Calais: the ban on distributing food to migrants is maintained. Mobilization on September 26th

For the judge of the administrative court of Lille, 4 kms on foot to eat, that’s fine.

In an order dated September 22, the judge of the administrative court of Lille rejected the request made by 12 local and national associations to cancel the order of September 10, by which the prefect of Pas-de-Calais prohibited any free distribution of drinks and food in certain places in the city center of the municipality of Calais.

The judge stated that the distributions put in place by the State were allegedly sufficient to cover the needs of all exiled people present in Calais, including those sleeping in the city center, considering that “the circumstance that in order to access them, migrants settled in the city center since early August must travel three kilometers is not such as to characterize undignified living conditions”.

This assessment is particularly questionable. Indeed, the humanitarian indicators developed either by the UNHCR or within the framework of the SPHERE project, specify, for example, concerning drinking water, that it must be accessible at less than 500m from where people live – the distances in question being in this case between 4 and 5km, which represents an hour’s walk one way, and that it is necessary to go to two distributions per day. [Read More]

Calais: a decree forbids associations to distribute food to migrants, humanitarians rise up

An order published Thursday by the prefect of Pas-de-Calais forbids associations not mandated by the State to distribute food to migrants living in Calais. L’Auberge des migrants and Utopia 56 insist on such a measure which they consider “shameful and scandalous”.

A new tug-of-war between migrant aid associations and the authorities in Calais, northern France. In a decree published on Thursday, September 10, the prefect of the Pas-de-Calais, Louis le Franc, announced a ban on “any free distribution of drinks and food [in about twenty streets, quays, squares in the city center] to put an end to public disorder and limit the health risks associated with undeclared gatherings.

“Non-compliance with distancing measures”

Insofar as the State has mandated an association, la Vie active, to provide “four daily distributions of meals”, that it makes available to migrants 38 water taps 5 days a week, including “22 accessible 7 days a week” and that water is distributed during meals, the prefecture considers that “the set of services provided makes it possible to provide migrants with sufficient humanitarian services with regard to the needs of this population, particularly food”. [Read More]

Caen: as long as there are people on the street, we’ll squat!

Demonstration Saturday, September 5, 2 pm.

Since last June 24th, the Calvados prefecture has evicted nine squats in the Caen agglomeration in which about 360 people lived, the majority of which were families with children. The squats on rue Bayet in Mondeville and rue La Varende in Hérouville-Saint-Clair were evicted during the extended winter truce on July 10 with a state of health emergency. Seven other squats have since been evicted: allée du Bosphore in Caen, route de Caen à Ifs, rue Pasteur in Mondeville, rue Desmoueux, Boulevard Guillou, rue Damozanne and rue de la Grace de dieu in Caen.

The Prefecture’s intention is to place a maximum number of people in CRA (Administrative Detention Center) or to assign them to residence, thus putting them under the permanent threat of expulsion from French territory. The policy of repression put in place by the state is intensifying, two Georgians were recently expelled following a squat eviction.

Currently, around 200 people do not have a permanent accommodation solution, some of them benefit from temporary solidarity, others live in tents or in their cars in undignified conditions. [Read More]

Angers: a look back at the demonstration in support of the Grande Ourse and the court case

On Tuesday 1st September, the Grande Ourse squat and its inhabitants were summoned to the judicial court by the owner, who demanded their immediate eviction. The collective having called for a rally at 1pm in front of the building and a support march, the afternoon was busy and lively. A quick look back at the mobilisation and the hearing itself.

About a hundred people finally gathered in front of the Grande Ourse. Time for a coffee and the departure was launched by the batukada. All dressed in pink, the percussionists cheerfully lead the march. As soon as the bridge is crossed, the cops lead the small procession. Three vans and a car just for us, the prefecture has spoiled us! The cops, recognising some people, allow themselves unnecessary words and some stupid remarks about their looks. They definitely don’t change… The demonstration then goes through the town centre animated by songs, hastily prepared that very morning (and it shows), drums or slogans about the right to housing. In spite of our small number, we make noise and the passers-by look at us with curiosity. The numerous banners then attract their attention. One can read: “less bourgeois, more roofs; “fuck the mayor and his evictions” or “it’s not the winter truce we want, it’s the truce itself”. [Read More]

Paris: about 300 people live under the A1 highway bridge

“Every morning, the police tell us to get out”.

