Today was the fourth day of our peaceful protest to ask for safe and legal access to the UK to claim asylum. We decided to walk to the port to deliver our letter directly to UK immigration authorities. As we were accompanied by journalists and others with cameras we were given no problems by police on our walk to the port. On arrival we took up position opposite the port whilst 3 of us and some people with cameras tried to enter the port by the footbrigdge. Here we were stopped by security who were soon joined by police, CRS and gendarmerie. Claiming it was private property they refused us entry to the port, saying we had no right of access, and they also refused to allow us to stay on the footbridge.
We are very disappointed to not be able to talk with UK authorities in a peaceful and civil manner. We will continue our protest tomorrow and thereafter until the UK government listens to our demands. Join us 2pm at old Salam, Rue Moscou, Calais.
Mise à jour de la lutte syrienne à Calais
Aujourd’hui est le quatrième jour de notre lutte pacifique pour l’accès sûr et légal au Royaume-Uni dans le but de demander l’asile. Nous avons décider de marcher jusqu’au port pour délivrer notre lettre directement aux autorités anglaises. Comme nous étions accompagnés de journalistes, et d’autres personnes avec des caméras, nous n’avons eu affaire à la police lors de notre marche jusqu’au port. En arrivant nous avons pris position en face du port pendant que trois d’entre nous et quelques personnes avec des caméras ont essayé d’entrer dans le port par le pont piéton. De là nous avons été stoppés par la sécurité qui a vite été rejointe par la police, les CRS et la gendarmerie. Sous prétexte que le site soit une propriété privée, ils nous ont refusé l’entrée au port, en disant que nous n’avions aucun droit d’entrer, et ils ont aussi refusé de nous laisser rester sur le pont piéton.
Nous sommes très déçus de ne pas avoir la possibilité de parler avec les autorités anglaises de manière pacifique et civile. Nous allons continuer notre lutte demain et les jours suivants, jusqu’à ce que le gouvernement anglais écoute nos demandes.
In the last weeks many of us had to face a lot of police violence. Some of us got broken hands and others broken legs and even some got hurt their heads. You can see that with your own eyes and you can hear of them how it happened.
In the next days the fascists will come to Calais to meet and demonstrate here. There is no shelter for us to be secure and to hide from them. We can not trust the police to protect us from them as we experienced already so much violence from them.
Migration is not a crime and each and everyone of us has reasons why we had to leave our countries and our families and why we are here now.
Europe is always talking about Human Rights and freedom but we can not find this here.
This is why we want to demonstrate and bring our demands on the streets.
Therefore we are happy to invite you to our demonstration on friday, the 5th of September 2014, starting at 3 p.m. at Quai de la Moselle, 62100 Calais, the food distribution place.
The migrant communities in Calais.
Ces dernières semaines, beaucoup d’entre nous on fait face à de nombreuses violences policières. Certains d’entre nous ont eu mains et jambes cassés, et d’autres ont été blessés à la tête. Ces violences sont visibles et ceux les ayant subis le racontent.
Dans les jours à venir les fascistes vont venir à Calais et faire un rassemblement. Nous n’avons pas d’abris pour être en sécurité et se cacher. Nous ne pouvons pas croire que la police nous protégera d’eux puisque nous subissons déjà beaucoup de violence de leur part.
La migration n’est pas un crime, chacun et chacune d’entre nous a des raisons de quitter son pays ou sa famille.
L’Europe parle toujours de droits humains et de liberté, mais ce n’est pas ce que nous trouvons ici.
Et c’est la raison pour laquelle nous manifestons et portons nos revendications dans la rue.
Nous sommes heureux de vous inviter à notre manifestation ce vendredi 5 septembre 2014, 15h, Quai de la Moselle, 62100 Calais, le lieu de distribution des repas.
Les communautés de migrants de Calais.
The OFII [French Office of Immigration and Integration] was present the day of the camp evictions, May 28, 2014, brandishing fliers written Arabic, trying to prove the state’s interest in asylum seekers.
One of the people who took them up their offer agreed to share their experience … of going straight back to square one.
The testimony of a person who asked for asylum and the ‘solutions’ that OFII had to offer:
Faruk had this to say:
“I have been in Calais since January 2014 and I asked for asylum through the services of the OFPRA [French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons] in May 2014.
The day of the eviction of the camps, someone from OFII came to tell me that I would be given housing. I spoke to someone on the telephone who said they were from the consulate, who asked me where I wanted to go. I said Arras.
That day, the OFII offered to provide a taxi.
I asked a friend to bring me a suitcase with my things but the person [from OFII] didn’t wait for them.
When we arrived in Arras, they showed me the train station and told me that if I wanted to leave I could go there.
We arrived at the 115 [homeless shelter], where they offered us some ambulance beds.
There were seven of us in a tiny room.
They asked me to show my papers and one person told us to stay there.
They told us we had to leave the building the next morning at 8:00 and that we couldn’t come back before 8:00 that night, that we would have to find food and showers on our own.
We weren’t allowed to go out to smoke cigarettes after 9:00 and all the lights had to be out at 10:00.
I said I wanted to leave.
I left my country to flee prison and here, I find myself in another prison. I haven’t experienced anything like it since I escaped.
I can sleep anywhere, I don’t care, I’m 45 years old and I refuse to be treated like a child. I have the right to keep my dignity, even in this situation.”
After asking for asylum, Faruk was summoned to the sub-prefecture of Calais to give his fingerprints but nothing was ever offered to him.
He currently lives in a squat which was opened and where, he says, he can at least enjoy ‘acceptable’ conditions, like being able to go to bed at the hour of his choosing, make his own food, and come and go at will.
Once again, the town hall of Calais and the OFII have taken advantage of the presence of the media to attempt to mislead us all but also, above all, to demonstrate their own incompetence.
The houses they call ‘squats,’ opened several months ago, are awaiting eviction. These houses are, for the moment, the only viable response for people in transit. The question remains open: what will the town hall do next to prevent these people from living like human beings?
Where will they go?