A standoff in the French city of Calais with truckers, farmers and locals blockading the city’s roadways in protest. They’re pressuring the government to dismantle a massive makeshift migrant camp.
CCTV’s Malini Wilkes has more.
Protesters in France demand migrant camp closure for refugee crisisA standoff in the French city of Calais with truckers, farmers and locals blockading the city's roadways in protest. They're pressuring the government to dismantle a massive makeshift migrant camp.CCTV's Malini Wilkes has more.
The protest began at dawn Monday- a slow convoy of trucks and tractors, impeding traffic along the main highway toward the Port of Calais.
Truckers, farmers, businesses and residents said they’re fed up with crime and lawlessness. They blame on migrants living in the notorious camp known as “the Jungle.”
“We find refugees in our farms, in our plots of land, wrecking crops, there are thefts in our farms, we feel that the government and state are giving up and have completely forgotten us,” farmer Damien Van Haeche said.
Many migrants are desperate to make their way from Calais across the English Channel. Some try to hide on trucks heading through the Eurotunnel-or even force their way onto them. Truckers said migrants damage vehicles and destroy cargo.
The demonstrators said they’re prepared to continue the protest for days until the government sets a date to dismantle the Jungle.
But the camp houses around 7000 people, and the French Interior Ministry hasn’t proposed a plan to relocate them.
“I have said that I will not give any dates, because on such an issue you have to work with a sense of urgency but also with an awareness of the need for a plan to carry this out,” Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.
“Where the people should go because they don’t have a house, they don’t have places, because the winter is coming, raining will start, we’re out of the summer, where the people should go,” refugee Abdul Ahmadsaid.
Many of the protesters said they’re not racist or unsympathetic. They just want French and British leaders to come up with a timetable for addressing their concerns.