[Refugee Support] Info: Are You Interested In Volunteering in the “Jungle” of Calais – Read This!

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 2.30.14 AM[BAI NOTE: The following information and analysis was pulled from a refugee support page on Facebook. The information below was written by an anonymous volunteer and although many important points are made – does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Bay Area Intifada contributors. ]

For More Info: Calais Migrant Solidarity

This report was written on Sunday September 13th and could be outdated at any given moment. Everything evolves so quickly here that by next week the situation might be completely different.

Dear people,

In spite of all the good intentions of so many, I would like to give a few last minute pointers. I’ve been here for a week now to volunteer and I’m helping out where help is needed. (I am here as an individual, unconnected to any organization so it is easier to write unprejudiced. On the other hand, this is merely a personal impression, although formed after having lots of conversations with the organizations here and people on the field.)

Material

If you have goods available, try to stock these at your own place or at friends for now. Currently all storage here is full and organizations are looking for more space but it is unlikely that they are going to find more space this week and probably not even in the first few weeks. To be sure of storage place, contact Salam, L’Auberge des Migrants or Secours Catholique (these are the organizations that usually have space. If they say they don’t have any space left, they don’t, so there is no point in coming with stuff anyways) Continue reading

Camp Evictions met with Occupations and Resistance

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From Calais Migrant Solidarity

May 28th, 2014

Calais, France

Today more than 300 police descended on Calais to evict three tent camps in the city centre which have existed since last October: the «Syrian camp», which was set up following the occupation of the port, the «Eritrean camp» under the bridge, which was established after the eviction of their squat, also in October, and a smaller camp close to the food distribution. Together these places were home to around 650 people in Calais. The state has tried to disguise this police operation as a humanitarian intervention, citing scabies and poor sanitation to justify destroying people’s homes without providing them with any alternative solution. They neglect to mention that these problems exist only because they have forced people to live in very crowded conditions without regular access to toilets, showers, or places to wash their clothes and bedding. They legitimize the paternal intervention of the state by painting a picture of migrants as diseased and unable to care for themselves, rather than accepting responsibility for creating the circumstances which have caused these problems.
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The humanitarian veil over this police eviction could not have been thinner. Last night at food distribution, nurses from the hospital arrived to distribute scabies medication to those who wanted them. The scene more closely resembled street pushers trying to convince passers-by to buy drugs to stop the itch than free patients consenting to a medical treatment. Understandably, many people were hesitant to swallow unknown tablets for a medical condition which they may not have under the watchful eyes of the police, just a day before they would be kicked out of their homes.

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Desperate Afghan migrant rescued in the English Channel on wooden raft with a bedsheet sail

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From The Independent

For the Afghan migrant who fashioned together a raft from wooden slats and a table leg, it was his ticket to a new life in Britain. According to his rescuers, it was in reality a vessel fit only for sailing its captain to a watery grave.

In a grim reminder of the lengths to which the hundreds of migrants camped in the French port of Calais will go to reach English shores, the story emerged todayof how a 23-year-old refugee was rescued while trying to steer a raft of six pieces of nailed wood with a bed sheet for a sail across the Channel.

The young Afghan, who was on the verge of hypothermia, was saved after he was spotted by the British crew of a Dover-bound P&O ferry, who alerted the French coastguard and stopped the vessel to protect the adventurer until help arrived while bank holiday day trippers looked on in astonishment.

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More than 500 refugees from war-torn nations wait in squalid Calais camp

 

From Mirror

Clawing his way over a 12ft razor-wire fence, an immigrant camped on Britain’s doorstep makes a desperate bid for a new life, reports the Sunday People in Calais.

The Yemeni is among more than 500 refugees from war-torn nations holed up in the French port of Calais where they hope to sneak on to trucks ferried 23 times a day to Dover.

Before hurtling over the fence, the Arab unzips his anorak and tracksuit top to display deep cuts across his chest which he says were inflicted by police in Saudi Arabia.

He believes the only place he will be safe is Britain.

So he braves the razor-wire, landing with a bump, then scuttles towards a lorry park in hope of clinging to the axle of a truck heading to the UK.

“This place is terrible,” he exclaimed when the Sunday People visited a new migrants’ camp this week.

Jabbing his fingers towards the sea, he ­insisted: “I must go to England.”

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