This shows just how little it takes for the police in Calais to fire tear gas into people’s homes. There were several other incidents of tear gas being fired into the camp in the few hours after this one, each one aimed further into the camp, where people live, including children.
For more info, see this post:
Yesterday, (7th October) early evening, there was again teargas fired into the Jungle as there was a traffic jam on the motorway.
To stop people jumping on to lorries, police in full riot gear stood in their way to the entrance to this mortorway. There was crowds of people standing around aiming to cross on the motorway and into UK. The atmosphere changed, as the first round of tear gas was fired and the crowds dispersed. People gathered again and fought back with stones. This included many minors. As crowds grew, another round of tear gas was fired, the crowd dispersed and then slowly gathered again. This occurred repeatedly for over an hour. At one point there was music and dancing however as the crowd grown bigger and more gas was fired. At least 8 or 9 rounds of tear gas was fired, each time further into the jungle.
The police were also shooting the gas canisters directly at people, which is illegal in France. One man, at least was hit in the chest at quite short range from a canister.They were also deliberately aimed into people’s homes as gas canons were fired in direction of the Eritrean area on repeated rounds of tear gas. This extreme police violence happened indiscriminately and many children were amongst those where tear gas was fired.
It shows again not only the frequent and severe police violence but also that those without papers are those really challenging Europe’s border regime.
Hier (7 octobre), en début de soirée, comme il y avait un embouteillage sur l’autoroute, des gaz lacrymogènes ont été tirés dans la jungle.
Pour empêcher les gens de monter dans les camions, des policiers en tenue anti-émeute se sont postés sur la bretelle d’accès de l’autoroute. Tout autour, il y avait une foule de gens cherchant à traverser l’autoroute et à se rendre au Royaume-Uni.
L’atmosphère a changé lorsque les premières salves de lacrymogènes ont été tirées et que la foule s’est dispersée. Les gens se sont rassemblés de nouveau et ont résisté en lançant des pierres. Beaucoup de mineurs étaient présents. Alors que la foule grandissait une seconde salve de lacrymogène a été lancée par les flics, la foule s’est encore dispersée et s’est ensuite de nouveau regroupée. Ça a continué comme ça pendant plus d’une heure. À un moment donné il y avait de la musique et les gens dansaient au fur et à mesure que la foule grossissait et que plus de gaz lacrymogène était tiré.
Au mois 8 ou 9 salves de lacrymogènes ont été lancées, chaque fois plus loin dans la jungle. Les tirs ont été délibérément orientés en direction des maisons, vers la zone érythréenne. La manière dont les policiers utilisaient leurs armes est d’ailleus illégale, procédant à des tirs tendus. Une personne a été touchée par un cartouche en pleine poitrine tirée à courte distance.
Cela montre une nouvelle fois les violences policières fréquentes et graves, mais aussi, que ceux qui n’ont pas de papiers sont ceux qui défient vraiment le réfime européen des frontières.
As has been widely reported in the media, between Sunday night and Monday morning a man was arrested for allegedly assaulting a police officer in the Eurotunnel. What has not been reported is that this man is both deaf and mute!
We have heard from numerous people who saw what happened. The police arrived to disperse a group and when others fled he kept on walking straight because he could not hear the police commands. They took this as defiance and ran up behind him, violently grabbing him. In the end his friends told us that there were two full vans of CRS (about ten individual officers) that were involved in “arresting” him. As far as we can ascertain, this extraordinary level of police force can only suggest one thing. The police decided to take out their frustration and aggression on this one man.
The hospital in Calais told us that at 1AM on Monday someone matching his name and description was treated with stitches for a laceration to the head. It was not noted though that he was in police custody and they do not know where he was taken after treatment.
The police will not give any information either. We do not know where he is, if he has a lawyer, anyone with whom he can communicate, or if he even knows what is happening to him. We are extremely worried that, not being able to hear or speak and without a lawyer, he will not be able to defend himself in court.
The police were very quick to spread this story, or select elements from it, to create an image of the migrants here as violent and dangerous. In this way they hoped to victimize themselves and create the justification for the violence they use against people here on a daily basis; people who just want to get by them and cross the border. If this was the savage and unprovoked attack that police say, why have they not yet released any video evidence? Certainly, with all the money the British have been giving them for more security, the French should have had at least one camera able to see what actually happened. We suspect that the police have cynically manipulated this incident for their own gain. This seems to be their tactic for dealing with their own mistakes; targeting those attempting to cross the border and their allies, demonising them as violent and anti-social.
