Tagged: eviction

Evictions: Last 5 homes of refugees in Calais Ville destroyed, Apartheid alive and well in Calais

Video by Andrés Solla and Carmen Menendez
http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2015/sep/22/french-police-use-teargas-on-refugees-in-calais-video?CMP=share_btn_fb

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At around 7.30am this morning the largest of the three camps in town, inhabited by up to 300 Syrians, was evicted in traditional Calais style. A large contingent of Gendarmes, Police Nationale and BAC (undercover police) woke people up, giving them very little time to gather their belongings, and told them to go to the Jungle, the former landfill site on the outskirts of the town that serves as the only place where migrants will be tolerated. The Syrians chanted “no Jungle, no Jungle!” and sat down. They also linked arms across a bridge. The police attacked and pepper sprayed them and they moved en masse in the only direction open to them: the jungle.

They were frogmarched the 2.5 miles to the Jungle with a convoy of Gendarmes behind them. One man pictured below wearing a suit and a tricolore sash, appeared to be calling the shots all day. For many of the Syrians, this was their first time at the camp and they were unsure what to do.

On arriving at the Jungle, the police turned their attention to the dozens of tents pitched by the new arrivals at the entrance and told people to move everything back to the Jungle. A crowd from the Jungle gathered in front of the police lines. Giving people almost no notice, the police started ripping up tents and pushing people back. Some woke up to the site of armoured police dismantling their shelters from around them. We helped people save what they could, but many personal possessions were lost in the police violence. At least 6 people lost their passports, some lost money, phones with vital contacts on, others photos or details of dead or missing family. There were attempts to negotiate for some people to be allowed through the police lines to save their passports, but they were met with the stony glares of the automatons in riot gear. Diggers and council workers appeared beyond police lines to destroy and load the tents and belongings onto trucks for the municipal dump (no doubt the site of the next jungle once the current one becomes completely uninhabitable). No-one was allowed to go anywhere for several hours. In the face of this overwhelming and ridiculous show of state force, people showed defiance with chanting, singing and dancing that echoed loud under the bridge. The diversity and vibrancy of the crowd contrasted starkly with the line of fascists in navy blue boiler suits brandishing guns, batons and shields.

We went to the dump soon after to try and retrieve some belongings but found everything in a giant rubbish compactor already mixed up other waste, and were unable to save anything.

We later learnt that the two other, smaller camps in town were also evicted today, meaning that there are no  known migrant camps in Calais other than the jungle. It is clear that the 20 hectares or so that increasingly resembles a swamp is the limits of what will be tolerated for migrants in Calais. Large National Front posters are currently plastered all around the town. What the government most despises here is that migrants show their faces in the town centre and in the tourist areas, which is why the Jungle exists at all.

 

Vers 8h ce matin (21 septembre 2015, ndlt), le plus grand des trois campement de la ville, habité par plus de 300 syriens, a été expulsé dans la plus grande tradition calaisienne (il s’agit en fait de deux campements très proches, ndlt). Un important bataillon de la gendarmerie, de la police nationale et de la BAC a réveillé les gens, en leur laissant très peu de temps pour récupérer leurs affaires, et leur a dit de rejoindre la Jungle, située sur l’ancien site d’enfouissement des déchets, à la périphérie de la ville, seul lieu où les migrant-es sont tolérés. Les syriens ont scandé « pas de jungle, aucune jungle » et se sont assis par terre. Ils ont également bloqué un pont. Les flics ont attaqué, les ont pulvérisé au lacrymogène et ils se sont alors déplacés en groupe, dans l’unique direction qu’ils pouvaient prendre, celle de la jungle.

Ils ont été emmenés de force jusqu’à la jungle, suivit de près par un convoi de gendarmes. Un homme accoutré d’un costard et d’une écharpe tricolore semblait mener la danse de ces expulsions toute la journée. Pour la plupart des syriens, c’était la première fois qu’ils venaient au camp et ils ne savaient pas quoi faire.


En arrivant à la jungle, les flics ont portés leur attention vers les dizaines de tentes dressées par les nouveaux arrivants devant l’entrée et ils ont dit aux gens de se déplacer à l’intérieur de la jungle. Une foule de gens s’est alors rassemblée devant les lignes de police. Sans crier garde, les flics ont commencé à repousser les gens et à déchirer les tentes. Nous avons aidé les gens à sauver leurs affaires mais beaucoup de biens personnels ont été perdus dans ce moment de violence policière. Au moins six personnes ont perdu leur passeport, d’autres ont perdu de l’argent, des téléphones avec des numéros importants, d’autres des photos ou des infos sur leurs proches morts ou disparus. Il y a eu des tentatives de négocier pour que certaines personnes soient autorisées à passer de l’autre côté de la ligne de police pour sauver leurs passeports, mais ils ont été confrontés au peu d’esprit des automates en tenue anti-émeute. Les pelleteuses et les employés municipaux sont apparus au-delà des lignes de police, détruisant les tentes et jetant toutes les affaires dans des camions bennes et direction la déchetterie municipale (sans doute le prochain site de la jungle quand celle-ci sera devenue inhabitable). Pendant plusieurs heures suivant cette opération, personne n’a été autorisé à aller où que ce soit en dehors de la jungle.

