Home | Friday 29th January 2010 | Issue 707

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It’s been a harsh winter in Calais so far with police arresting over 100 migrants, destroying camps and raiding squats countless times in the last month. In the freezing wet conditions of a French January, police have been slashing tarpaulins, seizing blankets and closed the one night shelter that had briefly opened to offer 150 of the estimated 300 Calais migrants respite from the weather and constant police harassment.

Following the closure of the shelter last Tuesday (19th) around 100 migrants camped out around the site in protest. Within half an hour police arrived, and on being threatened with the destruction of their makeshift camp, the migrants scattered, closely pursued by officers.
Some were advised by the police to return to the site of one of the former camps in the now demolished ‘jungle’ and they set up shelters, having been promised they would not be attacked. What followed was 24 hours of search and destroy, with police smashing up anything that resembled a hideout, both at this promised ‘safe’ site, and wherever else they found signs of migrant dwellings.

With over 2,000 migrants now living along the coast of France and the price for a smuggled passage into the U.K. having doubled since the destruction of the jungles, support and people are desperately needed to fight the sustained oppression of these people by the French authorities.



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