On the 17-18 of February, a weekend of protests will take place across some major cities in Europe against the deportation of asylum seekers from Europe to Afghanistan.
“The percentage of granted asylums to Afghans in European Union differs strongly between the different members states. Some countries won’t protect almost anyone (Hungary accepts a shocking 7.4% of Afghan refugee status claims), others are doing slightly better. But the EU countries have proven to be unwilling to protect Afghans, as the EU pressured Afghanistan to take back their people, under the threat of stopping all financial aid to the country.
The stories of deported Afghans will most likely never reach our national media, but numerous human rights organizations, such as Amnesty, have reported multiple killings of deported people, when they arrived “home”. Even now these people have proven to be in danger, our governments continue to send back the people searching for protection in the EU. 3260 people were send back in 2015. In 2016, the number almost tripled, as 9460 people were deported.”
Despite the extremely volatile situation, European governments increasingly are denying asylum requests for Afghan refugees and continue to deport people back to the country.
The readmission agreement concluded on the 5th October 2016 between Afghanistan and the European Union (see here and there) aimed to systematize and facilitate deportations to Afghanistan.
France didn’t deport people directly to Afghanistan since 2009 -although they did deportations to 2nd countries, mostly where fingerprints had been taken, that did then end up in deportations to Afghanistan, as you can read here.
The announced destruction of the shantytown: leaveat any cost, try every night, take more risks. Accidents occurred on Highway 16 Friday night and Sunday night. Sunday it is a couple that was hit by a car when crossing the highway. The driver reported the accident to the police. The woman was slightly injured, the man diedin the hospitalfrom his injuries.
Monday, August 29, transporters, shopkeepers, dockers’ unions, farmers, announced for Monday, September 5th a blocking of the highwayto obtainthe destruction of theshantytown where the state has concentrated the exiles in Calais.
These announcements are based on numbers games. The exercise is rather pathetic, and it looks a little, like panic.
The Minister announces that thereis 1,900 police and gendarmesin Calais,andhe’s going to add 200.
TheFranco-British declarationof August 30, 2016 (last Tuesday) spoke of “1,000 police and gendarmes” “for a year” and that “this scheme has recently been supplemented by an additional 160 agents”, which makes 1160 in total.
The Migration Declaration of Amiens Summit (March 3, 2016) spoke of 1,300 police and gendarmes (there would have been a decline between March and August).
The minister announced 8000 new accommodation places by the end of the year.
That being6000 places in CADA (Accommodation Centers for Asylum Seekers), but for asylum seekers throughout the territory, in a context whereonly one third of asylum seekers are accommodatedin a CADA, and where there is a need ofa remedy of tens of thousands of places. So it concerns only marginally Calais.
And 2 000 places in CAO (Accommodation and Orientation Centers or “respite centers”).
On July 26th, at the NationalSteering Committee meeting of the CAO system, the Housing Minister announced the opening of 3 000 places by the end of September. Now the interior minister has onlyannounced 2 000 new places, by the end of December.
This is what we see on the ground, places openings are in dribs and drabs and the scheme is fully engorged (see here and here).
This engorgement is partially because the CAO system was originally a winter arrangement, much of the centres had been established in holiday centers and therefore had to close when they recovered their initial vocation. There are a significantly lower number of places in the CAO in late spring (maybe a thousand places, maybe more, the figures of the two ministries, interior and the housing ministers, are increasingly blurred when you recover from the effects of the announcement, and theydo not always agree).
When considering the number of people who go into a CAO, we must remember that 45% of people leave without orientation and return most often to Calais or to theirplace of departure.
This figure is not a priori extraordinary, it joins the one of the last census conducted by the associations. But it is much higher than thatgiven by the Prefecture of Pas-de-Calais (6900 people), which is in principle basedon counts… by the police.
Clearly, either Alliance is bluffing and throws that number up to dramatize itscomeback announcement. Either Alliance thinks the census made by the associations are more reliable thanthose of the police. Either the police counts are convergent with those of the associationsand the prefecturehidesthe reality and lies intentionally.
Apart from this block launched in the quarrelsof numbers, the majority union of the National Police takes over thepositionsof the political right wing on the issue of migrants in Calais: destruction of the shantytown and renegotiation of the Touquet agreements. And it is indeed announcements that precede the presidential and parliamentaryelections,which refer to the complex relationship between police unionsand political powers.
But destroyingthe shantytown to eliminatewhat is visible, and renegotiating the Franco-British agreementson border management to move the “problem”on the neighboring territory is only acampaignbonimentat a time whenthey promisethey will shave for free and removeall problems.
The two questions to be answered are what happens to the people – who will not disappear even if the authorities destroyfor the umpteenth time their homes – and how to manage this border – what effectively implies a discussion, perhapsrough, with the neighboring state ?
In relation to these two questions, the government hasimprisoned itself, denying the reality about the real situation and the number of people, and immediately closing the door to any changes in the status quo of the Franco-British agreements despite the opportunity opened up by the vote for brexit. And it only has a few months to change course andshow its ability to develop workable solutions.
It would be more honest if governments recognized to have only a limited influence on the movement of people. It is also not desirable that the state owns too much power in this area, as population control is linked, in recent history, to totalitarianism. In a democracy, state power must have limits.
In this front-back, the reality is clear: despite the violence and the repeated destruction of entire parts of the slum (see here and here, in French), migrants in Calais have grown in number. After counting – work held in half a day by police (associations Help Refugees and Migrants Auberge make their censuses in over three days and their volunteers have the trust of the migrants), the Prefecture recognizes everything lowerbounding the size. The mayor of Calais is places in the political game by denouncing the impotence of the government.
