Archive for calais migrant solidarity

Autonomous Space For Migrants and Supporters in Calais needs Help

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on Saturday, 30 January, 2010 by bristolnoborders

As you might have heard, a few days ago, activists from the transnational NoBorders network and the French organisation SôS Soutien aux Sans Papiers have opened a large warehouse for migrants in Calais as a response to the ongoing repression against the migrants in
Calais by the authorities. [1]

The building is to be an autonomous space for migrants and activists struggling for the right to freedom of movement. It will be host to information-sharing, debate and practical solidarity. The Kronstadt building is located in the town that has become the symbol of Fortress Europe, a place where police arrests and beatings of migrants are a daily occurrence, and where night-time pursuits are relentless.

By this act, they stand in solidarity with those for whom border and immigration control is a discriminatory, oppressive and unjust reality.

The space is not, as the conserative press has dubbed it, a “new Sangatte”. It is a self-organised space. ( see Brighton NoBorders response to the article in the Daily Mail from yesterday: [1] ) Of course, help is needed. If you want to support the space by either travelling to Calais or otherwise, please contact:

noborderslondon@riseup.net

for more information and updates, see

http://london.noborders.org.uk

about the situation in calais, see http://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com

[1]
press release : http://london.noborders.org.uk/node/282
[2]
http://nobordersbrighton.blogspot.com/2010/01/not-that-old-sangatte-ii-things-again.html

Official Welfare Centre to Open in Calais?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on Tuesday, 8 December, 2009 by bristolnoborders

According to the Daily Telegraph: “A new welcome centre for UK bound illegal migrants is to open in Calais before the end of this year”.

“French officials insisted that it would only be a “day centre” for foreigners who are in a particularly bad way including the sick, pregnant women and minors under the age of 18. But the plans agreed by the Administrative Court of Lille include central heating, hot showers, and a kitchen. Officials defended the plan as a humanitarian response.One said: “There are more than 1000 migrants sleeping rough in the town, and with temperatures dropping their living conditions are getting worse.”“He said that September’s destruction of The Jungle, an illegal shanty town full of mainly Afghan young men, had not had the desired effect.

“It did not persuade them to leave, so we have to offer them a basic level of support,” the official added.”

Note that this new welfare centre will not offer accommodation. What this means for the current policy of the police destroying all accomodation/bedding that those sleeping rough in the Calais area is now unclear.

It’s a sign of the times that French Officialdom have kept such a basic humanitarian plan secret; and once it had been discovered had to defend it as if was something outrageous.

The Tory Shadow Immigration response is a foretaste of the roasting that the idea will get this side of the channel:

“This is another gesture of contempt from France to Britain. The only result of this will be to encourage more potential illegal immigrants to try to break our laws.

It’s such a perfect combo for the right-wing press: The Wogs and The Frogs Begin at Calais*

*”The wogs begin at Calais” was originated by George Wigg, Labour MP for Dudley, in 1949. In a parliamentary debate concerning the Burmese, Wigg shouted at the Tory benches, “The Honourable Gentleman and his friends think they are all ‘wogs’. Indeed, the Right Honourable Member for Woodford [i.e. Winston Churchill] thinks that the ‘wogs’ begin at Calais.”[3] Wigg’s coinage, sometimes paraphrased as “Wogs start at the Channel” or “Wogs start at Dover”, is used to characterise a stodgy Europhobic viewpoint, and more generally the view that Britain (more so England) is inherently separate from (and superior to) the Continent and the rest of the World –  A view only now maintained by the stupid and the bigoted, which unfortuantley includes much of the media. In this case, “wog” is used to compare any foreign, non-English person to those more traditionally labeled “wogs”.