THE FUTURE OF THE JUNGLE
My brain is constantly struggling with so much information…so many questions, so many rumours…
The latest update…that the Calais Jungle will be demolished in it’s entirely, in one go, within the next 3-4 weeks.
We have been told that the process of eviction will be swift, taking just a matter of days.
The intention is to evict all 10,188 people at one. French authorities have promised to have enough places available to relocate everyone to accommodation centres across France.
There has so far been no news about what will happen to the 1,022 children who live alone in the camp (over 100 unaccompanied children went missing after the last eviction back in March).
So…how do I feel about this…what do I think?
I don’t even know.
Information, as always, is minimal and last minute, we are never given enough time or enough clarity to make adequate preparations, or even just to tell people, for sure, what will be happening to their homes, to their lives.
Over the last 14 months there have been so many ups and downs, so many obstacles and hurdles to overcome and endless threats to the camp and the life people have built there. The entire Southern part (demolished back in March), the shops and the restaurants (raided and shut down recently), etc etc etc.
We have fought for this camp, for the little people have, for the community they have created.
But then we also fight against the fact that people are forced to live here at all… we fight against it’s entire existence.
So maybe this is a good thing?
Maybe this is the end of the squalid conditions of unofficial refugees camps / slums in France in 2016?
Maybe this is the future?
I can’t help but worry, based on previous experiences and past messy evictions involving riot police, violence, tear gar and trauma, that this may not be the case. That there will continue to be refugees in Calais, with even less support than ever before.
All I can hope for is that this eviction will be carried out with dignity, that people will be relocated FIRST, and their homes and camp demolished AFTER people have been resettled (which surely makes sense although does not look likely), and that respect will be upheld throughout the process…
I guess we will soon find out.
We will keep you updated as we will be closely documenting the process throughout (and also enabling our friends in the camp to do so themselves with disposable cameras).