Update from Calais: The lengths our governments will go to deny shelter
Let me tell you what you’re seeing in this photo. This is a disused shop in Calais outside of which, for the last few months, around 70 refugees have had to sleep.
This is because in Calais, on every bit of wasteland, trees have been cut down and fences have been put up so no one can sleep rough there. People are not allowed to have tents. They’re lucky to have sleeping bags. So they huddle here under the facia on the left just to get out of the rain. They sleep on the hard tarmac floor.
This morning at 4 am riot vans and police turned up and rounded people up and took their belongings. Then, to deny them the only bit of shelter, bulldozers arrived and placed massive rocks under the facia so that no one can sleep there anymore.
This is the lengths to which our governments go, at the UK border in France, to make it clear to refugees that they are not welcome. Our governments do all they can to treat refugees badly thinking this will mean that they will not come.
But the thing that stops this policy of ‘deterrence’ from working is the fact that what they are running away from will always be so much worse than anything that can be done to them here.
Tonight our team will go to the site to distribute hot drinks, tarpaulin and blankets.
To support our work go to care4calais.org/donate