• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3
Calais migrants crisis
Migrants and police clash at Calais camp demolition
A riot police officer throws a tear gas cannister. All Photos: AFP

Migrants and police clash at Calais camp demolition

The Local · 29 Feb 2016, 17:28

Published: 29 Feb 2016 11:45 GMT+01:00
Updated: 29 Feb 2016 17:28 GMT+01:00

Police lobbed tear gas cannisters at migrants who protested as two bulldozers and around 20 workers moved in to start pulling down the shacks, some of which were set ablaze.
   
At least one migrant and one member of the British "No Borders" activist group were arrested as dozens of riot police were deployed to deal with protesters.
   
The demolition of the southern half of the camp began after a court petition by charities to stop it was rejected last week.
 
   
"We didn't think that it would happen with so many police. It's infinitely sad to see the waste of so much work that we've done in the past months," said Maya Konforti of the Auberge des Migrants charity.
  
Volunteers and aid workers have spent months trying to improve conditions in the camp, built on a former toxic waste dump on the outskirts of Calais.
   
"These people want to reach Britain and won't leave. They will end up in even more hardship, particularly in winter," Konforti said.
Story continues below…

Images (below) from the camp showed workers pulling down the makeshift huts under the close watch of police.

(Photos: AFP)

"We are carrying out our orders so that the migrants leave the camp and we will continue this work this morning... so that the destruction work can continue calmly and that the migrants are not under pressure from the No Borders activists," said local authority head Fabienne Buccio.

 

Buccio said three-quarters of the shacks in the southern half of the camp were now empty after migrants were encouraged to leave in recent days.

Those organizations claim that French authorities have vastly underestimated the numbers of refugees and migrants living in the southern part of the camp and the alternative options lined up for those evicted are insufficient.

While local government chiefs say around 1,000 migrants will be affected by the clearing of part of the camp, groups like Medecins sans Frontieres have told The Local the figure is closer to 3,000.

The migrants and refugees have been given two official options by authorities - either move to an authorized part of the camp where places are still available or be moved to one of the 102 "welcome centres" around France.

However aid groups believe migrants, who are determined to reach the UK, are more likely to opt for a third option which will be to simply set up camp elsewhere in the northern port town.

"Around 500 to 1,000 migrants will just disappear because there is nowhere for them to go," Michel Janssens from the charity Medecins sans Frontieres told The Local last week.

"It's not human to do that. We are not fighting for them to keep the camp but for the occupants to be given adequate and humane lodging," Janssens added.

"All this will do is see hundreds end up living in clandestine camps."

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
French towns divided over whether to take Calais migrants
Photo: AFP

Towns across France are arguing over whether to take in migrants soon to be evacuated from the Calais "jungle" camp.

Dos and don'ts to help you cope with writing in French

Writing emails in French is a whole new challenge that requires a whole new set of tips.

French writing phrases you can't get your head around
Photo: Ray Sadler/Flickr

Cher readers... Hope this helps. Cordialement, The Local

Paris banking district stages France's latest mock attack
Photo: AFP

The La Defense business district in Paris was the scene of the latest mock terror attack last night, as French authorities continue to take no chances.

French cows die after eating all winter stock in one night
File photo: AFP

Half a herd of cows ate themselves to death on cereals.

Grape thieves pilfer what's left of Burgundy wine harvests
Photo: AFP

Fed up with seeing thieves pilfer their precious grapes, vineyard owners in the famous region of Burgundy are taking extreme measures for the first time.

France to clamp down on rip-off home repair workers
All photos: AFP

Ever feel you've been ripped off by a plumber, electrician, or locksmith in France?

'Rogues' go on trial for ripping shirts of Air France bosses
Photo: AFP

A court in France will decide whether ripping the shirt off your boss's back is all part and parcel of a French labour dispute.

Hollande dealt major blow as jobless rate shoots up
Photo: AFP

The news could dissuade President François Hollande from even running for re-election.

Aussie TV show accused of staging French burkini row
Photo: Channel 7 screengrab

Was an Australian TV report about France's burkini ban a set up to portray the French as "anti-Muslim"?

Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Culture
The crazy French writing phrases you can't get your head around
Features
Room for improvement: Paris's matchbox apartments
'Stop telling immigrants to be French and help it happen'
Society
Take the test: How far have you assimilated into French culture?
Lifestyle
Eleven things you should know before moving to Paris
National
France's Marion Cotillard rebuffs rumours of fling with Brad Pitt
National
Eight arrested over links to Nice truck attacker
Features
Why everyone should party in a French chateau at least once
Travel
The Frenchman who hated 'Nazi-Zealand' after four-day hitch-hike fail
Culture
What's on: Ten exciting events across France in September
The 45-million year old underground shells that flavour Champagne
Features
French job speak: All the terms you need to know
'Resilient' Paris now a more appealing city than New York
National
France says it's OK to warn drivers about speed cameras
Meet Honorine, 113, the oldest person in France
Education
Grenoble named France's best city to be a student
Society
New Metro map reveals cheapest pints of beer in Paris
Business & Money
How reliant is the French economy on Paris?
Society
Here's why Parisians want to move to Bordeaux
And the 'best place to spend a weekend in Europe' is… Lyon
Analysis & Opinion
'Muslims in France must be considered ordinary citizens'
Armed guards to ride French trains from October
National
France among Europe's priciest for train travel
2,725
jobs available