To remember: at least 12 people have been killed by the Calais border in the last 2 months. Innumerably more people have been beaten, gassed, injured, by police and border security. The violence here is coming exclusively from the state.
Saturday night was an extremely empowering but also disheartening night here in Calais. A group of 250 migrants organized together to go and try to make it inside the Eurotunnel, not to climb aboard a train but to walk the length of the tunnel to England. They walked for hours to get close to the entrance of the tunnel and managed to breach a layer of perimeter fencing only to come up against the recently reinforced fence that is electrified and topped with barbed and concertina wire. The group then went to the fence and started chanting in unison. They demanded the right to move wherever they choose, to live in dignity in Calais, and to be free of police violence. They also spoke the names of those who have recently died attempting the crossing in the Eurotunnel and laid the blame for those deaths at the hands of the police and politician’s whose policy they are enacting.
It was a very large and strong group, however on the other side of the fence were many Gendarmes and also active French military who were menacing their machine guns. The group’s chanting continued for around an hour until the point they started to make their move to try and push through the fence. People had gone down a hill and were lining a steep verge consisting of loose gravel. Those at the bottom, closest to the fence, started to try and make their way over it when suddenly the Gendarmes released a huge amount of ‘tear gas’ onto the crowd. Exactly what type of gas they used though is not clear. Having experienced it and after speaking with people afterward, it was very powerful; much more so than typical CS gas and had strong effects even at the top of the hill far from where it was sprayed. It also created a shortness of breath and a panicked feeling which suggests that it may have been CR gas. After the attack there were also people lying unconscious on the ground. Any use of gas here and particularly CR (if it was indeed that) was completely unnecessary and irresponsible. The panic that the gas created caused a stampede up the hill, but as the footing was so loose people were falling over one another trying to get away from the poison. It was difficult to breathe, see, or move in that area and many people got hurt trying to flee from the gas into a more open space. However, the group, after recovering from the attack, got together and held a meeting about what to do next. They decided to occupy the road leading to the freight terminal at the Eurotunnel, their aim, to stop traffic until they were heard.
The group walked for around one hour from the fence by the entrance to the tunnel to the turn off from the highway to the Eurotunnel terminal. They arrived at about 3am and occupied the road blocking trucks from entering the Eurotunnel terminal. They repeated their chants and demands. When the two vans of CRS that showed up tried to move them on the whole group sat down in the road and started chanting louder. The police were forced to stop trying to move them on and stand by, observing a peaceful protest by 150 migrants as they demanded their rights, dignity, and free movement. The road was occupied for around three hours. The group kept chanting and shouting, being led by one woman repeating that the borders be opened to them to stop the deaths here in Calais. The police appeared to be tolerating the peaceful protest, until around 6am when more companies of CRS arrived. The Commissariat of Calais came and asked the group to disperse. They were complying and starting to leave the motorway when the CRS became impatient and started pushing and shoving people off. The group went as fast as possible but they had to go over many guardrails which took time. The police then started to throw people over the fence and sprayed CS gas. After this clearing of the road, people were dispersing peacefully when all of the sudden a whistle was blown. The CRS then started to run after the two groups that had gone off in different directions. They beat anyone who came within reach while chasing them off. They sprayed CS gas against the people who were running away, one officer even reached his arm around somebody who was running away in order to spray him directly in the face. This was completely unnecessary and a sadistic attack on people participating in a peaceful protest.
What we can take from the night, despite the severe repression, was the strength the group had not only in trying to reach the Eurotunnel but also organizing to blockade the highway. Important to note though, was the difference in policing tactics given the level of media attention that each event had. At the tunnel there were many film crews and so the police for the most part did not attack except for their one gassing of the entire group. However, during the eviction which took place in the morning after all the news crews had gone to sleep they were typically brutal. In case anyone could forget the violence continues here daily but also the resistance.
Open the Border! Stop the Violence!
At 7:30 in the morning on July 29th there was a traffic jam on the A16 leading up to the port. This traffic jam backed up lorries all the way to where the major security fence along the road finishes right next to the migrant camp. One guy from the camp went up to the fence to see what was happening and was immediately sprayed by the CRS cops on the top of the hill. This action, in and of itself, was entirely disproportionate and shows that the police here treat the people as insects, but what they did next was entirely beyond reason and in no way related to stopping people from making it to the motorway. It was a sadistic attack with potentially deadly consequences.
