Tag Archives: france

A Harsh Winter in Calais and Beyond

13 Jan

Like the UK, France is currently facing a wave of extremely cold weather, with snow and constant freezing temperatures in numerous northern areas. With migrants being offered no shelter or support of any kind from the Government, and with those trying to help migrants being persecuted and harrased, large numbers of people are in danger of dying on the streets.

In Paris hundreds of migrants try to escape the cold through sleeping under bridges or abandoned warehouses. In the woods of Vincennes and Versailles new camps have been set up, with migrants huddled around campfires all day and night in an attempt to escape the freezing conditions.
The same situation is present in Calais, where the temperatures have dropped to significantly low levels.

A coalition of political groups, aid organisations and charities is demanding the government to provide some form of shelter for these destitute migrants. The opening of gymnasiums or other lage halls at nighttime is vital if people are to survive the winter temperatures. A demonstration has been called for the 21st of January in Calais to put pressure on local authorities.

On a more positive note however, a group of Afghans from Roissy, who were due to be deported the other day, have managed to escape deportation and have been released. They may be safe to some extent for now, but help must be ensured if the migrants are to survive the freezing conditions.

No to Deportations! Respect the right of asylum!

Another Migrant Camp Destroyed in France

18 Nov

Following the barbaric destruction of migrant camps in Calais this September, it has emerged that another camp was today destroyed, this time in Dunkerque.

The PAF (Police Aux Frontieres), entered the camp occupied by the 60-70 Afghans and Iraqis. The eviction was known about in advance, and according to the mainstream press, a number of people escaped the previous day. The remaining 30-odd occupants were handcuffed and taken to a police station, while the bulldozers razed their homes.

The camp in Dunkerque was one of a number in Northern France home to migrants flushed out of Calais since the first large scale eviction in September.

In an attempt to ‘disappear’ the migrants, the smaller squats in Calais continue to be attacked (and sometimes burnt down) everyday, with essential belongings such as blankets being ‘confiscated’ from them. The cops have even fenced off areas like bridges where people tried to huddle to get away from the rain & cold.

More people are needed in Calais and the surrounding areas right now to document and try to stop such abuses. No Borders has had a constant presence in the area, but help is always needed and muchly appreciated!
Check http://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/ for information on what you can do.

On another note, French President Nicolas Sarkozy recently gave these remarks at the recent celebrations to mark the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall;

“…the fall of the Berlin Wall serves for us all today as a call to fight oppression and to tear down all the walls that still separate the world, that divide cities, regions and nations.
This is the message that a unified Europe proudly embodies and delivers to the world. We are brothers, we are Berliners….”

The irony is almost too much to stomach…