Tagged: repression

Against the Criminalization of Support for Migrants

In previous days No Borders activists in Calais have faced a major increase in repression from police and have been falsely accused throughout international media of inciting migrants to riot.
As our group has explained in a public statement, accusations that No Borders activists are inciting the riots are unfounded, ridiculous, racist and plainly an attempt to criminalize our movement and shift the blame from those who are responsible for this situation: namely, the UK and French governments, who are waging a war against refugees.
Activists present at the riots were there supporting by helping to treat those wounded by police by gas, truncheons or being hit by tear gas canisters. Gas was fired deep into the camp and injured many people, including many families who were not engaged in rioting.
The authorities allowed the far right to hold a demonstration last Sunday, inciting racial hatred, making death threats, and burning a Qu’aran in the middle of boulevard Jacquard (Calais’ main street). In the evening 5 nazis wearing hoods went to attack migants near the Eurotunnel. These facts were understandably very upsetting to many in the jungle and we suspect that this was linked to the reasons for the riot.
We see this latest increase of repression as part of a general trend towards the criminialization of supporting migrants, which has also recently included police controls of volunteers trying to enter the jungle and the questioning of many volunteers under ‘Schedule 7’ of the Terrorism Act 2000 on their way back to England.
French regional elections are coming soon, and we suspect that politicians find it very expedient to find someone to blame for the inhumane and intolerable situation of Calais. However, we reject the attempts of the French and UK state to scapegoat our movement for the problems they themselves have created. We call for a recognition of the real problems that were the reasons that many migrants erupted in anger during the past days.