Archive for calais

January in Calais

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on Sunday, 30 January, 2011 by bristolnoborders

NEWS AND REPORTS FROM ACTIVISTS ON THE GROUND: http://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/

Friday 28th

This morning a Sudanese man from Africa house hurt himself when falling while running from police and has been taken to hospital.

Thursday 27th

Another raid of Africa house, 10 arrests in the morning.

Friday 21st January

There was a mass raid of Africa House this morning. PAF (Police Aux Frontieres) and the new unit of CRS arrived at the back of the building with six vans. CMS activists were immediately removed from the premises and could only watch as doors were kicked in, CS gas was sprayed and over 20 people were arrested. The officers were seen to be enjoying themselves while climbing about on the roof and kept posing for photographs with their guns. One officer remarked to the activists that it was all “just a game”.

Thursday 20th January

Still no news of the missing Palestinians. Instead, the PAF has been repeatedly raiding the squats of the Palestininas.

Cooking materials were taken over to Palestine House and a large communal meal was cooked between CMS activists and the residents of the house. Everyone had good fun with paint and decorated the walls with Arabic, English and French slogans of freedom.

A Palestinian man was arrested and interrogated by police about No Borders. He has now been released.

A new compagnie of CRS arrived this evening: unit 11.

Wednesday 19th January

PAF came to Africa House twice this morning; once at 5.00am and then again at 6.30am. No arrests were made but everyone was woken up by torches being shoved into their faces.

The police raided the food distribution place, taking tents that some boys had been living in. They also took all their personal belongings, like clothes and their ID papers.

A private squat was evicted – all people arrested. The house was then boarded up.

A sound system was taken to Palestine House. People spent all evening dancing and having an Arabic/English phrase swapping session. It was a beautiful night of incredible dance moves and the breaking down of language barriers.

Tuesday 18th January

PAF arrived at Africa House at 7.00am this morning and tried to batter their way in past the barricades. Once they discovered it was easier to get out of the car and move them by hand they were able to get in. At the moment it seems the police are enjoying playing games and so instead of even trying to arrest people they just drove about inside shining lights and disturbing those who wanted to sleep.

One man in Africa House was taken ill and an ambulance had to be called. At first they refused to come out but after the sixth call some paramedics arrived in a fire truck and took him to hospital. He was discharged later that day with a packet of pain killers even though he could barely walk.

Monday 17th January

PAF came to Africa House in the morning but made no arrests.

English and French lessons are continuing with great enthusiasm and attendance at Africa House. Todays lessons stretched on for hours – until it was too dark to see the board.

Sunday 16th January

Two young Palestinians missing while trying to cross

Two young Palestinians aged 16 and 18 went to try and cross to England via the Eurostar Tunnel. The two boys hid in a water pipe connected with the reservoir. Two other men who were behind witnessed the scene – one was arrested and held for 24 hours in police station, the other escaped; they say the security let the dog off the lead, the dog had a muzzle on and could not bite but it may have caused the boys to panic and go further into the water pipe, where they may have fallen into the water and drowned. The fire brigade has been searching the bottom of the reservoir, but there is a grill in the pipe before it joins the it. The two Palestinians who were with the missing boys went to the police station yesterday, together with two volunteers from associations to provide information, but there is still no news. It has been three days since the two boys went missing. They had just arrived in Calais and not even the other Palestinians know their names.

A CMS activist was also controlled in Carrefour.

Saturday 15th January

The PAF (Police Aux Frontieres – border police) drove into Africa House (a squat home to large numbers of African migrants) with great speed, scaring many people onto the roof, but they did not attempt to arrest anyone. Instead, they collected all the artwork that was drying in the corner of the warehouse, bundled it into their van and drove out again blasting music.

The Hazara Jungle was raided at 12.30am. Eight PAF officers made three arrests including one man with papers and one underage boy (who was then held in Coquelles for 24 hours).