The people in the jungle below shouted and protested at the police’s action and the CRS retaliated by shooting two canisters of CS gas into the group of tents close to the motorway bridge where predominantly Eritrean and Ethiopian people are staying. The people in these tents were sleeping and were in no way trying to get to the motorway traffic jam. In addition to it being an entirely unprovoked attack on people who were asleep inside their homes, the police created an extremely dangerous situation for no justifiable reason. These canisters travel at high speeds dispersing incendiary disks, which release CS gas as they burn. These disks melted holes in people’s tents and could have potentially started a huge fire, as well as spreading poison gas over an area of sleeping people. Then more vans of police fully decked out in riot gear arrived and violently forced people back to the camp, even though they only wanted to cross to go into the city center.
As the major media outlets continue to sensationalize the situation around the Eurotunnel and journalists build their careers on the misery of those living in the jungle, no one seems to care about the torture and violence that the state administers everyday.
Video of the police taken from inside the jungle.
01.02. black renault driving by a person on a bike. front passenger opens the window and dumps water over the cyclist. 08.02. fascists in Blue peugot shout "i will fuck you" and other insults and throw stuff out of the window to intimidate a group of syrians staying in front of the church 09.02. group of four egyptians say that a blue car was trying to run them over on their way from Tioxide jungle to the "day center" jules ferry, one of them went to the hospital since he was hit by the wing mirror, they informed the police about the incident. One person from Afghanistan got beaten up by four people in a grey hatchback car near galloo squat. He had already seen them near galloo the night before, when they insulted him. This day they used sticks and knuckledusters. people living in gallo confirmed that this car drives around their area every night. 12.02. One person from Afghanistan was beaten with sticks on the head and stabed in the torso 3 nights ago when he was walking back from the parking to tioxode. Afterwards he was taken to the hospital with the ambulance and the police was informed by the hospital. The fascists were on foot. 14.02. Three persons from Sudan were attacked by 4 fascists close to the sudanese jungle at night. Two of them managed to escape, but one was gazed by female fascist and then beaten up by three male fascists. He went to the hospital afterwards and stayed their several hours. He decided to write a testimony. 19.02. At 1 o' clock one person from Germany was intentionally run over by a grey twingo at the crossways Boulevard Lafayette and Quai de Commerce (next to match). She has small scratches on the legs and the bike is wracked. She made a complaint against x at the police station in Calais and recorded the interview with the cops.
Attaques fascistes au mois de février 2015: 01.02. Renault noire passe par une personne sur un vélo. Le passager ouvre la fenêtre et jette de l'eau sur la tête de la cycliste. 08.02. Fascistes dans un peugeot bleu crient "Je vas te faire enculé" et d'autres insultes et puis lancent des trucs par la fenêtre pour intimider un groupe de Syriens qui est installé en face de l'église. 09.02. un groupe de quatre Egyptiens rapporte que une voiture bleue essayait de les écraser sur le chemin de Tioxide jungle au «centre de jour» Jules Ferry, l'un d'eux est allé à l'hôpital parce qu'il a été frappé par le rétroviseur, ils ont informé la police à propos de l'incident. Une personne de l'Afghanistan a été battu par quatre personnes dans une voiture grise près du squat Galloo. Il les avait déjà vu près de Galloo la veille, quand ils l'ont insulté. Ce jour ils ont utilisé des bâtons et des coups de poing américains. Les habitant-E-s de Gallo ont confirmé que cette voiture fait des rondes dans le quartier chaque nuit. 12.02. Une personne de l'Afghanistan a été battu avec des bâtons sur la tête et était pointé dans le torse, il y a trois nuits quand il marchait d'un parking à Tioxode. Ensuite, il a été emmené à l'hôpital avec l'ambulance et la police a été informé par l'hôpital. Les fascistes étaient à pied. 14.02. Trois personnes en provenance du Soudan ont été attaqués par quatre fascistes à proximité de la jungle soudanaise pendant la nuit. Deux d'entre eux ont réussi à s'échapper, mais un a été gaze par une fasciste et puis battu par trois fascistes masculins. Il est allé à l'hôpital par la suite et il y est resté plusieurs heures.Il a décidé d'écrire un témoignage. 19.02. A 1 h la nuit, une personne de l'Allemagne sur un vélo a été intentionnellement heurtée et renversée par une twingo grise a l'intersection Boulevard la Fayette et Quai de Commerce (à côté du Match). Elle a des petites rayures sur les jambes et le vélo est cassé. Elle a déposé plainte contre X au commissariat de police à Calais, l'entretien avec la police a été enregistrée par elle.
