Calais jungle eviction: a chronology of resistance

Today [March 2nd] the southern half of the Calais ‘jungle’ enters it’s third day of eviction, in a process the authorities have now said will take 3 weeks to complete.

Here’s some of the acts of resistance that have been happening in & beyond the camp. It’s looking like it’s going to be a drawn-out process, so get busy researching, preparing and taking action now. This post will be updated as more action reports come through.

17th Jan:

Two vehicles used to carry out evictions were torched overnight.

24th Jan:

The UK Visas and Immigration office in Rome is graffitied with the words “standing side by side those who are fighting in Calais”.

22nd Feb:

Calais Migrant Solidarity issues a call for transnational solidarity actions, specifically asking people to target institutions of the French and British state and the companies involved in the assault on the jungle. Here is a list of some of those companies.

Stand up to Racism (SWP) organises a demo at Downing Street.


Responding at short notice, 30-40 people gather in Shoreditch, London to disrupt the launch of the French government’s ‘Creative France’ campaign, attended by the French ambassador. Smoke bombs are let off, rubbish fills the lobby, and the building is evacuated.

25th Feb:

The legal challenge against the eviction is lost – it will go ahead with the supposed exception of the social spaces (religious buildings, library etc.).

Bernard Cazeneuve, the French Interior Minister, delivers a speech and says that it’s not, and has never been, the government’s intention to use bulldozers in the eviction of the camp.

Banner drop from a bridge in Ventimiglia (French border with Italy), in solidarity with migrants in Calais.


26th Feb:

Local council workers walk around the camp telling people to leave. Buses are brought in to take people off to centres around the country. The buses leave mostly empty – the authorities are furious, and blame no borders for the poor uptake.

29th Feb:

The eviction of the jungle begins. A massive police operation (around 55 police vans) is launched in the early morning. Bulldozers and workers from Sogea (a Vinci subsidiary) destroy people’s shelters, in blatant and direct contradiction of Cazeneuve’s statement the previous week.


Inhabitants throw stones at the heavily armoured police. The police fire tear gas.

People begin occupying their roofs in resistance; a water cannon is used to try and move people. This protest tactic continues to be used over the coming days.


A woman on a rooftop slashes her wrists, before being dragged off by the police.

Another demonstration takes place at Downing Street, organised by Stand up to Racism (SWP).

Two more companies (Baudelet Environnement, and Groupe SOS Solidarités, company details here) are identified by CMS for their key role in the eviction.

That night, large numbers of migrants occupy the motorway to force lorries to stop for a lift to the UK.

1st March

50 people demonstrate outside l’Institut Francais in London, then walk around Kensington chanting, distributing leaflets, and describing the situation in Calais over a megaphone.


One jungle resident dies overnight, possibly of a heart attack.

The Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, makes a statement denouncing No Borders for disrupting the progress of the eviction.

Around 100 people, including many refugees, protest in central Paris against the repression in Calais, in spite of the state of emergency and continued ban on demos.

2nd March

12 Iranians living in the camp embark on a hunger strike, a number of them sewing their lips together. They receive phone calls and messages of support from other Iranian migrant activists in Europe.

The Calais Prefect Fabienne Buccio makes yet another statement parroted by the press that ‘no borders anarchists’ have been inciting a handful of ‘hardcore migrants’ to fight back. The idea that people might act to stop the destruction on their homes without the need for encouragement is clearly inconceivable.

Of the 5 so-called “no borders activists” from the jungle who were taken into custody over the preceding two days; 2 were apparently Iranians who were defending their shelters, 2 were Auberge des Migrants volunteers, and 1 was a Care 4 Calais volunteer. The Iranians and one other are released back into the jungle. The two others appear before a court accused of arson, but are acquitted.

Demos elsewhere:

3rd March:

Brussels Calais solidarity demo, 8pm, Place de la Bourse.

4th March:

Paris Calais solidarity demo, called for 6pm at the Gare du Nord.

5th March:

London2Calais have called for an “open the borders” demo in London, at a secret location to be announced on the day.


Posters (en/fr):

[Article via Rabble (with ongoing updates), posters from Contra Info on March 5th.]

Calais Jungle eviction Day 1; update on collaborators

They came at 7AM and gave people one hour to leave. 50 plus vanloads of CRS riot cops. 20 odd demolition workers with crowbars. Some bulldozers. One water cannon. To demolish the dwellings of 100-200 people, in one corner of the jungle. People fought with stones against uncountable rounds of teargas. Fires blazed in parts of the eviction zone. The first one apparently ignited by a tear gas grenade, others by residents fighting back.

The demolition workers left around 5PM, they are expected back tomorrow. The authorities will be hoping that this display of force will persuade more people to flee and leave the area empty.

