Coming soon to a quaint French village near you: Calais ‘Jungle’ refugees
Violence has broken out between migrants and the police at the giant 'jungle' camp in the French town of Calais ahead its demolition.
The site was home to up to 10,000 migrants and has been taking in up to 80 new refugees a day.
Thousands of French people across the country are protesting the government's plan to relocate the immigrants. Locals are angry over a decision to build refugee shelters in their towns.
RT: Why do you think some French residents strongly oppose Hollande's plan to relocate refugees around France?
Patricia Chagnon: There are a couple of reasons why French people are opposed against relocating the refugees around France. France has about eight million poor people who are in desperate need of the government aid and we have three million people waiting for a decent place to live in France. So they think why can [the government] find room all of a sudden for these migrants when they cannot even look after their own people. The second reason has to do with security. As we all know the majority of the migrants are single men and the French people know what has happened in Cologne and what happened around other migrant camps: lots of violence against women, sexual assault, rape and even murder. So, they are very worried about this. But the third reason is probably the most important. And it has to do with the way the socialist government has organized this. They have not consulted at all with the local population; they had not talked at all with the local politicians to see how and under what conditions it would be possible to organize this. They have simply imposed these migrants all over France. And we don’t even know where. There is a great uncertainty today in France. We don’t know exactly where the migrants are going to go. So, many places are going to see migrants arriving with the population having no idea that they are actually coming to their towns.
"The project of the mainstream political party is to transform French society into a multicultural society and France is not a multicultural society. When you have multiculturalism, it is always a fight and wars. It is a political project; that is why you have demonstrations in the small villages against the coming of the migrants." - Claude Rochet, professor at the Institute of Public Management.
RT: Do you think Hollande's plan will work?
PC: It is a wishful thinking, but of people who have definitely not learned lessons of the past. Remember, that in 2002 Mr.Sarkozy dismantled Sangatte. Remember we had a huge refugee camp in Calais that grew after the Kosovo crisis and in 2002 Mr. Sarkozy decided to dismantle this camp. And the result was that the migrants at that time spread all through the north of France because they still wanted to go to the UK. It doesn’t solve the problem just to get rid of the camp when the people are still there. I think this will definitely not solve the problem because the migrants that are actually being taken out of the ‘Jungle’ in Calais today, the vast majority are determined to go to the UK. So, they are going to be dispatched now all through France, but they are still going to try to get to the UK, that’s why they came here first of all.
And the reason why this will not solve the problem is because the borders of France are still open to this vast number of migrants coming in. There is no change in the policy of migrants coming to French territory, which they are going to continue doing because they want to go to the UK. Our solution for this has been very clear, and we’ve been saying this for years. We believe that we should be having humanitarian zones around the war areas where these people are coming from and we should be building hospitals, schools and accommodation there to keep these people near to the places where they live and treat their demands for political asylum from there. But once we let them all come and keep coming into Europe and into France, this problem will not stop. There are many hundreds of thousands and maybe millions of people more under stress in Africa who are trying to come to Europe.
RT: Do you expect an escalation of violence in the camp?
PC: The photos and film shots that were taken in Calais are absolutely terrifying. It looks like civil war. We must realize that less than 10 percent of the people in the ‘Jungle’ of Calais are actually voluntarily departing today. So, that means the vast majority does not want to leave. We also know that around 200 no-border activists have gone into the migrant camp and are there to resist the dismantling of the camp. It is an explosive and extremely dangerous situation. We hope there will be no violence and we could be very afraid of our police forces who are there trying to control this.
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