(English) The “Dignified” Destruction of Calais Refugee “Jungle”
The “Dignified” Destruction of Calais Refugee “Jungle”
22/09/2009: At 8am in the morning some 600 CRS riot police moved on the Calais refugee “Jungle”, under the orders of French immigration minister Eric Besson, to destroy the camp and arrest all the remaining refugees.
The camp usually held up to 1500 people, but many had fled and gone underground, leaving 300 refugees, nearly half of those were children.
Besson announced the operation would be “dignified”, but this footage reveals a very different picture, as children as young as 11-years were dragged away and seperated from the only parental figures they had known since fleeing their country.
The camp was cleared in nearly 15 minutes. All refugees were put on buses and taken away to the nearby detention centre in Coquelles to be processed. Then bulldozers and men with chainsaws entered the camp to start the dismantling process.
At 1pm Besson arrived to view his success and paraded around the flattened camp with the international media circus he so desperately needed to publicise his poltical triumph, just as Nicolas Sarkozy (then immigration minister) had done during the Sangatte camp closure in 2002.