Also today, Calais Migrant Solidarity in a blogpost named two companies actively involved in the eviction. It said:

“Today, the police, who we already know are border guard dogs, were working hard to tear down people living in the Jungle. They were not alone and what they want to achieve would have been possible without the collaboration of a so called “humanitarian” organization and the demolition company.”

These are: NGO Groupe SOS Solidarites and demolition company Baudelet Environnement

Below is a chronology of the day’s events from humanitarian volunteer perspective, taken  polyvalence (fakebook page):

Live from the Jungle <updated regularly – when possible>

1 pm :

Problem with cell phones : no battery. We were inside the « Chemin des Dunes » school to charge them but the electricity has been shut down.

The access to certain parts of the Jungle is cut by the CRS (riot police squad). We managed to go through : the CRS are everywhere, they’re armed and violent. They push migrants and journalists, until they fall to the ground.

There are dismantling teams who are destroying the shacks with bludgeons and crowbars. Everything falls to the ground in pieces. (We asked if we could interview them, some people came to us to say they weren’t allowed to speak to us.)
In order to protect their shelters, the migrants climb up the roofs.

The government promised they wouldn’t use violence, so why has everything escalated so fast ?
Because the No Borders prevented the people who were going to take the migrants out of their shelters « pacifically ». But this is no more than an excuse, there would’ve been another reason to do so anyway and the CRS would’ve come.

Everyone is calm except the squad officers, they have tear-gas, the situation could get complicated.
We’re filming with a camera, so we can’t send out live images.
Share, the images will come soon.

3 pm :

No more battery in the cell phones so no images for now.
The CRS are throwing out tear-gas.
There are children.
People are yelling « peace peace peace », « we are family ».
A couple of people are throwing rocks, but the others are asking them to stop.
People are peaceful.

3.45 pm :
Ranges of riot officers with shields and riot trucks, also with shields. Behind them, bulldozers are picking up bits and pieces of shelters that have been broken down by the dismantlers (wearing orange in the pictures). On the other side of the Jungle, everything is in order, the hairdresser, the restaurants. And inside the south area, everything is being gradually destructed. Migrants are waiting: they have no idea where they’re supposed to go.

4.15 pm :

Riot squad charges.

4.20 pm :

Riot squad charges, shoot tear-gas and flashballs.

4.50 pm :

Massive charge, 400 riot officers, at least twice as much as the migrants.
We managed to hide inside a shack and cover our faces with anti tear-gaz soap.
Migrants throw sheds across the path to stop the CRS from coming through.
The situation is more and more tense.
New charge.

5 pm :

The camp is on fire : migrants are setting fire to the destroyed cabins to slow the riot squad down. There are gas bottles inside the sheds. There are huge explosions.
People are screaming : « Human Rights, fucking France. »

5.40 pm :

There are children, not many. The small ones are frightened, they’re staying close to the adults. The teenagers are going towards the officers but the adults keep them back.
There have been CRS charges, gun shot tear-gas that explode on the migrants, sheds on fire.
The pressure lessens. The night will soon fall, everybody is staying on their guards.

6.30 pm :

The south area is calm again. The dismantlement was done by hand, the bulldozers preventively stayed behind the CRS but the dismantlement teams are the ones who destroyed the shacks with bludgeons, crowbars, disk cutters etc., not bulldozers.
The riot squad has charged several times this afternoon. There have been tear-gas shots on one side, and rock throwing on the other.
Migrants have set fires to the sheds that had already been destroyed and/or have shoved them on the paths to slow down the riot squad.
The people who no longer have a shelter have no accommodation solution.

7 pm :

A group of migrants run towards the highway.
Another CRS charge.
On us and on groups who are doing nothing, standing still.
We are between stone throwing and tear-gas shots.

The destruction of the sheds represent 100 homeless people.
45 have been sent to the CAO (« orientation and welcome centers »)
We don’t know if the others are going to the containers and/or the blue tents (State tents).
The first shed was burnt down by the CRS’s shots. Migrants have burned the others. Only after.
A 13 year old child has been arrested this morning by the riot squad for throwing a stone.

Updates as soon as we can.

7.20 pm :

We’ve been targeted with tear-gas pistols.
Riot officers are shooting at point-blank range.
Filming is impossible.
We got out with our hands up pretending to be press.
A DWB (« Doctors Without Borders ») volunteer spoke to the CRS this morning and reported them saying they didn’t really know what they should do.
So tonight they’re shooting tear-gas where people are, and where people are there are gas bottles and risks of them exploding.
Right now we are controlled by the riot officers.






Also see: Lies in the media about No Borders – a response from Calais Migrant Solidarity, March 4th