Today is the day of the image, that is one where hundreds of journalists are present where people who have been waiting sometimes for weeks or months can finally leave, often having chosen by default to stay in France,for a valuable place in a Reception and Orientation center (CAO – see here, here, here and here). The evacuation and destruction to speak of only starts tomorrow, the scene today is that of people who want to leave, by choice or for fear of the future. Simply, this flash departure for reasons of evacuation makes for images of crowds and of exodus, it seems that more dignified conditions could have been offered in a more peaceful setting.

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the waiting line , the firstcomers before dawn.

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How can you protect yourself when you are there just to give the media their images ?

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Around 2pm, minors before their depart

But behind the machine for producing these images, the presence of witnesses is subject to the whims of the prefecture, and once again through the use of the state of emergency. To be present in the large area where operations take place, you must either be one of the “occupiers having their principal residence within the closed zone” – from that understand “migrants” who are identified by racial profiling, but that the prefecture cannot say – or either have a certificate issued by the Prefecture. Any other person on the site is punishable by six months imprisonment and a fine of €7,500 under the law of 3 April 1955 on the state of emergency (that applies to an operation presented as humanitarian in Calais with legislation that was adopted in the context of the war in Algeria).

Vous pouvez télécharger l’arrêté préfectoral ici.

Some associations were able to present lists of people so that they could access the site. The prefecture has accepted some names and not others. Other associations were not accepted, such as Emmaus France, from whom a delegation was present this morning at one of the entrances to the site, on the grounds that the request was made too late. Yet in 2014 when the increase in Exiles became sensitive to Calais, their communities from throughout France sent donations, which allowed them to be able to face a serious humanitarian situation before the arrival of international NGOs and volunteers from all over Europe in 2015. But Emmaus spares no criticism of the government action. The advocacy group Human Rights Watch also suffered the same fate. A delegation of Lawyers Sans Frontières was pushed back this morning at the entrance. Other associations did not submit lists to avoid condoning the prefectures arbitrary decision .
Still, some people have taken the risk to be inside to witness what is happening. We must be vigilant to what will happen to them when the police enter the shantytown to drive out the occupiers

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