Blockade of Coquelles detention centre, Calais, 02/07/11


Calais - Today, 2nd July 2011, some thirty activists decided to take direct action against the Coquelles detention center. They protest against the daily harassment of the migrants, the eviction of the migrants' squat Africa House and the French and European migration policies by blockading the gates of the centre.

Calais: the town of repression

As evidenced by the dossier delivered to the Défenseur des droits Dominique Baudis last week, violence and repression in Calais against refugees is horrendous. They are arrested either during a raid or on the streets; taken to Coquelles and detained for several hours, for the night, or sometimes just a few minutes; they may or may not be interviewed, or their fingerprints may be taken; they are released without a hint of a charge against them; they walk the 5 miles or more back to their living space; the same happens the next day. It isn't rare that refugees of Calais are arrested several times in the same day, every day. It is also frequent that water reserves are destroyed during police raids on squats and jungles, that water containers are emptied, and that personal belongings are stolen. The result of those practices is to create a climate of terror for refugees in Calais.

Why blockading the centre?

The Coquelle detention centre embodies this sickening policy we call on everyone to fight against. Police raid in squats, jungles, in every nook of the town of Calais every day and every night. Once they are brought to the centre, they are harassed, humiliated, brutalised, and some are deported. Migrants are the object of a true man, woman, and child hunt.

This is not a story of a few “bad apples”. The various police forces, the Border Police (PAF) and the CRS, the prefect, the local representatives working for the Calais town hall, and mayor Natacha Bouchart, are the most immediate actors but the repression in Calais is systematic, involving actors from the bottom to the top, from minor officials and frontline police to the highest authorities, whether they take part actively or merely look away in silence.

By our action we oppose those revolting policies (resulting from the capitalist system) and its xenophobic, racist, and liberticidal aspects.

Because this concerns us all;

We demand the abolition of the laws aiming at the control and repression of immigration.

We demand the closing down and destruction of the detention centres.

We demand the opening of borders and the respect of freedom of movement and settlement.

We demand the end of imperialist and neocolonial wars waged by our states in the rest of the world.