From daily The Independent in Britain, 7 September 2014:
[British] Ministers have approved giving Calais the 9ft-high “Ring of Steel” security fence that had been used at the Nato Summit, to help tackle the issue of migrants seeking to illegally board ferries and trucks bound for the UK. …
Two impenetrable steel walls were constructed to provide security at the convergence of world leaders at the two-day Nato Summit this week.
There was one around the Celtic Manor venue in Newport and another 12-mile-long one around Cardiff City Centre, which was disassembled at 4am this morning.
Dubbed the “Ring of Steel”, the imposing barrier was brought in to help mitigate the threat of a terrorist attack, with one member of the public mockingly renaming the Nato Summit “Stalag Luft 12”, reports Wales Online, in reference to the high security Nazi Germany prisoner-of-war camps. …
Tim Finch, the Director of Migration at the Institute for Public Policy Research, told The Independent that the problem of migrants in Calais is “essentially irresolvable”.
Britain has “no alternative but to keep them out”, he said, though some of them may die in the process”.
The Institute for Public Policy Research is called a “progressive thinktank” on Wikipedia. The whole Wikipedia article shows the IPPR is rather ‘Blairite‘, ‘new’ Labour, so not really progressive. If, instead of Tim Finch, an aide to Russia’s Putin, Syria’s Assad, Cuba’s Raul Castro, or some other politician whom NATO countries’ establishments hate for various reasons, would so callously dismiss the value of human lives of refugees from wars, Tony Blair’s wars, NATO’s wars, then corporate media in all NATO countries would furiously demand ‘humanitarian’ invasion right now of the country of the person who spoke this inhuman sentence.
The British government’s gift of the NATO ‘Stalag Luft 12’ fence comes after blackmail by the Rightist mayor of Calais.
By Stéphane Hugues in France:
France: Calais mayor demands crackdown on migrants, threatens to block port
6 September 2014
Calais mayor Natacha Bouchart of France’s right-wing Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) has threatened Britain that she will blockade Calais harbor unless the government in London helps fund Calais’ repression of immigrants trapped in the city trying to reach Britain. Bouchart’s threat means blocking the passage of thousands of cars and trucks that cross the English Channel to Britain every day.
Bouchart issued this threat after 100 refugees in desperation tried to outrun the police and board a P&O ferry in the port bound for Britain earlier this week. The ferry staff raised the ship’s ramps and walkways and turned their fire hoses onto the refugees.
“I could take the decision to block the port…I could bring pressure to bear. It would be illegal but today I want to make a strong gesture towards the British,” Bouchart told reporters in Paris after meeting French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.
She said she did not discuss her proposal with Cazeneuve, “but I told him that I hoped he would have some strong negotiations with the British.” In blocking the port, Bouchart is trying to use the situation to squeeze money out of the British government. She claims that Calais currently pays out 10 million Euros a year in “Security charges” for policing the refugees.
Bouchart’s outburst and avowedly illegal threats are part of decades of mounting persecution by European authorities of immigrants trying to travel across Europe to Britain. There are 1,500 or more refugees in Calais and its suburbs trying to reach Britain. Most are fleeing from famine or imperialist wars in their own countries, which include Syria, Afghanistan, Eritrea, and Somalia. They are forced to sleep in the open air with no covers.
Refugee support groups try to help them by distributing food, but the refugees have been reduced to conditions even more brutal than the homeless. Before, they were able to build shantytowns on unused ground. Now, these dwellings are systematically destroyed.
Until 2002, the refugees were housed in a Red Cross refugee centre in Sangatte, near Calais. The then Interior Minister, Nicolas Sarkozy, shut the camp and forced the refugees to find refuge wherever they could in the Calais area.
THE mayor of Calais reacted with scorn today to an offer from the British government of 12 miles of security fencing to help keep out illegal immigrants: here.
The violent suppression Tuesday of a strike by sailors of the MyFerryLink company in Calais by riot police was followed with more police attacks against the 3,000 migrants detained in a camp in Calais as they try to evade law enforcement and reach the UK. Tuesday’s events stoked tensions between British and French authorities: here.
Britain’s Conservative government and the media have responded with undisguised xenophobia to attempts by migrants at the French port of Calais to enter the UK via the Channel Tunnel. The desperate efforts of migrants to enter Britain led to the death Tuesday night of a Sudanese man who was hit by a truck leaving a cross-channel ferry. A spokesman for Eurotunnel, which runs the Channel crossing, said Wednesday, “Our team found a corpse this morning and the firefighters have confirmed the death of this person”: here.
DAVID Cameron faced a furious backlash yesterday after blaming the Calais crisis on a “swarm” of desperate migrants crossing the Med to escape death and persecution. Critics said the Prime Minister sounded shamefully like right-wing Sun columnist Katie Hopkins, who in April described fleeing migrants as “cockroaches”: here.