On flashballs

Original article:


English translation:

Extensively documented and denounced (see eg here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here), systematically covered and disclaimed by successive governments (see here and here), police violence is one of the ineffective instruments supposed to discourage refugees from coming and staying in Calais.

This violence can move. In the past they were mainly practiced where migrants were living, in squats and camps. Since 2014 violence has taken place mainly where migrants were passing through, where they were trying to hide in trucks to cross the Channel.

Police violence is also changing due to improvements made on the equipment of police and gendarmerie forces. Thereby, from 2014 on, we see a substantial increase of the use of tear gas; sometimes it is sprayed to be used at short range, preferably in the face, sometimes thrown in form of grenades, as for example the tear gas used in September 2015 to bomb the slum, or during attempts to acces the road to the port or the Channel Tunnel.

Since several weeks, the associations have noticed an icrease in injuries caused by rubber bullets impacts, especially on face and chest, and wounds caused by grenades explosions. These weapons, which use was not common before, have become more and more used, and according to witnesses they are used with no mesure nor real need, with the clear pourpose to hurt.

The various range of weapons used is related to the number of forces placed in Calais (officially more than 1,300 police and gendarmes in March 2016), the enlargment of fences, guard posts, cameras, patrol walkways, evicted areas and flooded areas, to what looks more and more as a war against people trying to cross the border to leave France. Eurotunnel, the company operating in the Channel Tunnel, has just bought two military drones to better detect migrants.




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