Socialist Worker

Tories send a fence to help French state repress refugees in Calais

by Dave Sewell
Issue No. 2420

The right wing mayor of Calais, northern France, has been demanding the British government show it isn’t “soft” on immigration.

Tory immigration minister James Brokenshire promptly pledged to send to Calais the 11 foot tall 11 mile long “ring of steel” fence used at the Nato summit in Newport

He wants to beef up security at the port to keep refugees away from ships, cars and lorries.

Around 1,500 desperate refugees are camping out to try and enter Britain. 

They are mostly young men from east Africa and the Middle East.

They are reliant on inadequate food aid from local charities, and at the mercy of the weather—and beatings from the police.

One group of migrants tried to storm a ferry last week. Others held a protest demanding the right to come to Britain. 

They are denied the right to work in France.

Many people in Calais are sympathetic to the refugees, but the racists have been calling for action to get rid of them.

Nazis and other far right thugs held a protest of several hundred last Sunday. 

Tory mayor Natacha Bouchart has even blustered about calling a “citizens’ blockade” to shut down the port and force Britain’s government to act.

But moving the border controls across the channel to stop immigrants before they even leave France is exactly what many Tories would like. 

Militarising Calais won’t stop desperate people trying to flee war and poverty in the countries that Britain and its allies have spent decades devastating.


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