6 Days Remaining

Wednesday 26th
posted by Morning Star in Britain

Thousands left stranded as camp is demolished

FRENCH police poured more officers into the Jungle refugee camp in Calais yesterday, trying to keep the thousands of desperate people in line as authorities began to tear down the site.

France’s CRS riot police — kitted out with body armour, shields and helmets — entered the camp to seal off areas as demolition crews began work.

But thousands of people still remain in the camp unsure of where they’re going to end up.

The Help Refugees charity said that many were still waiting to be registered and told what lies ahead for them.

“Many of the residents are vulnerable and will have experienced forced displacement at least once in their lives before so this will be a stressful time for them as they see the homes and community they have built destroyed,” the group said.

Refugee Info Bus, which supports refugees with their asylum claims and access to information, said that riot cops were stopping people from gathering their belongings from condemned tents and shacks.

One photo showed police bringing in a water cannon lorry and a video recorded a large group of children queuing at the authorities’ registration centre while police shouted in the background.

Another showed an impromptu march by women demanding “peace and human rights.”

Volunteers said that many refugees were keen to leave the squalid camp and initial reports from a reception centre in Paris were that the “facilities are great.”

Most of the camp residents are due to be moved to such centres in France, though unaccompanied children are meant to come to Britain under the Dubs amendment to the Immigration Act.

However a quarter of English councils — including Prime Minister Theresa May’s local Windsor and Maidenhead — have not taken part in the government’s voluntary scheme for child refugees.

Windsor and Maidenhead, which covers a wealthy area that includes Eton College, claimed it was “not able to take further people” as it had accepted four Syrian children and eight Syrian families under a separate scheme.

Leicestershire County Council said that between 38 and 76 of England’s 152 councils were not taking part.

Tory-run Leicestershire has taken in 54 unaccompanied refugee children but has had to pull out of the scheme because of worries that it won’t have the cash to support them following years of brutal cuts to local government.