A resident of the French of Calais has told RT how life has changed for its residents since the port city has become the frontline of the current refugee crisis.
“The atmosphere is sad, it is oppressive. There is no more entertainment, nothing. People are afraid. They stay at home,” Simone Héricourt said, adding that Calais has ceased to be a tourist attraction because of the mass influx of asylum seekers. Read more A migrant pushes a wheelbarrow in a muddy field at a camp of makeshift shelters for migrants and asylum-seekers from Iraq, Kurdistan, Iran and Syria, called the Grande Synthe jungle, near Calais, France.
Demolishing Calais ‘Jungle’ camp breaches human right to a home – petition “Tourists stay away from Calais. There is nothing left. Many shops have closed down,” lamented Héricourt. She also pointed out the inability of police to tackle the threat posed by the migrants. “Police refused to confront them. And I find it unacceptable. Their job is to protect civilians. They get hit by bricks, by iron bars. How many riot police officers were injured since riots like this take place in Calais?” she added, accusing the Calais authorities of surrendering the city to the chaos.
“The authorities have doomed Calais, they will leave migrants here and they will leave us to deal with them,” she concluded, saying that the French authorities would never send the army into the city, as they have already abandoned it. Héricourt has risen to fame since footage of her speaking at the “Save Our Country” conference outside Paris on February 7 went viral. Recalling her life as a Calais native, she appeared to be nostalgic about the times when city dwellers lived in “peace and security,” saying that the arrival of migrants had completely overturned the old familiar way of life. “They come to the town center, they vandalize cars with iron bars, they attack people, including children. There are rapes and thefts. It is unimaginable,” she complained, confessing that her son had also been assaulted by three migrants right in the city center.
Ditching Schengen over migrant crisis may cost Europe €18bn The migrant camp near the French city of Calais, nicknamed the “Jungle,” serves as a temporary home for an estimated 4,000 asylum seekers – mostly from North Africa, the Middle East, and Afghanistan – who have failed to reach the UK across the Channel. It is the largest makeshift camp in Europe and has gradually turned into a small town with its own social life. “It became a city within a city. They have discos, shops, schools, hairdressers. The police can’t even enter the Muslim part,” said Héricourt. Marianne Humbersot, Head of Legal center at Calais Camp, told RT that the residents of the improvised city often become victims of police abuse.