Calais: The womens house is evicted, mass evictions due to start this week – callout from No Borders

The evictions have already started. Eviction is not just the moment when the police come to the jungles and squats and kick people out through a physical confrontation, but it begins way before. The women’s house Victor Hugo is a good example of this. The eviction on the 25th of March happened in a subtle way. The women and children living within Victor Hugo did not want to leave, but instead have been forced to move to the Jules Ferry Day Centre. They were evicted under the threat of violence. This imposed and non consensual arrangement has happened without considering the wishes, opinions, needs or safety of the women living in the Victor Hugo house. The media have supported this by talking about the eviction in terms of “moving out”, therefore this violence has been ignored and made invisible. This forced relocation is an example of how the state controls movement and physical bodies and how it perpetuates and reproduces violence against women.

The house of Victor Hugo for women and children began as a No Border squat which lasted for almost one year before it was handed over to the association Solidaire, who continued to live and work with the women for almost another year. Now the residents of Victor Hugo have been forced to move to the Jules Ferry Day Centre. This centre is isolated, far from the city and crossing points, and will reduce the possibility of women being able to cross independently and safely. Visitors will also not be allowed into the centre, especially anyone who is not part of an official association. This segregation is a deliberate cutting of ties, connections and friendships between the women of Victor Hugo and the associations and activists who have been supporting them. Isolation is one of the first steps towards control and violence.

Source: Calais Migrant Solidarity


Come to Calais, mass evictions due [this] week

March 25th 2015

Calais, Calais, it’s a horrible town.

There are between 2 and 3 thousand migrants now from war-torn regions of the world (Syria, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Sudan, and so on) huddled in Calais trying to get across the fences and the 20 miles of cold salt water to England.

How ever much riot cops, truncheons and tear gas they throw at the “problem”, the state authorities can’t get the numbers down and keep the unwanted out of sight of the good citizens.

Their latest move, under the guise of humanitarianism, is to open a “day centre” for the voyagers in the old Jules Ferry sports centre, some way out of town in the suburbs. It will be prohibited to give out food anywhere else in the town. The new centre offers sleeping space only for women and children. But it will be prohibited for any migrants to camp anywhere except nearby on the surrounding salt dunes and polluted wasteland, plagued by hunters. There will be a handful of showers, NGOs on hand … and keep away from the city centre or face a beating. Thus the problem is, if not solved, managed a little more comfortably.

Travellers in Calais are not stupid. They are refusing to move. Even if you’ve only been there a few days, it’s plain to see that being corralled into an isolated zone outside town will mean being increasingly vulnerable to police and fascist attacks, as well as cut off from the necessities of life. People prefer to stay in their existing squats and “jungle” camps, including the central Fort Galloo squat opened by No Borders, and the various jungles created by different communities.

The state will not brook refusal. The clash is coming. On 13 March police visited most of the major living spaces —  the Sudanese jungle, Tioxide, Bois Debruille, the people staying outside the BCMO (the old cold weather shelter), and the people from the Syrian Church — to deliver the message: you have until the end of the month, then move to Jules Ferry or we come with force.

Here is the latest : the women’s sleeping space at Jules Ferry will be opened tomorrow (26 March), and the women will be taken there. Calais No Borders has strong reason to think that the cops will mount a major operation to attack and evict all the living spaces next week, starting from the 31st March. This operation will probably last several days.

We transmit this message from No Borders comrades in Calais:

“Please stay alerted and try to get updated. We need material support and people to come. Keep in mind to come prepared and be as autonomous as possible. We also expect more fascist presence and actions in this moment, if you feel like helping solve this problem you are very welcome ;) Please spread, power in numbers.”

If you have can, if you have time and energy, please go to Calais, ideally from 31st March, even if it’s only for a few days.

Contact Calais Migrant Solidarity and let them know you are coming, or call them and ask questions if you’re interested but unsure how to start.

Read this brief intro to what they are doing there, what it’s like to go to Calais, what to take, etc.

See also the call-out for actions for April Fool’s Day/Month (“Poisson D’Avril“).

Source: Rabble Ldn