Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Another Raid In Calais

Press Release from Lille No Borders:

This morning at 8.15am at the Paul Devot Dock more than 15 CRS vans surrounded the squats of the various communities that found solace there. Some 50 police then arrested over 30 migrants who were unable to leave as the police had blockaded the front exit with their vans and a new fence had been placed in the back exit the night previously which left them caged in from all sides. A No Borders activist was there at the time also and attempted to videotape the arrests but she was evicted from the premises. The Chamber of Commerce then had two large blue containers deposited for the migrants' belongings and then with the use of tractors the destruction of the sleeping bags, mattresses, clothes and homes of the migrants could begin.

For years, this place has served as a shelter for these communities and activists have visited on a nightly basis to monitor the activities of the police due to reports of beatings and the use of CS gas on the members of the communities there. Although the people there were on private property - a property open to everyone, which didn't seem to disturb anyone - it is difficult to see how that justifies the destruction of their private belongings. For the time being, we have no idea where the arrested migrants are; we hope they will be released shortly, they will in any case be released at some point, and then their battle to find a place to sleep will occur once more, in the rain, the wind and the cold.

After having refused to give these people the freedom of movement which most European citizens enjoy, after having placed them in this artificial and useless destitution, the state has found it useful to worsen the poverty with this new destruction, in the sick hope that it would push them to abandon that which they have an inalienable right to.

The state has destroyed much but the migrants are still there, and so are we.


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