Friday 14th January

Africa house was not raided this morning but the CRS went there three times pretending to go in, then when everybody ran they went back to their van and drove off. They kept prowling the streets where people use to get to the food distribution site and chased a group of Pashtun children on their way, although no arrests were made. Most of the people in Africa house missed their breakfast for fear of being arrested.

Thursday 13th January

At least five people were arrested at Africa House just before 8.00am. The police entered from the back of the building and conducted a small raid on the language teaching cabins.

PAF were doing their usual sweep of town, this morning, when they recognised and stopped a CMS activist in the shopping centre. One officer threatened him with a beating and then told him that the police ´Don´t want Migrants here´.

At just past 8.00am the CRS pulled into the train station and stopped four Vietnamese people who were waiting for a train. They were questioned for papers and then detained on the pavement outside for over twenty minutes while the police waited for an arrest van.

The squat known as ‘Paradise House’ was raided this morning at 10.00am. There are no confirmed arrests.

Wednesday 12th January

Africa house raided, mass arrests made.

Africa house was raided this morning by PAF and CRS around 8 am. They arrived in 5 police vans and two cars with 2 arrest vans. They made an incredibly thorough search of the buildings with ladders, ripping doors from hinges and destroying the barricades to the upstairs rooms. At least 20 arrests were made; all those not arrested were made to leave, including CMS activists and charity workers who were present. Several blankets and the CMS tents were taken by council workers and they bulldozed the small barricade that was set up at the entrance to stop the police entering. After the police left the people returned and CMS activists helped to replace the doors and rebuild the barricades.

To lift the mood, paints, brushes and huge rolls of paper were brought to Africa House and some of the more creative residents painted beautiful pictures, wrote poetry and slogans of freedom and love.

The CRS have been roaming the streets arresting people at random, in the streets, at the train station etc. PAF breached the agreement with the associations and arrested one man outside the gates of evening food distribution. After a small scuffle with CMS activists and some of the charity workers, PAF drove the man away to Coquelles detention centre where he was held for 20 minutes, finger printed and released.

The Iranian squat was closed and boarded up, forcing all the residents to sleep on the streets, in the rain.

Tuesday 11th January

7.30am – Palestine House was raided this morning 7.30 am and six people were arrested.
They returned two times more during the day without arresting anyone.

PAF went to Africa house in the evening around 8 pm, apparently looking for Afghans who may (or may be not) sleeping there. They did not find any Afghans and went away empty handed after searching all the buildings.

The Iranians were arrested again and taken to Coquelles as soon as they went to their squat.

Monday 10th January

There was no breakfast provided this morning by Salam. CMS distributed pastries, bread and sandwiches but most people went hungry until lunchtime distribution.

The Kurdish Jungle was raided in the night, 5 confirmed arrests, maybe more.

The Iranian house was also raided twice in the night, everyone was arrested and taken to Coquelles police station, then, just after they returned to their squat after walking one hour in the rain, arrested and taken to Coquelles again – including a man who is sick with the flu. It seems sleep is a privilege only for those with papers.

Sunday 9th January

Hazara Jungle raided in the night, two arrests made.

Friday 7th January

It seems that the police have been spreading a rumour amongst the Migrants that the UK is closed to refugees and that there is ‘ no more asylum to give’.

No raid on Africa House this morning but the Iranian house was visited by PAF and everyone was kicked out onto the street. The police are just roaming through the streets picking people up. Many Africans and Afghans, some as young as 10, are being constantly arrested and re-arrested all day.

Thursday 6th January

The BCMO – cold weather shelter has now closed because the temperature rose to above freezing today. The temperature has since plummeted with a lot of rain and wind but no sign of the shelter opening again. CMS and all the charity associations have been kept very busy desperately trying to find bedding, tents and waterproof clothing for the over a hundred of people now sleeping on the streets. CRS and PAF have also been very busy chasing them and arresting them when they are most vulnerable.

