For the last three days, the police have been restricting car or vehicle access to the jungle, to just those who belong to ‘recognised associations’ that are known to work in Calais. There are only two ways to drive to the jungle, and the police have made check points at these entrances, and access is only available for vehicles carrying an association card.
This started on Sunday, when the jungle is normally full of people making distributions over the weekend. Barely any distributions were able to take place. Locals, from Calais and the surrounding area were also not able inside to visit friends.
In the media the police are saying they are just trying to control the flow of traffic, but this is bullshit. The motivation for this is simple, the police are trying to isolate the jungle, cracking down on humanitarian aid and the unprecedented solidarity movement that has grown around the situation in Calais.
General police presence around the jungle is also increasing everyday. Now the foot patrols the police make through the jungle are lasting for longer and longer. There are often police cars parked along the street that runs up to Jules Ferry, outside pedestrian access to the camp. Also where people go to use the internet.
The police operation of mass arrests and dispersals from the Channel Tunnel and the port is also continuing. We have also been hearing of massive ID controls happening in the centre, at the moment we don’t know if people arrested in these controls are also being subjected to dispersal to other CRA (detention centres). 50 people are being transferred from Calais everyday to detention centres across France, and it is set to continue like this for a while.
Pendant ces trois derniers jours, la police a restreint les accès à la Jungle pour les voitures ou autres véhicules, uniquement à ceux qui appartiennent aux “associations reconnues” pour leur travail à Calais. Seuls deux voies existent pour conduire jusqu’à la Jungle et la police font des checks-points sur ces entrées,où l’accès est reservé aux véhicules ayant une carte associative.
Ceci a commencé dimanche lorsque la Jungle est normalement pleine de personnes faisant des distributions tout le week-end. Quelques distributions ont pu difficilement avoir lieu. Les habitants, de Calais et des alentours, ne pouvaient pas rendre visite à leur amis non plus.
Dans les médias, la police affirme qu’ils essaient juste de contrôler le trafic, mais ça c’est de la merde.
Leur motivation à faire ça est simple : ils essaient juste d’isoler la jungle, de sévir contre l’aide humanitaire et le mouvement de solidarité sans précédent qui s’est formé autour de la situation à Calais.
La présence de la police en général et autour de la Jungle augmente tous les jours. Maintenant, les patrouilles à pied à travers la jungle durent de plus en plus longtemps. Il y a souvent des voitures de police garées le long de la rue menant à Jules Ferry, l’accès piéton extérieur à la jungle. Ainsi qu’à l’endroit où les gens vont pour avoir internet.
Les opérations de police d’arrestations massives et de dispersion au Tunnel sous la Manche et au port continuent également. Nous avons aussi entendu parler de contrôles d’identité en masse ayant eu lieu en centre-ville. Pour l’instant nous ne savons pas encore si les gens arrêtés lors de ces contrôles sont également concernés par leur dispersion dans d’autres CRA (Centre de Rétention Administratif). 50 personnes sont ainsi transférées de Calais chaque jour vers des centres de rétention à travers la France et ce n’est pas prêt de s’arrêter pour le moment.
The Calais jungle may not have more than a few months left. What then?
Back on 31st August, French prime minister Manuel Valls visited Calais and announced his new plan. For the first time since the Sangatte camp was closed in 2003, under pressure from the British government following a right-wing media blitz, there will be again an official refugee camp in Calais. It will have spaces for 1,500 people. Two organisations drew up rival proposals: the Red Cross, which ran Sangatte back in the day, and La Vie Active, which runs the current Jules Ferry day centre.
Now the local Calais press has published the latest news: La Vie Active is the winner. They will build the new camp out of 125 containers. It will be “200 metres from the Jules Ferry day centre, along the Chemin des Dunes”. It’s not 100% clear, but this seems to mean it will be on the site currently taken up by the jungle. The first containers are supposed to be in place in December, although the camp will take some weeks or months to finish.
There are probably over 4000 people living in the jungle at the moment. Numbers continue to grow. 1500 places will not be enough. The current rumour, not confirmed, is that places will only be offered to those who agree to apply for asylum in France and stop trying for England. But what will happen to the other thousands of people?
If the plan was mass deportation, this seems to have failed already: all those recently arrested and threatened with deportation to Sudan, in contravention of European Court of Human Rights judgements, have now been released. Will some of the jungle be allowed to remain next to the official camp? Or will we go back to the old pattern of constant attacks, harassments and evictions, as people without papers are again chased from one squat or makeshift camp to the next?
