On Monday 22nd February at 13:30 8 people will stand in court in Boulogne-Sur-Mer facing trial for occupying the ‘Spirit of Britain’ ferry on Saturday 23rd of January. Six of the defendants are people without papers from Afghanistan, Sudan and Syria, all currently living in the jungle. They are charged for ‘breaching the transport code’, which in this instance involves entering and occupying a ferry without authorisation. Standing on trial alongside these six will be two French people with papers. They face the same charges for breaching the transport code, as well as a further charge of facilitating entry to the port and ferry. The maximum sentence for these offences is up to 6 months in prison or a €3,500 fine per person.
The two people with papers have been released on bail whist awaiting trial. The six without papers were held in detention and have since been sent to Longeunesse prison in Saint-Omer. Regardless of the outcome of the trial, the future for the people without papers is not clear. We do not know if they will be released free or if they will be sent to a detention centre, possibly resulting in them being deported back to the war torn countries that they are fleeing from.
This is a call out inviting people to come and show support to those facing trial. We ask for people to come and stand with us in solidarity with those facing oppression and sanctions as a result of resisting the border. We are in the process of organising transport for those without papers in the jungle who wish to be present at the trial, and encourage anyone else who has access to a vehicle to offer the same.
The French government wishes to make an example of these 8 people – fight the border and pay the price. We wish to make a stand against this. We will always be against the border. We will always fight for the right to freedom of movement. Come to the court at Place de la Résistance in Boulogne and stand with us, and with our friends facing trial.