night: he was placed in custody in the police station in Coquelles, to give evidence in the enquiry, before being placed beyond suspicion and being released this Tuesday afternoon. This Iranian, who is unknown to the police, was in fact not a witness to the crime, indicated the prosecutor of Boulogne-sur-Mer.
A legal enquiry for voluntary manslaughter will be opened this Wednesday.
The successive deaths of a 17 year old Iranian migrant, who fell from a truck that he was trying to hide in to reach England on 30th January
(see article below) and a migrant killed by a bullet in the chest
on 2nd February has caused a wave of outrage.
On 4th February, thirty migrants, mainly Syrians and Egyptians marched to the port to carry out a sit-in to demonstrate their anger at the death of migrants and the inhumane living conditions people face in Calais.
Four vans of CRS (riot police) and a few police cars were quick to
arrive at the end of the port and controlled the migrants, also trying to intimidate people with insults. The CRS then filmed the control, zooming in on each migrant and activist present.
Police violence is systematic in Calais, the control yesterday is a daily recurrence of how cops like to deal with migrants : insults, provocations, checking papers and recurring harassment is the daily routine here.
The reality is that there is no intention to allow for anywhere for people to be able to live. Migrants congregate on land, blankets and tarpaulins used to protect people from cold, wind and rain that flood the tents. The living conditions of migrants are without dignity, new migrants arrive every day and it is more difficult to find blankets and clothes for them, the tents are increasingly rare and the few occupied homes are regularly expelled, illegally destroyed and tents are regularly torn and broken by the cops.
On the night of 30th January 2014 a 17 year old boy from Iran was killed by being driven over by a truck whilst trying to cross the border into the UK.
During this night, three people were trying cross the border to the UK by hiding inside a lorry. As they entered the truck they realized that the truck driver clearly saw them entering. So they were quite surprised when the driver did not say anything and shortly after drove off.
After around a 15 minute drive the truck stopped at a small parking space. The driver went to the back of the truck to shout to the people inside to come out. Because they were hiding behind boxes they had to climb over them to get out, but they could not get out quick enough.
The truck started driving while they were still trying to get out. Finally they made it to the back to jump out of the truck. In the meantime the truck was already back on the highway! Two of them were lucky and landed on their feet and could leave the highway. The third person was not that lucky. He landed on his head and could not move. Even if the other two tried to stop the traffic on the street, they could not help him. A second truck which passed hit the young boy and it tore him to pieces.
We are deeply shocked about another very tragic and brutal death here in Calais. The two people with him that night are of course very distraught. They witnessed him dying. Trying to cross to England is not an option for them any more. They left their home to find peace and protection. And they do not want to be the next one killed instead by the European border regime!
This is now the fourth death at the Calais border in the past 6 months; and at least the twenty second reported death in the past four years.
There is no justification for the countless suffering inflicted on people by the border regimes. People without the ‘right’ identity in this world have to risk their lives day in and day out while the privileged class pass by in luxury.
The greed of the capitalist trade assigns more value to the goods – taken from every corner of the world – in the 7,000 trucks that cross daily into Britain than the people having to hide amongst them.
These regimes are a brutal combination of age old racism tied up with the mantra of ‘national interest’ where people profiting from the system are quite happy to reap all the benefits of the global militarized onslaught to ‘free up’ capital and trade but are not willing to share any of the benefits or bear any of the consequences.
ID controls and the enforcement of identity papers, check points and prisons used to control the identity of populations has, and always will, result in persecution. Time and time again ID controls by authorities scanning populations in order to pick out certain categories of people is a telling sign that systematic abuse against those people is happening.
And the silence remains deafening. One death is too many. It will stop only when people rise up to make it stop. Regimes do not give up their control voluntarily.