Monday, 24 October 2016

Calais diary, Oct 13 - The official date

And so the official date has finally been given: On Oct 24 the Jungle* will be demolished, the people evicted. They fly their helicopters over us all the time, and the other day everybody who wanted to enter the Jungle had to show ID to them. They collected them, went into their police van and spoke on the phone a lot, and after quite a while had passed, they finally came out, called our names one by one so that we could have our IDs back and carry on. Though I managed to sneak past this ID check and got in anyway... They weren't too attentive...

The ID controls, the helicopters and all the rumors I could handle, but the official date has brought me down. I'm sad and hopeless. I know they're not bluffing now, since they have already demolished the Jungle twice before... Both times it rose again, right next to where it had been. What will happen this time? Because there is no plan! There is no alternative! Of course there problem is not that people are so very keen on living in wet tents in the rainy, windy, 0 degrees winter of Calais, that they do so, despite it being forbidden! The problem is that they can't get asylum anywhere, and therefore have to choose between a tent winter in Calais and something worse!... Their only hope of something better is to make it to the UK and live there illegally. Many even have the legal right to permanent residency in the UK, but don't receive their papers. Some have been granted asylum in France but lost their papers, or they were destroyed in the Jungle, and incredibly they had to start over!... Despite the authorities of course having taken their finger prints to be able to identify them, when they applied for asylum.
Hey, stop this! If you have a wound and think that's bothersome, don't try and rid yourself of it by knives, corrosive acid and force! Take care of it instead, and let it heal! Which it has the capacity within it to do, by itself, with only perhaps a bit of help with hygiene right in the beginning. Force, on the other hand, only makes damage worse!

*The Jungle = The informal settlement in Calais where thousands of refugees live in tents and home made shelters, many after having tried to go to the UK but failed

(To be continued)

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