Monday 31 August
Late this evening over two hundred people ran out onto the motorway to create a blockade. Once traffic had been stopped, eight nearby police officers came onto the scene tear gassing people. As more people began to run in to block the motorway the police began to use their chemical spray more heavily. This created chaos, a dangerous situation as the motorway is situated at the top of a steep slope. A police officer in confrontation with one man, made direct eye contact and sprayed him in the eyes from a distance of less than 50cm away. He fell to the ground instantly. People demanded an ambulance be called, but police refused to do anything. Bystanders helped the fallen man recover by blowing smoke into his eyes to allieviate the chemical sting. The police demanded no pictures be taken of the situation and threatened to use their pepper spray. The presence of white activists caused an obvious reduction in the physical aggression of the police. After 50 minutes, the fallen man began to regain consciousness and blink his eyes. The police tried to push people back at this stage, using pepper spray. This was extremely dangerous as the location on the cliff, with a 3m drop below. The spray forced the crowd down, but put everyone at risk of being trampled. A young boy of 12 nearly fell during the rush from this top. This recurring scene occured just a few hours after French prime minister Manuel Valls’ highly politicised visit to the Calais Jungle.
Tomorrow Manuel Valls will visit the day centre Jules Ferry, arriving at 10 AM.
We invite the citizens and the whole of the press to a public reading of “authentic speech by Manuel Valls, the one we want to hear” and a festive time from 12:30 Place Foch, before the Richelieu Park. https://goo.gl/maps/n8S0b
Ces images ont été capturées le 5 mai 2015, dès 8h du matin et tout au long de la journée, sur la branche d’autoroute menant au port ferry de Calais (A216). Ce sont juste quelques exemples du quotidien : l’ordinaire de la brutalité policière à l’encontre des candidats au passage entre Calais et l’Angleterre, qui tentent de se dissimuler dans les camions. Calais Migrants Solidarity entend aussi rappeler les conditions difficiles dans lesquelles ce travail peut être réalisé.
1- à 0’12, Trois membres des Compagnies Républicaines de Sécurité (CRS) forcent une personne qui s’était cachée dans un camion à repasser de l’autre côté de la barrière. L’un d’entre eux pousse violemment une personne et la projete ainsi vers le bas-côté. A la fin de la séquence (0’22”) un second policier décharge une salve de gaz lacrymogène à l’aide d’un spray alors que les deux exilés étaient déjà en train de fuir.
2 – à 0’28”, Un CRS évacue une personne qui s’était cachée dans un camion, et le projette violemment de l’autre côté de la glissière de sécurité.
3 – A 00’42”, Sur la bretelle d’autoroute A16, en direction de l’Eurotunnel. Une voiture de police ralentit et décharge une salve de gaz lacrymogène en passant à proximité d’un groupe de migrants se trouvant de l’autre côté de la barrière, comme pour les dissuader d’essayer de la franchir.
4 – à 00’51”, Une personne est violemment projetée à terre, hors du camion. Un membre des CRS la poursuit, lui assène plusieurs coups de pieds au sol. L’homme parvient à se relever et tente de s’enfuir, mais reçoit alors de nouveau coups de pieds et coups de poing. à 1’09, nouvelle salve de gaz lacrymogène par son collègue, à gauche sur l’image.
5 – à 1’15”, Un CRS évacue une personne qui s’était cachée dans un camion, et le projette violemment de l’autre côté de la glissière de sécurité.
6 – à 1’24”, Un CRS menace de sa matraque et court en criant afin de faire fuir un groupe de migrants, comme par jeu.
7 – 1’40” : Scène filmée le 22 avril 2015 à proximité de la bretelle de l’A16 et de l’Eurotunnel. Un des cameramen du groupe filmant les violences policières est poursuivi par la police, immobilisé et encadré par plusieurs policiers, il est jeté à terre, un genou sur sa tête.
8 – 1’55” : Un CRS frappe la glissière de sécurité avec sa matraque, menaçant un groupe de migrants.
Rappelons qu’en janvier dernier, l’ONG Human Rights Watch avait publié un rapport dénonçant les violences policières, entraînant une réaction condescendante, dénégatrice du ministère de l’Intérieur (“le Gouvernement déploie des réponses globales et adaptées.”).
Plus d’information :
These images were captured on the 5th of May 2015, beginning at 8 am and continuing throughout the day on the motorway branch leading to the ferry port of Calais (A216). These are just some examples of the everyday police brutality against people who attempt to cross the channel from Calais to the UK by hiding inside trucks. Calais Migrant Solidarity also intends to recall the difficult conditions faced when documenting police violence.
