October 24, 2016

Protesters in Calais to call for Jungle closure

The French police raid businesses at the Calais jungle. Hauliers and protesters will stage action on Tuesday 5 September calling for the jungle to be closed

Motorists travelling in north-eastern France will face considerable disruption as thousands of protesters descend on Calais in a bid to get the town’s migrant camp known as “the Jungle” closed.

Hauliers, farmers and unionists will be among those who will be part of the action on Tuesday morning (5 September) with the Road Haulage Association saying its lorry drivers will stand their ground until the camp, which is home to nearly 10,000 migrants, is dismantled.

The chief executive of the Road Haulage Association, Richard Burnett said around 200 French farmers would join lorries and tractors at Dunkirk – north of Calais – and Boulougne to the south at 7.30am local time (6.30am BST).

They would then make their way in two columns heading along the A16 towards Calais to converge at the Eurotunnel exit.

“It seems certain that traffic crossing from the UK will find it almost impossible to leave the port as access to the A16 is denied. The inevitable repercussions of this will surely mean that the authorities on this side of the Channel will have no alternative but to deploy Operation Stack.

“This will bring yet further misery to hauliers bound for mainland Europe and of course for the people and businesses of Kent,” he told Sky News.

Protesters from Calais itself plan to block main roads and form a human chain on the way to the port. Among them will be the mayor of Calais Natacha Boucart who described the situation as “unbearable”, the BBC reported.

Huts were dismantled earlier in the year and the French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said that his government still intends to shut the camp down.

There have been reports of people traffickers employing extreme methods to reach the UK including throwing petrol bombs and blocking roads with trees before threatening drivers.

There was a political spat last week when the UK home secretary Amber Rudd batted off calls by French presidential hopeful Nicolas Sarkozy to shift the Calais border back to the UK.

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