Now on the revised date of Thursday 4th March from 7.30pm we will be hosting a film showing at the Birt Acres Lecture Theatre, Bute Building, Cardiff University (map). Featuring 3 short films about Calais that give a glimpse into the lives of migrants living there. One of these will be will be the premier of ‘Passengers‘ made by one of our group. You can RSVP on the facebook event page.
Since the No Borders Camp last summer, many activists from south Wales have been involved in migrant solidarity work in Calais. Hundreds of migrants have travelled overland to Calais to cross the final border to Dover in order to settle in Britain. Even though in Britain the odds are not in favour of asylum seeking migrants being given status, it is much less likely in Greece or Italy. These countries are usually the first points of entry into Europe for migrants travelling overland from countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Palestine, Somalia and Eritrea.
The current situation in Calais is highly political; the town is filled with a mixture of riot police and normal police patrolling in vans day and night. They have been instructed to harass migrants by the powers that be, funded by Britain as well as France, in an attempt to scare off people from crossing the border into Britain. Some of the police activities include mass arrests, multiple arrests of one person andforcibly removing people from self-organised/self-constructed shelters or squats and then destroying them. Police also take migrants’ possessions including tents, sleeping bags and blankets or spraying these with CS gas rendering them totally useless. Even though migrant numbers have dropped in Calais this does not mean the operation has been successful. Migrants have been dispersed to Dunkerque and Belgium and some are biding their time in Paris until the police presence dies down.
During the bitterly cold winter when the temperature was below -5ºC the Mayor of Calais had an obligation to open a cold weather shelter for migrants living in Calais. This shelter was closed recently and in response to this need, particularly when it is still so cold, No Borders legitimately rented a massive warehouse to provide migrants with somewhere to sleep at night and offer protection from the police. Unfortunately, the police unlawfully evicted the rented hangar and arrested the activists inside.
Britain and France are working together to stop migration to Britain even though in many cases both have aided (through dodgy international politics) the destabilising escalation of violence and corruption in the countries that have caused people to migrate in the first place. Instead of giving everyone the right to a fair trial, the UK Border Agency nurture a culture of disbelief and are given free reign to abuse their powers over others lives who are not UK born.