On the weekend of September 6/7th members of London Anti Fascists traveled to Calais to support the call out made by Action Antifasciste Nord-Pas-Du-Calais (NP2C) for a “Weekend of Antifascist Resistance” opposing local far right group Sauvons Calais (“Save Calais”). Along with supporting the NP2C call out, LAF hosted a benefit in late August along with other anti-fascists and No Borders activists, collecting donated materials (books, camping gear, clothing…) to be distributed at the jungles upon our arrival.
Calais is the site of ongoing struggle for an estimated 1200 migrants and refugees forced to live in “jungles” – camps in small patches of forest and abandoned land – and risk death in order to make it to the UK and claim asylum. The squats and jungles inhabited by the migrants are frequently demolished by police, while the threat of fascist and racist violence, for both migrants and activists on the ground, is an everyday reality. In recent weeks and months it has been reported that these attacks have increased in frequency and severity, while there is the looming threat of an eviction of the largest squat in the city currently providing some level of security for several hundred people. It is in this context that SC, led by Calais fascist Kevin Reche, hosted a large scale demonstration on September 7th .
Hours ahead of the fascist demonstration, antifascists mobbed up in a nearby park before making their way to the streets. The SC demonstration was able to go ahead, but was only made possible with the protection of several hundred police, while the mobility and combativeness of the upwards of 120 antifa roaming the streets meant much of the rest of town was a no-go zone for the scum. More than a few fascists were unlucky enough to find themselves outside the rally area and were swiftly dispersed.
The fascist demonstration drew support from local reactionaries along with well known neo-nazis from across France. There is also evidence that at least a handful of fascists made the trip from the UK.
London Anti Fascists stands in firm solidarity with the thousands facing violence and repression at the hands of the French police, the UKBA, fascist thugs, and against the borders they all serve to defend. LAF will continue to support the struggle of migrants and refugees whenever possible, and along with international anti-fascist comrades to disrupt the efforts of those who target them. The working class has no nation!
For more info on Calais and how to support migrant solidarity work;