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Calais migrant solidarity _ practical things you can do:::

Calais kitchen soiidarity | 29.06.2009 09:08 | Anti-racism | Migration | Repression | South Coast

The 4 activist field kitchens at the No Borders camp in Calais have been taking food to migrants in the city centre and going out to jungles so people don:t have to walk all the way to town: In August; when France pretty much goes on holiday, the voluntary associations here don,t give out food, so if you want to provide practical support to migrants in Calais; August is a key time to get a ferry over with an empty rucksack, bike or car, buy a load of food at the supermarket and take it out to people: Some detail in the main article, but more will follow on Tuesday when we get home cos we,re packing up the kitchens now,,,

It,s a bit hard knowing where to start as so much has happened this week, and so many layers of the complexity of daily life for migrants have kept appearing: Well, the main purpose of this post right now is to catch the attention of anyone who has been following the No Borders camp on indymedia and is motivated to provide some direct aid to migrants here; There are some quite easy things that can be done that can have a big impact: When I get back to UK I,ll write up more of the detail that can make your solidarity visit to Calais a success! But for now it can be summed up as simply as,,, get a ferry to Calais and bring over bedding/tents from festivals, buy food over here and distribute it to the jungles, hang out with people where they are living in the jungles: Yesterday at one of the jungles where we brought some food, friends were there already showing people how to make a treehouse: The cops come there every morning and take some people away from that jungle, where there are about 800 people: So treehouses could really help people live in less fear from dawn attacks, as well as just having some company - people are really keen to chat, practise english, they,ve then been coming up the camp; We gave out maps to find the way° and get food at the camp, use showers here, dancing in the evening, have some respite from what is a boring, repetitive existence:

The cops know all the jungles in calais and what nationalities are where and the feeling amongst people working with migrants here is that this increase in monitoring and daily attacks and removal of people is part of an escalation that may lead to an attempt to 'deal with' the migrant 'problem' here: And August is when there will potentially be a lot less people around from the associations that give out food, medical aid, soap, etc: And what happens when we all leave Calais today and tomorrow? So, it's easy to get over here and continue supporting people here, as well as for us to learn more from migrants about why and how they are here and what is being done to them by the French and British state, and the Eurostate:

I know of four associations working with migrants here in Calais: Le Belle Etoile give out 500 lunches every weekday: Salaam evening food on weekdays and Saturday: There,s a medical clinic in town called PASS; And Secours Catholic (Catholic aid) sort of talk to people,,, So if you work around those you can see where the gaps are: (apologies if I miss out detail)

- weekends less food is distributed, so come at a weekend
- the amounts of food are way less than the numbers of migrants - I don,t know the total of migrants but I know of 2 jungles with about 800 people each and a squat with 200 people, so that,s 1800 for a start and there are many more jungles, and only 500 lunches a day going out: So extra food at any time is good
- giving out 500 lunches everyweekday for 15 years (le belle etoile) you can imagine that funds are stretched and food is a basic soup and bread and one fruit, so very low on protein and carbohydrate: So lentils and pulses make a more substantial meal
- August the associations stop, so come in August
- food is distributed in town, but not to jungles, so come over and visit the jungles; We managed this fine with no police intervention; just some following: I can put up details of where to go later (i,ll link back to this article, so bookmark it): It can be a 30-60 minute walk from the jungles to town where food is if that is your one meal of the day before trying to get on lorries in the night, the chance to rest up and be brought food can help a lot
- and of course it,s not just about soup kitchen type stuff: Bring info for people, in your head or in pashtun, arabic as well as english: People I,ve met here are from afghanistan, iraq, iran, eritrea: And hang out with people, share a smoke, all that stuff:

Hope that makes some sense: Like I say more detail later, but now you know some things you can do to support migrants, and maybe a little more about what people are going through while they try and get qcross the channel:::

Calais kitchen soiidarity


Display the following 2 comments

  1. Please co-ordinate efforts — Camper
  2. Lots more practical ideas — calaismigrantsolidarity