The government wanted to sell a beautiful story, that of a giant slum of 10,000 people, which it gently evacuated for humanitarian reasons. The government’s PR was almost perfect! But in fact, on October 24, Hollande and Valls launched the destruction of Calais’ slum, as suddenly as they had tracked the migrants and moved them there.
The “jungle” of Calais was a cesspool? An unlivable place that had to be “dismantled” – in reality burnt and destroyed? But whose fault is it but of those rulers who have left wandering in the cold and in the mud a number of migrants as large as the population of a real city? Most outrageous is that these migrants from Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, Eritrea and other African countries, were fleeing the misery and the terrible wars that these same rulers helped trigger and stir in these countries in the last twenty years.
Hollande and Co. played good Samaritans, but the staging of “package tours” by bus, from Calais to every corner of France, quickly turned out badly. All the migrants did not want to leave, they were not all convinced – and rightly so – that the place of arrival would be a stable Eldorado. And these men and women had formed a community in Calais, during the tough times. With the help of many associations and individuals, they had created unprecedented means of community survival (coffee shops, restaurants, associative health centers, literacy schools, shows…). In exchange, the government offers thousands of migrants a temporary solution in “reception and guidance centers”, scattered from Brittany to Aquitaine. And no one knows for how long.
From jungle to hell…
The result is that after three days during which the government claimed that all was fine in Calais, the situation is already turning sour. Many migrants did not want to get on the bus, or left on their own to their own destinations, especially to Paris where the camp in the Stalingrad area is getting bigger. More than a thousand people arrived there within a few days and in Calais and Dunkirk, new settlements of migrants are created… The same dirty policy of the French authorities generates the same disaster.
The government’s goal is to disperse the migrants, making them invisible or at least trying to. In doing so the government is giving in to those who are fooled into thinking that these migrants come to eat our bread and steal our jobs! Everywhere where refugees have arrived in recent times, demonstrations of National Front supporters or other xenophobes occurred… But larger counter-demonstrations support the migrants, in many cities large and small. These initiatives express warmth, hope… Wherever possible, we should participate. Who would believe that 10,000 more people could not find a place in a country with 65 million inhabitants? In sometimes questionable circumstances, too, Germany nevertheless hosted a million migrants!
Workers must stand up against this disgusting and murderous policy of the Government: 3,800 people have died in the Mediterranean since January 2016. They must express their solidarity with the refugees with whom they have incomparably more in common than with the bosses and the political leaders at their service. Workers have everything to fear from bosses and politicians, who take their jobs with tens of thousands of layoffs and job cuts. On the other hand they can only have high hopes about the migrants, who will be allies in the coming struggles, all together.