At the end of next week many of the long term group that have been present here this winter will be leaving Calais. At the moment we do not know of anyone arriving after the 14th April, particularly people planning to come for a few weeks.
It would be great if people thinking of coming to Calais can communicate what period/s they can contribute in the next two months and let us know asap.
We have had a fairly good rolling presence of people over the past few months and lots of great projects. With the new space there is potential for groups to hold workshops with communities here. It has worked well with a number of self organised, affinity groups coming with plans and ideas.
We are very happy to pass on information and update people on what we have been focussing. Brief updates are included but email us with questions if you have any.
There’ll still be people coming and going as usual but knowing if people are coming for longer periods will help us ensure at a minimum it’s covered.
If you are thinking to come let us know…1) email the adress below with dates you can come and 2) let us know how many people are in your group. If you need materials or resources just ask, we can look what we have here. At the moment there is no legal squat or paid place where people can sleep. Be prepared with tents or other material to creat your living space. There is a camping in Calais which costs money but is a possibilty for staying in a safe space.
We have been making regular contact with Coquelles detention centre. Regular visits have been made each week to people inside and regular noise demonstrations held in solidarity. This week, following a noise demo, a hunger strike started inside and we are now finding ways to support those on strike. If you want more info on this please email. We have created a document with info about visiting and supporting detainees in Calais.
The past week has seen a shocking and rapid escalation of police harassment, arrests and brutality against people with and without papers in Calais – far beyond the normal level and in what seemed to be a premeditated assault on the migrant communities and their supporters. Id controls and violent raids/arrests have been non stop. Since the big eviction of the ‘university buildings’ last month late night and early morning raids/evictions have been made almost daily and people have not had a stable house for a number of weeks.
With an expected visit from Sarkosy next week, the elections and the Olympics, Calais is coming under the spotlight. The French and UK governments have promised a joint effort to strengthen the border and clean the streets.