Wednesday 5th January

Africa house raided this morning, all CMS Activists arrested.
8.00am – PAF and CRS did a joint operation, entering the property from the front and back. Activists were immediately shoved into a corner and were searched thoroughly. Despite protests, males officers searched female activists. Everyone was then handcuffed and given no explanation for there arrest. The police seemed perplexed that there were so few activists on the ground that morning and asked after specific activists by name..

Before the activists were driven away to the police station they spotted seven arrests of Migrants and what looked like a full scale eviction.
Upon arrival at Coquelles detention centre CMS were almost the only people in custody but by 1.00pm the cells were full, with mostly African Migrants. By 4.00pm most of the Migrants had been released but CMS still remained, ears ringing with police threats of jail. The whole operation in Coquelles was very unprofessional as interviews were conducted in busy offices. One activist was locked into a toilet and forgotten about. All activists were released around 7pm.

Tuesday 4th January

A relatively quiet day in Calais today for everyone. Not too many police on the streets, making only a few arrests throughout the day. CMS activists were able to catch up on the usual distribution of shoes, bedding and sim cards. A very well attended and lively english lesson was conducted at Africa House, (the subject today – irregular verbs) which involved much laughter as the activists had to mime all sorts of strange actions!

Monday 3rd January

Two cars of PAF officers arrived at Africa House this morning and decided that instead of conducting a raid on the Sans-Papiers they would beat up the CMS activists who were on morning watch, instead. Batons, fists, and boots were used as activists were thrown to the ground, slammed into walls and choked. A female activist was kicked in the stomach, hit round the head with a baton, thrown to the ground and strangled for trying to stop an officer hitting someone. Another two activists were kicked in the face and thrown into the road for blowing a whistle – the officer (once he had smashed the offending whistle) remarked that we blow the whistles and wake up everyone on the street every morning and that this was not good. He seemed to casually gloss over the fact that he comes to Africa House every morning to wake people up and arrest them, I guess it just goes to show the mentality of the French police – Migrants are not people in their eyes.

The CRS spent the morning roaming around and made several arrests of African Migrants who were walking back to Africa House from food distribution. They then followed and tried to arrest people walking back to the jungles out by the ferry port, three people got chased on foot and so climbed the fence into the locked up food distribution area. The CRS followed and climbed the fences catching and arresting two, one guy managed to get out the other side and hide in a garden, the police drove by several times and didnt spot him but unfortunately he didnt get away as a passerby called to the police and showed them where he was hiding. One CMS activist also got arrested after trying to intervene in the peoples escape, he was released four hours later after a full ID check in Coquelles with all the other Sans-Papiers.

Sunday 2nd January

Everyone got a surprise – including us – when they got to food distribution in the morning to find that all the barbed wire (which usually covers the tops of the fences, turning a space for meals into a prison) had been removed from the fences and placed in the big wheelie bins during the night. CMS activists with the help of some athletic Afghan lads then decorated the fences with banners in English, Arabic and French, wishing everyone a Happy New Year – Free from Borders!

English lessons are still continuing strong in Africa House and they are now being joined by art sessions too. Being able to let go of everything in Calais is something very important and so the recent arrival of a portable sound system has been very popular, especially with the young Afghan boys who have delighted in showing everyone some of their dance moves. This evening the music was taken to the BCMO cold weather shelter where within minutes there were over twenty people clapping and watching in awe at an eleven year old Afghan boy and his enchanting dancing. The CRS made an appearance but nobody ran, they just clapped and cheered louder, sending them on their way.

Saturday 1st January (New Years day)

Lunchtime food distribution was served by L’Auberge de Migrants who decided to brighten the mood by taping paper table cloths to the tops of the bins. A Samba band from Germany also played some awesome tunes and got people dancing. After about a minutes notice from CMS the Samba band moved out onto the street and (with banners appearing from nowhere) it turned into a small New Years Day noise demo processing up through town to the shopping centre. The locals looked on with smiles and cheers and the small group of activists and migrants grew by one when a passer-by stopped her car and left her husband and children to join in the march – fist raised and chanting loudly! The peaceful, colourful and cheery gaggle of people stopped outside of the shopping centre and a banner was hung from the christmas decorations proclaming – HUMAN RIGHTS HAVE NO BORDERS! Within moments of the banner being hung the police arrived and officers were seen to be putting on riot helmets and pulling out batons. Everybody scattered and the police took chase. Two activists were cornered down an alleyway and choked by police, the banner ripped from them. Two others were controlled and released – nobody else was caught.