Yet, everyone knows that the policies that the prefecture carried on for fifteen years, based on harassment, did not deter migrants to come here on their way to the UK.Are powerless. And everyone knows that things will last. The prefecture received management of the site where are the slum and the containers camp for a period of six years, from 3 December 2015.
But rather than acknowledge their limits and seek a positive outcome to the situation, the authorities are even more carrying on their policies, the same that they have followed until now.
After having erected kilometers of wire fencing and barbed wire with razor blades, they will now build a wall along the ring road to access the port, between the road de Gravelines and the roundabout Beaumarais. In fact, the attempts of migrants have already moved to more upstream part of the ring road, so the wall will do nothing but accelerating that movement.
The wall will cost $ 2.7 million, pretty far what have been spent on Grande-Synthe camp, planned initially to accommodate 2,500 people in accordance with international standards.
Eteocles and Polynices died. Creon, tyrant of Thebes, ordered a funeral for Polynices, but that the body of Eteocles be left unburied, andbecomesthe preyof dogs.Be punished with deathanyone who violates his decision.Antigone, sister of Polynices and Éthéocle, braves the ban to give burial to the latter. The opposition is between the excesses of Creon in the disproportionate andbrutalexercise of power and the unconditional loyaltyof Antigoneto the linksthat uniteto other humans.
When we pay homage to the deads of Nice and Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, a tribute to the deads of the British border is prohibited by the prefect of Pas-de-Calais. In the name of the state of emergency, meant to serve in a fight against terrorism, but used with a cynical opportunism by the government to suppress opposition to its policy (see here, here, here, here, here and here). One manifestante was arrested and will go to trial Oct. 18 for her participation in a prohibit gathering (called a “rout”). There are deads to be honored, and the other one must left to dogs, otherwise fall under anti-terrorism legislation. As if all deads are notequalfacing thebarbarism.
For fifteen years, thesolidarity forpeople whose successive governments intend to makepariahsis a crime, makingarrowall usable forms of legislation (see here, here, here, here, here, here, hereand there).
But yet over the years the solidarity continues obstinately. Making live solidarity that unites us in our neighbors, even though they bepassing. But also because these successive governments are attackingwhat is forusthe basis of social bonds.
Hubert Robert – Imaginary View of the Grand Gallery of the Louvre in ruins – 1796.
When is the state going to do its duty to protect them?
Monday, July 11, 2016, during the night: Death of a 17years old Eritrean girl, struck on the road to the port by a truck that didn’t stop. Only the weekend before this young woman had left Steenvoorde camp, located 70 kilometers from the town of Calais, to avoid being there for the provided eviction.
July 20, 2016, during the night: death of a young refugee on A16, unknown origin. He was struck by a vehicle while trying to go to the UK.
July 25, during the night: death of an Ethiopian refugee during a fight inside the crowded Jungle.
Night of July 26: death of a Sudanese refugee, hit by a car on the road to the port.
These deaths happened in Calais, where migrants keep coming whilst the surface of the camp has been halved compared to last year. According to the lastest Census made by associations there are 7037 people living there; this overcrowding worsens even more the already indecent living conditions.
These deaths are the fatal consequences of political decisions; policies that continue to build walls, dismantling camps, and even filter arrivals to give hospitality only those considered “vulnerable” -as in Grande-Synthe camp-, even if it was the first in France in compliance with international standards for accommodating refugees.
Now, since the beginning of 2015, the amount of know deaths of migrants on the English-French border is 37. How many people have to die for those in power to understand how desperate are situations in which refugees are stucked?
“These deaths are the fatal consequences of policies and political decisions. “
IN MEMORY, FALLEN 2016
Sudanese migrant died on the night of July 26, hit by a car on the road to the port.
Ethiopian migrant died in the night of July 25 in a fight in the camp.
Migrant of unknown origin, died on the night of July 20, hit by a car on the A16.
Eritrean migrant, died on the night of July 11 to 12, hit by a truck that didn’t stop.
Afghan migrant, 15 years old, died in January suffocated in a truck
Afghan migrant, died Feb. 10 in unknown circumstances
Sudanese migrant, died March 2 in his tent
Afghan migrant, 22 years old, died on March 31 hit by a truck.
Migrant, died on April 2 in the crash of the truck in which he was hiding.
Pakistani migrant, died on 9 May on Calais road, hit by a driver who did not stop.
Afghan migrant, died on May 29, hit by a truck on the highway.
Migrant, died on July 4 hit by a car on the highway.
Published on July 27, 2016
Secours Catholique-Délégation Nord/Lille
Secours Catholique-Délégation Pas-deCalais
The Legal Shelter – La Cabane Juridique
Le Réveil Voyageur
Auberge des Migrants
Arras Solidarité Réfugiés
Comité humaniste et résistant
Terre d’Errance Norrent-Fontes
Terre d’Errance Steenvoorde
Aide Migrants Soldarité (AMiS) Téteghem
ACCMV minorités visibles (Grande-Synthe)
Comité local du Secours Populaire Français de Vendin et Oblinghem
The calaisian migrants support associations are now calling for a rally the day after the announcement of each exile’s death, to show our refusal of the unacceptable. The first took place on July 21, forty people were present.
The second was prohibited by a prefectural order issued on behalf of the state of emergency, used systematically in Calais for repression against exile-es (that is among others on behalf of the state emergency has been razedthe southern partof the shantytown), or to ban any demonstrationon the subject (see here, hereand here).
The pretext is made a demonstration by the far right that never happened nor has been organized. But there are also among the reasons for the order that “the protesters are likely to mobilize migrants within the camp of the moor covered by the motto of this association; the latter, whose number reaches 4,500 individuals show violent behavior. ” Like what an administrative act can become a xenophobic propaganda vector.