Archivi tag: police

Evictions and living conditions

 129 UNACCOMPANIED MINORS UNACCOUNTED FOR SINCE THE DEMOLITION

 

After the brutal eviction of the South side of the ‘jungle’, the authorities suddenly promised they will leave the North side standing for now. The promise was quickly broken.

A small section of the camp in the North side, near Jules-Ferry, has been evicted and destroyed, 40 people and 15 shelters that had been there for a very long time. Volunteers had just enough time to help people move.  A report:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/CalaisMigrantSolidarityActionFromUK/permalink/1029147200493360/

The hunger strike ends after 25 days 

Another illegal eviction : a squat opened by activists on Easter Sunday in a former homeless shelter was evicted by police and Town Hall authorities on the same day, illegally as the owner had not requested the eviction and procedures were not followed. 8 activists were arrested and charged with bullshit offenses: trespass, degradation, refuse to give a document ID. They walked free from court and issued the following report:

https://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/2016/04/03/a-political-victory-une-victoire-politique/

 

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After completing the eviction of the South side, the authorities told the associations in
an official meeting that they will not evict the North side for the next two months,
and volunteers are welcome to keep working there and improve the conditions. Probably this sudden U-turn – originally they were determined to destroy everything and leave only the containers – comes from fear that people will spread along the coast as several smaller jungles were set up by migrants just before the eviction. Care4Calais counted 14 new camps with 15 to 150 people in each. Of course, there are more hidden camps, and quite a few people have gone to Belgium, despite Belgium closing the border. Existing ‘jungles’ in other places, like Hazebrouk and Norrent Fontes, have filled up three times their normal size with refugees coming from Calais.The new accommodation centres where people are taken by coach are not a great success and have a drop out rate of nearly 25%, i.e. a quarter of the people leave without saying anything, many have returned to Calais. So now we have several hundreds of  people spread along the coast and thousands of people crammed in the North side, feeling insecure and demoralised, but no significant reduction in numbers. New people continue to arrive. The government have done a new count of Calais jungle and found 3500 in all, but their numbers are always a gross underestimate. An independent count has just been published by the association Help Refugee, who shockingly found 129 minors have gone missing since the eviction! In total, refugees still in the Calais camp are 4946 according to Help Refugees, 4432 adults and 514 children, of whom 294 are unaccompanied minors. – read the full report here: 
but who can count all the people in new camps? The concentration-style container camp is now housing 1400 including 140 children, 85 unaccompanied. The blue tent camp, that is also securitized and run by La vie active, is quite empty because most tents are damaged and unusable.  170 women and children sleep inside Jules-Ferry, stuck like sardines in the containers there as the big heated tents are now damp and unusable, and more women sleep outside the centre. All around survives the autonomous anarchic jungle, only they are overcrowded in less than a third of the original size.

 

 

aubergejungleviction

The green band was evicted first, the part in the red is the South side that has just been evicted, all people who have not left are crammed in what remains, in the North side by the Jules-Ferry centre. You can see the white containers and the blue tents. Photo from the Auberge des migrants 

northside

There is a new autonomous family camp in the North side, housing some 200 families in donated caravans, lots of young children and babies – they have been barbarically gassed by CRS, ACAB, on Wednesday. The nearest water point is far from the family camp. Some newborn babies and their families are in hotels thanks to volunteers.
In the South side, the church, the boys’ centre , the No Borders info point and the school of chemin des Dunes are still standing. The legal centre continues to operate in the jungle but the cabin that hosted it  has been burned down in what is believed an arson attack. Jungle books and its radio have relocated to the North as well as Ashram kitchen. The independent women’s centre and Alice’s therapy centre have been lost because they could not be relocated. Everything else in the South has been bulldozed. A donated double-decker bus is replacing the women’s centre . Alice parked in the family camp and set up a new centre. Liz is still looking after the women and the unaccompanied minors,  most of the minors who were brutally evicted from the South side have relocated to the North side.
Volunteers have documented 6 cases of underage boys raped in the jungle in the last year, in some cases requiring hospital and stitches, and volunteers are saying some smugglers are targeting young boys for rape. It has been observed all through the migrants’ routes that some women – and some underage boys and girls too – sell sex to pay for their journeys as they have finished their money or have been robbed; this phenomenon  certainly does not stop in Calais. There is not much information about women being raped or pushed into prostitution as the women are reluctant to talk about it but it is clear as the light that in the jungle they have no protection, other than from their friends, husbands, brothers and communities – which works well if women are well connected, but many women are alone, or they have to take a boyfriend just to avoid other men’s attention.  Some women get beaten and abused regularly especially when their boyfriends or husbands get drunk. Most are too scared to walk out these relationships and would not know where to go, they are trapped. Other women have learnt to stand up for themselves, it is a matter of assertiveness and being connected, make good friends. One woman led her male companions on protests and actions on the motorway; another ran a club all winter long, all by herself with a little help from her friends, but it is hard to be a woman in a male-dominated environment. Even the women who sleep inside Jules-Ferry are in the jungle as soon as they go out. Women and families are generally unhappy to be living next to lots of single men and have said so.
the new family camp in the North side

