This spring in the slum, a group of people come to make contacts for a project supported by UNESCO. Among them, a Pakistani. When he learns that Pakistanis living in the slum, he tells spontaneously: “But why do they come to Europe when there are so many opportunities in India?“
In the real world, everybody does not come to Europe, everybody does not want to come to Europe, and there are things happening elsewhere. If we look twenty years hence, we will have a Europe demographically more aged, which will have become odious to the rest of the world and will have isolated itself. Is this the future we want?
Brought back to the slum situation and the police operation of the past days, the question becomes: wouldn’t it be more intelligent to welcome people and support their creativity, rather than deploying 150 police for three days of raid and confiscation of the stock and equipment?
Some profiles of shops ans restaurant keepers. A man in his fifties, rather stout. He lived several years in the UK, almost he goes back home when returning there. But it is physically hard to pass in trucks, he does not succeed and it’s been two years he is blocked in Calais. France offers him nothing better than the slum, so he works there in a restaurant.
The first reception of asylum seekers is delegated by the State to platforms managed by associations. The mission of the Calais platform is confined to accompany people in their dealings with OFPRA (French Office for Protection of Refugees and Stateless Persons) in first instance, but not covers in case of appeal to the CNDA (Right to Asylum National Court), and no support to persons who have obtained refugee status. So there are people who have spent the entire procedure without receiving accommodation, and are still in the slum when they get a positive response and a residence permit. And the shops in the slum are a way to have an activity and an income.
So it is not very legal, but the state also has a legal obligation to house asylum seekers and does not do, and concerning the rights of foreigners the State is not in a position to give lessons in law enforcement. The prefect of Pas-de-Calais has recently been awarded twice by CIMADE for her particularly questionable practices.
The only thing the State has for him is force. And this is a show of force that we have witnessed last days with the police deployment and its mediatisation. Failing to be respected and respectable, governing by fear.
Not legal, the shops in the slum but a phrase that comes up frequently in the mouth of the shop keepers stripped of their property, “but we just ask it, to legally exercise and to pay taxes.”
Don’t forget that it was the State that created this situation, has put these people in it and maintain them there.
And it does not appear that its representatives think of a constructive outcome.
Calais slum, a barber shop by Loup Blaster http://loupblaster.tumblr.com