In September 2015, I wrote about the situation in the Calais ‘Jungle’ 20 years on.

At that time, a number of concerned Britons from charities and church congregations were putting together collections of clothes and food to send to the Jungle. A special episode of the BBC’s Christian programme, Songs of Praise, was filmed there at the makeshift Ethiopian Orthodox church.

Meanwhile, a number of charities and anarchist groups are there every day to ensure that this international group of illegal immigrants is fed, watered and agitated.

It is difficult to look at the Jungle and its enablers without bemusement or shock.

Where to begin? Every aspect of this camp is unbelievable.

First, there are the local charity workers. This French news film, with English subtitles, features Claudine and Michel who visited the Jungle daily with food or clothing. The small building where they and their fellow volunteers prepare the day’s donations is crammed, leaving a cramped space in which to cook fresh pasta dishes:

The 10-minute news report from 2014 shows migrants coming out from one part of the jungle to collect boxes of tinned fish. Claudine politely instructs them in English to take one box each, so that everyone can be fed. However, they ignore her and begin stockpiling boxes on the other side of the road. The reporter says that the most dominant members come to collect the boxes. They will then try to sell them on to the weakest residents of the Jungle. It is unclear where the money comes from.

Claudine says they will have to leave soon so that the rest of the boxes can be delivered elsewhere. But, as Michel, the driver, pulls away in the Salam charity’s white van, a small number of migrants open the back doors and grab the remaining boxes of food. Claudine concludes, ‘They are hungry. They are hungry.’ Yet, they seemed to have ample energy to run after a van and break into it.

The next segment shows Claudine delivering tinned goods donated by a local supermarket. The food is slightly past its expiry date, but, as the French (and others) know, manufacturers set conservative expiry dates in order to avoid lawsuits. The migrants in the Sudanese camp refuse the donation, saying they do not have gas stoves to heat the tins. Claudine explains that the charity’s funds do not run to providing gas stoves. Then, the men — it’s always men — look at the expiry dates and say they will be poisoned if they eat the contents. Claudine opens a tin of ravioli and eats some: ‘See? It’s good!’ The man takes the can and empties the ravioli on the ground. A shocked Claudine quickly walks back to the van. Michel is once again at the wheel and they drive off. One wonders if the two are still doing this day in and day out.

The next item, a South East (England) news report, features an Englishman who has taught a number of men in the Jungle how to repair bicycles. Bicycles feature heavily among items donated to the residents. The reporter explains they make getting to the motorway (and possibly to the port) much easier:

The Englishman says he is teaching the men skills that will help them once they reach the UK. He works on the assumption that we all share his support of illegal immigration.

A number of people probably share the opinions of this lorry driver from Eastern Europe who passes through Calais frequently. The video has English subtitles with very strong language. The driver describes — and the film shows — how groups of healthy, energetic young men of all races try to jump onto lorries to cross the border.

He says that they throw things at lorries to get them to pull over and stop. It is one of the most unsettling things I’ve ever seen, especially as it takes place in broad daylight. There is a police presence, but not nearly adequate enough to stop groups of youths running in front of traffic. One can only sympathise with lorry drivers who will be fined if illegals are in their trailers. What happens if an illegal is injured or mown down?

The Jungle also has a selection of agitators with anarchistic tendencies. In August 2015, The Telegraph reported that:

British far-left activists are “manipulating migrants” to stage mass intrusions into the Channel Tunnel and provoke violent clashes with security forces they depict as “savages”, French police have claimed.

The accusations came two days after a French officer was treated for face wounds after being struck by a rock apparently thrown by a Sudanese migrant in the first such incident inside the Eurotunnel site to date.

In November, the left-wing French news magazine L’Obs reported that No Borders has been active at Calais since 2009. Their self-declared enemies are ‘fortress Europe’ and Frontex, which protects the continent’s exterior borders. One of their slogans is

Human rights have no borders.

They sometimes try to settle Jungle residents into abandoned buildings, anything from hangars to small flats. Consequently, they have been upsetting Calais residents and European holiday makers who rent residential property nearby.

Even volunteers for local charities working at the Jungle, including the aforementioned Salam, say that No Borders is interrupting humanitarian work and inflaming relations between them and camp inhabitants.

In fact, after an inspection late last year, a UK charity decided in October to stop donating to the Jungle. Kassim Tokan, deputy chief executive of the Bradford-based Human Relief Foundation, was dismayed to find the charity’s donations of food and clothing ‘dumped and burnt’, according to the Daily Mail. The paper explained (emphases mine):

They found chaotic conditions with no organisation where aid was being distributed randomly and unwanted items later discarded in piles on the ground.

Interviewed by ITV’s Calendar News, Mr Tokan admitted he was surprised by what he found. Asked if his charity would withdraw support for the camp’s inhabitants, he said: ‘Most likely, yes.’

He said it would be better to help people in genuine need in Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey rather than ‘healthy people here.’

The charity’s own ‘Path of Mercy’ project stated on its website that ‘most of the refugees in the camp are highly vulnerable people’ fleeing war. Adding: ‘Due to the conflict, many people have faced and continue to face injury, disability, torture, starvation, neglect and poor mental health.’

However, after inspecting conditions at the Calais camp and being shown around by an aid staff on site, Mr Tokan came to a very different conclusion.

Mr Tokan, who heads the international charity’s global orphan and family programmes, said many migrants in Calais had no ‘valid’ reason for going to the UK and should have stayed at home

An HRF spokesman said yesterday its presence at the camp would be maintained, but with an emphasis on ‘building communal kitchens and portable shower units for camp residents’ rather than continuing to provide food and clothing.

On January 13, 2016, Eurotunnel had the marshy area around their tunnel entrance flooded to create a moat that would make accessing the railway line difficult. The increased clashes between migrants and police since October has made this move necessary, officials say.

Around the same time, the French government began bulldozing part of the Jungle. This is, in part, to give police a better view of migrants attempting to access the highway.

It is estimated that the present tents and huts of 1,600 people — or a third of the Jungle’s population — will be destroyed.

Those affected would move into a series of containers with electricity and heat. Entry is controlled by fingerprint-recognition technology.

By Friday, January 15, 173 inhabitants had moved in. However, the remainder are fearful. Those reluctant to move say that it would be easy for the French authorities to load the containers onto lorries in the dead of night and drive them to a place from which they could be deported.

Aid agencies say that others fear that they might be forced to apply for asylum in France. The French government denies this.

It is only right that the government controls the Jungle, not the inhabitants. For far too long, the latter have had the upper hand in this situation, even to the extent where they can run their own makeshift shops, the funds and merchandise for which are wired from family members back home.

It beggars belief.

You can read and see more about the Jungle in a Telegraph feature from September 2015.

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