The new family camp in the North side

There have been more traffic and traffic jams after the Easter break, record number of vehicles. 
 
Wednesday 30th , around 5 PM, there was a traffic jam and hundreds of migrants from the jungle managed to get on the motorway . Police reacted by throwing gas grenades. As people withdrew, police started shooting at longer range and well into the camp where people live. All the ‘jungle’ was engulfed in thick clouds of CS gas including the family area, 200 families with young children. Grenades kept falling on the roofs and in the streets. One person was wounded.The shooting kept going until well past 6 PM.
There were more traffic jams Thursday the 31st in the morning and in the afternoon near the jungle. Once again the police used excessive force, using CS gas and the water cannon.

 

from volunteer James Cartwright to Calais Migrant Solidarity (No Borders):

What’s on my mind? Gassing children.  An incident outside the camp resulted in teargas being fired indiscriminately at 4000 people in Calais today. I say indiscriminately because we felt the effects on the other side of the camp and I’m pretty sure they weren’t aiming for us. Between us and the spewing gas-cannisters was the family-area. We looked into purchasing gas-masks for children a while back, as this is not an isolated incident. They don’t make them. Because even fucking arms-manufacturers seemingly can’t envisage a time when you’d fire teargas at children. The French riot police clearly have a more vile and lurid imagination. Utter fucking inhuman bastards. And by the way, British taxes help fund this policing. We paid these collaborators to take hungry, poorly children and poison them in their makeshift homes.

some film and photos here:
but we need more photo and video evidence! If you have please send or send the links, thanks!
 
Fascists and cops
Attacks from far-right militias against migrants stopped for a while after some of the perpetrators were arrested but have resumed. Usually the attacks happen at night and involve groups of men and also some women armed with iron bars, chains, knives, gas and guns. The fash usually go around in cars and in large groups targeting refugees who are isolated or in small groups. They also attack activists and volunteers.  Sometimes people including underage boys have been kidnapped and beaten unconscious, they were robbed and many had broken bones. Gael Rougemont, who pointed a gun at the migrants during the pro-immigrants demonstration the 23rd January, was acquitted by the judge for ‘legitimate defense’! Other nazis are awaiting trial.
This unaccompanied minor from Afghanistan had an arm broken by a paramilitary militia of 10 they also stole his phone

This unaccompanied minor from Afghanistan had an arm broken by a paramilitary militia of 10; they also stole his mobile phone. Patriots or cowards? 

