True to their history of never letting the truth get in the way of a good story, that well known organ of racism and reaction the Daily Mail have printed another story on the Calais No Border Camp by one Peter Allen.
Members of the Calais Camp press team were surprised to be phoned yesterday by reporters asking about an 'attempt to storm' the Channel Tunnel entrance. This was the first we had heard about it. Then we saw the Mail story and we knew what all the fuss was about. Absolutely nothing!
The Mail continues to push the line that the Camp has been set up to help migrants "tear down the borders to England". Utter bollocks! What do they expect us to do? Storm the port and commandeer ferries? Hijack a Eurostar train and ask the driver to "Take me to England?" I repeat, utter bollocks.
There's also the minor point of there are currently only 500 people at the Camp against the estimated 2,000 police in the area, just waiting for an excuse to wade into the protesters and crack a few heads as they have admitted to local activists on a number of occasions recently. The activists involved in the Camp are not as stupid as the Mail would have us believe (though it clearly thinks its readers are stupid enough to believe such rubbish).
The reporter also claims that there have been email threats by the protesters "pledging to destroy wire fences and other security measures around the Channel Tunnel along with "threats to burn ‘symbols of capitalism’ including local government offices, and even hotels run by prominent global chains". Where is the proof? Why is it that the Mail believes any old tosh that the police press office tells them but nothing from No Borders itself? Oh, I forgot - the need for a good story.
The article does allow itself one positive point about the Camp when it quotes a migrant as saying that, "the camp organisers have offered us food and drink." But no, it has to spoil it by adding that we are also offering the migrants "a chance to get to England." More lies. We have specifically told the migrants in leaflets handed out prior to the Camp that we cannot do this. Why would we seek to raise the hopes of people who live for months in conditions that you and I would find it hard to survive by offering to do something we know we cannot hope to follow up on. We don't want to leave the migrants in worse situation after the camp has left than the one they were in before we cam. That is why we are offering no false hopes.
What the article doesn't say is that the locals around the Camp site have been reacting positively to our presence despite the hysteria from the press and local authorities. Some have even been helping in the Camp set-up. Nouchi Pierre, the president of the Union des Métiers de l'Hotel du Calais, has called on its members, the owners of cafes, bars, restaurants and hotels, "not to panic" and to stay open during the week of the Camp. This despite the local paper Nord Littoral stirring things up by suggesting that hotels belonging to the Accor group might be a target after the Strasbourg anti-NATO camp events.
Finally, the paper states that "an uneasy stand-off soon developed with the protesters as a ‘spotter’ helicopter circled the area and police patrols swamped the town." The simple fact is that the only 'uneasy stand-off' here is between the Daily Mail and the truth.