Calais Refugees evicted, burned out.. resistance Continues

Image result for anarchists defend calais refugee campThe Jungle Refugee Camp in Calais, France is being demolished from Links, live stream, articles insideImage result for anarchists defend calais refugee camp

Submitted 2 days ago * by MichaelBrocenosannouncement

I volunteered with the Help Refugees NGO at the Jungle refugee camp in Calais, France for one month, July 10 to August 10, AMA

The Calais “Jungle” is the nickname given to a refugee and migrant encampment in the vicinity of Calais, France. Many living in this camp attempt to illegally enter the United Kingdom via the Port of Calais or the Eurotunnel by stowing away on lorries, ferries, cars, or trains traveling to the UK. The camp gained global attention during the European refugee and migrant crisis when the population of the camp grew and French authorities carried out evictions. The French government plans to evacuate 6,400 migrants from the encampment in 170 buses, starting on October 24, 2016 with the intent of resettling the migrants in different regions of France.

From wikipedia. It’s wrong though, there’s over 10,000 refugees.

The camp of ten thousand refugees is getting demolished today and the process will last one week, although I suspect it will take much longer.

France buses 1,600 migrants out of notorious ‘Jungle’ camp in Calais | The Washington Post
one thing this article gets wrong is the idea that it’s easier to get asylum in France than the UK. At least before Brexit it was easier to get into the UK. Now however it’s more complicated because of politicsImage result for CRS police violence at calais refugee camp

Live streams
* Ruptly live stream
* Russia Today live stream

Follow Help Refugees facebook page
Also Refugee Info Bus facebook page

I wrote a blog entry about my experience here and turned it into this article (google doc) that Cracked.com asked me to write. Hopefully it will be published soon.

TL;DR:

10,000 refugees and growing trying to get to the UK on a tiny plot of land in Calais, France, a short ferry/tunnel ride to the UK, infested with rats, toxic from pesticides and asbestos, with shit and piss overflowing from porta-potties, tightly controlled by the French national police who routinely tear gas, steal food, and destroy refugee tents. Fuck the police, fuck the French government.Image result for CRS police violence at calais refugee camp

I mostly tried to be as descriptive as possible.

For an anarchist perspective on the Jungle, I suppose one major thing that is getting left out of most articles I read online is the the CRS, the French National Police dedicated to controlling riots and protests, are in charge of the Jungle, tightly controlling it’s borders and who goes in and out. As always, the CRS are extremely brutal and racist.Image result for CRS police violence at calais refugee camp

From a volunteer friend:

I don’t care anymore, the truth needs to be heard. A 9 year old boy has been shot in the head with a CRS rubber bullet, and is now paralysed for the rest of his life. We have to speak out for him and others. We have a duty to.

I witnessed the disgusting force and terrifying remarks of the French CRS for almost a year of my life. Before I went off to Calais, I had pretty good faith in most Northern European police. I was shocked and scared by what I found there. This is the reality and anyone who’s lived within the camp has seen the evil truth.

I watched a man get his legs broken. I watched female volunteers being pushed to the ground. I watched toddlers cough in clouds of tear gas. I’ve taken children to hospital from tear gas exposure. I watched the CRS force a woman to take off her niqab and laugh when she began to cry. I woke up to find my 14, 15, 16 and 17 year old neighbours with black eyes and black bruises from beatings from the CRS. Image result for anarchists defend calais refugee campI watched a beloved friend screaming at the police, telling them that they are unarmed, to talk instead of fight, and to stop tear gassing the family area as a tactic to deter people from going off to try, only to be shot in the chest and fall to the floor. I saw brothers shot with rubber bullets in the head, chest, legs, groin, leaving lifelong scars and often knocking people out if to the head. I saw the nasty aftermath of a female volunteer after she was violently tear gassed in her face from a close proximity, begging the CRS to stop gassing the family area. I watched tactics of starting fires during the evictions, an excuse to force people from their homes and few possessions, so that they could be evicted quicker. I’ve wiped blood from the brow of my loved friends after violent beatings from the CRS in truck parking. I’ve witnessed countless times, the CRS police refusing to allow ambulances into camp, leading to fatal heart attacks and injuries that would have not lead to their death, if the ambulances had got to them in time. I watched the CRS protect fascists while they forced refugees to take off their clothes and put them in the bin. I’ve watched the CRS protect fascist groups surrounding the camp late at night, several times, allowing racist comments and verbal threats towards refugees walking past. I’ve watched the CRS make monkey noises at African refugees, several times.

I’ve watched utter chaos explode within the camp, days where the camp is consistently gassed for hours upon hours, the CRS PURPOSEFULLY respond with too much force in order to provoke incredibly traumatised PEOPLE living in a shithole to fight back. What the fuck are stones compared to bullets and (even illegal in most warzones) grade A tear gas! These are humans, people, homo sapiens, NOT vermin!Image result for anarchists defend calais refugee camp

I can only share what I have seen with my own two eyes. And I can’t write everything, it’s endless. The stories I have been told from people without the heart to lie or exaggerate, are far more graphic and terrifying.

Fuck the CRS, fuck police brutality, fuck racism and fuck the French and English government. I’m out

Help Refugees is a UK NGO working in Calais a couple miles from the Jungle.

They are among the most important organizations providing support for refugees in the Jungle along with Doctors Without Borders, Care 4 Calais, and others.

