n short, there is
a huge building being besieged (alongside other occupied buildings), and
we are calling for support inside and outside, now and for the days to
come. Attached are images from the roof of the building, and the two
previous statements. Following is the most recent statement.
Statement – We will not let ourselves be taken away!
Since Friday 4 February, we have been occupying a building in Rue
d’Ajaccio, which has been uninhabited for a year. This occupation took
place within the framework of the commemoraction, an international day
of mobilization initiated by the families and relatives of people who
have died at the border, to denounce the murderous migration policies of
the UK, France and the EU.
In Calais, about 1500 people are living on the streets in unacceptable
living conditions. Displaced people occupy wastelands and have no access
to basic services: housing, sanitation, water, food and medical care.
The state imposes conditions of extreme precariousness and invisibility
through illegal evictions every 48 hours, the theft of personal
belongings by the police, the illegal dismantling of living sites
without the possibility of defense in front of a judge, and recurrent
police violence. The French and British governments, alongside Natacha
Bouchard and all their other friends, have deliberately turned a
political issue into a humanitarian crisis, keeping people who want to
cross the border in a context of survival.
But displaced people are not the only ones experiencing precariousness
and lack of access to housing in the Calais region. The entire housing
estate which the building is part of is due to be evicted and then
destroyed. While some people, including those in the building we
occupied, have already been evicted, others are still opposing their
eviction in the absence of any alternative proposals from the town hall.
It is in this context that, when the first police officers arrived on
Monday 7th, many residents came to show their support for the
occupation. We were thus able to express our refusal of the discourse of
war between the poor. French or foreign, with or without papers, a roof
is a right. Moreover, the police refused, on several occasions, to see
the evidence of occupation.
Since 2pm today, a disproportionate police presence has surrounded the
building. The police are not allowing anyone to enter, nor are they
allowing food, water or equipment to be provided.
We restate our demands: we demand an end to all evictions in Calais. We
demand an end to the harassment of people blocked at the border by the
police. We demand the regularisation of all squats in the city. Finally,
we demand the immediate requisition of all empty buildings in Calais,
and that sustainable solutions be provided to all inhabitants, whatever
their administrative status or vulnerability.
Until our demands are met, we will not leave these premises. We refuse
to be intimidated by this police pressure and remind you that the time
limit for ‘délit de flagrance’ is over: there can be no eviction without
an enforceable court decision. We will not let ourselves be taken away!
We call on everyone who is in solidarity with the people on the street
and those blocked at the border, and on everyone who believes in the
right to housing to come and help us defend the buildings we occupy!