In the next few days, the French authorities will be closing the gym in Dunkirk where approximately 600 people, including many families, have been living for the last eight months. People will be put on buses for reception centres around France but, as with every similar event before, they will shortly return to sleep rough in the surrounding area.
This gym was not designed to provide sleeping for 200 people inside and 400 outside, or toilets and showers for 600 people in total. But it’s still a lot better than the alternative of just sleeping rough. We have also been told to expect a major clearance in Calais in the next few days, with the biggest site in Calais expected to be fenced off, people arrested and/or bussed out and tents and possessions confiscated or destroyed.
This will mean that some of the most vulnerable people in society - people who are already severely traumatised, who don’t have the protection of the law, people who have done nothing wrong but are desperate to protect their families and have the audacity to ask for our help - will be further abused and sacrificed to meet political targets.
With two major evictions the need for sleeping bags and tents will be higher than ever before. If you can collect these please do get in touch, or help by donating money to keep people warm and dry as winter approaches.