Bristol No Borders Update: 29/03/10

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on Monday, 29 March, 2010 by bristolnoborders

First of all, a belated shout out to the UWE students who self-organised a benefit gig for Calais, and who made a trip there to distribute the blankets, shoes and other stuff they collected. It seems the French Authorities gave you a hard time…We hope that doesn’t put you off. The situation in Calais can be followed here.

Following the hunger strike at Yarls Wood, we now hear that three Doctors who worked for  Serco (who run the immigration prison) have been reported to the GMC. This is after “complaints over numerous alleged cases of substandard patient care”. Clearly, this represents a conflict of interests, as even a Tory MP was forced admit: “If there is an issue over fitness to travel and the decision is made by a contracted company inside Yarl’s Wood, what chance is there of having confidence that it has not been influenced by the contract given to the contractors to get people out of the country?” This comes in addition to the Chief Inspectors of Prisons report which concluded that: “children were held at the Bedfordshire centre unnecessarily, with little consideration for their welfare”.

Phil Woolas, the weasly Immigration Minister responded that locking the entire family up (rather than splitting them up) was an humanitarian gesture. However, since the Prison Inspectors report  also found that “force  was being used to split or keep families apart before deportation”, including pregnant women and children, this rather undermines Phil’s claim that  the UK detention estate is a an example of  Human Rights ‘good practice’. An analysis of the kind of debate we can expect on immigration in the run up to the election can be found here

Another dangerous prisoner leaves Yarls Wood

Meanwhile, London No Borders disrupted, and gave an alternative, and cogent presentation at Capita’s Conference “Policing the Borders” in London. Watch the excellent film here. Earlier in the week, it was reported on UK Indymedia that one of Sodexho’s outlets had been targeted.

A full call out has now been issued for the Brussels No Borders Camp 27th of September till 3rd of October 2010.

No Borders Round Up: Yarls Wood, Calais, Bristol, Cardiff, Dale Farm

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on Monday, 8 February, 2010 by bristolnoborders

Hunger Strike: Yarls Wood Immigration Prison, Bedfordshire

Yarls Wood On Fire during previous resistance in 2007

Since the 5th of February 2010, we the residents at Yarl’s Wood Immigration Removal Centre are on hunger strike which involves over 84 + women, who are protesting against the period of time spent in detention and the treatment that they receive while being detained.The strike was sparked to protest and demand that the frustration and humiliation of all foreign nationals ends now.

A full statement of demands by the Women can be found here

Calais – Kronstadt Hanger Eviction

Arrested for helping migrants

Brighton No Borders Writes: Since the news of the impending opening of the Kronstadt Hanger, a self-organised resource centre for activists and migrants alike, the police had closely monitored the building and effective mounted a blockade of it since last Friday. On Saturday, people managed to circumvent the 3 police lines blocking access to the front door (they did not force their way in as Besson has claimed). Their numbers were swollen with migrants who were once again shelter-less following the closure after 2 days of the cold weather shelter at the BCMO…full report here A number of Bristol No Borders activists were present.

A statement from Sos Sans Papier can also be found (in french only)here: here.

Bristol Immigration Raid:

The UK Border Agency raided the Glassboat in Welsh Back during a lunch service and closed it off as officers arrested a Jamaican kitchen porter and Peruvian sous chef. Mr Lee, the owner said the Jamaican woman had been working at Glassboat since 2003 and that in 2008 the restaurant wrote to the Home Office to support an application to extend her visa.

