Monday, 7 November 2016

Calais Dismantled: Migrants resettled across France but some migrants remain stubbornly




The long standing refugee camp in Calais nicknamed "the Jungle" has been dismantled entirely after its existance for more than 5 years. Once home to 10,000 migrants a combination of men, women and some 1,000 unaccompanied children, many migrants are now going through the process of being resettled across France. Many of the Jungle residents were hoping to reach Britain in the near future. It is worth noting that some migrants have relatives and immediate family members in Britain. While many more are hoping to seek asylum and refugee status in the UK no matter which city or town they end up in. The thousands of migrants will be settled in small villages and towns from the South of France to North. Some hundreds of migrants have stubbornly refuse to leave and some have chosen to stay in a hidden camp nicknamed the "Little Jungle" in hopes of getting to Britain. A few migrants have given up and decided to seek asylum in France. For the migrants who do have family in France and UK, their process for asylum or family reunification may be less hectic than for other migrants. They should be allowed to join their families in the UK. Especially the unaccompanied minors some 620+ have UK relatives. Many migrants and refugees represent Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Sudan, Eritrea, Somalia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Libya to name a few countries. There is more men than women and children who were former residents of the Calais Jungle now being processed and will ahve the choice on what French region to stay in. Many of the migrants and refugees are the results of the ongoing intervention of NATO in Libya (Africa's richest and developed country), Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. It's not surprising that millions of people are migrating out of their countries to safety to the countries responsible for the destruction of Middle East, Libya and Afghanistan. In the 1990s, Yugoslavia experienced its own destruction by NATO and a joint EU-U.S. peacekeeping/intervention force. It took a whole decade for Yugoslavia to dissolve into 6 republics, first through the brutal wars of independence in Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia and later Kosovo. A large influx of Yugoslavs, Croatians, Serbians and Kosovars Christians and Muslims also migrated . YIf Americans, Europeans and Australians were in the migrants and refugees places, they'd be on foot in a heartbeat heading to a secure country.

Paris Refugee Camp in Stalingrad Place

 

A new refugee camp named "Calais Bis" has grown over the last months at Stalingrad Place or Stalingrad Plaza in Paris. Ironically, Stalingrad is most famous for being the turning point success of  Russian victory against Nazi German incursions into Russia during the height of the 1942 Russian winter. It is also the former name of the Russian City Volgograd. It is only appropriate that "Calais Bis" residents are making their stand at Stalingrad Place. The capital of France known for its scenery and amour, has been witnessing ongoing protests by everyone from students and police officers to pro Palestine supporters to union workers. Now the new protesters have not only set up camp (pun intended) but has refused to move anywhere else. The refugees and migrants now at the Paris camp have real and genuine grievances about their current limbo in France. Some Parisians and other French people are equally annoyed by the migrants arrival.

Muslim migrants in France is an ancient story


Painting of the Battle of Tours fought by Charles Martel, Charlemagne's grandfather and General Adulrahman of Moorish Army from Spain.


France has witnessed historical patterns of Muslim migrants moving in and out and up and down the country. The first time Muslims (Moors, Berbers and Arabs) came to France than known as Gaul was in 732AD as part of a Moorish Army from neighbouring Al Andulas in today's Spain. The Moors had to pacify Frankish and Spanish troops in Catalonia, Pyranees, Toulouse and Southern France on their way towards Tours. The Moors alongside in the Ummayad Empire were planning to expand their empire and rule in Europe by going up through France. The Battle of Tours which the Frankish army won was the first "panic attack" that Frankish society experienced upon hearing of the battles by the Muslim Army for the first time in its territory. Charles Martel, the victor of the battle was the grandfather of Charlemagne, the unifier of much of Europe and the Holy Roman Empire. The first Crusades were also declared in France in 1095. This was 29 years after William the Conqueror and Normans (France) won the Battle of Hastings in their conquest of Britain. A majority of the crusaders came from France and from other parts of Europe. Many Crusaders in Syria, Palestine and Lebanon were simply referred to as Franks or Faranji even if they weren't from France itself. Muslim migrants would continue to come into France as soldiers and more as migrants. Moroccan, Senegalese and Algerian soldiers fought as part of the French colonial Army in the World War I and World War II. Their sacrifices were overlooked and downplayed for much of the 20th century until recently. Even when African countries gained independence, many colonial collaborators especially in Algeria, known as the Harkis immigrated to France in 1960s. Over the past 50 years Muslim migrants have continued to move around and enter France and Europe as a result of their own choice, economic crisis and the current ongoing wars in Africa and Asia. In spite of the history, the French government acts as though migration is something totally new in today's society.


The Sci Fi book about mass migration into France


The French right wing and their cousins: PEGIDA, Danish People's Party, British National Party, English Defence League, Alternative for Germany, Vrijheid Party in Netherlands, Greece's Golden Dawn have used the migration flows as a cause celebre for their raison d' etre. No matter if the migrants in France or other parts of Europe are 300, 10,000 or 1 million, the migrants are portrayed as a nightmarish "Islamic invasion" of Europe by the Third World. It was French author Jean Raspail in his prophetic book Camp of the Saints who painted a similar scenario of mass migration into Europe and Calais Jungle camp in the 1970s. The 91 year old Raspail is still shocked that his imagined prediction came true. Ironically, Europe countries relied on the same third world or Global South migrants from Turkey, South Asia, Caribbean and Africa to build up its own economies and country's infrastructure in the immediate aftermath of World War II. Europeans expected the migrant labourers dubbed guest workers to go home after Europe began to enjoy the fruits of the labour. However, the migrants stayed and had generations of children and now grandchildren born across Europe. The new migrants are joining the British, French and Germans of migrant backgrounds. There are British people whose ancestors came from Asia and Africa a century ago and they are now third and sometimes fourth generation. However, the Right Wing parties and organizations would have their members and supporters believe that the end of the world is near.


PS: The way migrants' movements across the security states' borders, one would think that Westerners are the only people in the world who are allowed to travel freely. And everyone outside the West must go through multiple tribulations just to get a visa and travel legally into Fortress Europe or the finicky U.S. and Australia. This would also include Russians and Chinese tourists who have been visiting Europe, United States, African countries and Australia. .

No comments:

Post a Comment