• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Refugees face court for storming Calais ferry
Photo: AFP

Refugees face court for storming Calais ferry

AFP · 22 Feb 2016, 07:41

Published: 22 Feb 2016 07:41 GMT+01:00

Around 2,000 people took part in the protest on January 23, including supporters from several European countries, calling for Britain to allow asylum-seekers to enter the country.

Towards the end of the protest, a group of 150 people broke through a barrier around the port and about a third made it on board the "Spirit of Britain" ferry.

They were removed by police after three hours, with 24 migrants and 11 members of the No Borders activist group arrested.

Eight of those will receive a verdict from a court in Boulogne-sur-Mer on Monday.

Local authorities estimate there are 3,700 people living in the "Jungle" migrant camp on the outskirts of Calais in northern France, hoping to smuggle themselves aboard lorries crossing the Channel.

The incident in January once again raised questions about security at the port, which has been tightened in recent months with money from the British government.

The French authorities appear determined to finally get rid of the Jungle, moving the residents to proper centres elsewhere in France and away from the filthy camp in Calais, which was set up on a former toxic waste dump.

However, many of the residents have family or community ties to Britain and are reluctant to give up their dream of crossing the Channel.

A campaign in Britain spearheaded by celebrities such as actors Jude Law and Benedict Cumberbatch has called on the British government to let children from the camp be reunited with families in Britain and take responsibility for the "humanitarian crisis" in the Jungle.

Law was among a group of celebrities giving a one-off performance on Sunday in the makeshift theatre in the Jungle.

Demolition of the camp

The storming of the ferry came around the same time as the authorities had cleared out a ring around the edge of the camp, forcing hundreds of migrants to move their makeshift shacks in freezing conditions.

The next stage was an order to vacate the entire southern half of the camp, affecting between 1,000 and 2,000 residents.

Demolition of the section could begin as early as Tuesday night, although it is being challenged by several charities in court.

The judge in the case is due to visit the Jungle on Tuesday before giving a verdict later in the day.

Story continues below…

In a statement on Friday, the Calais town hall claimed it was acting in response to "abuses" committed by migrants that had led "an aggravated level of tension" in recent weeks.

It said stones and other projectiles were being thrown by residents of the camp at lorries and security forces on a daily basis, but it also condemned far-right groups that hang around outside the Jungle to beat up migrants.

Those being pushed out of the Jungle can go to one of 98 accommodation centres elsewhere in the country, or into refitted containers put up next door to the camp.

The containers have not proved popular with migrants, who say they lack any communal spaces and restrict their movements, and have been criticised by local charities for failing to meet international standards.

Today's headlines
Opinion - French schools
Ten ways France must fix its 'failing' school system
What must France do to fix its school system? Photo: AFP

As pupils head back to the classroom this week, Peter Gumbel, a Paris-based British journalist and author of a best-selling critique of the French school system, spells out for The Local how France must fix a national education system in crisis.

16 things you almost certainly didn't know about France
One of the most famous roundabouts in the land of roundabouts. Photo: Amy Anderson/Flickr

Here are 16 facts from the brand new trivia book "F is for France". Did you know any of them? Be honest now.

Burqini row
Bretons bathe fully clothed as Muslim asked to leave beach
Photo: Screen shot/Ouest France

Protesters in Brittany take to the sea fully clothed after video emerges of a veil-wearing Muslim woman being asked to leave the beach in Nice, despite France's top court ruling burqini-bans are illegal.

American businessman to take over French club Marseille
Photo: AFP

The former owner of Los Angeles Dodgers baseball team is set to become the new owner of troubled French football club Marseille.

Why expats are still happy about life in France
Photo: Dennis Jarvis/FLickr

Despite the fear over the heightened risk of terror attacks, expats are still very much content with the quality of life in France, a new survey has shown. Although there are drawbacks as well as positives.

Calais camp 'to pass 10,000' as UK warned over border
Photos: AFP

The camp's population has more than doubled since June, police say, as French politicians again call for the border deal with the UK to be torn up.

Parisians ignore 1923 ban to take the plunge in waterway
All photos: AFP

IN PICTURES: See Parisians take to the biggest swimming pool in the city.

Paris restaurant owner tells Muslim women to leave
Photo: AFP

Then says sorry after provoking outrage.

British man dies in France after trying to swim Channel
Photo Kondol/ Flickr

A British man's attempt to swim to France ended in tragedy.

French anti-burqini law would create 'irreparable tension'
Photo: AFP

A law banning the controversial burqini swim wear in France would be "unconstitutional" the French interior minister has warned and would create "irreparable tension".

Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Education
French schools to ramp up security with 'mock attacks'
Sponsored Article
5 reasons to try dating in Paris with The Inner Circle
Features
Where to go in France to find the best ice cream
National
Majority in France against burqinis on beaches
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
How to keep cool during France's heatwave
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Society
Parisians invited to swim in the Bassin de la Villette
Society
Five tips for surviving an internship in France
Politics
Déja vu? Familiar faces in France's presidential race
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Meet the man paying off burqini fines in France
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Eight tips on buying wine in a French supermarket
Society
Here's how to enjoy Paris (while avoiding the heat)
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Society
Ten mistakes to avoid when dating a Frenchman
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Society
Twelve 'French' things that aren't actually French at all
'World's priciest home' on sale in French Riviera for €1 billion
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Lifestyle
RECIPE: How to make the tastiest ratatouille
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Paris sees Europe's biggest plunge in 'liveability'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
National
Life on the home front in rural France's 'war on terror'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Features
Weird facts you didn't know about the French language
Society
Paris foodie event cancelled over lack of security
How to tackle six of the trickiest French verbs
National
Summer in France - 'the ideal time to find a job'
National
'Burqini bans will only divide France more'
National
French vineyards revive horse-drawn ploughs
French mayor bans Pokemon Go app from his village
2,751
jobs available