Attacks in Calais against migrants have increased massively in the past few months in both severity and frequency. We have seen many migrants beaten by police causing broken legs, arms and facial injuries. We have also heard many reports of police chasing migrants into busy motorways, which have been the cause of deaths over the last few months. Last week an Eritrean man was hit by a car whilst being chased by police, luckily he survived but others didn’t.
On Friday 19th December I was witnessed a similar attack by police forcing people to run in front of traffic. Several Eritrean men were sitting on a dividing barrier along the motorway near Leader Price waiting for truck traffic to back up on the road.
A Peugeot Police Nationale car with three officers inside pulled up on the other side of the road behind the sitting men. They opened the doors and sat with their legs out of the car, hands on batons ready to charge at the men sitting on the barrier. At that moment the road was clear, with a group of trucks approaching at about 50 – 60 mph. The police rushed at the men right before the truck was going to pass, running at them with their batons out and forcing the migrants to flee in front of the moving truck.
The truck driver repeatedly hit his horn but made no attempts to slow down, seemingly just annoyed by the migrants for ‘being in his way.’ The men narrowly passed before the truck with the last man less than half a meter from being run down.
After the attack I saw the three police laughing and mocking the migrants, clearly taking a lot of pleasure in causing pain and suffering.
It is obvious to me after witnessing this attack by the police that it was fully their intention to cause serious injury or death to the migrants. The police in Calais are actively creating situations in which deaths of migrants is a likely outcome.
Other witnesses have told of similar incidents, including in the death of an unknown man on 1st December 2014 and police pushing migrants into the cold winter water whilst beating them with batons.
Racism in the police is extremely apparent and the feeling of being untouchable seems to be increasing which in turns increases their confidence to attack migrants more and more brutally.
The police are currently operating without any fear of justice. They attacks are carried out away from the eyes of the local Calais population, against undocumented and unaccounted migrants. No Border activists have been making attempts to film police during attacks but so far have been arrested and had their cameras destroyed with high voltage electricity at the police station.
Les attaques contre les migrants à Calais ont augmenté massivement au cours des derniers mois à la fois en ce qui concerne gravité et la fréquence. Nous avons vu de nombreux migrants se faire battre par la police causant des fractures importantes au niveaux des bras et des jambes ainsi que des blessures au visage. Nous avons aussi beaucoup entendu parlé de la police chassant migrants, les forçant à s’échapper en traversant l’autoroute. Ce type d’attaque a été la cause de décès au cours des derniers mois. La semaine dernière, un homme a été érythréen heurté par une voiture tout en étant pourchassé par la police, il a heureusement survécu, mais d’autres ne ont pas eu cette chance.
Le vendredi 19 Décembre j’ai été témoin d’une attaque similaire par la police forçant les gens à courir devant dans le trafic. Plusieurs hommes érythréens étaient assis sur une barrière de séparation le long de l’autoroute près de Leader Price attentant d’avoir la voie libre pour traverser sans danger. Une voiture Peugeot Police Nationale avec trois officiers se sont arrêtés tous près des hommes Erythréen assis de l’autre côté de la route. Ils ont ouvert les portes et se sont assis avec les jambes hors de la voiture, les mains sur matraques, prêt à charger les hommes assis sur la barrière. A ce moment, la route était clair, suivi par un un groupe de camions approchant à environ 50 à 60 mph. La police à chargé sur les hommes juste avant que le camion passe, courant leur matraques à la main et forçant les migrants à fuir devant le camion roulant à toute allure.
Le conducteur du camion a frappé à plusieurs reprises son klaxon, mais n’a fait aucune tentative pour ralentir, apparemment juste agacé par les migrants «d’être sur son chemin». Les hommes ont passé de justesse avant que le camion passe. Le dernier homme à passé à moins d’un demi-mètre de se faire écraser.
Après l’attaque, je ai vu les trois policiers en riant et se moquant des migrants, en prenant manifestement beaucoup de plaisir à causer de la douleur et de la souffrance.
Il est évident pour moi après avoir assisté à cette attaque de la par de la police qu’il était pleinement leur intention de causer des blessures graves ou même la mort des migrants. La police à Calais créent activement des situations dans lesquelles la mort des migrants est un résultat probable.
D’autres témoins ont partagé que des incidents similaires, y compris la mort d’un homme inconnu le 1er Décembre 2014 et la police poussant migrants dans l’eau froide d’hiver tout en les frappant avec des matraques.
