LATEST UPDATE 17TH MARCH: The eviction of the southern half of the Calais ‘jungle’ has now been going on for two and half weeks, in a process the authorities have said will take 3 weeks to complete.
Here’s some of the acts of resistance that have been happening in & beyond the camp. This post will be updated as more action reports come through. Recent additions at the bottom of the page.
Two vehicles used to carry out evictions were torched overnight.
The UK Visas and Immigration office in Rome is graffitied with the words “standing side by side those who are fighting in Calais”.
Calais Migrant Solidarity issues a call for transnational solidarity actions, specifically asking people to target institutions of the French and British state and the companies involved in the assault on the jungle. Here is a list of some of those companies.
Stand up to Racism (SWP) organises a demo at Downing Street.
Responding at short notice, 30-40 people gather in Shoreditch, London to disrupt the launch of the French government’s ‘Creative France’ campaign, attended by the French ambassador. Smoke bombs are let off, rubbish fills the lobby, and the building is evacuated.
The legal challenge against the eviction is lost – it will go ahead with the supposed exception of the social spaces (religious buildings, library etc.).
Bernard Cazeneuve, the French Interior Minister, delivers a speech and says that it’s not, and has never been, the government’s intention to use bulldozers in the eviction of the camp.
Banner drop from a bridge in Ventimiglia (French border with Italy), in solidarity with migrants in Calais.
Local council workers walk around the camp telling people to leave. Buses are brought in to take people off to centres around the country. The buses leave mostly empty – the authorities are furious, and blame no borders for the poor uptake.
The eviction of the jungle begins. A massive police operation (around 55 police vans) is launched in the early morning. Bulldozers and workers from Sogea (a Vinci subsidiary) destroy people’s shelters, in blatant and direct contradiction of Cazeneuve’s statement the previous week.
Inhabitants throw stones at the heavily armoured police. The police fire tear gas.
People begin occupying their roofs in resistance; a water cannon is used to try and move people. This protest tactic continues to be used over the coming days.
A woman on a rooftop slashes her wrists, before being dragged off by the police.
Another demonstration takes place at Downing Street, organised by Stand up to Racism (SWP).
Two more companies (Baudelet Environnement, and Groupe SOS Solidarités, company details here) are identified by CMS for their key role in the eviction.
That night, large numbers of migrants occupy the motorway to force lorries to stop for a lift to the UK.
50 people demonstrate outside l’Institut Francais in London, then walk around Kensington chanting, distributing leaflets, and describing the situation in Calais over a megaphone.
One jungle resident dies overnight, possibly of a heart attack.
The Interior Minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, makes a statement denouncing No Borders for disrupting the progress of the eviction.
In Nantes people demonstrated against the eviction of autonomous squats and camps across France, connecting the plans to evict the ZAD with the destruction of Roma camps and the clearing of the jungle (video below). On Wednesday 2nd May, 250 Roma people were evicted from their camp at Carquefou, near Nantes – 900 nimbys had apparently signed a petition created by the mayor calling for them to be evicted.
Around 100 people, including many refugees, protest in central Paris against the repression in Calais, in spite of the state of emergency and continued ban on demos.
12 Iranians living in the camp embark on a hunger strike, a number of them sewing their lips together. They receive phone calls and messages of support from other Iranian migrant activists in Europe.
The Calais Prefect Fabienne Buccio makes yet another statement parroted by the press that ‘no borders anarchists’ have been inciting a handful of ‘hardcore migrants’ to fight back. The idea that people might act to stop the destruction on their homes without the need for encouragement is clearly inconceivable.
Of the 5 so-called “no borders activists” from the jungle who were taken into custody over the preceding two days; 2 were apparently Iranians who were defending their shelters, 2 were Auberge des Migrants volunteers, and 1 was a Care 4 Calais volunteer. The Iranians and one other are released back into the jungle. The two others appear before a court accused of arson, but are acquitted.
In Athens, the Institut Francais there was attacked with molotovs. There is a translated statement here.
Solidarity demo at the Place de la Bourse, Brussels.
London2Calais organised an “open the borders” demo (FB link) in London. Gathering at Parliament square, around 75 people blocked Westminster bridge (central London bridge leading to parliament) for a while with banners, then continued down Whitehall.
A demo also took place in Bath.
A demo has been called in Witney, UK. (FB link)
A demo took place in Melbourne, Australia.
The jungle hunger strikers have called for a demonstration starting in the jungle at 8 am, and also for international solidarity actions (FB link) to support them.
A banner was hung from a window in Boston, USA with a message of support for the hunger strikers.
March 8th: Two more people sew their mouths shut, bringing the total number of people on hunger strike to 12.
In Marseille, people carry out a week of actions in solidarity with the resistance in Calais, attacking various migration-management collaborators and tagging buildings belonging to jungle-evictors, Groupe SOS Solidarités. Some images and posters listing their actions below.
19th March: Report of an arson attack against a van belonging to migrant profiteers GDF Suez, who are involved in the construction of detention centres in France and Italy.