l get a taxi to the ‘Auberge des Migrantes warehouse merci.’ The taxi driver looks at me ‘ Pas No Problem’. My French is terrible but I understand the intonation. I didn’t know the French did irony. It clearly is a problem. A big one.
It’s a small town. A sign on the wall of ‘The Aubege’ says the camp now numbers 10188 people, its population has increased 12 percent in the last month alone.
The French authorities have failed to respond to this humanitarian crisis and as a result the ‘ Front national,’ the only party who appear to be addressing the issue garnered 55% of the vote.
Possibly as a response to this The camp is to be ‘ cleared’ the end of the month. There’s rumours in the press of the destination of its 10,000 inhabitants dependent on political bias. The Express in England recently reacted indigently to reports that refugees were to be rehomed at the expense of French nationals but this is just another rumour. The truth is no one knows.
No one knows what will happen beyond the eviction. No one, in the camp, no one at the warehouse, no one in Calais has been told what the plan is. Which would suggest there is no plan according to Auberge warehouse veterans, ‘There is no plan’ There is no plan to deal with the 10,000 people in the Calais Jungle once they are forcibly evicted from their makeshift homes.
There is a pile of ninty or so pop up tents in the warehouse ‘For use in case of emergency eviction’ Is this the only contingency plan to deal with all these people? There is another sign on the wall of the auberge. ‘Eviction wish list’ it reads. ‘Wanted, pop up tents, rucksacks, suitcases and mobile phones. So there is a plan.
On the wall there is a sign
‘There are now 1,022 unaccompanied children in the Calais jungle.
In May Under the ‘the dubs agreement the uk said they would rehome 387 of these children.
So far none have found safety under this act. On Friday at 5pm in the office. there will be a letter writing session. Send a letter to your local MP informing him of the problem. I’m unsure what use this will be and given the historical record of MPs in the UK possibly counter productive.
122 children we are informed in the morning went missing after the last eviction. The discussion moves briskly on. There is no further speculation about what happened to those children or if the French authorities have done anything to try to locate them. The focus is on helping those that are here. Now.
‘Are the Red Cross not supporting people here? I ask at Auberge veteran X.’ No. Just my opinion but possibly because theres no money in it for them or because someone has told them not to get involved.’ I thought the Red Cross was an Independent NGO..’There are only amateur NGOs in Calais keeping people alive’ .
Inside the warehouse two cute girls are hanging off a palette truck and giggling and trying to mauvere boxes of something just out of its sell by date into a battered transit van which is also past its best. ‘j’le lait d’ici. It says on the tins. My French isn’t too hot but I’m guessing it translates to the milk of human kindness. Like a lot of the goods here and the donations. Past its sell by date. Like the jungle and the authorities. There’s just two little amateur NGOs in Calais trying to distribute what little is left of it to go round.
You can help do that here.