The communication exercise around the destruction of the Calais shantytown was smoothly conducted. Guided tours for journalists, a press room provided, strictly regulated preview of the hangar where there would be the sorting and putting of people on buses , a maximum of reporters on the first day, when the most of the people who had been waiting for months to be able to make their application for asylum in France would get on the buses, the mobilization of associative support to give the impression of a consensual process, the denial of access when things went wrong. And it must be said that few media made any effort to look behind the scenes.
But the putting in place of the decor to pass a police operation off as a humanitarian operation and to mimic welcoming as part of a non-welcoming policy resists the weather badly. The violence during the evacuation (see here and here), the indignity of the queuing and the sorting (see here and here), the unworthiness of some Reception and Orientation centres (CAO – see here here, here and here), the violations of the rights of minors (see here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here), uncertainties about family reunification in the United Kingdom, the likely deportations of people from the CAO: it all starts to be seen.
A face lifting exercise of the facade is always useful. Hence an exercise in self-congratulation tonight in Calais, while hunting, through racial profiling (see here and here) will have made the Exiles invisible to the accredited journalists, with an audience ranging from the police to the associations that participated in the evacuation (we will see which ones are available for the exercise) and elected representatives.
“18.30: official displacement to Calais – Ceremony to thank the staff, civil servants, elected officials and associations engaged in the dismantling of the camp of the Lande in Calais”
L’École Laïque du Chemin des Dunes, destroyed because minors sheltered there during the destruction of the shantytown. Photo : Le Réveil Voyageur