Another big question is: how will the authorities “persuade” the people now living in the jungle to clear out so they can build the new official camp? This will be far from the first mass eviction in recent Calais history. But it could be on an altogether different scale and intensity from anything seen before.
This Saturday the people from the jungle are organizing another protest. This will be the fifth demonstration held this week and they are continuing to demand the freedom of movement for all and a dignified and safe home wherever they settle. They will gather at 11AM in front of the Jules Ferry center and march into the city arriving at the Mairie at 1:30PM. They have asked for as many as people to come down and support them! If you are planning to come to Calais this Saturday, possibly to bring donations, make sure to come by the Mairie to learn about and support the people directly involved in their political struggle at Europe’s borders.
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
Crise humanitaire à Calais.
Une crise humanitaire se déroule actuellement à Calais. Les exilé-es ne reçoivent pas assez de nourriture pour manger. Le Centre Jules Ferry fourni seulement un repas par jour à la moitié des exilé-es (1800 repas par jour). Le Centre est également extrêmement loin des lieux de vie à l’ouest de la ville , ce qui rend la situation alimentaire encore pire dans ces lieux de vie. Il y a seulement deux points d’eau pour les exilé-es dans la ville, l’un est au Squat Galloo (une lance à incendie) et l’autre au Centre Jules Ferry (trois robinets), pas de point d’eau pour le camp plus à l’ouest. Dans Jules Ferry le point d’eau est très loin, il est difficile de transporter de l’eau pour toutes les personnes vivant sur le Bidonville autour du centre. Les gens ont besoin davantage de tentes pour dormir, mais il n’y a pas plus de tentes à distribués. Il y a aussi pas assez de capacités de soins médicaux pour traiter tout le monde qui en a besoin. Plus de cent femmes vivent dans les jungles sans aucun accès à la structure censé les mettre à l’abri (pas d’accès séparé pour elles aux repas ou aux installations sanitaires). Un nombre encore plus grand de mineurs isolés vivent dans les jungles sans aucun suivie particulier.
Les autorités sont très désireuses de construire de nouvelles clôtures et d’isoler les personnes en dehors de la ville , mais sont incapable ou refuse de fournir suffisamment de ressources pour couvrir les besoins humains fondamentaux dans le dénis total des droits humains.
Humanitarian Crisis in Calais Now
There is a Humanitarian crisis is happening in Calais at this very moment. People are not getting enough food to eat. The Jules Ferry Centre is only providing one meal a day to only half of the migrants (1800 meal a day). The food situation is even worse for people who stay in the western part of the city as the Jules Ferry Centre is very far. There are only two places in the city where people can get water, one in Galloo and the other in the Jules Ferry Centre, none near the western camp. In Jules Ferry the water point is very far to carry water for many people who stay in the jungle around the center. People need more tents to sleep in, but there are no more tents to be distributed. There is also not enough medical supplies or personel to treat everyone in need. Over one hundred women live in the jungles outside of the center and do not have acsess to the womens shelter which is already filled to capacity. The are forced to que with thousands of men to use the same sanitation facillities. There is also now a large poppulation of children under the age of 18 in the jungles who are living and traveling alone without any support.
The authorities were very keen to build new fences and segragate people outside the city, but are unwilling to provide enough resources to cover even their basic human needs in a total denial of their humans rights.
The Jules Ferry Day Center is officially opened. While presentetd as a humanitarian solution to what (right wing) media, politicians and the state call „migrant crisis“ it is mainly a place of control, repression and segregation and stands for the racist and neo-colonialist imigration policy of UK and France. We should have expected nothing less than it being named after a colonialist. It would be cynical if it wasn’t so self-evident.
Jules Ferry is known for being a politician and prime minister of France in the late 19th century. He is famous and celebrated for introducing free primary education for boys. Nonetheless even a brief internet research shows everybody that Jules Ferry was a racist, proponent of colonialism and instigated for example the colonization of Tunesia. In a speach 1884 he stated amongst other things:”We must say openly that indeed the higher races have a right over the lower races…”. He supported colonialism to ensure France the „first rank“ in the world just like now the French governement supports the ongoing explotation and migrants from the global south in Europe to ensure their economic and political power. However because his politics of colonial expansion and explotation of areas in Africa was not (fully) supported by the parliament he was forced to resign in 1885. Nonetheless he is now listed multiple times as one of France’s outstanding personalities and the naming of roads, buildings and institutions shows how uncritical the French state is of him.
Now People who are in Calais because of the violence of colonialism and neo-colonialism in their home countries are forced to use the new day center that is named after a racist and colonialist.
This is nor a surprise or a contradiction, it just shows exactly what the Day center Jules Ferry is and is meant to be.
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.