1 – at 0’12, Three members of the French riot police (CRS) force a person who was hidden in a truck to the other side of the motorway guardrail. At the end of the sequence (0’22) a second police officer discharges a burst of tear gas while the two persons were fleeing.
2 – at 0’28 “,A CRS officer removes a person from a truck and pushes him violently over the guardrail.
3 – at 0’42 “On the motorway junction A16) towards the Eurotunnel the police spray pepperspray from a van against a group of migrants. (a policecar slows down and discharges a burst of tear gas passing near agroup of migrants on the the other side of the guardrail to deter them from trying to cross.)
4 – at 0’51 “, One person is violently thrown over the guardrail by the police. After that a CRS officer assaults another person, kicking him to the ground. The person assaulted gets up and tries to run away but then receives kicks and punches and is pushed violently over the guardrail. At 1’09 (left of the image) a CRS officer uses pepper spray against people who are walking away.
5 – at 1’15 “, A CRS officer removes a person from a truck and violently pushes him over the guardrail.
6 -at 1’24 “, A CRS officer threatens a group of people by running towards them with a baton screaming, as it if he was playing with them.
7 – at 1’40 “A scene shot 22th of April 2015 near the junction of the A16 and Eurotunnel where police chase a member of a group who were documenting
police violence, they stop him, floor him and push his head into the ground with a knee.
8 – at 1’55 “: A CRS officer hits the guardrail with his baton, threatening a group of people.
Recall that in January the NGO Human Rights Watch published a report denouncing police violence, resulting in a condescending reaction dénégatrice the Ministry of the Interior (“the Government deployscomprehensive and appropriate responses.”).
Neighbours on the east side of the new migrant jungle located near the Jules Ferry Day Centre have paid a contracter to dump large amounts of earth along the encampment. The intention of the erected embankment seems to be to block the view of the jungle from the neighbours large county farmhouse and to stop black people walking near their house.
People living in the jungle came out to protest, sitting on the dirt as construction trucks dumped earth dangerously close to spectators. The police stood by to enforce this construction. Since when is it an issue for the police to enforce construction? Not even on the neighbours land ? Or with a building permit ?
Some people told the police the only reason they are building the embankment is because they are black. That if they were white, it would not happen. Immeadiatly after the trucks and the police left, many people began working together to dig through the wall, to reopen an entrance into the camp.
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.
We have a piece of writing about who we are that has already been translated into Pasto and Dari. We still need some other languages, especially Arabic, Persian and Kurdish. B and I headed down to the “Palestinian Jungle” to say hi and hopefully make some contacts there.
As with all the Jungles I have visited, the people sitting around makeshift structures in the port were friendly and pleased to see us. We brought them candles and some oranges, which they shared with us.
We chatted to a weathered-looking man from Sudan who told us he has been living in Calais for the past eight years, in the structure nearest to where we were sitting. B and I were both shocked. Eight years is by far the longest any of us has heard of someone living in the Jungle. I asked if he was trying to get to England but he shook his head slowly, pointed to his hair, his knees, his tattered clothes. “I am fifty-seven, nearly fifty-eight. I stay here in Calais.”
We spoke with some of the other men, mostly from Sudan, one from Eritrea. Most spoke reasonably good English. There were no Palestinians in sight and I have since discovered it has been mis-named, although some people report having met at least one Palestinian there previously. This is the most international of the Jungles with a mixture of different nationalities living together.
After three games of dominoes in which the winner was unclear (I never did understand the rules of that game), the CRS police suddenly showed up. Some of the men got up. Some shouted, some ran away and were chased by police with truncheons. One man hid behind the sofa we were sitting on. The remaining men stayed where they were sitting and laughed at the others being chased by the cops. This was obviously such a familiar scene that it had become a source of some amusement. To us it came as something of a shock. B went over to the police to confront them. I was on my way to back him up when I saw them check his ID Shit – I still don’t have my passport! I backed off and went back to the guys still sitting around the dominoes table. Some of the others were standing near to the waters edge, pretending they were about to jump whenever the cops came near. It seemed to work really well. The police obviously weren’t too keen in jumping in after them. The men by the dominoes table thought it was a hoot! Eventually I managed to figure out that I had our emergency phone number in my pocket and after a couple of botched attempts I succeeded in remembering the French code.
Within a few minutes around ten activists were on the scene on bikes, some with cameras – filming the cops filming us. The CRS were clearly not very pleased to see us. They were checking IDs and photographing people, sometimes a few cm’s away from people’s faces, an intimidation tactic familiar to me from experiences in the UK.
To my shame I stayed well back, fearful of arrest without any ID. The migrants have to put up with this everyday – sometimes more than once a day. Yes, I am a coward. But I am getting better. At least I am here in Calais.
The police left without arresting anyone, but unfortunately returned later when most of us had gone and took three people.