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SchNEWS talks to a participant in a successful squatting action last week in Calais

Last week saw a successful mass action pulled off in Calais, France, in support of housing rights for all: the simultaneous cracking of four new squats, which were then held for the necessary 48 hours to gain legal status. The meticulously-planned action in the migration hotspot came after months of anti-squat political pressure and violence, in the form of a new group of street fascists.

SchNEWS spoke to a participant who told us, “It's been a difficult time in Calais – not least with molotov wielding Nazi's attacking new squats and the mayor ramping up the anti-migrant rhetoric. But this action took the power back. The whole point is to test the cops and the authorities to respect squatting laws – normally they just charge right in. The new occupations were pulled off with all the necessary evidence to force the police to wait for court orders before evictions could be enacted.”

Despite there being 4000 empty buildings in the town (that's a crazy 9%), squats have been subject to frequent illegal evictions - despite being a lifeline for some of the population of undocumented migrants in Calais who have nowhere else to go. The law in France suggests that if a building has been occupied for longer than 48 hours, a civil process must be gone though in the courts in order for occupants to be evicted.

Without the existence of long term squats (previously many people have lived in large warehouses, a succession of which were generally all known as Africa House) this winter has been harsh. A camp near the port known as the 'Syrian Camp' has housed dozens of people in tents reinforced with black plastic and tarpaulins, while many others are a couple of miles up the coast in an encampment known as the Sudanese Jungle.

The week also brought more good news: The local fash, known on social media as Sauvons Calais (Save Calais) and led by despicable shit ferret Kevin Reche, announced that they're disbanding and closed down their Facebook hate group to prove it. Main actors in the group, who claimed not to be fascists, were outed on the internet as neo-Nazi's, with photos showing swastika tattoos and Front Nationale affiliations. Their names and addresses were also leaked. While they claimed they were going to lay low for a while for their own safety, another factor may have been that the outright threats of violence and racism they spewed were likely to get them in legal trouble for incitement.

News just in: Another attempted squat that was evicted by police illegally after 48 hours last Friday has now been reoccupied, that's perseverance!

Stories about similar subjects...

Mass evictions of migrants in progress now

We started writing about three interesting but unrelated things happening in June. Here is an amalgamated version, which is worth a read.

Is this the last March for England? "They have become the fools in a carnival of anti-fascism" Stop MfE protestor

With the far-right about to descend on our fair town we thought it best to give you a spotters guide to the specimens on display.

Fascists to attempt to take the home end... again.

Re-occupation of the Hambach Forest, near Cologne in Germany, where activists occupy and fight the expansion of opencast mining.

Outnumbered Swansea racists have their flag confiscated.

Spanish Guardia Civil use extreme violence against migrants trying to enter the EU as repressive measures against potential migrants take root in Morocco. First hand account...

Twitter: @SchNEWS