He added: “The way they operated was a little shocking and heavy- handed. They didn’t ask to see the documents we had – and the office where I have copies of their documents is 100 yards away. They weren’t interested at all. They were like Stormtroopers as they made their way into the restaurant at the beginning of service at a time we had customers waiting to be seated.The “full” story and the normal racist comments can be found on the This is Bristol website: here

Meanwhile, Alberto Durango, persecuted by his employers and UKBA for his union activism has been sacked (again) by the Lancaster Cleaning Company in London. Background can be found here

Demo last year for AlbertoMore background and details of solidarity demo here.

Cardiff – Anti Mass Deportation Demo

Last Wednesday (3rd Feb) Bristol No Borders joined their Comrades from South Wales in a picket outside the Regional UKBA headquarters in Cardiff to protest against a mass deporrtation to unsafe Nigeria. A full report can be found here.

Dale Farm Travellers

Hanningfield - Wanker

On a lighter Note, Traveller-hating posh-knob-scum-bag Lord Hanningfield is one of four politicians who face prosecution for the parlimenatry expenses scandal. Hanningfield is presently charged with making thousands of pounds worth of false claims for overnight accommodation while allegedly being chauffer-driven home from parliament.

It was he who wanted to tear down Dale Farms’s community centre and Chapel and had been the Queen’s Deputy Lieutenant of the county when in 2004 bailiffs and riot police stormed the Meadowlands caravan park,burning homes and evicting Travellers onto the road in freezing winter weather.

A interesting ariticle by Gratton Puxton about Dale Farm and “Irish” Travellers can be found here. An impending eviction attempt still looms for Dale Farms residents.

No Borders Global Round Up: Haiti, Calais, Italy, Switzerland, London…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on Friday, 22 January, 2010 by bristolnoborders

As the dubious motives of the U.S. led aid effort in Haiti are revealed, it’s become clear that the issue of “security” and “migration management” are much higher up the agenda than any humanitarian motive. : the U.S. has stated it will accept no Haitian refugees, and a Naval Blockade, including an Air Craft Carrier has been set up to stop fleeing Haitian’s reaching the coast of Florida, where , just in case any do make it immigration authorities have cleared space in a 600-bed detention center in Miami, and the naval base at Guantanamo Bay is also being prepared to hold those who try to flee. Some may say that since the U.S. has been continuing meddling in Haiti’s affairs  for most of the 20th and 21st Centuries-  including Coups’ and support of dictators –  it should bear some extra responsibility for what happens next. It  may turn out that it does – buit in the guise of  a U.S. military-corporate invasion on the scale  not seen since Iraq. See “>Seamus Milne’s analysis for a  broader overview of the situation.


Meanwhile in
Calais: “On January 19th tents were distributed to migrants because the cold weather plan was suspended and the BCMO gymnasium closed. migrants launched a movement protest on the morning of the closure by burning a few blankets and banners, so the evening after the distribution of tents they decided to sleep next to BCMO. half an hour later fifty uniformed police riot made a line outside the camp, saying that if migrants do not leave they would destroy everything .After negotiation they agreed that migrants could leave with tents in the direction of the old jungle and they would not stop anyone and destroy any tents … migrants and activists were going to install the new camp escorted by the Police who showed us the place where they would not intervene… Yet they arrested 6 people at 2 am and came back at 7am” An urgent appeal has been issued for anyone who can to  to Calais to try to stop the authorities worst behaviour. More at: http://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com.

In Rosarno, Italy at least 37 we’re  wounded,in a migrant revolt, including 18 police officers.

In one of the “worst-ever incidents” of racial unrest in Italy, the violence broke out on Thursday evening after white youths in a car fired air rifles at a group of immigrants returning from working on farms.

“Two immigrants were slightly injured by the gunfire. ‘Those guys were firing at us as if it was a fairground,’ a Moroccan identified as Kamal told La Repubblica newspaper. ‘They were laughing, I was screaming, other cars were passing by but nobody stopped.’

