Demolition of Calais ‘Jungle’ camp under way

Boarding busses in Calais
Boarding busses in Calais

The dismantling of the “Jungle” migrant camp in Calais has began as its inhabitants leave by bus for other parts of France.

A group of workers started to demolish unoccupied tents and shacks by hand, according to reporters at the scene.

About 2,000 migrants left voluntarily on Monday, and hundreds more have followed in the days following.

The Jungle has become a key symbol of Europe’s migration crisis, housing some 7,000 residents in squalid conditions.

calais-migrant-camp-the-jungleThe operation to close the camp has been largely peaceful, but concerns remain that some migrants will refuse to give up their attempts to cross the Channel to the UK.

The French authorities said they were prioritizing departures on Tuesday morning, but crews in hard hats and orange jumpsuits started demolition shortly after 1500 local time.
Crews began to pull down wooden frames and tarpaulins
Crews began to pull down wooden frames and tarpaulins

They tore down wooden shacks with sledgehammers and used diggers to move away debris.

The demolition is expected to be done mostly by hand – and in a low-key manner – as officials believe sending in bulldozers at this point would send the wrong message to migrants they want to convince to get on buses voluntarily.

The Calais police commissioner says the camp will be fully cleared by Friday and that only about 200 people are expected to try to stay.

There are warnings that those determined to stay will set up camp in the surrounding countryside while the demolition takes place before returning to the area.

Children are the only group allowed to stay in Calais. They will be housed in the camp’s converted shipping containers while the rest of the Jungle is dismantled.

Almost 200 children from the camp have been brought to the UK, some of them under the “Dubs” amendment to the Immigration Act, according to UK Home Secretary Amber Rudd.

The amendment allows particularly vulnerable children – such as girls and those under 13 – refuge in the UK, even if they do not have family already in the country.

Dismantling the Jungle

At times the migrants have jostled with police as they wait to board buses.
At times the migrants have jostled with police as they wait to board buses.

than 1,200 police were deployed for the clearance operation.

The French interior ministry said officers “might be forced to intervene” if there was unrest during the demolition.

In a statement (in French), French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said 2,318 migrants had been “given shelter” on Monday.

A total of 1,918 adults had been taken away on 45 buses to 80 reception centers, while 400 minors were transferred to “provisional reception centers” within the camp.

The first day had taken place in a “calm and controlled manner”, he said.

Once the migrants have been transferred to different parts of France, they will be given the opportunity to claim asylum, or face deportation.

where-asylum-applications-have-been-made-in-2016Last year more than one million migrants – many fleeing the civil war in Syria – arrived in Europe. Countries struggled to cope and division arose in the EU over how best to deal with resettling people.

An EU-Turkey pact to try to stop migrants crossing to Greece and moves by Balkan nations to close their borders have driven down the number of people using the so-called eastern Mediterranean route.

However, migrants from African countries such as Eritrea and Somalia as well as West African nations such as Nigeria and the Gambia are continuing to attempt the crossing from Libya to Italy.

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Notorious refugee camp in France to be dismantled starting next week

The Calais Jungle
The Calais Jungle

The French Interior Ministry announced Friday that the Calais Jungle, the overcrowded and notorious refugee camp in Northern France, will be dismantled. There are 6,486 refugees currently in the Calais Jungle who will be moved to other camps throughout the country. “It is an operation that carries a risk,” said a French official in regards to the plan.

The official added that the evacuation plan will begin on Monday and is expected to last about a week. In the camp, there are refugees from all over the world, including Syria, Afghanistan and Eritrea, who are requesting to enter Britain.

Migrant camp in Calais
Migrant camp in Calais

Britain usually rejects their asylum request in accordance with the EU law that states that refugees need to ask for asylum from the first country they enter. Last month, French President Francois Hollande announced the plans to close the camp. He described the situation in the camp as “unacceptable.” This week, a French court dismissed the petition to delay the evacuation until alternative housing for the refugees was found. The petition was submitted by various human rights organizations.

The refugees living in the Calais Jungle will be divided by families into several groups. The groups will then be divided among hundreds of refugee facilities in France where they will undergo medical tests and file an asylum request if they wish. 1,250 police officers and security personnel will oversee this operation, making sure that it goes smoothly.