Le racisme dans la police est extrêmement apparent et le sentiment d’être intouchable semble être en augmentation qui à son tour augmente leur confiance pour attaquer les migrants de plus en plus brutalement.
Les policiers agissent actuellement sans aucune crainte de la justice. Leurs attaques sont menées loin des yeux de la population locale Calais, contre les migrants sans papiers et portées disparues. Des militants No Border ont fait des tentatives pour filmer la police au cours d’attaques mais jusqu’ici ils ont été arrêtés et leurs caméras a été détruites avec l’électricité à haute tension aux poste de police.
Winter has arrived with storms and rains. The big jungles and Galloo squat are still there; Tioxide-jungle with 2 restaurants, school, church, mosque and a shop. (see below news about forthcoming evictions). There are around 2000 people living rough in these spaces. The cold weather shelter is open occasionally with 350 sleeping spaces: it’s located far from the city and even when open it is not easily accessible due to the short opening hours.
December saw a high level of police violence concentrated on truck parkings and traffic jams leading to the Euro Tunnel and port. Attacks were sporadic and beatings seemingly random, aimed at discouraging migrants form trying for England and plainly expressing police racism. Police chased people into oncoming traffic, broke many limbs, and regularly used pepper spray at point blank range. They destroyed cameras when people attempted to film these illegal acts of violence.
When arrested from the streets near the jungles people were often taken to far away detention centers, such as Rennes, Metz, Nimes, Strasbourg and Paris. Some were even transported by plane to distant detention centers via a small airport in Calais.
The border entails various forms of violence. Migration controls violates women’s rights through racism and sexism in a way that these two systems of oppression are very much interlinked.
The hospital of Calais refuses to carry out abortions for migrants with an extremly cowardly explanation. The authorities based their decision on law that says that you cannot travel to France to have an abortion there, obviously that is not the case of the women at all. They systematically send women that could not proove an official residence in France to the hospital of Grande Synthe, that is 50 kilometers away. They claim that this is because they are concerned about the womens security, since abortion is supposed to be a specific medical intervention (although it is an intervention like any other with very low risks) they say it is to dangerous for the women to go back to the jungle afterwards. So yeah, they think staying pregnant against their own will is healthier and safer for the women.
After complaints having been made, the hospital should be called out by the ministry of health, since this racist, selective practice of carrying out basic health services is completely illegal!
However, not all was bleak. There were a few festive moments, namely a demo on the International Migrants’ day on the 18th, a couple of small Christmas parties in the jungles and a big New Years party at the Galloo Squat. The demo was organized by various associations as a response to the ‘Wall of Shame’, a large security fence recently installed by the UK government to increase security in the Ferry Port and previously used for the NATO summit in Cardiff. It was well-attended with over 1000 people. All of the parties were a great success with no violent police interventions or other incidents – just wild dancing to a very mixed play list and general merriment.
Next week on wednesday at 2pm (Centre Social Espace Fort Yves
2 B Rue D Ajaccio) self defense classes for women, trans* and queers will start ! These classes will hopefully take place regularly on a longterm basis- we are still looking for teachers that are happy to come around and hold one or several classes!
What to expect for January ?
An eviction notice, without a specific date being set has been placed in front of the sudanese jungle and the Bois Dubrulle (forest on the opposite side of Tioxide mainly inhabited by the afghan and ethiopian comunity) by the CRS. Several asylum seekers living in the spaces being threatened are ready to challenge the decision in court.
The last official announcements made by the prefecture claimed that there would be no forced evictions of any living spaces until the new day center opens. So when does it open? Food is supposed to be served there starting from mid-january and the original opening date of the center was set for the end of the month. But it seems like there are some additional works inside the building that take up more time than foreseen, so we don’t reall know at what point they actually wanna get going. Anyways we aren’t waiting for it with high expectations. The day center is part of a wider anti-migration strategy and comes along with other agreements between Natacha Bouchart and Cazeneuve with the UK (more policemen in Calais, closing-off of the port with the fence all around). Starting from the moment the daycenter opens, all other squats and jungles etc. are supposed to disappear and a ‘zero tolerance politic’ towards them has been announced. All services for migrants are supposed to be centralised in this space far from the city center, in order to concentrate the migrants outside of Calais. There will be no sleeping places for men, camping will be tolerated on the fields around. The outcome will be an even more official segregation between the habitants of the city and the migrants being locked out in the middle of nowhere.