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Published:June 29th, 2009 09:32 EST
Noborder Camp in Calais

Noborder Camp in Calais

By Medyan Dairieh

A  transnational Noborder Camp in Calais, France, has been held from 23-29th of June 2009. It has been organised by different groups from France and the UK included the UK NoBorders Network.

A transnational demonstration in support of  freedom of movement has taken place on Saturday 27th of June in Calais.

The demonstration today has been organised  to protest  against  the tight border controls, to show solidarity with all migrants and to call for an end to the system that denies support and dignity to people who flee from violence. It also call for a halt in the  to criminalizing the whole migration process. Some organizations present in the camp support the elimination of borders.

The camp and the protest aim at highlighting the situation of migrants  in Calais. In Calais there are around 800-1000 migrants at any one time that are trying to cross the Channel, in a desperate attempt to reach the UK and claim asylum. Since the closing down of the centre in Sangatte/Calais, migrants are forced to sleep rough in the woods around the harbour, constantly  harassed from the police, and often finally sent back to Paris where they are forced to sleep rough just because they do not have the right papers, or in many cases no papers at all " they are `sans-papier`. Migrants in Calais are as young as thirteen years old, and come from places such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Northern Africa.

The camp consisted in around a 1000 people, activists, migrants, and even some local people sharing concern for the migrants and  with the escalating humanitarian situation. People in the camp have been distributing food to local migrants, as well as protecting  migrants against police eviction and harassment. People in the camp witnessed extensive police harassment of both migrants and activists. Many local people has been positive and supportive of the camp, helping with its construction and joining in with migrants and activists.