Calais (France): Upcoming Evictions, expected March 2015

In April 2015 the municipality of Calais in collaboration with the socialist state government intends to open the Day Centre Jules Ferry for all migrants living in and around the city. This centre is sold by the government and its media as a humanitarian gesture. This is bullshit! This is a poor attempt to alleviate the catastrophic situation of the migrants here. A situation that is created by the very policies the government have put in place. The opening of the day centre will go along with the mass eviction of 2000 people and the destruction of their homes: the squats and jungles of Calais.

It has been made clear that the opening of the day centre is going come with a large clearing of existing spaces in the centre of Calais, as camps will only be ‘tolerated’ in the area surrounding the day centre. The clear intention to be clearing the streets of Calais, creating a migrant ghetto outside of the city. So the reality of life for those communities can be happily ignored by locals and the government can easily deny its existence. There is no confirmed date at the moment, but it seems likely that this will be happening at the end of March, in time with the complete opening of the centre in April. Obviously more concrete dates will be announced if we hear anything.

The last round of big evictions on the 2nd July 2014 were a intense display of state force. With a simultaneous eviction of the Salam and four squats, everyone perceived to be a migrant in those spaces were arrested and taken to detention centres across France. After having been beaten and gassed by the police. With the French government showing an increasing will to deport people to Sudan, the consequence of an eviction like this again could be catastrophic for some.

Whilst some people are considering relocating “voluntarily”, until now the majority of people are refusing to move. Despite the systematic police repression and harsh weather conditions the migrant communities have been able to create and defend autonomous spaces and to build temporary, self-designed homes. In these spaces (the camps and the squats) a minimum of freedom is maintained, for example the possibility to come and go when you want to, to permit or refuse entry to others, to share, to party, to pray, to run little businesses…

We are making a callout for people to come to Calais in March to help us prepare for this time and to stand with those who do not accept being evicted and pushed out of town. Come and help resist this attempt to firm up the reality of apartheid and segregation on the streets of Calais. Fight against police violence, against the ones who create it, against the ones who support and protect it, and against the ones who close their eyes. We call you to struggle against the borders who are a tool for power and control. Not just in Calais, but wherever you are.

Freedom of movement for all- the border regimes must fall.

Please come prepared ! Bring a tent, or a van or arrange your own sleeping space in Calais. It is going to be a turbulent time on the ground and we cannot really grantee much in terms of infrastructure.

[Calais Migrant Solidarity]