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Over the years successive laws have been passed that simultaneously undermine the rights of foreign nationals and diminish civil liberties. However, it seems that for successive governments whatever rights have stayed in place represent an obstacle to their policies sufficient to induce both the administration and the police to violate these laws, despite their severity, on a daily basis. And judges, when they sanction these violations of the law, become the embodiment of the obstacle in question. In this area, as in others, end-term Hollandism meets end-term Sarkosism.

It’s in this context that we see the meaning of the show of force put on by the police last Thursday during the distribution of meals – arrival with lights flashing, interruption of food distribution, racial profiling, and the spectacular arrest of one minor and three other individuals. Of course, the show was also intended to demonstrate to volunteers and NGO’s who’s boss at a time when some NGO’s have made appeals to the Human Rights Defender and Comptroller General of Detention Centres regarding multiple instances of police misconduct. Another object is to hinder the enactment of the March 22, 2017 Court Order handed down by the Tribunal Of Lille which suspends municipal by-laws forbidding meal distribution in certain areas of Calais, the Court deciding that such interdictions violate a number of fundamental human rights, creating a situation equivalent to inhuman and degrading treatment (see here and here).

Thus the raid last Thursday was not a simple show of police force, but an action taken by the police at the beck of local hierarchal authority (and probably of the political authority on which it depends – we don’t know at what level the decision was taken to stage the police intervention.). More than likely it was undertaken with the support of Public Prosecutor of Boulogne-Sur-Mer with the intention of blocking the application of the Court’s decision.

Because this, today, this is the Rule of Law as observed in France.

 

 

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