As liberal news outlets congratulate France for welcoming one solitary Chechen refugee into the country, this is the reality of how France can really treat those fleeing persecution and war. At lunchtime in Calais, June 2017, hundreds of people are getting illegally denied access to food and water by the Police Nationale, the Gendarmerie and the UK-funded CRS. Continue reading
Three months ago (give or take a few days) I arrived in Calais for a week with no idea what to expect. I could not have predicted the effect it was going to have on my life, and that three months on I would still be here with no plans to leave anytime soon.
We rolled into our evening distribution point in Calais with the sun blazing over the field. As the Daily Mail so lovingly complimented us last week (forgive me if I don’t link to the article), the “party atmosphere” was in full swing. Small fires burning peacefully, a generator blasting music and a perfectly synchronised group of Afghan men dancing in a circle – a really, really beautiful moment. A queue formed slowly as we began serving our usual rice, curry and salad, stretching back to over 100 people with more waiting around the field. The eye of the storm. Continue reading