Calais: Now or never!

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*Everyone come to Calais May 27th or in the night of the 26th!!!!*

The authorities have decided to destroy the three main camps, which shelter around 700 people. The only prospect for the inhabitants: a pill against scabies and life in the street! There can be no question of repeating the events of 2009, when the eviction of the Afghan jungle resulted in the arrest of hundreds of migrants, their detainment all over France and attempts to deport them to Afghanistan. There can be no question, after five years of persecution, of starting all over again from zero, while the machine of repression gears up once more. Never again! [Read More]

Calais: Emergency situation, all squats and camps will be evicted in the next few days!

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On May 27th, the three main camps of Calais will be destroyed by the police. More than 600 people live in these camps, which were won through constant migrant struggle after a long series of evictions. No solution has been proposed for the evicted migrants. Moreover, a social center and two further squats are up for eviction starting on May 30th. All told, more than 800 people will be put on to the street.

In this stopping point on the way to England, squatting is the only housing solution that exists. It is also a tool of resistance for migrants to protect themselves from violence and police harassment in the camps and in the city. Today, the mayor of Calais’s fight against squatting has reached a new low. This time she has proposed a law which would change the 48 hour period in which squats must be evicted (which is not officially set down in French law). We know very little about the content of this law, only that it will attack the right to housing for all. The entire future of squatting in France is endangered by this law. [Read More]

Update on Situation in Calais

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The mayor of Calais, Natach Bouchart has decided on the evictions of the two main camps, known as the Syria Camp and Eritrea Camp. Despite these names, these camps are home to members of many different communities. There are over 300 people in the Syrian Camp in front of Salam, and the Eritrean camp has also undergone a massive influx recently, potentially doubling the number of inhabitants in the last weeks. Migrants of all the communities know about the eviction threat.

The three No Borders squats, opened at the end of February, are also facing eviction at the end of May. These three squats are also providing homes for many people, especially since the eviction of the Sudanese Jungle in mid April. The loss of these buildings will only add to the number of people sleeping in the already overcrowded camps. [Read More]

Calais (France): The Eritrean Squat has been evicted

Evicted squat, Rue Neuve, in Calais

The Eritrean squat in rue Neuve has been evicted, 70 + people newly in the street. Tents, sleeping bags, blankets are very much needed. Most of all we need activists to go to Calais and support!

Following lots of arrivals to Italy via Lampedusa there are now well over 100 Eritreans present in Calais. They are escaping a brutal dictatorship and a long war with Ethiopia. There are a record number of women from Eritrea and Ethiopia in Calais, most are in the safe space opened by No Borders. The ‘jungles’ where Eritreans and Ethiopians wait to go to England are full over the limit. Following the tragedy a shipwrecks south of Lampedusa, causing the death of over 350 people, mainly Eritreans, there have been protests in Italy and in many European cities.

After the Syrians went on hunger strike and occupied the pedestrian entrance to the ferry port, the camp of the Syrians in front of the place of food distribution was not disturbed by police for a while. About 50 people sleep there, including some minors. Today however a large number of police went around the place of food distribution. The Syrians in this camp are asking for support. [Read More]

Calais (France): Summer of evictions reaps devastation

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As we come towards the end of the summer no borders are counting there losses, every shelter has been raided, trashed, evicted on multiple occasions, leaving many of the migrants on the streets without tents or sleeping bags. Added to this, the rain and the cold are sapping any remaining energy, and many are sick.

The project no borders have been most involved with, that had become a shelter for the most venerable woman, children, elderly and injured people in small house called Victor Hugo or often by the migrants the woman’s house. This project has gone through many changes from being a social centre on the first floor enabling many migrants to cook their own meals to kitchen for activist groups round Europe.

Unfortunately with the massive pressure put on the space by the police evictions, the rules decided by the women of the house aren’t being respected, as there are many men coming with no other place to go leading to a desperate situation. [Read More]

Calais: CMS callout to come and crack buildings

Winter is coming, shelter is a priority in Calais. The police have evicted and destroyed almost our shelter – buildings, camps, tents – in the past weeks.

There are empty buildings all over Calais town. We need people to come and open and secure them! We need people with skills and energy to join and support our resistance to this border.

Calais Migrant Solidarity have squatted a social centre, as it gets colder, more and more people are trying to sleep in it. Whilst we try to keep it a safe space for vulnerable people and people working on the ground, it’s getting over filled.

Calais (France): Call out for active solidarity

Urgent Call out for Calais!

A big squat in Calais was emptied of its occupants Thursday.

Today they tried to occupy the old hospital that has been empty for some years:
They were expelled in this afternoon, and twenty people were arrested.

Many migrants are in the street and looking for a place to shelter.

Many evictions of living spaces are planned in the coming days.

The people of Calais are making a desperate appeal to activists reinforcements quickly.
The tension is high! [Read More]

Eviction of new “Legal” Squat in Calais.

On Wednesday morning banners were dropped from a disused building belonging to the State on Rue de Quatre Coins reading ‘A Roof is a Right’ and ‘This is a legal squat’. The building had been occupied for many days beforehand, although clandestinely, and being safely past the 48 hour point, after which the police cannot enter or evict without a court order by French law, the occupants decided to make their occupation public. Police Nationale arrived shortly after but then left again to return with more police, but did not try to enter seemingly understanding their legal position and respecting the rights of those inside. A representative from the town hall also showed up, as well as a police forensics technician, who both took pictures of the door (and the legal notice that had been taped to it) but did not find anything to have been damaged and left again.

However, the next day at 7:30 AM around thirty PAF arrived and forced entry into the building by breaking the front door and climbing in an upper story window. Three people who were inside were arrested and taken to Coquelle, where they were held without food for ten hours, but then released without any charge or summons despite refusing to cooperate with police or identify themselves.

[Read More]

Calais (France): Squat on Victor Hugo served papers

Occupied now for a month and a half, the squat on Boulevard Victor Hugo was visited by the city bailiff and a vanload of CRS yesterday so that they could take the name on the house and begin legal proceedings.

One week after the beginning of the occupation, the Assistant Mayor Phillippe Mignonet showed up with police and used obvious demagogy to try and convince us of our illegitimacy, but without actually being able to do anything. The politician (who holds extremely right wing views and celebrates repression against migrants in general) told us, “I will make your life hell. It’s not a threat, it’s a promise!”

Although this may be his intention, he is in fact completely impotent in the face of our occupation. This was acknowledged by the article in the Nord Littoral newspaper entitled ‘Un groupe de No Borders indélogeable’, which stated that despite the passage of the police and the municipality it’s impossible to dislodge the squatters after 48 hours of occupation without going through a legal process. [Read More]