The Jungle Relocates to Paris

A few days ago the French police finished clearing and demolishing the “Jungle” shantytown near Calais. The migrants who lived there have not left France, however. Some of them are being relocated by the authorities to various towns and villages throughout the country, whether the local mayors and prefects like it or not.

And some are relocating themselves. Most of those have moved to Paris, greatly enlarging the previously established tent cities in the streets and public parks of the capital.

Many thanks to Ava Lon for translating this TV news report, and to Vlad Tepes for the subtitling:


00:12   Starting mid-July we saw small groups of refugees arriving
00:16   and slowly it became more and more, and there were operations by what are called
00:20   “administrative police”. There were operations to put them [refugees] in shelters,
00:24   but after a while they realized that, because of a decision or of lack of foresight,
00:29   nothing was really put in place in order to make this welcome dignified.
00:33   You need to see that it’s not a public authority that is taking care
00:37   of feeding those people: it’s charities, volunteers, even the “youths” from the neighborhood
00:41   that start a challenge for themselves, and who come in the evening bringing
00:45   [things] for 40-50. Now we estimate that there are about 2,500-3,000 people
00:49   in the three cites: Flandres, [unintelligible] and Villette, right?
00:53   And on top of all, it gets worse with the dismantling of Calais.
00:58   We saw in 48 hours there were perhaps 20-25% more tents.
01:02   Those things you can see, if you live like that,
01:06   and beneath your windows, for three months it’s that… there are people here who are depressed.
01:14   The point, in general, is have better knowledge of the profile
01:18   of the refugees, who are installed there, their administrative situation,
01:23   to understand the healthfulness and the sanitary situation of the camp.
01:27   It’s generally the preparation for the operation of sheltering
01:31   that we are waiting for, and that we wish for urgently. For over a year
01:35   there were more than 28 shelter operations:
01:39   it corresponds with more than 18 000 people, who were welcomed in shelters
01:43   and in accommodations, and one of the stakes, is precisely
01:47   No longer accepting those camps with their phenomenon of growth:
01:51   we put people in accommodations, but later it starts all over,
01:55   because there are new arrivals; so what we are asking,
01:59   which we are working on with the state, is that be an organization
02:04   structured professionally, sustainable for putting in shelters,
02:08   and insertion into the administrative journeys; in which the welcoming center
02:12   that we’ll open soon, is a specific site for welcoming
02:16   the newcomers and not for sheltering the existing campers,
02:20   because this is the state’s mission. And then there are problems
02:24   of insecurity of the perimeter, with a lot of alcohol,
02:28   of fights between different communities, so voilà, no matter what
02:32   we need the emergence of those massive camps;
02:36   a couple of dozen we can manage, but more than that, a couple of hundred of dozens,
02:40   it becomes absolutely non-manageable and absolutely unbearable for the locals.
02:49   I worked for 13 years in this neighborhood. This year it’s been four years
02:53   that I’ve had this shop, and it works really well, but since the people
02:57   who keep arriving here, it works ZERO. Zero, zero, zero.
03:01   I don’t know how to pay the rent, how to pay the people who work here, I don’t understand
03:05   how you manage to do it. There are girls passing by, and the residents are trying to pick them up,
03:09   even English or Arab, they try to pick them up. So people are scared, that’s normal.
03:13   And this neighborhood, it used to be clean and good — for work and for business,
03:18   but for now, I fear, however, I have to divide my profits in half.

8 thoughts on “The Jungle Relocates to Paris

  1. It’s a war.

    Nobody can tell me that during the months spent preparing the dismantling of the Jungle, nobody had the presence of mind to say, but wait a minute, where will they all go, Paris? How will we prepare? — Almost all the decisions taken are made with the goal of increasing chaos and conflict.

    • Oh they planned for it! The miniature version what EU planned for all member states. They planned to send “the garbage” to all parts of the country distributing them to small towns and villages, like infecting a body with a viral agent.

  2. Paris used to be THE CENTER of culture of the old Europe. Poets wrote love poems to it, praising it as full of light and culture. Even the Nazis did not do such damage as this!

  3. Was hoping to return to Paris for a visit along with a little trip through Europe with the family. Won’t be going there now. No way. I’ll spend my money in Oz or maybe NZ.

    • Depends where you go, Liz. I was last in Paris eighteen months ago, and the centre seems little changed.

      • ‘eighteen months ago’ is the point. The shopkeeper whose profits have halved says it’s been recent. He’s had the shop for four years but ‘since these new arrivals’… probably within the last 18 months.

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