 Most of the violence though comes from the POLICE.
An independent survey conducted by the non-profit organization Refugees Rights on 850 people in the jungle chosen at random found that:
  • 73% of respondents have experienced police violence
  • 16.7% reported verbal abuse, 41.1% being exposed to tear gas, 28.3% physical violence, and 1% sexual violence
  • 57% have experienced tear gas ‘every day’ or ‘many times a week’. 17.4% have experienced tear gas ‘once a week’
  • 69.4% expressed that police treatment of refugees is ‘very bad’ or ‘bad’
  • 45.4% of respondents have experienced violence by citizens (non-police such as far-right groups)
  •  28.9% reported verbal abuse, 27.1% physical violence, and 1.4% sexual violenceIn total,
  • 86% of the children surveyed said they have experienced police violence since arriving in the camp. Of these, 61.2% were subject to physical violence and 28.1% verbal abuse. 95.9% reported being exposed to tear gas.Meanwhile, 49.6% of children responded that they have experienced violence by non-police citizens – 36.4% physical violence and 25.6% verbal abuse.44.6% of the children have family in the UK.For further statistics, visit http://refugeerights.org.uk/press-releases/
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Fires and fights
There has been a big fire in the North side, several shelters were destroyed. There has been a very big fight between Afghans and Sudanese, resulting in 17 Afghans in hospital, one lost one eye, and 20 Sudanese, one in serious condition but he survived. Allegedly the reason for the fight was a contended bicycle some Afghans had taken from a Sudanese. A big number of Sudanese went to  attack the Afghans in their camp – thoroughly a bad idea because the Afghans defend their territory and all join the fight like one and they are fearless: in fact, the Sudanese lost. I personally doubt that a bicycle alone, besides providing a trigger, can cause such a terrifying fight and I would look for a reason at the parkings near Marck, as there have been big massive fights for the control of these parkings in the past and these fights often continue in the camps where people live That is me playing Sherlock Holmes. I do not know, and people are reluctant to talk about. I am more concerned that fights should be kept out the camps where people live. Before the eviction of the South side there had been no big fights in the jungle for a long time, people and community elders managed very well to keep things together. In fact, the jungle was a model of community spirit and self- organization and a brilliant example of how people can live togehter without police or central authority: truly amazing, considering there were nearly 10.000 people at some point, from many different nationalities and ethnic groups. It can be the case that the sudden relocation of so many people to the North side has caused new problems besides the obvious stress from overcrowding. Volunteers are  saying the relocation has accelerated the formation of hierarchies inside the camp –  usually who creates hierarchies are the smugglers. Probably it means that people now find it more difficult to get away from the mafia for lack of space, or that people are under more pressure to support smugglers of their own nationality against others. This is a place  where there are thousands of people traumatised by wars, persecution, and deadly journeys, and there are several hundreds of women and children of all ages living in appalling  conditions under gas attacks, beatings by police and far-right militias, danger of fires, danger of fights, danger of sexual assaults.
 Destruction of the AFG camp in the South side
EVICTION OF THE SOUTH SIDE

 

Videos of the destruction of the ‘jungle’s South side
A video of the ‘jungle’ before the eviction of the South side:
Best sources of information on Calais are still
and Passeurs d’hospitalitees https://passeursdhospitalites.wordpress.com/
  
Volunteers and associations are a good source.
The mainstream media cannot be trusted.
Annunci

Police violence gallery / Repression of migrants and whomever helps them in Calais

CVEGtX2XIAkb8SKMassive escalation of already appalling violence by police (CRS) in recent months. The use of CS gas and truncheons is the ‘normal’ way to control the movement of people at the Calais border. Injuries on a sharp rise including injuries requiring hospitalization. Excessive and illegal use of force both against people who are trying to cross and against people who organize peaceful protests. Sometimes people are attacked for no reason at all: some local people report seeing migrants being attacked when walking back from the Eurotunnel in direction of the jungle including women, one pregnant.  People are hit with truncheons on the head including women and minors: I saw a 17 years old from Afghanistan and a 16 years old from Syria with head injuries requiring stitches.

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CS gas in fired in the camp

The police use gas grenades to disperse people who gather on the motorway – CS gas of very nasty quality. The 12 million fence the UK government paid for with taxpayers money can be cut like butter, even a small wire cutter does the job. So people cut holes in the fence and run on the motorway. Police reply with batons and CS gas. Police spray people in the eyes at close range and they often fire gas grenades directly into the crowd – a young man has recently been hit on the mouth by a grenade and his jaw is shattered. Many refugees have been hit by rubber bullets. On the site of the Eurotunnel there are lines of fences and police violence is even worst, as there is nobody to see it. The police also use helicopters and a water cannon. Some people have broken ribs because some policemen kick and stamp on them when they are on the ground, including an middle aged man who was previously tortured by Daesh, suffers from PTDS and has tried twice to commit suicide. If nobody intervenes,  police often leave injured people on the ground for up to 2/3 hours before calling an ambulance. The police fire gas grenades into the camp where people are sleeping: there have been a number of gas attacks on the jungle, most on the side of the motorway (rue des Garennes)  where there are numerous Eritreans including women and some children, and on the Afghan camp where there are hundreds of underage boys, the youngest are 8 or 9. Often roofs catch fire because of gas grenades falling on them. On one occasion hundreds of grenades were thrown on the other side of the camp (chemin des Dunes) where numerous Kurdish families live, many young children and babies, the youngest baby was three months old and a gas grenade fell approx 2 meters from the tent where his family were sleeping. Clouds of CS gas were so dense and so toxic everybody had to get out and an English volunteer collapsed to the ground. I saw other people collapsing and unconscious for the effects of gas on different occasions. People have the habit to gather numerous and very closely around the fallen because they are concerned, but it is not really helpful and we need to try shush away these little crowds so the injured can breathe.

