State Terrorism - French Authorities Begin Eviction of Calais Jungle

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True to their word, French forces are proceeding with their planned assault on the refugees of Calais, destroying the homes and shelters, beginning the re-displacement of thousands. The goal, as stated by Fabienne Buccio, head of Police management: to reduce migrant numbers to a “manageable” population of 2000. “There is a largely unseen, or little reported battle of Calais” she said, “which the French government is beginning to win. We must remain humble. The problems are very great. But yes, I think we are starting to make real progress”.

This most one-sided battle - a fight between the force and brutality of the French state and a largely helpless population refugees and activists, took form four days ago as 55 CRS vans pulled up at the camp and unloaded hundreds of riot police. Forming a human shield, preventing residents of the camp from accessing their few possessions the police then began firing rounds of tear gas into the crowd, driving back parents, children and activists as they ensued with destruction of homes. Over the last three days deconstruction has continued, with police driving out around 300 residents thus far, mainly Iranians and Sudanese. While activists are being blockaded by force from protesting the assault, some residents have attempted peaceful protest. One example which acutely revealed the lie behind what was to be a ‘humane operation’ was the footage of a pregnant woman who, peacefully sitting on the roof of her home was apprehended, assaulted and arrested by police.

As footage of children in shock after being teargassed continues to come out, and of the fires started by teargas canisters, the mood of the camp descends into one of despair and helplessness. The refugees, victims of complex geopolitical forces to which states like France owe a great deal of responsibility, are being dealt with in the way in which states deal with most problems. Use force and law to deconstruct the homes and the people, quell or destroy resistance to injustice and continue to serve power.

This evening at 6.00pm there will be a demonstration at the French embassy in Dublin. Come and show your solidarity with the residents of Calais.

Words: Sean Prior

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