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

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.

We know that these demonstrations and attacks are part of a wider attempt to intimidate and discourage migrant people and there supporters from trying to exist in Calais, that they go hand in hand with local government pressure to remove the perceived “problem” of ‘immigrant’ people and squats in the city. All this is a part of a wider and equally dangerous entrenched racism which exists in the whole of society and which is particularly fervent at border flash points such as Calais. With this in mind we know that we have to protect ourselves by all means possible, to enable and support the defense of migrant persons and their homes, and to challenge the assumption that racist and fascist ideologies and their repercussions on peoples lives are acceptable in this city and beyond.

To this end we are calling for international support and solidarity to aid us in our defense of the city and the protection of all its inhabitants. We predict that the demonstration will only form one part of the fascist mobilization, and for this reason we are encouraging people to arrive on Friday the 11th (before dark) and to stay at least until the morning of Monday 14th. Our recent experience tells us that these demonstrations draw hardcore fascists from other towns and cities who will stay in Calais for the duration of the weekend and are likely to be planning and organizing actions against squats and individuals during this time. In the last days, small and mobile groups of fascists have been spotted around known squats doing reconnaissance and one building had the content of a bin emptied at its front door,accompanied by a sign embossed with fascist slogans and a swastika. This information motivates us to call for round the clock patrols during the weekend of the demonstration, which will involve medium sized groups of people walking the streets and keeping an eye on squats and camps in the city, being ready to respond to any potential attacks and reinforcing some of the existing squats who may want more occupiers. If numbers are sufficient, we are planning to organize a counter demonstration to defend the city, ensure the safety of people, and show that this dangerous and racist ideology is not the prevalent opinion. It is advisable to bring a tent or vehicle to sleep in, as we cannot guarantee sleeping space. However, we are in contact with some squats who may be able to host people.

We know that the police will not protect us, self defense is the only way.

Signed- Some People In Calais

For more info/to let us know your coming, please contact defendrela62 [at] riseup [dot] net (phone number will be released shortly).