small Eritean squat

small Eritean squat

A carload of activists from No Borders South Wales are in Calais with the group Calais Migrant Solidarity.

The weather was awful at the beginning of the week, cold with heavy sudden rain showers; dangerous weather for people forced to live on the streets. We set out on Tuesday morning to deliver warm clean clothes to the ‘bridges’ area – a collection of railway and road bridges across the ‘Basin de la Battellinne’ – where many Afghans and Iranians are struggling to stay dry and warm.

Despite the incessant rain we received a friendly welcome, sharing cigarettes and watching the rain. Meanwhile, during that morning the CRS (Companie Republican de Securité) had invaded the Ethiopian squat and arrested most of the people living there. They were all, thankfully, released later in the day, but while they were out the Police removed and destroyed all the bedding, mattresses, spare clothes and food. During the afternoon and evening we took as many blankets, mattresses and warm clothes to the Ethiopian squat. We spent time sharing their fire, happy to be drying out our damp clothes.

The policy of Eric Besson, The French Immigration minister, to make Calais a ‘migrant-free zone’ is put into practice using wholely inhumane methods. Primarily achieved through destroying the migrants camps together with their few possessions. The State is also only allowing charities to distribute two meals a day, and perhaps if they are lucky a few blankets, but not allowing any shelter and destroying inconspicuous squats.

Migrants in Calais urgently need the following: blankets, sleeping bags ,warm clothes (especially winter jackets and water proofs), mens shoes, tents, money, tarpaulin, rope and tools.

But most of all we need people to stand up for the migrants, to fight back and stop this inhumane treatment. Few here are doing anything of this respect.

they are human

they are human

We have been enjoying conversations with our new friends here, trying to help them forget for a moment the awful situation they are in. Spending time swapping phrases in various languages and laughing together. We have the luxury of sleeping somewhere warm and dry, and yet for those that don’t, somehow the smiles never leave their faces.

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