One more time :The French government, in collusion with the UK, has announced plans to evict the homes and shelters of many undocumented people living in Calais. According to the government, they should move, disappear, be put behind walls, locked up and deported. Only because of a missing piece of paper. Eviction notices were served on Friday. People have until Tuesday 23rd Feb 8pm to leave the Southern area half of the jungle. Many inhabitants and associations have handed in a complaint against the eviction and destruction of the camp. There will be court on Tuesday, 23. February, 2pm in Lille, the judge will visit the jungle on Tuesday morning. These are the facts so far.
The announcement of the destruction of the jungle in Calais is not surprising to us. For years the government and the prefecture of Calais have systematically destroyed people’s homes. For years people have been beaten up by police and fascists and have had their private property stolen or destroyed. For years people have been forced to live in fear and insecurity.
The jungle we have today is a ghetto created by the French government, after evictions of squats and other jungles. It is not possible either to say that it is good or that it is bad. There are people living together autonomously, in diversity, in community. But there is also squalor, fighting and racism. It is not so easy to use the rhetoric of pity and victimisation as some associations like to do. It is not so easy to condemn the jungle because of its problems. For better or worse, the jungle is a space where people are allowed to live in Calais, but now, people have to fight for even this space. As well as being a practical fight to keep this place that is a home, though transitory and precarious, to so many, it is a symbolic fight for carving out space for undocumented people not be reduced to a shameful problem controlled and hidden in containers.
Right now in the Calais camp there are still more than 5,000 people. Many more are on their way. It is the political strength and spirit of the people in transit who will challenge the plans of the government; probably more successfully than any legal measure ever could.
No « better » jungle is needed. No humanitarian solution has to be found. What is needed is to stand up against Europe’s imperialist and racist politics and their war against the poor and the foreign. What is needed is the destruction of their borders, border watchdogs, and their governments. What is needed is freedom of movement and settlement.
We have seen seven years of camp destructions in a relentless war of attrition. We must not be fooled by or perpetuate the state’s false promises. In January, some of the camp’s inhabitants issued a statement announcing their plans to peacefully resist the eviction, and we must now show them the maximum solidarity in their struggle. CMS calls for international actions of solidarity with the people here in transit.
We call on people to organise urgent action now & in the coming weeks against any companies, corporations or groups, French or British which are involved in the eviction of the Jungle and facilitate the repressive operations in Calais (see https://calaismigrantsolidarity.wordpress.com/2016/01/25/run-down-of-con...).