Clashes as France clears Calais “jungle”
Clashes broke out as demolition teams dismantled huts in part of a migrant camp known as the Jungle in the French port of Calais.
Riot police fired tear gas after migrants began throwing boulders inside the camp. At least 12 shacks were set ablaze, reports say.
The demolition teams appeared to leave inhabited huts intact as they move through the camp’s southern sector.
The government plans to relocate migrants to reception centres.
Those living in the camp, mainly from the Middle East, Afghanistan and Africa, hope to cross the Channel, often using people traffickers to try to enter illegally.
Hidden by the cover of darkness, groups of migrants tried to access trucks on the motorway heading towards the port of Calais. Riot police fired tear gas, forcing them back.
On Monday the demolition squads moved through the Jungle. They were met by some resistance. A few migrants and protesters threw rocks in an effort to delay their eviction.
Little remains of the sprawling southern section of the settlement now.
The government is trying to encourage people to relocate to official accommodation provided inside converted shipping containers nearby. But most have refused the offer, fearing they’ll be forced to claim asylum in France.
It’s still unclear where the hundreds who’ve been evicted will go now.
They fear the changes mean they will be forced to give their fingerprints and claim asylum in France, dashing their dreams of reaching the UK.
The authorities believe some 1,000 migrants will be affected by the eviction plan while aid agencies say the number of people living there is much higher.
Clashes continued on Monday evening as groups of migrants fanned out across scrubland towards the motorway heading to the port of Calais, reports the BBC’s Anna Holligan at the camp.
French media say about 150 people, some wielding iron bars, climbed onto the road to block vehicles.
Riot police pushed them back into the camp. Earlier water cannon were also used to extinguish a fire in the shacks at the camp.
About 100 homes were dismantled on Monday, with demolition teams expected to return the next morning, our correspondent says.
At least four people, including activists from the UK-based No Borders group, were arrested during the unrest, police say.
By the early evening police had taken back control of the port road, which remained strewn with debris.
Three members of No Borders and one migrant were arrested, according to local government officials.
The demolition of the southern half of the camp began after a court petition by charities to stop it was rejected last week.
“It’s infinitely sad to see the waste of so much work that we’ve done in the past months,” said Maya Konforti of the Auberge des Migrants (Migrants’ Hostel) charity.
Volunteers and aid workers have spent months trying to improve conditions in the camp, built on a former toxic waste dump on the outskirts of Calais.
the second day of operations today..
“About 100 homes were dismantled on Monday, with demolition teams expected to return the next morning, our correspondent says.”
schengen breaking down totally in some countries..the greece and macedonian border is another hot spot..
the No Borders group warrants some investigating..pushing the union dream..