In Zurich, police raided and demolished an autonomously run school where undocumented migrants held language classes. The raid came as the Swiss government admitted that its harsh treatment of undocumented asylum- seekers has partly failed, and following an announcement that it is again planning a revision of federal asylum law. Several police officers, half of them in riot gear, stormed the Autonomous School Zurich (ASZ) Thursday. After chasing away the squatters and holding off protesting supporters with pepper spray, officers started confiscating teaching materials and technical utilities. The police partly demolished the single-storey building and removed its windows, leaving it uninhabitable. The ASZ had started operating at the Allenmoos School on Zurich’s outskirts last April, when activists squatted the empty building. The autonomous school operated according to do-it-yourself principles. Anyone could take, or offer, courses for free. As a result, a broad variety of training ranging from open-source computer courses to classes in solar energy fundamentals was available.

London: On Saturday 23rd January there will be two demonstrations called by London No Borders  in London. One will be at St. Pancras, where the UK (e-)border agency put up their controls in the middle of London. The second one will be at Piccadilly Circus where, while commuters, tourists and clubbers stare at the never-ending stream of commercials at ground level, they themselves are under constant observation by security and police in their cosy CCTV headquarters below ground.

The EU’s murderous borders: four poles of suffering and denial of rights

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on Friday, 25 December, 2009 by bristolnoborders

“A report published by Migreurop (a Euro-African network of 40 organisations from 13 countries working on issues of immigration policy, externalisation and their consequences within and beyond the EU’s borders) in October 2009 paints a vivid picture of the effects of the EU’s migration policies by focussing on three regions in which a number of common denominators are identified in spite of the significant difference between them (the Calais region and the north of France, the Greek-Turkish border and the Oujda region in eastern Morocco). These are added to by a case study on events on the Italian island of Lampedusa, where practices have been adopted for the sake of expediency that confirm the suspicion that legal guarantees and human rights conceived as minimum standards for the treatment of all human beings are becoming a luxury that is not meant for migrants who have been criminalised and de-humanised as “illegals”.”

The themes that run through all the sections from specific areas are those of controls and attempts to stop migrants, their detention in awful conditions that often entails abuses by guards, and a de-humanisation that goes so far as to result in deaths and in the use of legal and illegal dissuasive practices, among which the Dublin II regulation and illegal repatriations are identified as being particularly harmful. Instances of resistance against policies enacted by government by migrants themselves and local populations that express solidarity for them are also examined. A special emphasis is placed on how some French policies are officially justified as seeking to prevent “a draught” that would encourage others to migrate towards Europe, that the authors interpret as people being made to endure dreadful situations not for their own sake, but for the message to reach their home countries and particularly those who might be tempted to follow them in the future.

Surprising parallels are drawn, such as those between the “tranquillos” in northern Morocco and the so-called “jungles” in France, which are both make-shift shelters self-managed by those attempting to escape the attention of the police, immigration authorities, in short, to become invisible while they try to plan the next stage in their journey after hitting a dead end. In Morocco, they face the choice between trying to cross a heavily guarded stretch of the sea in which thousands have died en route to Spain, trying to climb the six-metre-high fencing erected around the Spanish north African enclave cities of Ceuta and Melilla, or to reach them by swimming around the border, again, risking death. In France, they have the Channel blocking their way into the UK, the Dublin II regulation stopping refugees among them from claiming asylum in case they are sent back to the countries they first entered the EU from (most often Greece, where the level of successful applications is well below 1%), resulting in a likelihood of them never being able to obtain asylum regardless of whether they fulfil the requirements for it.

Everywhere, the police are on their tracks, and capture involves the risk of detention, sometimes entailing violence as well as terrible living conditions, and expulsion, except for those who come from countries to where some European states will not expel them (unlike the UK, France does not usually repatriate Afghans), although this is not an issue if they are captured in Morocco or in Greece, where night-time returns to Turkey in perilous conditions across the river Evros are commonplace. The Italian practice of directly returning intercepted boats to Libya without identifying the people on board or their nationalities since May 2009 is a classic example of how the wish for expediency is trampling even the limited guarantees provided by increasingly harsh national immigration laws- expulsion without a judicial authority issuing a formal order; the presence of likely refugees disregarded; returns to presumed transit countries where they are likely to experience further abuses.

