France Faces Protests as It Dismantles ‘Jungle’ Migrant Camp


Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said last week that the authorities would not conduct a “brutal evacuation” of the camp, but as workers tore down tents and dismantled ramshackle huts, clashes erupted. Some migrants lit shacks on fire to protest their evictions and threw rocks at police officers in riot gear, who pushed the migrants back with tear gas and water cannons. About 100 officers had been deployed to safeguard the site.

François Guennoc, an activist with the Auberge des Migrants, an association in Calais that helps migrants, said in a telephone interview that the situation was “very tense” and that there was “absolutely no more trust” in the government because it had not delivered on its promise to calmly evacuate the camp.

“The destruction of the shantytown is not the solution,” Mr. Guennoc said. “That won’t remove their project to go to Great Britain,” he said of the migrants, noting that crossing the English Channel via ferries or the Channel Tunnel had become extremely difficult but not impossible.


This whole migrant situation is just so extraordinary. I know there is obviously a humanitarian element to it, but the thing I wonder about is the political implications; will this help the National Front gain more support? I wonder about how it is in other countries, if the migrant crises in other countries will aid the rise of right-wing populist movements and/or the far-right. I know Jobbik of Hungary and Golden Dawn of Greece are two groups that have gained some popularity, not a majority but a sizable portion of the electorate nonetheless.


Was it a prudent decision for Merkel and Hollande to keep their borders open and encourage people to cross into their country?


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