French police used tear gas to send the migrants away after setting fire to tents and throwing stones. It is the migrants’ response to the demolition teams and the bulldozers that went yesterday into the Calais camp. The clashes happened when the officials tried to get rid of their shacks, following a court order to evict them from the southern portion of the squalid camp.
There were about 150 to 200 migrants who were throwing stones at the riot police, who also deployed a water cannon. A British woman from the activist group No Borders was arrested before the start of the demolition and was accused of motivating the migrants to attack the French police in the said area.
French police arrived at the camp around dawn to inform the migrants in the southern portion that they need to move out immediately or they will be arrested. A 14-year old migrant from Afghanistan named Salahudin recalled how the police fired tear gas on his what he calls his home while some migrants had their temporary homes set on fire as a sign of protest at the eviction, The Guardian reported.
According to the French government, the eviction of 1,000 migrants was a humanitarian operation, and accommodation in containers which were previously installed in migrant centers, or nearby, are being given. However, a lot of migrants are hesitant to move, since they are aware that taking the containers would mean having to be fingerprinted. They have become desperate since the French police and the British border forces have reinforced the border controls in Calais.
French police’ demolition job of the Jungle camp will be part of the meeting between David Cameron and French president Francois Hollande on Thursday. Britain has been pressuring France to stop the increasing number of migrants who are going across the Channel, and has also funded the increased the security measures around the tunnel and ports in Calais, NZ Herald reported.