Calais: The State Fumbles, Migrants Continue their Struggle

On Friday, the migrants occupying the food distribution center brought a list of demands that they had agreed upon to the prefect and the media. At first, the prefect maintained that the 48 hour period in which they were to vacate the premises had expired and refused to enter a dialogue. However, seeing that they were determined to stay, he set up a meeting for today [Saturday] with the departmental Director of Social Cohesion, who was soon joined by the sub-prefect. They proposed a second meeting to the refugees next Tuesday, on the condition that by then they move to another place and leave the food distribution center. It seems that a meeting is planned Monday morning at the Ministry of the Interior regarding the situation of the migrants in Calais; the meeting on Tuesday will likely depend on the decisions taken Monday. The proposal to continue the dialogue in another location was accompanied by a threat: if the migrants did not leave the food distribution center on their own over the weekend, they would be evicted by force, arrested and sent back to their countries of origin. Of course, this poses the question of where should they go. The authorities let slip the idea of moving to the old municipal camp site. The state now stands before the contradiction of demanding that people leave one place only to occupy another, without permission, somewhere which inevitably belongs to someone. The site of the old camp grounds belongs to the city of Calais. [Read More]

Calais: The Occupation Continues

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Tomorrow, the occupation of SALAM by the inhabitants of the three camps evicted yesterday will enter its fourth day. They arrived early Tuesday morning, in anticipation of the destruction of their homes, at the food distribution center, which is normally closed except for an evening meal (and lunch on the weekend). They were looking for a safer space to stay, protected from the wind, the rain and the police, but also for a place to take a stand, to demand access to basic services and political consideration from the government, locally and across Europe. [Read More]

Calais: Camp Evictions met with Occupations and Resistance

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Today more than 300 police descended on Calais to evict three tent camps in the city centre which have existed since last October: the «Syrian camp», which was set up following the occupation of the port, the «Eritrean camp» under the bridge, which was established after the eviction of their squat, also in October, and a smaller camp close to the food distribution. Together these places were home to around 650 people in Calais. The state has tried to disguise this police operation as a humanitarian intervention, citing scabies and poor sanitation to justify destroying people’s homes without providing them with any alternative solution. They neglect to mention that these problems exist only because they have forced people to live in very crowded conditions without regular access to toilets, showers, or places to wash their clothes and bedding. They legitimize the paternal intervention of the state by painting a picture of migrants as diseased and unable to care for themselves, rather than accepting responsibility for creating the circumstances which have caused these problems. [Read More]

Calais: Now or never!

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*Everyone come to Calais May 27th or in the night of the 26th!!!!*

The authorities have decided to destroy the three main camps, which shelter around 700 people. The only prospect for the inhabitants: a pill against scabies and life in the street! There can be no question of repeating the events of 2009, when the eviction of the Afghan jungle resulted in the arrest of hundreds of migrants, their detainment all over France and attempts to deport them to Afghanistan. There can be no question, after five years of persecution, of starting all over again from zero, while the machine of repression gears up once more. Never again! [Read More]

Calais: Emergency situation, all squats and camps will be evicted in the next few days!

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On May 27th, the three main camps of Calais will be destroyed by the police. More than 600 people live in these camps, which were won through constant migrant struggle after a long series of evictions. No solution has been proposed for the evicted migrants. Moreover, a social center and two further squats are up for eviction starting on May 30th. All told, more than 800 people will be put on to the street.

In this stopping point on the way to England, squatting is the only housing solution that exists. It is also a tool of resistance for migrants to protect themselves from violence and police harassment in the camps and in the city. Today, the mayor of Calais’s fight against squatting has reached a new low. This time she has proposed a law which would change the 48 hour period in which squats must be evicted (which is not officially set down in French law). We know very little about the content of this law, only that it will attack the right to housing for all. The entire future of squatting in France is endangered by this law. [Read More]

Update on Situation in Calais

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The mayor of Calais, Natach Bouchart has decided on the evictions of the two main camps, known as the Syria Camp and Eritrea Camp. Despite these names, these camps are home to members of many different communities. There are over 300 people in the Syrian Camp in front of Salam, and the Eritrean camp has also undergone a massive influx recently, potentially doubling the number of inhabitants in the last weeks. Migrants of all the communities know about the eviction threat.