The families organized a peaceful protest against the violence and the terrible living conditions but the police ordered them to go back to the jungle, and when they refused they attacked them with batons and CS spray, also on the children. Several children had to seek medical help because of respiratory problems lasting for days and burns on their skin caused by CS gas sprayed at close range, including a little boy who is one year old; some children had nightmares afterwards and kept crying at night…

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Children gassed at close range during a peaceful protest of the families

I do  not know how people can sleep in the jungle, the noise of gas grenades being fired can start any time day or night and can last for hours, even if the grenades do not fall directly into the camp the motorway is at the camp’s edges. Most injuries happen at night when usually there is no first aid post open nor medics. People blow cigarette smoke in the eyes of those who have been gassed, it is very effective to reduce the irritation. No Borders activists provide some first aid and also document the violence, thus they are often present when there are incidents on the motorway. They have been therefore accused by THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT of inciting riots on the motorway. A No Borders activist has been charged for violent disorder and inciting unrest, and is to stand trial the 14th December; two English volunteers were arrested before him and released without charges. People do not need to be incited to riot: when police throw gas grenades at them, or in the camp, they throw stones at the police, a few policemen have been injured by flying stones  but many more migrants have been injured by police and nobody counts them or complain about, Some are so desperate to get out the jungle and into the UK they do things like surrounding lorries in dozens of people, or blocking the motorway with improvised barricades or fires. Not everybody agrees with such tactics and there are constant and often heated discussions between different communities. To cross has became very difficult and only a few manage, due to increased controls and fences and very violent police; people often organize mass ‘invasions’ of the motorway in order to be able to stand up to the police. The bottleneck so tight that it is creating a disastrous situation for everybody, migrants for the first: there have never been so many people killed or injured at this border; but also for drivers, emergency services and local people. The Kurdish mafia is doing really well, after the government and local authorities pushed all the people into their hands, and made it so difficult to cross independently; smugglers can now charge up to 6000 (six thousands) euros for going to England in the back of a lorry. The UK government and the French government are responsible for this situation. Blaming the migrants and who helps them is shifting the blame, and no doubt the government and the police are very keen to get rid of witnesses. Many volunteers who provide essential humanitarian help have been harassed, their cars stopped by police, they have been given fines and lost points on their driving licenses for ridiculous reasons; for some time the roads to the jungle have been closed to all traffic except emergency vehicles, which has been successfully challenged but occasionally they still close the roads under a pretext or another. On the other side of the Channel, some activists and volunteers have been stopped under Section 7 of the Terrorism Act on their return, and some Muslim or Asian volunteers have been prevented from travelling to France! And with the state of emergency in France civil liberties are curtailed and police have more powers.

Call out to fight against borders and repression/ 14th December trans-national day of acton

https://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/2015/12/02/december-14th-a-call-to-fight-borders-and-police-repression/

Collective statement:

https://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/2015/11/12/common-statement-of-no-borders-in-calais-about-the-recen t-event-and-accusations-from-the-french-authorities/

Here are a  few reports and film of police violence:

August

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_NG0ESrMkhY

September

gas-5

A 9 years old boy from Afghanistan shows the gas canisters that fell on of near the part of the camp where he was living

https://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/2015/09/22/tear-gas-on-the-jungle/

https://www.facebook.com/care4calais/videos/1054050181294605/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1b43qKru18

https://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/2015/09/01/police-brutality-daily-life-in-calais-jungle/

October

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HURRhxBpeyQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c3h1D5RLuqM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dESt6Ek2KMY

https://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/2015/11/05/crs-fires-tear-gas-grenades-into-jungle-2112015/

November

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O1SQoehCLvQ

https://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/2015/11/05/crs-fires-tear-gas-grenades-into-jungle-2112015/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5dm65GXvBk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7R94JqCegpI

https://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/2015/12/04/police-violence-at-the-jungle-november-2015/