The dates are out, the eviction is to start on the 17th of this month. The Calais jungle is to be permanently evicted. The figures that both sides give are massive in their differences. The official line is there are 6,000 refugees, but at the last census carried out showed over 10,000. The Official line is they have placements for everyone in the camp, holding centres and reception centres, but we all know that this isn’t enough places and we know it takes months for people to be processed. The Official line is there is only 400 lone children in the camp, the reality is there is over 1,000 and 387 of those have proven family in the UK. There are no provisions in place for any of these young vulnerables and if the last eviction is anything to go by were we lost 129 children we will only see this again if not in bigger numbers. The official line is they don’t give a shit about these children.
I have tried to work out why I haven’t been doing my usual ranting about this eviction and I have come to the conclusion I didn’t really believe they would go ahead with it. And I really don’t know what to say. But as the day draws nearer and meetings are being held and contingency plans are being put in place by the volunteers for every eventuality I am starting to feel sick with the realisation we are living in a fascist mind-set that has no humanity at it’s disposal.
The daunting reality can no longer being ignored in just over a week thousands of refugees will once again be displaced, abused and will loose any resemblance of normality they have been able to establish through routines and familiar faces.
“What will they do? ” people keep on asking me. What do you do when your soul is broken and your will is being chipped away bit by bit. When those that are rich enough to build a longer table and feed you all prefer to spend the money on a wall and build it higher. What are they going to do? They are thousands of individual people trying to find a glimmer of hope, to settle down and have a chance at life, to be able to go to school, nip to the shop, to gossip with their neighbours, celebrate births and birthdays.
After the last eviction the grief I felt was crippling and I didn’t go back on to camp for a long time, friends and faces were gone, just gone. If that is how I feel imagine how the residents of the jungle must feel ? but that’s just it I can’t imagine it. As I prepare to leave to go to Calais I know that whatever happens we will be there and I know all the amazing volunteers will try and do the best they can for the residents and give every last ounce. But when we face thousands of CRS, tear gas and machinery the capitalist machine shows itself in all it’s raw greed. They must clear the blot on the landscape and build a holiday resort and a theme park called Heroic Land. Apart from the volunteers I can’t see anything heroic going on here at all.
What can we do ?
There are plenty of sites on FB with plans, what’s needed, drop off points, collection points etc. In the Refugee community Kitchen it will be business as usual and food will be cooked and distribution points will be set up around the area and continue in the camp. If I were to ask you to do anything it would be to get to Calais and show your support in numbers and show some humanity. That’s what I will be doing, I want history to show that we didn’t all turn our back.