Calais Final Report
The last days in Northern France have begun for the NoNationTruck and its crew. We have been asked by a collective in Italy if we can support them. We will announce our exact destination in the coming days.
Looking back, the truck’s first tour took us to an area that became known as a refugee hotspot in 2015/2016 due to the large “Jungle” camp with up to 10,000 residents, but which has been steadily growing as a point of arrival for people trying to get to England since the 90s. As old as the routes via the port cities of Calais, Caen and Dunkerquerke are, support structures have also existed there for a long time. These structures are made up of various actors who are well organised to support fleeing people with food, clothing, information and medical care, among other things. While in the beginning it was mainly local groups, pensioners and church representatives, international organisations grew strongly with the development of the “Jungle” and also had more and more financial possibilities. The support – according to our impression – became institutionalised, got its routines and the public also “got used” to the misery that is going on there. At the same time, the state’s treatment of refugees is becoming more and more repressive. With financial support from Great Britain, the police force in the region is getting bigger and bigger, people fleeing are being pushed out of the centres of the cities. Laws have also been tightened for the region and jurisdiction is adapting. People are to be demoralised in order to be deterred and to stay as short a time as possible. We have already reported on the regular evictions to be mentioned in this context.
In this situation, in which the organised support of the fleeing people cannot change the fact that their situation is becoming more and more difficult, we did not find it easy to figure out our own role. The infrastructure that the truck gives us – mainly for electricity, first aid and food – is already very well covered in Calais. What is needed there, however, are people who play this infrastructure, but also keep an eye on the political situation. People who show solidarity with refugees and fight together with them instead of seeing themselves as helpers for incapable subjects.
We want to continue to draw attention to this common struggle and support it. For example, through media attention or supporters. We can all learn a lot from places like Calais. Whether it is how much European states do everything to make safe places inaccessible, how much they don’t care about people who don’t have the “right” nationality. But also how all these efforts cannot stop people on the move, how they continue to fight to shape their own lives, even if that means being on the move for years, getting back into a rubber dinghy and risking their own lives. This fight cannot be stopped and needs the solidarity of all of us. You can find information about the situation on the ground at
So, stay informed and stand in solidarity! Help – no, fight together – yes!