“Refugees Welcome” demo: why numbers aren’t everything

Calais Migrant Solidarity

Today over 2000 refugees and supporters marched to the port from the migrant camp known as the Jungle. The demonstration, called by the humanitarian organisation CalAID, was the largest in recent times and it was great to see so many people marching on the port.

At least 100 women and children held a separate march with banners reading “We have come here to save our lives” and “Where are the refugee rights? Where are the women’s rights? Where are the children’s rights?” Despite the lack of media coverage, as the first known womens-only action in Calais, this was a significant event.

However, we have a number of serious criticisms of today’s official event:

  • There was no real effort made by the organisers to consult the migants living in Calais in advance.
  • Some of those involved in recent self-organised migrant protests in Calais felt frustrated by the top-down organisational style of…

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