Monday 26 September 2016

Calais roof protesters removed as Jungle camp clearance continues

Published 01/03/2016 | 10:41

Migrants and activists clear a tent away from a fire in the Calais migrant camp
Migrants and activists clear a tent away from a fire in the Calais migrant camp
Migrants and activists climb on to dwellings at the Jungle camp near Calais (AP)

About two dozen people protesting against the demolition of the sprawling Jungle migrant camp in Calais climbed on to shanty rooftops, briefly stalling the clearance.

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Bulldozer crews ploughed through blustery, damp winds, working around the protesters, who ultimately came down from the buildings. By mid-afternoon, the demolition was proceeding unimpeded.

Earlier in the day, a man and a woman standing together on a rooftop had warned police not to approach. T he woman then cut her wrists as officers moved forward.

Baton-wielding police beat the man and both were removed from the roof. The woman was conscious but her condition was not immediately known.

The slow removal of the encampment in Calais has angered migrants who live there in squalid conditions in the hope of reaching a better life in Britain.

France's government has offered to relocate uprooted migrants into heated containers or to centres around France where they can decide whether to apply for asylum, and officials have blamed activists from the group No Borders for the ongoing unrest.

But many migrants resist French offers of help, afraid of hurting their chances to reach Britain.

The city bordering the Channel has ferry links and the Eurotunnel rail route to Britain, and is temporary home to an estimated 4,000 migrants, down from 6,000 in December.

The camp has become a flashpoint between France and Britain, fuelling far-right support in both countries.

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said: "This operation will continue in coming days, calmly and methodically, providing a place for everyone as the government has committed."

Press Association

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