Thousands March in Paris Against Same-Sex Marriage

protest-in-parisThousands of people have marched in Paris to call for the repeal of a law allowing gay marriage, six months before France’s next presidential election.

Marchers were also protesting against the use of assisted reproduction techniques and surrogate mothers to help same-sex couples have babies.

People wave flags and hold signs with messages as demonstrators take part in a protest
People wave flags and hold signs with messages as demonstrators take part in a protest

Assisted reproduction is allowed in France only for infertile heterosexual couples and surrogacy is banned.

The group organizing the march presents itself as promoting the traditional family model of “one mother and one father.” It hopes to influence the debate before the presidential election next year.

None of the major candidates in the election attended the march.

The 2013 law allowing gay marriage exposed deep divisions in French society, prompting big protests for and against such unions.

Marine Le Pen predicts the end of the EU as she promises FREXIT referendum

Jean-Claude Juncker
Jean-Claude Juncker

The president of the National Front, a right-wing Eurosceptic party, issued the warning to Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission after branding his state of the Union speech to MEPs at the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France, “insipid”.

Expressing his “regret” at the historical Brexit vote, Mr Juncker insisted the EU is “not at risk”.

But he warned the next 12 months were a “crucial time to deliver a better Europe”.

The former Luxembourg Prime Minister added: “The scope in which we cooperate together is far too small.

Marine Le Pen
Marine Le Pen

Marine Le Pen branded his speech “faulty” as she spelt out the death of the European Union

“This is basically almost like a funeral for the European Union, but perhaps we should admit there was a very good point on humor where you said you were the hero of combatting fiscal optimization for multinationals.

“But really, you haven’t been paying attention to the ambition of people in the European Union to reestablish and retake their sovereignty and their independence.

“Brexit has really broken a taboo. The Brits have shown us that you can leave the European Union and you can come out better.

“The catastrophic visions were just a lie. The UK is doing quite well, the shock that you wanted to see has now turned into trust, everybody thought there was going to be apocalypse falling on the UK but that didn’t happen.

“You’ve shown a disdain for the referendum, so what are you protecting us from? Freedom? Democracy?

“It is time to move on and I think that people need a project for the future. Let’s be democrats, finally, and let the people decide.”

As she received praise from other members of the European Parliament, she was asked whether she will campaign for “Frexit”.

Ms Le Pen responded: “Well, with respect to democracy I think a referendum is the best application for us.

“Over the past four years, I have said that I will be organizing a referendum so French people can express themselves on the issue of France leaving the European Union.”

Recent polls have placed Ms Le Pen as one of the front-runners for next year’s presidential race, although she faces a packed contest which will also include former leader Nicolas Sarkozy.

Ex-French President Questions “Global Warming”

Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy
Former French President Nicolas Sarkozy

Man alone is not responsible for climate change and the world has far bigger problems than “global warming,” said former French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

“Climate has been changing for four billion years,” Sarkozy, who’s running for president again, told business leaders at the Institut de l’enterprise on Wednesday. “Sahara has become a desert, it isn’t because of industry.”

“You need to be as arrogant as men are to believe we changed the climate.”

The former president seems to have changed his mind; in 2007 he warned that “we cannot ignore the climate challenge,” but despite that statement, French media reported that he rarely discussed “global warming” while president.

This is the first time he was openly skeptical about “man-made climate change.”

Interestingly, Sarkozy is running again for president amid the extreme backlash against President François Hollande for calling on France to embrace Islam.

Sarkozy’s statement shows the influence Donald Trump already has over world politics; Trump, a skeptic himself, is making it safe for other political candidates to openly question “global warming” pushed by politicians and government-funded scientists.

“Sarkozy… can see the ocean of votes in speaking out against political correctness,” reported JoNova. “He has watched the rise of Marine Le Pen and of Donald Trump.”

“The game has changed.”

UK To Build Wall at Calais

calaisA four meter high, half mile long, wall will soon grace the port at Calais, to keep migrants from boarding trucks illegally. It will be built either side of the main two-lane road leading to the terminals. Migrants try to jump cars and trucks at this point, often using violence and weapons, so the idea is welcome to travelers.

