Rally Takes Place Today
Google translate of an article in La Voix du Nord
Through this “pacifist” march in the city centre, citizens, volunteers and activists from Calais and elsewhere intend to carry the message of Anaïs Vogel and Ludovic Holbein of the collective “Faim aux frontières”. They decided, 31 days ago (this Wednesday), to start a hunger strike to raise awareness of the plight of migrants in Calais and to challenge the President of the Republic.
From the start, their demands, “elementary” and “human”, they insist, have been the same. They demand an end to the expulsion of migrants during the winter truce (from 1 November to 31 March). They want an end to the degradation and confiscation of their personal effects. And they seek the opening of a dialogue between authorities and associations, so that they can distribute basic necessities to the places where exiled people live.
For the demonstration, banners and messages of humanity are being created by citizens and exiles of Calais.
Not a Word From Macron
To date, the militant couple, who again petitioned Emmanuel Macron in an open letter in early November, have still not received a response from the Head of State.
“How many more days of strike will be necessary before our demands are satisfied? What would make it possible to put an end to the mistreatment suffered daily by people exiled on the Franco-British border?” the two strikers ask.
“Not answering us is a mark of disrespect. I would prefer him to take responsibility for his choice,” laments Ludovic Holbein.
A mediator, sent by the state (again this Wednesday) to Calais, came to meet them on several occasions, to meet up with the associations. With the announcement last week of the opening of an exclusion zone in the Dunes, of systematic offers of protection… but which do not meet their demands, according to the activists.
“Nothing has changed. The harassment continues with evictions every three days to displace people and their tents who return so quickly. We are in a state of total absurdity,” proclaims activist Louise Druelle indignantly.
She also denounces “the stopping of food distributions by Active Life on the rue du Beau-Marais” near a camp, where last week migrants and volunteers had prevented gendarmes, police and CRS [riot police] from proceeding with the evacuation of the camp.
At the same time as this action, associations involved in helping exiled people and defending human rights are considering “requesting a meeting” with the President of the Republic. To date the online petition has gathered over 52,000 signatures.