Translation of this article http://www.nordlittoral.fr/accueil/vandamme-un-nouveau-squat-de-12-000-m2-a-calais-pour-ia0b0n124204 to spread the word and call for support for the new squat aiding migrants in Calais
More than 450 people marched the streets of Calais yesterday (11th July 2014), for a demonstration in support of exiled migrants. This event also paved the way for a coup de force for the No Border movement who opened a new squat.
There was a strong reaction after the last squat evacuation, on the 2 of July, which affected 610 migrants. In the Place d’Armes, at 2pm yesterday afternoon, many people assembled in support of migrants but equally to raise indignation towards the evacuations of the last months, described as “violent, useless and painful police operations” by Séverine Mayer from the collective Calais Ouverture et Humanité. The daily work of the volunteers was highlighted with “pain”, “the volunteers are tired but feel that they have to do the job”, recalls Séverine Mayer through a loudspeaker.
The Vice President of the Regional Council, from the European Green Party (Europe Ecology, EELV), Majdouline Sbai, spoke before the start of the procession, emphasising support to “the groups, the refugees, who suffer from this situation” and attacking “a policy placed in contradiction to European values”. Along with the local community, demonstrators made the trip from other French towns, such as Le Havre, Rennes and Lille, as well as members of other groups supporting migrants (including MRAP, the Movement Against Racism and for Friendship between Peoples). Surrounded by police, and with declared aim, the procession evolved.
A Counter Demonstration
At the side-lines, the group Sauvons Calais (a local fascist group) who fight against the collectives who help migrants, held a counter demonstration near the theatre. Over the course of the procession, under the watchful eye of the law enforcement to stop complete outbreak, the handful of members were kept away.
A Call for Support
The event aimed to be a show that the demonstrators had had enough. It also created the opportunity for a great achievement for No Borders, who created a squat with open doors to refugees “who do not know where else to go”.
The procession was made from the town hall, the in front of the theatre before making their way towards the Channel. A handful of No Borders members led the demonstrators in the direction of the new squat, situated on the old Vadamme site, all under the watch of the police.
“They opened this squat to defend a fundamental right, the right to shelter. We support this initiative which we believe to be, under the current circumstances, the only way for these people to have a sheltered night’s sleep”, commented Nan Suel from Terre d’Errance Norrent Fonte, another migrant protection group, one among many who support the squat. “A call for support will be launched” said Nan Suel. Cécile Bossy, from Médecins du monde (Doctors of the World), said that the group “supports giving people a home. This squat, like the others, goes to the people”. However, nothing will halt the attempts at another eviction, even if the occupants hold it for more than 48 hours.