This week brought some much-needed good news.RCK and various other organisations operating in the Calais area have won an appeal to continue with a legal and extremely important static food distribution service. A few weeks ago, the mayor of Calais banned the mobile distribution of food to people living in and around Calais city centre and the former site of the jungle, in what was not only a violation of France’s constitution and a normalisation of far-right rhetoric, but also a death sentence for the hundreds of young men, women and children still living in the area. RCK have been at the frontline challenging this ban, and have operated static food distributions each evening since Monday 13th March in an area on the perimeter of places affected by the ban. This evening hot food service has drawn crowds of up to 150 people each evening, and has drawn media and police attention alike.
The police and CRS cannot do anything to stop our efforts, but nonetheless they make their presence felt. On Thursday evening they showed up en masse, demanding papers and filming the situation. It remained peaceful, but it was an absurd situation with everybody filming each other and just waiting for somebody to put a foot out of line. Thankfully, they eventually went away and we were able to continue to feed people who don’t want to be seen on camera as it could hinder their asylum processes.
In the meantime, I was also filmed via Facebook Live for Calais Action trying my best to explain what RCK are doing. Being a live presenter is not my calling, it seems, but do take a look because there is some good information once I eventually get my words in place. (In my defence, I was given about 3 seconds warning)!
In other news, I’m becoming increasingly concerned about the welfare of a 16 year old kid who I have mentioned in previous blogs. I haven’t seen him in a week or so, and reports of yet another teenager’s death having fallen from a lorry have been circulating around camp this week. The best case scenario is that he has made it to the UK and is beginning the reunification process with his family. The worst case scenario doesn’t bear thinking about yet. I hope to have better news on that front soon.
A huge congratulations, however, are in order for ‘Z’ who finally made it to the UK this week. Thanks for brightening up our days, enjoy your shisha in London and the best of luck for the lengthy process ahead.
Happy 60th Anniversary to the EU, it’s been a pleasure being a part of you. See you all on the flipside of Article 50 invocation. I’m sure the news will be a joy all week.