The three No Borders squats, opened at the end of February, are also facing eviction at the end of May. These three squats are also providing homes for many people, especially since the eviction of the Sudanese Jungle in mid April. The loss of these buildings will only add to the number of people sleeping in the already overcrowded camps. [Read More]

Calais: Squat Evictions Planned for May 30th

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We are a group of people from different countries and different political backgrounds who are fighting for the right to housing for everyone , whatever their origin. Since the end of February we have held three empty public buildings, abandoned by the DPO of Calais on Rue de Vic, Rue Auber and Rue Massena. Although there are no plans for these houses, the DPO has engaged in legal proceedings and the court has ruled that the buildings are to be vacated on 30th May

Since the end of February, in the three squats, lives have been created and many links with neighbors have been built. These are temporary places, but necessary. Solidarity and housing are crucial for survival in daily life.

We demand that the sub-prefect do not send the police or intervene on May 30 or the following days, to forcefully evict these three occupied buildings. [Read More]

Notre-Dame-des-Landes: Thwarted Eviction of a New Squat on the ZAD

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St. Jean du Tertre Resists!

Faced with the clear threat of police intervention on the ZAD, the airport opposition movement showed their determination, their unity, and their capicity to mobilize.

Farmers, squatters and citizens barricaded together the roads leading to the newly squatted house, called St. Jean du Tertre.

Dozens of tractors and several hundred people were there waiting at 5am. This massive and unified reaction will be a systematic response to any attempt of the police to come onto the zone.
[Read More]

Grenoble (France): Demonstration against all kinds of evictions, April 25th

FRIDAY 25 APRIL, at 12.00 am (noon)
Place de Verdun (Préfecture), Grenoble

DEMONSTRATION
Against all kinds of evictions and against the closing down of many sheltered housings (“foyers”).
For a suitable and viable housing for everyone. [Read More]

Calais: Sudanese jungle evicted by the police

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This morning at around 6am, as the sun came up, the camp known as the Sudanese jungle was evicted by the police. Following a tip off received this week suggesting the camp would be evicted and after speaking to the community who lived there, people in the camp and of the no borders collective were there doing morning watch.

The police came in incredibly large numbers, there were around 30 to 40 vehicles that came to carry out the eviction. Around 18 cars, 12 CRS vans and 6 arrest vans. They came to the jungle from four different directions, lining the motorway, to catch people that were running away. However, many people managed to avoid arrest and escape, because they had warning from the morning patrols that the police were on their way. [Read More]

Calais: Defend the Squats, Defend Ourselves, Defend the 62

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On April 13 the groups “Jeunesse Identitaire” and “Sauvons Calais” (Save Calais- who were responsible for multiple attacks on a squat in Calais including throwing molotovs in an attempt to burn down the house), as well as local fascists and known Neo Nazis from further afield are holding a demonstration at 14:30 on la Place d’Armes, a central square in Calais, against “mass immigration, insecurity, pro-migrant people and corrupt journalists”. In Calais, we know that these demonstrations are often a thinly veiled disguise for fascist elements to come together and launch attacks against squats, encampments, and individuals,as proven by Sauvons Calais’s ‘demonstrations’ at the squatted farm house which resulted in frequent and persistent stone attacks on the building and on many individuals, and the eventual burning of one out building. Small affinity groups and large mobs were able to act with impunity and without repercussion from state forces. Cops stood and laughed at the farm whilst fascists fired fireworks at the building. [Read More]

Calais: Legal situation of houses squatted last month

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The bailiff came for all the three houses – Rue Massena, Auber and Vic and issued papers.
A court date was proposed in the papers. The lawyer succeeded to delay the court procedure for all houses. A new date has been set for 1st April. They don’t give us much time at all. Houses are safe for now, they are lived in by communities and continue to be maintained and improved everyday. We continue to make the legal case.
[Published on the Calais Migrant Solidarity blog]