Friday, 19 June 2009

Migrant Camps in Northern France Bulldozed

It seems that the French authorities are taking the (as they clearly see it) opportunity to up the ante further before the arrival of the No Border Camp in Calais next week by hitting the migrants camps around Calais hard. And maybe even get a bit of practice in before hand for the Camp itself?

At 9 a.m. on the 17th June the bulldozers went into the 'Jungles' at Loon-Plage and Teteghem near Dunkerque, destroying the makeshift homes built of pallets, old doors and tarpaulins, leaving more than a hundred people without even this meagre form of roof over their heads.

In one of the camps the police acted so quickly that the migrants didn't even have enough time to gather together what little they had by way of possessions and they had to leave clothes, money and their copies of the Koran amongst the rubble.

This action was swiftly denounced not only by the local support groups like Terre d'Errance* and MRAP** but also members of the Loon-Plage local council, who had helped finance the rebuilding of the camp after it had been bulldozed previously by the Border police during the severe cold in the middle of December last year.

This comes on top of the news from one unofficial police source that there are now around 1,500 - 1,600 CRS officers at the hotel Suithotel in Coquelles, just outside Calais, which is the semi-permanent CRS base. He bragged that they are going 'one-on-one with the No Border activists. This is total overkill. Clearly No Borders have hit a sensitive spot and every new response from the French state makes them look more and more desperate.

Now, in addition to the ban on sales of petrol and camping gas in the Calais area comes the banning of sales of alcohol - though we are sure that wont apply to les Flics, after all it's thirst work clubbing non-violent protesters. And that is what No Borders activist are, the police and press having still not come forward with any evidence from recent No Border camps despite being challenged to do so.

* Literally 'Land of the Wandering' - a humanitarian organisation that works at the various truck stops camps that exist all along the coast in Northern France and back inland towards Lille.
** Mouvement contre le racisme et pour l'amitiƩ entre les peuples (Movement Against Racism and for Friendship between Peoples).

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