Socialist Worker

Fury as police and governments block aid convoy to Calais

by Dave Sewell, on the convoy
Issue No. 2508

An angry demonstration closed the border

An angry demonstration closed the border (Pic: Socialist Worker)


Hundreds of anti-racists have blockled the border checkpoint at Dover, Kent, today, Saturday in protest at cops' refusal to let the convoy to Calais through.

French authorities are denying entry to activists bringing aid and solidarity to the refugees trapped in Calais.

Frustrated drivers and passengers left their vehicles and chanted "We've got aid let us through! Refugees are human too!"

But getting no response from police, they then marched on the border checkpoint and blocked the road. It stopped all vehicles' access to the ferries, disrupting the whole port.

Bristol student Megan said, "I just don't understand what their problem is, why they won't let us deliver aid?"

Some activists did get through to Care4Calais such as these from South London, Leeds, Newham and Birmingham

Some activists reached Care4Calais such as these from South London, Leeds, Newham and Birmingham (Pic: Aiden Lawler)


Denial

Sohail, a social worker from Birmingham, said, "It's a denial of our human rights, and of everything they say about free movement. If the world changes and we become refugees is that how they'll treat us - lock us in cages and deny us aid?"

Activists wanted to take aid and solidarity to refugees

Activists wanted to take aid and solidarity to refugees (Pic: Socialist Worker)


Michelline Safi Ngongo is a Labour councillor in Islington north London.

She told Socialist Worker, "We can't just let this go. It's not fair, and we must raise our voices. And after today everyone must go back asking themselves what we can do next to raise solidarity."

Some aid has got through in the convoy's lorry, travelling separately by train through the Channel Tunnel.

And the action at the port has shown the authorities they can't shut down solidarity.

After leaving Dover the convoy plans to lead a protest outside the French embassy in London this evening.

Activists in London should join them.

The convoy is expected to arrive at the French embassy, 58 Knightsbridge, London SW1X 7JT (nearest tubes Hyde Park Corner or Knightsbridge) at around 4.30pm. Come and welcome it!

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