A farcical curtain of steel descended on Calais, and the massive campaign of demonisation of the camp by the local authorities continued in the press. The camp gradually grew to around 1000 people from all over Europe. Many local people visited the site, a group of around 100 mostly Kurdish and Afghani migrants participated at a daily basis and a lot of local kids and young adults hanged out in the Camp.
It run alongside the main motorway from the port out of town and it was just a few minutes from the “Jungle”, the makeshift camps where migrants are living. Migrants report that currently the controls at the border are very tight and that no one has been getting through for few weeks, consequently the number of migrants in Calais are at their highest in several years.
On Sunday 21st of July, people from the camp went to the festival in the town centre of Calais, with a sound system, to give out leaflets that explain the aim and nature of the camp, in an attempt to communicate directly with the locals beyond the media lies. After the prohibition to distribute any kind of literature that was issued the following Monday, giving out leaflets became an action in itself where people got arrested. Issues of the daily produced newspaper “Nomad” were also confiscated.
Assisting the migrants seems to be a criminal offence, which granted an arrest on Wednesday 24th June, but people have been thinking about some paractical ideas you can do this summer to help the hundreds of migrants stranded in Calais.
On Friday 26th morning, a man demanded showers for migrants when he glued himself to the entrance of La Mairie de Calais – one died trying to have one in the dangerous place where they are forced to wash themselves. In the afternoon, the local motorway was blocked to highlight the hypocrisy of allowing freedom of movement for goods and animals but not of people.
On Saturday 27th, the campers left the Camp at 10am to go to the transnational demonstration.
Back in the UK, a demonstration was called in solidariy with the detainees in hunger strike in Yarl’s Wood detention centre.