Barely a month after the expulsion from the Aubervilliers camp, about 300 people live in a camp set up in Saint-Denis, under the A1 highway bridge. Far from food and clothing distributions, they also suffer from police harassment.

There is anger this Friday morning in the voices and faces of the men who have been living in the camp that has been set up for a little less than a month in Saint-Denis, under the A1 highway bridge.

As every morning, the police came by at about 6 a.m. and ordered the people installed on the esplanade that stretches out in front of the tricolor letters “UEFA Euro 2016” to “get out”.

Only the tents installed on the dirt slope between the road and the esplanade are allowed to stay. The camp is contained in the most invisible and most dangerous part of this place in any point uninhabitable. [Read More]

Gap: Cesaï violently and illegally evicted

On Wednesday 19 August, at six o’clock, police officers broke down the doors of the rooms of the inhabitants of Césaï, the Gap autonomous social centre, with a battering ram. They gather everyone in a courtyard and check their identities. This is the beginning of the eviction from Cesaï.

Results: 43 people outside, 20 staying in campsites, 2 boarded at the station. 43 exiled and homeless people who barely had time to take their belongings and collect food before Cesaï was walled up. 43 people on the Place Saint Arnoux, in front of the Prefecture, soon joined by militants.

A camp is being organized while waiting for a solution that will not come from the Prefecture, which is increasingly afraid of the famous “vacuum effect”. While waiting for a place to sleep and to put down their bags, families, young migrants, Dublin cases and homeless young people are all astonished to find themselves homeless in a few hours. [Read More]

Calais: associations refer cases to the Human Rights Defender and UN rapporteurs on the situation of migrants

Today took place in Calais the 693rd eviction from an informal living space since 1 January 2020. As of 13 August 2020, the fundamental rights of the exiled people surviving in Calais are still not respected (Human Rights Observers).

Thirteen associations working with migrants in Calais announced on Friday that they had contacted the Human Rights Defender, as well as seven United Nations special rapporteurs on human rights, to “alert them to the inhuman living conditions” of refugees.

In Calais, the evictions of camps are continuing and police repression of migrants has increased since the arrival of Gérald Darmanin at the Ministry of the Interior, according to human rights groups present in the area.

In an attempt to make their voices heard, thirteen of them – including the Auberge des Migrants, Médecins du Monde and Secours Catholique – seized on Friday 14 August the Human Rights Defender Claire Hédon, whose mandate has just begun, as well as seven United Nations special rapporteurs on human rights. [Read More]

Paris: Eviction from the Saint-Denis Canal migrant camp

Nearly 1,500 migrants were “sheltered” on Wednesday when they were expelled from the Aubervilliers camp north of Paris. The associations fear the reformation of a camp within a few weeks. They denounce the repeated dismantling without any real solution.

The migrant camp located along the Saint-Denis canal in Aubervilliers, in the north of Paris, was evicted on Wednesday 29 July. As early as 6am, a large police presence squared the area, where nearly 1,500 people were settled.

“This operation is the logical continuation of all the operations we have been carrying out for several months,” Paris police prefect Didier Lallement, who was present at the scene, told reporters. “I wanted to evacuate the camps on the outskirts of Paris and make sure that migrants do not gather in the camps for the entire Paris police force and the three neighbouring departments” he added. [Read More]

Paris: At the Saint-Denis canal camp, migrants are “left to die”

This Wednesday, July 29th, the camp of the Saint-Denis canal in Aubervilliers should be dismantled by the authorities announced associations helping migrants. The camp welcomes more than 1200 people in extremely precarious conditions. An eviction which is nothing new, the “sheltering” or “evacuations”, in the words of the authorities, is repeated tirelessly in France. A problem that the authorities refuse to tackle.

