LEWISHAM STOP THE WAR COALITION
Statement from l’Auberge des Migrant, to be Read at our Solidarity Beach Event 16 October 2016
Thank you so much for being here tonight and wanting to support the refugees who are in Calais.
Even though the destruction of what we know as 'the jungle' will happen quite soon (by Sunday, you will know what the court case will have brought forward in terms of destruction), l'Auberge des Migrants is not about to close down.
We have been helping the refugees arriving in Calais since 2008 and we know what happens when a camp is destroyed: Some people are arrested, some are taken away elsewhere, some run away, but most of them come back after a short while. They then hide and create other 'wild camps' wherever they can. The police hunts those camps down: when they find one, they slash the makeshift shelters and tents, they chase the refugees and arrest whoever they can. The ones who manage to escape find another place to hide... and so the story goes, over and over again; This has been going on since 2002 so we , at l'Auberge, know what to expect with the destruction of this jungle.
As long as there are wars, as long as there is poverty, there will be refugees coming to Europe and there will be a percentage of them coming to Calais. Because one thing will never change, and it's the geographic location of Calais. It will always be the closest point to the UK!
So l'Auberge in the next few weeks and months and years will continue to distribute tents and sleeping bags to the refugees who do not want to ask for asylum in France and therefore will not go to accommodation centers (where they could face a forced return to their country). We are stocking up on those iems, and need more, as well as warm clothes and shoes now for the upcoming winter. We will continue to buy food or find donations so we can serve hot meals to those refugees in their hide-away.
Our work will be even more needed than now, because the French governement wants to also close down its own structure , the Jules Ferry Center and container camp, which houses today 1800 people, serves them hot food and offers showers.
So the living situation will be much more difficult than now for the refugees who will stay in Calais because they are not giving up their plan of living in the UK,
So you see, l'Auberge is not about to disappear, ans the needs of the refugees are not about to disappear... We still need your help!
Thanks so very much for what you can!
Secretary of l'Auberge