Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Voices in Exile

Courtesy of The Telegraph

French authorities have today closed a migrant camp known as 'The Calais Jungle'. I wonder who it was who came up with that name! Was it the migrants themselves or perhaps the politicians who wished to denigrate the asylum seekers genuine pleas for human rights and to be given refuge in Europe in the eyes of the World's media? I'm sure if it was the migrants themselves that it wasn't a term of endearment. Alan Johnson has apparently 'praised' the efforts of the French police and Government. How charming!

"It is a clear signal that France is honouring the agreement... to build even stronger controls at the Calais border with the UK," he said.
Mr Johnson pledged continuing support for the French action, saying that the UK Border Agency officers "already work day and night alongside the French authorities to secure the border at Calais".
French riot police detained 278 illegal migrants in a dawn raid on a makeshift camp in northern France. Illegal migrants and left-wing protesters fought with police on Tuesday as armed officers began clearing the camp. As soon as dawn broke at 7.39am dozens of vans accompanied by bulldozers began circling the stretch of wooded waste ground a few hundred yards from the ferry port. Up to 500 officers had massed for the operation – at least two for each migrant who had stayed on in the blue tarpaulin tents and rickety shacks.

Of course, asylum seekers, particularly Muslim asylum seekers from areas of the World we are not that keen on are not going to be that welcome in Europe, especially in time of recession and fear of terrorism and, unfortunately, these migrants will have few friends in the mainstream media or perhaps even in the UK. What does strike me as a little sinister is the way in which the media are portraying these migrants. The language of 'Clearing of the Jungle' reminds me rather of Robert Mugabe's 'Clearing Out the Trash' attacks on the poor in Harare. The Daily Mail, for example has this picture on its paper today and the headline appeared to convey the view that these migrants are a grave internal threat to the UK, where some of them would have liked to have lived.

To me, that looks like a genuine plea from impoverished and destitute asylum seekers for clemency, human rights, dignity and refuge from their own politically unstable and perhaps dangerous countries of origin. Call me an old, wet, liberal softie if you want, but this labelling of the migrants as 'parasites, freeloaders and traffikers' seems a little too convenient for people who may just be xenophobic, mean-spirited, unmerciful and dare I say it, racist. No! Not Daily Mail readers surely! This Mail report suggests they have softened their line. But really! Come on, atheists! Rise up and defend your Muslim brothers and sisters from a crackdown by a fearful and racist State! No? Didn't think so...I mean, look at them, you can tell they're all terrorists...Send them packing.

Apparently, according to The Mail...

'Protesters, some in tears, shouted slogans at the police, including: "Shame on France!"' Aid worker Sylvie Copyans, from the group Salam, described the heavy-handed police response as "disproportionate and sickening’. To highlight this she told how a frightened Afghan boy called Ali was torn from her arms by police as she wept. She said: 'I tried to hide him, he was very, very frightened.’

The great majority of the men in the migrant camp were Afghans! Get it!? The West bombs the crap out of their country, makes it a perpetual war-zone, an unending conflict and then when the citizens flee here they get put in detention centres, are forced to live in destitution, are treated like animals and are then rounded up and sent packing! Incredible!

Jessica Nora Shadia, 25, from Dunkirk, said: "It's shameful. They treat people like animals. Children were being pushed to the floor as if people have nothing. It's so sad. We tried to help them," she shrugged: "What can you do?"

Oh, France! The glorious Republic! The victorious Queen of the Enlightenment! Marianne and especially Robespierre would be proud of you! These images will go on Al-Jazeera. Of course, that's going to help relations between Muslims and the West no end!

1 comment:

Patricius said...

While I can understand the desperate state of affairs that leads such people to flee their own countries I have never been able to understand what makes them so eager to quit France for Britain. I like France and frequently holiday there. The food is good, booze is cheap and the weather is generally better.

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