UK’s Immigration Minister, Robert Goodwill
UK’s Immigration Minister, Robert Goodwill

The UK’s Immigration Minister, Robert Goodwill, told Members of Parliament that the four-metre high wall was part of a £17m package of joint Anglo-French security measures to tighten precautions at the port.

“People are still getting through,” he said. “We have done the fences. Now we are doing the wall,” the new immigration minister told the Commons home affairs committee.

The illegal camp will be behind the wall, but it seems the wall will not be long enough, because it doesn’t cover the stretch of road next to the sea.

Fencing surrounding the ferry terminal in Calais
Fencing surrounding the ferry terminal in Calais

Smooth concrete will be used to prevent easy scaling of the wall, though determined migrants will not be deterred. Some local residents have protested because of the visual impact… but these are the same people whose lives have been ruined by the presence of so many illegal migrants who literally rule Calais with violence! They fail to acknowledge that the camp problem belongs to France and Calais, not to Britain, but it is Britain who will suffer the surge of Muslims if they are allowed illegal entry.

Migrant camp in Calais
Migrant camp in Calais

Aid workers complain that migrants will take even more dangerous risks to get through. The response of most UK residents would be “Tough – it is not their problem, but France’s,” and, “the migrants are illegal anyway,” and attack road users to and from the UK.

UK haulage companies, on the other hand, think it wastes money that should go into increased security along the two-lane road. The immigration minister replied that the wall is only part of a larger package, including a safe parking area for trucks, which are attacked daily by migrants.

The Target Was Really the Eiffel Tower’ says French Female Jihadi

A soldier on patrol in Paris
A soldier on patrol in Paris

The female jihadi who left a car filled with gas canisters near the famous Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris confessed that her preferred target had been the iconic Eiffel Tower.

Ornella Gilligman, 29 and the mother of three children, was part of an all-woman’s Islamic State terror cell and the first-such woman to be charged by French authorities.

A car loaded with gas canisters had been found last weekend in the tourist district of Notre Dame de Paris in the heart of the French capital.
A car loaded with gas canisters had been found last weekend in the tourist district of Notre Dame de Paris in the heart of the French capital.

Gilligman was caught through fingerprints she left in her car, which was discovered parked near the cathedral by an alert resident. Gilligman fled the car after unsuccessfully trying to set it on fire.

When police arrived, they discovered a still-burning cigarette inside with three canisters filled with gas.

Police were then able to track Gilligman to the south of France where she was attempting to flee with her boyfriend to Spain. The two were arrested at a gas station near the city of Orange, however, her boyfriend has since been released without charges.

French authorities identified the other members of the cell as Ines Madani, 19, Sarah Hervouet, 23, and Amel Sakaou, 39, and said they were all “determined to cause carnage in Paris.”

All of the other women were captured in a raid on a flat in Boussy-Saint-Antoine, south of Paris. Madani was shot and wounded in the operation and was discovered with a letter of her last testaments and a pledge to the Islamic State.

Both Gilligman and Madani, whose father owned the car, were on terror watch lists.

It also emerged that Herouet had been engaged to marry Larossi Aballa, who was killed after murdering a French policeman and his wife and afterwards, to Adel Kermich, who murdered Catholic priest Jacques Hamel in Normandy before being killed by police.

Meanwhile in France, a 16-year old French boy who was suspected of planning an imminent terrorist attack was arrested in Paris. The boy, who some reports have identified as young as 15, was already on house arrest.

The arrest was not linked to the ISIS female cell. French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that there were at least 15,000 people in France who police have identified as being susceptible to radicalization and were being watched.

Meanwhile, in Germany, the interior minister, Thomas de Maiziere, announced that there were at least 520 identified potential “attackers” along with another 320 persons who were being watched by authorities.

“The terror threat now stems from foreign hit teams as well as fanatical lone wolves in Germany,” said de Maiziere. “The hit teams are secretly smuggled into Europe and prepare their actions without being noticed, as we saw with the attacks in Paris and Brussels.”

“But it’s even more difficult to uncover the fanatical lone wolves,” he added.

And in Canada, the government announced that at least 60 people who were suspected of being “extremist travelers” had returned to Canada and were being tracked.