Stand up to racism, an organisation campaigning for equal human right opportunities for people minority ethnicities have raised concerned at The French authority’s plan to evict as many as 3,000 refugees in the so-called “Jungle” camp near Calais and bulldoze their homes. This inhumane act should be stopped and the refugees allowed into Britain to claim asylum. Stand Up To Racism (SUTR)† will call a demonstration in London if the plan goes ahead.
According to the anti racism group, Stand up to Racism, Activists in the camp say that local authorities are expected to issue a 48-hour eviction notice on Friday that will affect more than half the camp’s population. The short notice period over a weekend—when courts will be shut—will make any kind of legal challenge extremely difficult.
Clare Moseley, of the British volunteers’ group Care4Calais*, writes, “While the Jungle has many faults and issues, at this point in time it is all we have.
“Over the last six months UK citizens have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds and hundreds of thousands of hours building shelters, schools and community centres, setting up medical facilities, community welfare and art services. If the eviction goes ahead all this will be destroyed and this incredible investment will wasted.”
Yet she points out that destroying the refugees’ homes will not achieve anything, “Refugees will still come to Calais—their living conditions will just be so much more inhumane.”
Clare has been in Calais helping refugees since she joined a Stand Up to Racism solidarity trip taking clothes and food to the refugees last summer.
Weyman Bennett, co chair of SUTR, said, “Bulldozing the tents is bulldozing human rights. Seventy years ago we stood in solidarity with Jewish refugees trying to escape Nazi Germany.
“The situation is different now, but it’s terrible that in the 21st century governments are treating people like animals.
“What’s driving this is racism and Islamophobia and it is coming from the highest levels. The British government and David Cameron have spent more money on razor wire than helping these refugees. “
The actions of the French authorities help Cameron in his European “crisis” as he looks toconvince supporters that it is possible to stay in the EU and be hostile to migrants.
Sabby Dhalu, SUTR’s other co-chair, said, “The real solution is to allow refugees in the camps to seek asylum in Britain and to lead a normal human life.
“The British government’s refusal to allow them in is totally unacceptable given that there are only a few thousand refugees in Calais and Dunkirk. A poorer country like Lebanon—the size of Cornwall—has taken 1.5 million refugees, equivalent to a quarter of its population.
“The argument that Britain does not have the resources to cope is false. Studies show that immigrants contribute massively more than they take from the state. We call on the British government to immediately allow the Calais and Dunkirk refugees to seek asylum in Britain and urge people to join our national protest on Saturday 19th March and say refugees are welcome here.”
Stand up to Racism organised a highly successful protest in support of refugees last summer when 50,000 people marched through London on 12 September last year. Jeremy Corbyn spoke at the rally as his first act as leader of the Labour Party.
Stand Up to Racism campaigns against all forms of racism and for refugee rights. SUTR organises the annual United Nations Anti-Racism day demonstration in March. It organised the 50,000-strong protest in support of refugees on 12th September 2015.