Meanwhile in France ...

Sangatte ! ... (An open center ... to a total blank)

29.Apr.02 - 7 warehouses in one, 2500 m2 which once served to stock the material when Eurotunnel was being built, since 1999 these sheds have been transformed into a Center/Camp, a post modern version of Cyprus camp for the new Exodus of the third millennium!

With no thermic and acoustic isolation, no heating, itsí freezing in winter and like a green- house in summer, even a minimum of privacy is not guaranteed to these 'strangers'. Inside the warehouse are 22 sheds stocked on one top of another, people are regrouped in groups of 30 to 35 by shed or even worse than that people in tents sleeping on 400 iron beds.

Considered by the government not to be a Welcome center for Political refugees (CADA) nor a Provisional Accommodation center and even less a Waiting zone, the Sangatte Camp/Center is run by the French Red Cross financed by the Employment and Solidarity Ministry. 1800 and more Afghans, Kurds, Iranians, Kosovars or Irakiens depending on the country crises, live in the overcrowded place designed to hold 700 people.
Sangatte has become an administrative zone where the only comfort is three meals a day done by some provider of a service which can be obtained after a never ending queue, 14 showers, 14 toilets, a few washing machines, 4 telephone cabins 'out side' and a small T.V.
A refugee remark: In this camp there are so few commodities that very quickly we get to hate being here, the tension gets high between one another. For each meal we have to wait in a queue for two hours before we are served, so two hours multiplied by three makes six hours a day and two more hours if we want to shower or even get some soap, the question is: do we have to eat or wash? We have to choose between one and the other, and then another two hours for a blanket for the night, and late in the night we attack the trains!

As for the medical service assured by three nurses. Doctors are volunteers as well, an insufficient number. There are no teachers for the children. Kids? How many are they in this camp? During 2001 they where 210 children under the age of 15 which where taken out of Sangatte camp and placed in homes more suitable for them. Since the beginning of this year, 85 more children have been treated the same way.

More than 80 000 'potential refugees' have 'passed trough' this place only 12 kilometers from the English coast after traveling three thousand kilometers from a country they left, mainly having recourse to unscrupulous mules. (according to the GISTI association, one Afghan confessed he had tried more than 60 times to cross the Channel during 3 months), at least seven of them have been killed trying the journey and at least 10 anonymous graves are dressed in the Sangatte village which countÖ800 permanent inhabitants! They left their countries for the simple reason to live a better life. They dream to come to the Proud Albion just because they have a family there or friends or maybe because they know that after six months they will have the right to work. But for how long? One thing they do know is the bad treatment they receive thanks to the Schengen agreement and even more the right of asylum which is so often refused by the French government!
A refugee remark: Everybody thinks we are guilty; but about what?

A simple example: In six years, less than 1 million Afghans asked the French government for protection using the Geneva convention. Only 70% got refugee status.
During this time, 4 million Afghans were received by Iran and Pakistan!

They are considered 'Virtual' refugees, because nobody, no association, and no state wishes to inform these 'strangers' of their rights. On the contrary, the International Organization for Migration (OIM), institution in liaison with the U.N.O. as well as the French Office for international migrations (OMI) do their best to 'crush' all respect due to the Human Right laws.

How could we misinterpret the French criminal home ministry position which is part of these two 'factories' and veto the writing of the only one booklet available there, called with great cynicism 'Dignity or Exploitation: the Choice is in your hands', about the smallest eventual possibility concerning a supposed right to asylum? On the other hand in this indecent lampoon with regards to a man seeking a decent life it is very clearly mentioned That England is a land of tears so that, (even to help them to return) they will find a better life in their own countries in spite of wars, persecutions, starvations, political oppression or just misery! Besides it's very clear, since last November, OIM is no more present in the camp: be brave ... run away !!!
A refugee remark: If the French government does not want us to stay here, he just has to let us go through and in ten days there is no more center. They know very well we are here to cross the channel, so why do they keep us staying?

We noticed each time the number of persons here is decreasing, controls are intensified. Finally we think they do not want an empty place. Thy need a constant number of refugees. They must have quotas to observe.
As explained once by the manager 'this center is a no place for non-right people'. Admittedly, France and Europe do not care about their Geneva Convention signatories, thus it is funny during the run-up to election to notice that this place entices the candidates for presidency even for a brief and quick visit there?
A no place? People without right? Thus ...

A new proof about this governmental negation about the human being is the scheduled construction of a new 3000 m2 Detention Center located at Coquelles!
... (A closed centre) ... after the Camp, the Prison they hide what is obvious ... and then emprison to hide!

In fact, every night, dozens and dozens of 'virtual migrants' well alive, run across roads and fields between Sangatte and Calais or Coquelles and converge on the same place either Eurotunnel, or either the port, trying to embark in a train, a truck, a container, leaving for the United Kingdom. In this aim they take the risk of losing everything and are sometimes wounded to death - 12 deaths since the center opening. Then 'France, land of the Human Rights' intervenes ... with its cops who do not hesitate with its brute force which causes many kinds of contusions and injuries even broken limbs, bites and clothes ripping thanks to dogs, toxic gases bombs in the eyes, as well as various humiliations as shoes seizure, fluo-colored bombs on hair (for a better location in the night !) etc...

More than the liberal circulation of goods and money, we should impose the free movement of labor and settlement! We can not silently accept the human rights to be attacked in our name! We Insist about a true asylum policy for Europe! Stop deaths on our borders! Stop deportations and deport the 'deporters' from our palaces! Delete all type of Center anywhere they are! Regularization for all refugees! Regularization for all undocumented people! We insist about free circulation and settling rights for every one!

For all these reasons we call to a Demonstration on Saturday the 4th. of may 2002 at 1500h.

Departure: at the Coquellesí Grande Place (close to Calais)