Face à cette démonstration de force écrasante et ridicule de l’État, les gens ont fait preuve de défi en chantant, criant des slogans et dansant, faisant un bruyant écho. La diversité et le dynamisme de la foule contrastait nettement avec la ligne de fascistes en costume bleu, brandissant flingues, matraques et boucliers.


Nous sommes allés à la décharge peu de temps après pour essayer de récupérer quelques affaires, mais nous n’avons rien trouvé d’autre qu’un tas de déchets dans un gros compacteur d’ordure et ils a été impossible de récupérer quoi que ce soit.

Nous avons appris plus tard que les deux autres campements du centre-ville ont également été expulsés aujourd’hui, ce qui signifie qu’il n’y a plus d’autre campement connu à calais que la jungle. Il est clair que désormais les 20 hectares qui ressemblent de plus en plus à un marais est l’unique lieu de vie des migrants qui sera toléré à Calais.
Ce que le gouvernement méprise le plus ici c’est que les migrant-es montrent leurs visages dans le centre-ville et dans les zones touristiques, voilà pourquoi la jungle existe.

 

Evictions in Calais and Paris

Today the French police evicted the Squat Galloo and the jungle near the Leader Price supermarket. Opened in July 2014 by a collaoration between associations, migrants and activists, at one point home to over 300 people, Galloo was a space in Calais for people to gather, share a meal, charge phones, and rest. It was people’s home.

This morning at 6am the eviction at Galloo started by 10am the numbers of police had increased. The police surrounded the 12,000m square disused metal reclamation building blocking off all possible exits. People staying inside were given a limited time to collect possessions and were escorted from the building through a side entrance. Reports claim that 66 people were arrested and around 40 of them were taken to the detention center in Coqulles, although this is not confirmed. There is now security on the premises.

At the Leader Price Jungle, which had already experienced a semi-eviction earlier this year, scores of Gendarms cleared the area around the supermarket, forcing people from their sleeping spaces. There are reports of arrests from here aswell.

The new destination for the people ejected from their shelters, the open air prison on the outskirts of Calais, the new jungle surrounding the Jules Ferry Center. Those evicted today were those who had been resisting against the ‘voluntary’ move to the new day centre for over two months, having been pressured by the police and other state organisations to leave at the end of March. Here is a statement from the residents in Galloo, written back at the end of March to explain why they didn’t willingly move to the new centre.

This police operation was co-ordinated as well with the eviction of a large jungle in La Chapelle in Paris, which was home to over 350 people.

 

 

Why we are not moving ; from residents of Galloo

The end of March has come. There are many people who have, under the threat of eviction and violence from the police, gone to the new camp around Jules Ferry. However there are some people left in some of the old living places who have no intention to move.

Here is a statement from some residents of Galloo about why they are not going to leave

– In the new place there are no walls to protect the people from wind, it is open without any protection from the rain. The squat we have now protects us from the weather

-The new place can be controlled by the police and they will be able to make restrictions on people’s movement

-Government will not provide toilets or electricity or building in the new place

-This place we have now is near to the prefecture, and other associations and organisations some of us need to see for making aslyum in France

-Some people demand asylum in France and they have applied for a home. They decide not to go until they get their homes

-The new place is far from the centre and far away from where we normally live in Calais

– There is too much garbage in the new place and its not hygenic, many people will get sick

– His industrial area and there is too much smoke because of fire and plastic being burned

– There is bad drainage and there is too much grass, and the place is for hunting may be dangerous for being shooting by chased gun

-Some organisations which give food here can’t go with us to the new place

-There is not enough space for everyone

-It will be difficult for us to adapt to the new place

The evictions have started / Les expulsions ont commencé

At the moment we are getting a lot of questions about when the evictions are going to happen or start. Lets be clear, they started a long time ago. Just because the police have not gone into the jungles and squats and destroyed them in a big violent media spectacle, they have been happening and will continue for a long time.

They started when the plans for the new day centre were announced. They continued when they announced that everybody has no choice but to move to the land outside the centre, and no other living spaces will be tolerated. They continued when many people claiming asylum in Calais were re-homed to other cities in order to reduce the numbers of people on the ground. They continued when daily police violence and arrests increased dramatically over the last few weeks, making sure that people were tired and exhausted and with no energy left to face the police. They continued when they Offi and the police continue to visit living places, counting down the days until the police are coming, making sure people feel like they have no choice but to go.

Pschologically and physically harassing people into moving to a place they don’t want to go is an eviction. Maybe this has not been an eviction that makes for a good news report the way you write them, there are no dramatic photos, but it is an eviction none the less.

Last week (as we have said before) the women from the Women’s House were moved, against their wishes, to a new house inside of the day centre. Over the weekend everyone from the camp Tioxide and the Afghan jungle in Bois Debruille moved to the new day centre. They did not do this by choice. They did this under threat of arrest, violence, and destructions of their homes.

