Posted on Leave a comment

Communiqué from Calais Housing for all – Statement: We will not let ourselves be taken away![Calais, France]

Calais. France. Two statements on the occupations and repression in the past days in Calais.

Communiqué from Calais Housing for all

Squat Net.

Housing is a right, even in Calais.

We are a group of people from different countries fighting for everyone’s right to dignified and safe housing. We are currently occupying, for over 48 hours, some of the many buildings in the city of Calais that sit empty and wasted while people sleep on the streets.

We occupy these spaces hoping to break the vicious cycle of state and police violence and dehumanisation that continues in Calais and across the world to enforce national borders. We aim to create an open space free from state violence and discrimination, where someone’s administrative status has no impact on their ability to have their basic needs met, experience solidarity, and live in dignity.

In Calais around 1500 people live on the streets in unacceptable living conditions. Displaced people occupy vacant lots and have limited access to basic needs: accommodation, sanitation, water, food and medical care. The State enforces conditions of extreme precariousness and invisibilisation through illegal evictions every 48 hours, theft of personal effects by the police, illegal dismantling without the possibility of defending themselves before a judge, recurrent police violence. French and British governments, Natacha Bouchard and all their puppets, have deliberately turned a political question into an humanitarian crisis, maintaining people who want to cross the border in a situation of survival.

In addition, the work of associations is systematically hampered by the State: regular identity checks and searches of vehicles, intimidations, large stones blocking access to distribution points, as well as prefectural and municipal decrees prohibiting the distribution of foodstuffs. The work of the people standing in solidarity at the border is put under so much pressure that the struggle for housing is sidelined.

We recall that housing is a fundamental right and that there can be no evictions of the spaces we inhabit without an enforceable court decision and that an eviction is not part of the investigative acts provided for in the flagrance framework. We demand the end of all evictions in Calais, in particular evictions in the context of flagrance and the dismantling of places of life by forced so-called “Mises a l’Abri”. We demand the regularisation of all the squats in the city. We demand an end to the harassment of people stuck at the border, as well as the people who support them, by the police. Finally, we demand the immediate requisition of all empty buildings in Calais and that concerted and lasting solutions be offered to all inhabitants, regardless of their administrative status or their vulnerability.

We ask every person that stands in solidarity with people living in the streets and people who are stuck at the border, every person that believes in right to housing, to come and help us defend the buildings we are occupying!

The occupiers
calaislogementpourtoustes [at] riseup [dot] net



Statement – We will not let ourselves be taken away!

Abolish Frontex.

This is a repost of a statement by the inhabitants of the building in Rue d’Ajaccio in Calais. Abolish Frontex stands in solidarity with the inhabitants and supports their demands.

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!

The inhabitants

Video: Police seige of squatted housing bloc in Fort Neuilly Calais

Footage shows strong support by neighbours “les voisins” for squatters and chanting “we all hate the police”. CS gas fired into crowds including kids at 8.22 minutes.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.