They are humanitarian workers, not activists. They made this explicit to us even showing us a video about this. (I was distracted wandering around the Jungle though, so I didn’t watch it.)

Despite the anti-fa stickers and anti-capitalist sentiments among the volunteers and at our base (a giant warehouse), Help Refugees is not anarchist. And while I do have some criticisms of what they do they are far and away the best people helping Jungle residents. Trust me on this. Help Refugees are awesome and they deserve every penny, please consider donating here.

Thank you

[–]PMichaelBrocenos[S] 1 point 2 days ago

For your listening pleasure, refugee musicians in the Jungle recorded an album you can listen to online
https://thecalaissessions.bandcamp.com/releases

Another link, for people to stay up to date on the evictions currently happening, is the news section at Calaidipedia.


Calais “Jungle” Burns, Refugees Try To Break Back In

by   Harry Fear, at RT.. shared with thanks

It has been a harsh week for the 8,000 refugees inhabiting the Calais “Jungle” camp.

Continuing an operation which began on Monday, workers ramped up demolition of France’s notorious Calais “Jungle” on Wednesday after fierce blazes cut through a swathe of the camp overnight, sending migrants fleeing for safety.  Fabienne Buccio, the prefect of Pas-de-Calais, said it was “mission accomplished” for the demolition.

see also> Britain is building a “monstrous” wall at the Calais refugee camp

However his assessment may have been premature as charities said many unaccompanied minors had not been processed and BBC reporters at the camp said groups of adults remained.

Wearing hardhats and orange overalls in the morning fog, a team of around 15 workers resumed tearing down tents and makeshift shelters at the camp that has become a symbol of Europe’s migrant crisis.

As recounted by AFP reporters, a new fire threw black smoke into the sky as several dozen wood shacks smouldered on a main thoroughfare of the sprawling slum. “Someone burned our tents. Maybe they used petrol or something, I don’t know, but the fires spread fast. We had to run out in the middle of the night,” said Arman Khan, a 17-year-old Afghan. “I left all my things behind, I have nothing now.”

Riot police had cordoned off the demolition area while aid workers and government officials checked that the dwellings were empty. Others carted away the debris and abandoned belongings – mattresses, multi-coloured blankets, supermarket trollies and so on – in small earth-movers. Gas canisters, sinks, refrigerators and other metal objects lay scattered across the desolate scene.

The fires spread just hours after workers moved in Tuesday to clear the squalid camp that has been home to an estimated 6,000-8,000 migrants, many with hopes of reaching Britain.

A local official played down the blazes, telling AFP: “It’s a tradition among communities who set fire to their homes before leaving.”  Located next to the port of Calais, the Jungle has for years been a launchpad for migrants attempting to make it to Britain by sneaking onto trucks or jumping onto trains heading across the Channel.

Since Monday, 3,242 adults have been transferred to centres around France and 772 unaccompanied minors have been moved to shipping containers converted into temporary shelters in the Jungle, the interior ministry said.  The numbers represent around half the camp’s estimated population before the operation began, according to official figures.

The authorities have said those who agree to be moved can seek asylum in France. Those who refuse risk deportation. The fate of more than 1,000 unaccompanied minors is of particular concern.

Meanwhile, French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Tuesday that all those “with proven family links in Britain” would eventually be transferred and that London had committed to reviewing all other cases where it was “in the child’s interest” to settle across the Channel.

However, not all are seeking to rush back. Many inhabitants of the camp attempted to break through the police line and storm back into the camp, which is being demolished by the authorities, according to RT’s reporter on the ground.

Inhabitants break through police line to storm back into camp.

Migrants are returning to the ‘Jungle’ camp in Calais following fires during demolition at the site

A migrant child, who was among those returning to the camp, waved a cricket bat and shouted: “Jungle is not dead! Jungle is not dead!” according to the British Express newspaper. “It’s chaos with these ongoing fires and plumes of smoke [across the camp],” Harry Fear reported from the scene.

“The police line was broken by migrants wanting to enter back in,” he said, adding that it appears new fires have been set across the camp.

According to the RT correspondent, the operation to clear Calais looks much like a failure, despite claims of its complete success by the French authorities.  He said that fire brigades on site have been working “quite slowly” to put out the fires. The RT crew also noticed “uncontrolled gas canisters [at the camp’s territory], which haven’t yet been secured by the authorities,” Fear added.

According to an unnamed regional official, the authorities will be able to shut down the processing center, which is dispersing migrants to different locations in France until the end of the day. Fires keep burning in many locations around the camp as some migrants set fire to the camp in response to government actions.

The demolition of tents and wooden structures, which the residents had used as shelter, started at the site on Tuesday. Violent clashes between the police and the inhabitants were reported, with tear gas deployed by officers.  The camp was set ablaze last night by refugees displeased with the demolition. The flames caused several explosions of portable gas, with four migrants arrested over the incident.

Cette partie de la a été rasée au tractopelle

Thousands of hopeful migrants, many of whom are now homeless, are looking to cross the English Channel to find asylum in the UK have been holed up at the camp for months. Britain, however, only agreed to take in around 1,000 migrant children from the camp who have relatives in the UK.

On Wednesday, almost 40 councils in England refused to accept any of the child refugees evacuated from the camp.

Meanwhile, with the UN warning that the recent attack on Mosul may unleash up to another million refugees in the coming weeks, Europe’s migrant crisis is about to get even worse.

4 thoughts on “Calais Refugees evicted, burned out.. resistance Continues”

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