Official harassment won’t stop us, say Calais campaigners

Members of the Convoy to Calais were held for several hours yesterday after returning from France. But campaigner Mona D says convoy participants won’t be intimidated and will keep supporting refugees in desperate need in Calais.

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Mona’s statement reads as follows:

Yesterday British border police threatened to refuse my “leave to enter” the United Kingdom. This happened after we returned from a day trip to Calais, which we spent handing out food and clothes to more than 500 refugees, along with a group of French and international volunteers. We also brought a water pump to the camp in order to clear flooding and prevent diseases from spreading.

Why was I treated like a criminal at the border? The officers in question refused to provide me with a reason for their decision. They singled me out, surrounding me with five police officers, shouting at me and threatening to confiscate my phone.

The only reason they would choose to target me is the fact that I am part of London2Calais, a group of volunteers from the UK helping refugees stranded at the border. The British government hates us because what we do puts them on the spot. They routinely violate international law and European Union law by refusing refugees asylum and deporting them to countries where their lives are at risk.

If they think we will be intimidated by police repression, they are wrong. We have done nothing illegal. Offering food and clothes to someone in need is not a crime, and we will not back down.

I’d encourage everyone who has followed the campaign so far to please get involved – we need more hands on deck and more money to buy food and essential supplies. Please share, donate and get in touch via our Facebook page if you’d like to get involved.

For more information see the London2Calais Facebook page.

The next Calais convoy will be in October – please donate via their Indiegogo page

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  1. Refugees, Corbyn and the death of Blairism | Colin Wilson's blog

    […] The last month has seen extraordinary shifts in two areas of public opinion where it was assumed – including by those of us on the left – that the right had established domination. First, migration. It seems clear that the photo of Aylan Kurdi that appeared in the media at the end of last week has prompted a major shift in the coverage of the current crisis. As late as Thursday evening, the front page headline in the London Evening Standard focussed on the “13-hour Eurostar ordeal” of British travellers inconvenienced by refugees in Calais. This angle – British people have their summer holiday ruined by refugees – had been playing in the right-wing press through the summer. Attacks on migrants had included a Daily Mail cartoon based on the “joke” that “illegals” were even besieging heaven, and another – blatantly racist, in this case – depicting a white couple whose hotel room had been taken over by Sudanese people. When London2Calais first took clothes and food to the Calais camp in mid-August, they were one of few groups doing anything like this. Last weekend, when returning to Britain, they were harassed by the authorities. […]

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