Between Aubervilliers and Saint Denis, along the canal, Brahim comes out of his tent crushed by the sun. He explains that he has been there for 3 months, with his wife and his newborn baby. Like the others, he lines up in spite of the heat to get antibacterial hand gel, masks, T-shirts and a bit of shampoo. An aid distributed by the association Utopia 56, Brahim, desperate, searches the five boxes of old clothes lying on the quayside: “this place is not possible for my child” he explains, “it’s just not possible. Is this Europe? France is like Africa?! My life is shattered. “The rule: one health kit, one T-shirt, one pair of pants per person, no more. Everyone has to be able to help themselves. In the end, nearly 150 people take advantage of the distribution, but soon the stocks leave. There are only too big pants left. [Read More]

Paris: Dramatic growth of informal migrant camp at Aubervilliers

In just one month, the number of migrants living in the Aubervilliers camp in the Paris region has more than doubled, from 400 in mid-June to around 1,000 in mid-July. While arrivals are expected to continue over the next few weeks, NGOs denounce the failure of the French reception system.

In the Aubervilliers camp, the number of migrants has more than doubled in just one month. In mid-June, aid groups estimated that there were around 400 people living under the Stains bridge along the Saint-Denis canal in the north of Paris. In mid-July, France Land of Asylum (FTDA) said it counted some 1,000 migrants in the camp.

“And by August, there will be at least 1,500 of them,” predicted FTDA Director General Pierre Henry. “It’s always the same thing, we’ve been going in circles for years,” he said. [Read More]

Zürich: Juch resists! New occupations

This evening June 20th, Grimselstrasse 18 and 20, Saumackerstrasse 67 and 69 have been squatted. The squatters* took these spaces in response to the Juch eviction on 23rd May.

If you evict one space, we* will open a new one!

Exactly one month ago today, the Social Department of the City of Zurich filed a criminal complaint and subsequently had the Juch area evicted by a large contingent of the Zurich City Police. This is only because the neighboring stadium construction site of HRS Real Estate seems to need more space to turn its trucks around and thus expand its empire as quickly and profitably as possible on behalf of the city. Marco Cortesi (spokesperson for the Zurich city police) also stressed in an interview in front of the freshly evicted area that the main thing now was to immediately make the area uninhabitable and then guard it with private security forces. Even the left-wing parties of the city of Zurich complain that it is extremely questionable and inappropriate to destroy residential and cultural spaces for a building site installation, and wrote in a jointly published media release: “For us it is clear: the demolition of buildings for the use of an area as parking space is unacceptable. Although no meaningful use was promised and a shady deal between the city of Zurich and HRS was settled without any transparency, the squatters* had to leave the Juch area. It cannot be said often enough: This is outrageous from the city of Zurich! We are furious! [Read More]

Lyon: Call for donations. Help the inhabitants of Maria!

In the last few months, a new squat has been opened in the Guillotière district of Lyon. The residents are single mothers, single people and families. The personal situations are diverse, but all come together around the same need: to have a roof over their heads, which the metropolis and the public authorities are apparently unable to provide. In Lyon, the number of people on the street is estimated at around 3,000, including 310 children and 700 young isolated minors. What is happening at Maria is an opportunity, but also the fruit of everyone’s perseverance, hope as a banner, solidarity as a weapon!

Help the inhabitants of Maria!

We are launching a fund in order to provide for the primary needs of the inhabitants:
– to buy large quantities of non-perishable food and hygiene products,
– pay the health costs of those who cannot benefit from social security,
– acquire games and educational material for children.
In order to guarantee good living conditions for the inhabitants of Maria, we must also continue the work that has been started to ensure the healthiness of the apartments. However, we lack money to buy the necessary materials and tools. When all this has been solved, the residents would also like to organise cultural events. [Read More]