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Social cleansing in Calais: Massive crackdown following Home Sec's visit

No Borderer | 06.07.2011 20:47 | Migration | Repression | World

The struggle for existence for migrants in Calais has intensified after the British Home Secretary came and poked her nose in

Food distro raid seen through the gate
Food distro raid seen through the gate

The persecution of migrants in Calais has escalated dramatically over the past week, with the authorities essentially trying to deny their very existence by viciously enforcing a de facto ban on their presence in the town.

Whether its an industrial site, empty house, patch of concrete, or grass; African and Asian migrants (whether or not they have papers is of little significance in the eyes of the fascist CRS) are being hounded by the police, humiliated, deprived of sleep, in some cases arrested or beaten, and evicted.

In particular, this drive to rid Calais of migrants has intensified since the eviction of Africa House a week Monday.

* A week in Calais, in evictions:


Africa House, massive complex housing around 100 people, is evicted. Police are maintaining a permanent guard of its empty and dilapidated structures until it is completely demolished.


Eviction of Global House, a building that everyone had moved to a day prior to the AH eviction


Destruction of the long-term camp of Teteghem outside Calais. Everyone was woken up roughly, rounded up and arrested. People lost their possessions (inc money and ID) in the eviction. The camp was home to 70-80 people.

Massive raid on food distribution site. Everyone had moved to this prison yard-like site in desperation, since there are no escape routes. 35 people were arrested; the several dozen or so who remained (apparently because they had papers) were told that the police would arrest them if they found them sleeping there when they came back.

Tensions were very high. People seemed to be cracking under the pressure. One man said he hadn't slept for a week. Another, who had been beaten by the CRS, was marching about screaming “Fuck the police! Fuck the police!” Fights broke out.


The food distribution site, used as shelter again, was evicted once more. Possessions were lost.
When people ventured out to try and find somewhere else to sleep they found all empty squats were surrounded by police who were lying in wait. Undercover police were everywhere.

People eventually settled for a patch of concrete wasteland and put up tents they were given by No Borders or had managed to save from the last eviction.


At 3.30pm, the encampment on the wasteland was evicted and destroyed. Violence was used towards activists.

This intense effort to deny migrants any possibility of rest or shelter comes on the back of last month's visit by Home Secretary Theresa May. She met her new fascist ally, Interior Minister Claude Gueant, to inspect frontier controls and collaborate for a tougher border enforcement ahead of Olympic Games.

Following the inspection, May gave a speech at the town hall, concluding that, “We are committed to continuing to ensure the border is impenetrable.”

No Borderer
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Support, solidarity

06.07.2011 22:17

It's a particularly high level of oppression, even by Calais standards. If anyone's thinking of going over - please do!
Even if all you can offer is to listen to an individual's story that shows them someone does give a shit about them, then that's already a useful role. If you can come and film police aggression towards migrants, either overtly (sometimes stops the worse excesses) or covertly (can be used as evidence), that's great, If you can bring useful things for people, like tents, blankets, etc (wish-list usually updated on Calais migrant solidarity website), that's brilliant. And if you can live alongside 'sans-papiers' people, warning them if the police come at night, so they can grab some sleep, obstruct police so people get a chance to run away, find people's possessions after a raid, help open places to sleep, help give english lessons, do info stalls to widen local support of their visitors, collect free bread, fruit and veg from kind market traders, then that's really amazing.