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En ce moment nous recevons beaucoup de questions sur le moment où les expulsions vont se produire ou quand démarrer. Soyons clair- ils ont commencé il ya longtemps. Juste parce que la police n‘est pas allés dans les jungles et les squats pour les détruire de manière ultra spectaculaire, médiatique et surtout violente, il y’avait quand meme des expulsions et elles continueront encore pendant longtemps.

Les expulsion ont commencé lorsque le projet du nouveau centre de jour a été annoncés. Elles ont continué quand ils ont annoncé que toutes personnes n’aurait pas d’autre choix que d’aller sur le terrain autour du centre, et que aucun autre lieux de vie ne serait tolérée. Elles ont continué quand beaucoup de demandeur d’asile à Calais ont été placés, dans d’autres villes afin de réduire le nombre de personnes sur le terrain. Elles ont continué lorsque la violence et les arrestations au quotidien par la police ont considérablement augmenté pour faire un sorte que les gens étaient fatigués et épuisés et sans énergie pour faire face à la police. Elles ont continué quand l’Offi et la police ont visité regulièrement les lieux de vie, pour sassurer que les gens n’ont pas l’impression d’avoir d’autre choix que de quitter leurs lieux de vie.

D’harceler les gens psychologiquement et physiquement pour qu’ils se déplaçent à un endroit où ils ne veulent pas aller est une expulsion. Peut-être que cela n’a pas été une expulsion qui en fait un bon articledans le journals pour les journalistes qui vivent de la sensation- il n’y a pas de photos spectaculaires, mais ce mine de rien une expulsion.

La semaine dernière (comme nous l’avons déjà dit) les femmes de la Maison des femmes ont été déplacés, contre leur volonté, à une nouvelle maison à l’intérieur du centre de jour. Au cours du week-end tout le monde du campement Tioxide et de la jungle afghane à Bois Debruille s’est déplacé vers le nouveau centre de jour. Ils ne l‘ont pas fait par choix. Ils l’ont fait sous la menace d’arrestation, la violence et les destructions de leurs maisons.

L’expulsion des émigres à Calais / The eviction of emigrants in Calais.

Pour vous dire, c’est horrible en ce moment, la situation que vivent les émigres. D’une part la police, d’autre part les Calaisiens qui ne sont pas accueillants, qui sont fascistes, raciste envers nous, disant n’importe quoi sur nous.
Après tout ça, vient la forêt qu’ils nous donnent, à 10 km du centre-ville. On ne peut pas faire chaque jour autant de kilomètres pour venir à nos rendez-vous avec Secours Catholique, etc. La forêt est non seulement non débroussée, mais avec une usine à cote qui dégage du toxique. On a peur d’attraper des maladies comme le cancer du poumon, en respirant ce toxique. Et puis ce terrain est habité par des animaux sauvages, comme des sangliers, des serpents, des scorpions, des animaux dangereux. Ensuite, c’est un terrain où on pratique la chasse. Vous trouvez beaucoup de cartouches utilisées par des chasseurs, donc on a peur qu’on reçoive des balles perdues. C’est un terrain contrôlé par des mafias, à 18 heures, on a peur de se retrouver coincé avec des malfaiteurs.

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To say the truth, the situation that the emigrants are going through at the moment is horrible. On one hand the police, on the other hand the locals in Calais who are not welcoming, who are fascist, racist towards us, who say whatever they want to us. After all that, comes the forest that they have given us, 10 kilometres from the centre of town. We cannot do so many kilometres each day to come to our meetings with the Secours Catholique association, etc. the forest is not only not maintain, but there is a factory next to it which pumps out toxins. We are scared of catching illnesses like lung cancer by breathing in these toxins. And more, this land is home to wild animals, like wild boar, snakes, scorpions, dangerous animals. After all that, this is hunting territory. You can find cartridges used by the hunters, so we are scared to get hit by lost bullets. It is an area controlled by mafia, and from 6 o’clock onwards we are scared of finding ourselves corned by wrongdoers.

Eviction is a process

The evictions have already started. Eviction is not just the moment when the police come to the jungles and squats and kick people out through a physical confrontation, but it begins way before. The women’s house Victor Hugo is a good example of this. The eviction on the 25th of March happened in a subtle way. The women and children living within Victor Hugo did not want to leave, but instead have been forced to move to the Jules Ferry Day Centre. They were evicted under the threat of violence. This imposed and non consensual arrangement has happened without considering the wishes, opinions, needs or safety of the women living in the Victor Hugo house. The media have supported this by talking about the eviction in terms of “moving out”, therefore this violence has been ignored and made invisible. This forced relocation is an example of how the state controls movement and physical bodies and how it perpetuates and reproduces violence against women.

The house of Victor Hugo for women and children began as a No Border squat which lasted for almost one year before it was handed over to the association Solidaire, who continued to live and work with the women for almost another year. Now the residents of Victor Hugo have been forced to move to the Jules Ferry Day Centre. This centre is isolated, far from the city and crossing points, and will reduce the possibility of women being able to cross independently and safely. Visitors will also not be allowed into the centre, especially anyone who is not part of an official association. This segregation is a deliberate cutting of ties, connections and friendships between the women of Victor Hugo and the associations and activists who have been supporting them. Isolation is one of the first steps towards control and violence.