It’s beautiful weather today.
The perfect weather for lying in the sun…or wearing full riot gear and taking food and water from refugees…
Today the confiscation of food and drink from the shops and restaurants in the Calais Jungle, which began yesterday, has continued.
Police have meticulously entered shelters and taken away all the food and drink they can find, knocking down doors if needs be.
The camp residents, who on Monday were positive and smily, the vibe friendly and welcoming, were confused, and kept asking our little team what was going on. We had no idea either…
It turns out that the police were targetting these ‘businesses’ for not complying to health and safety standards (ironic) and for unlawfully selling and distributing food without a permit. The places they targetted included the Kids Cafe, run by Sikander, which provides a free lunch and dinner to hundreds of unaccompanied, under-18s in the camp.
Not only this, the police have been arresting restaurant owners, including Sikander, some of whom have previously attempted to apply for relevant permits but have been denied.
The police took it in turns to stand in the shade of the shelters as their colleagues scooped rice from pans and emptied shelves.
When we arrived on Monday, our lovely team member Beatrice Lily Lorigan dropped some mangoes in to Welcome Restaurant, as our lovely friend there had told her he was craving them. She had brought them for him from London, but there were taken away before he could eat them.
It seems very clear that this is not about health and safety at all, but a sign that these people, who have crossed seas, lost friends and family and live on nothing because they have no choice, are not welcome or wanted here in Calais.
It seems clear that this action is to dispel Calais as a viable option or safe space for people to try to heal and grow, to start a new live, by making it unlivable, with the aim of slowly expelling and dispersing people…
But to where?
They cannot go back and they cannot go forward, and they are not welcome where they are..
How are we doing this to the victims of our world today?
Photos by Finlay O’Hara
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