News from Calais: week of evictions, dozens out in the street again

Posted on November 14, 2011


Wednesday saw the eviction of the latest Africa House, an industrial complex right next door to a previous Africa House that had been evicted and demolished in 2010.

Despite the presence of around 100 CRS and Police Nationale, people left early in the morning and there were no arrests.

What has been interesting this time about the Africa House eviction is that the authorities made some efforts to do things by the book, possibly as a result of the public inquiry that was launched after CMS presented a dossier of evidence to France’s Human Rights Ombudsman earlier this year.

Eviction notices were placed on the property in advance – not that this makes the tiniest bit of difference to people who are about to lose their home – ; people were ‘allowed’ to take their personal belongings instead of them being dumped in a trailer destined for the rubbish tip; and the residents were offered limited emergency accommodation elsewhere
in France.
Calais Migrant Solidarity’s line is clear: regardless of whether administrative formalities are complied with, no-one has the right to deny people shelter, and no-one has the right to control freedom of movement – or can, for that matter.

But behind the spectacle of the Africa House eviction, the Eritrean squat was more quietly evicted, and the Iranian Jungle near the canal was destroyed for the second time this week, without even bothering to pay lip-service to the law.

The police have also been upping their harassment in the jungles of Teteghem and Grande-Synthe near Dunkerque with a near-constant presence, and we anticipate more evictions and demolitions there.

A security team is now guarding the empty Africa House 24/7, lest anyone dare seek shelter from the cold, while around people are out in the street. Activists have been distributing emergency supplies.

We are low in numbers again… Please join us if you can for direct intervention, evidence gathering, making links, squatting, distributing tents and blankets, language classes, etc etc

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