February 29, 2016
Today the French government began its threatened eviction of 3,500 people living in the south half of the Calais Jungle. They came in hard with 50 vans of CRS riot police, water cannon and tear gas, followed by a demolition crew with crowbars and bulldozers. By the end of the day, just a small part of the south zone was cleared, but the police will hope that this display of brute force convinces others to leave “voluntarily”. They are expected to be back tomorrow to continue the eviction, which may last for weeks.
Will we just sit by and watch? Today people of the jungle braved the brutal force of the French state. Some occupied the rooftops of shacks, or fought back with stones against tear gas, rubber bullets, and truncheons. The least we can do is make a show of solidarity here in London, to show the people of the Jungle that they are not alone, and the French government that its brutality will not go unnoticed or unanswered.
We call for a demonstration tomorrow evening 7.30PM at the Institut Français, 17 Queensberry Place, London SW7 2DT. Near the Science and Natural History museums, South Kensington tube.
The Institut Français is the “shop window” of the French government in London, where it showcases French cinema, cuisine, culture and business. It is open in the evenings with a bistro, films and other events held every night. We propose bringing banners, signs and messages to show that our thoughts are with the people of the jungle; and that the French government cannot get away with painting an image of “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité” whilst sending in the CRS to destroy people’s homes and lives.
Please spread far and wide.