There are many excerpts of first-hand accounts from migrants’ experiences, ranging from a complete lack of understanding of the situation in which they are forced, for instance an Afghan youth in Calais who wonders how it is possible that he is not allowed to stay, nor allowed to leave and is thus condemned to roaming aimlessly, feeling as if he were “in a cage”, to harrowing descriptions of spiteful and mocking treatment at the hands of border guards that went so far as to lead people to perish, both on the Moroccan-Spanish border and the Greek-Turkish one.

The lasting impression caused by the report is that thousands of people are facing incredible ordeals as a result of policies, that awful living conditions from poorer countries are entering the EU as a result of exclusion and the creation of categories that are permanently forced to live in a condition of invisibility. On the other hand, to help them “regulate” immigration flows, the EU and its member states are funding a vast expansion of the internal security apparatus in bordering countries and of tough laws that are often implemented on the basis of skin colour.

This often means that visits by authorities from European countries and EU institutions for negotiations with third-country governments in this field result in indiscriminate round-ups in neighbourhoods in which large numbers of migrants live and in the spread of racism, both by security and police forces as well as by members of public, for example in north African countries against sub-Saharan migrants suspected of seeking to emigrate to Europe.

The report is available on the Migreurop website:
Les frontières assassines de l’Europe (French, original)
Europe’s murderous borders (English)
Fronteras asesinas de Europa (Spanish)


Rapport-Migreurop-nov2009-en

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”.

Calais – Humanitarian Crisis

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on Wednesday, 28 October, 2009 by bristolnoborders
The weather has turned in the last few days – by day the winds are chilling and by night the first frosts creep in. In Calais, since the camps nicknamed the ‘Jungle’ have been destroyed, large numbers of those waiting to seek asylum in the UK are being forced to sleep on the streets, without shelter or blankets. Finding this far beyond the realms of reason, groups from Bristol are gathering blankets, warm clothes and other essentials to respond to this urgent humanitarian crisis.
image-4-for-police-clear-calais-migrant-camp-gallery-562352761

Jungle - Destroyed

HUMANITARIAN CRISIS, CLOSE TO HOME?

Children as young as ten are sleeping under bridges. If found taking shelter or sleeping out, peoples’ few possessions are removed, their blankets sprayed with chemicals and their temporary refuges destroyed or evicted. These are people from Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Eritrea and other zones of conflict, whose situation the UK and other western governments have been instrumental in worsening. French immigration policy, voiced by minister Eric Besson, has chosen however to ignore its complicity in these broader issues, calling (like the UK Border Agency) for stricter border controls and the use of state power to break up any signs of their existence.

BLANKET APPEAL, YOU CAN HELP!

We don’t think that this is acceptable. Thousands of people attempting to move across Europe to seek asylum or a new life are stranded as a result. The associations and charities of Calais cannot cope with such a humanitarian catastrophe, and as an act of solidarity we would like to collectively respond by transporting aid there from Bristol. If you would like to join us in expressing your indignation or support, please help us collect for the two ‘convoys’ which will leave Bristol on November the 6th and November the 26th.

aid_convoy_websize

We welcome:
blankets
sleeping bags
warm clothes (especially winter jackets and waterproofs)
rocket stoves , camping gas stoves
mens shoes
tents
tarpaulin
rope
tools

Collection points until 26th November will be:

* the Welcome Centre drop-in, Newton Street, Easton: Wednesdays 10.00 – 12.00 and Thursdays 10.00 – 16.00
* Kebele Social Centre, Robertson Rd, Easton: Saturday 11:00 – 14:00 and Sunday 18:00 – 21:00

Thank you.

* If you would prefer to give a donation then please make cheques payable to Bristol No Borders, c/o Kebele, 14 Robertson Road, Easton, Bristol, BS5 6HB or make a bank transfer to Sort code 089299, Account number 65330812, quoting reference 51771 to ensure it comes to the right account. THANKS