An update on last night in the Jungle:
20 children who couldn’t register yesterday were sleeping in some of the community mosques as large fires broke out around the camp. 8 young people with nowhere else to go slept under a blanket just outside the perimeter.
After several hours, police escorted 16 unregistered children to the containers to sleep in safety. French fire services were initially slow to arrive but eventually responded to the fires well – only one person was injured. Most shops and restaurants have burned down.
People gathered from 2am with their belongings on the road between the Jungle and the registration warehouse, wanting to escape fires and be first in line for the buses this morning.
No police violence or confrontation was witnessed.
The organisation Salaam is managing the registration queue for minors well this morning.
Unaccompanied minors being taken to register this morning – good to see the well-organised queue management.
Many of the camp’s informal restaurants and shops burned down last night during large fires. Pictures are all the remains of one restaurant popular with volunteers and residents alike, and the burnt-out ‘high street’.
French authorities shouted at us for giving out maps – apparently, people don’t have a choice where they go, so don’t need information.
One camp resident, who speaks 5 different languages, has been awake and volunteering since 6am yesterday, helping to get unaccompanied minors registered so they can have a safer place to sleep tonight.
More fires are breaking out and spreading in the Jungle. Fire services and volunteers are trying to keep these under control. We call on all authorities to help protect those still in the camp.
But despite fires, this is still people’s home and community. Music is still playing in the streets, refugees are still sleeping in tents and shelters.
The registration queue for minors has now CLOSED, and children are being sent back to the Jungle, where large fires continue. This is not a safe place for anyone, let alone children.
Police have now cordoned off the Jungle and appear to be evacuating people from the camp into the ‘no-man’s land’ area. Fire crews are working in camp to control fires.
The Calais Jungle has always been a dangerous place. Fire, murder, abuse. Now as most people leave, the little order there was, in this ungoverned slum, has completely broken down. Adults get on buses to accommodation centers around France. Children who have been registered go to the container camp behind the shot of this video. Children who have not, will sleep in the jungle tonight.
The situation has remained fairly calm around the bridge where a police line has held people back from the camp while fires are tackled. Some residents are waiting to collect belongings from their shelters.
We’ve been told that the container camp where children are being temporarily housed is now full, and that registration has stopped. Urgent action from the authorities is needed to safeguard minors not yet registered.
BBC is reporting that the camp has been cleared, but we want to make clear that this is definitely not the case. While most people have been evacuated, some residents remain inside. People are also trying to re-enter.
While fires have destroyed many structures and tents in the past 24 hours, more than 50% are still intact. Residents have now been allowed to re-enter the Jungle. As they leave in the coming days, we want to remember the camaraderie and community that existed here between many people of different cultures and languages.
Summary of day 3 of Jungle eviction:
Last night, large fires burned down a large number of restaurants, shops, shelters and tents inside the camp, as well as volunteer-run projects such as the Women and Children’s Bus, Baloo’s Youth Centre and the Hummingbird Safe Space. Fires continued throughout the day, and many remaining residents were evacuated by police and prevented from entering the Jungle for much of the afternoon while fire crews attended. They returned around 4pm.
A number of minors not yet registered for the container camp slept under a bridge on the Jungle’s perimeter last night. Registrations began again in the morning but were stopped around lunchtime. The container camp is reportedly full, and various NGOs, agencies and volunteers are now searching for a solution to house the approx. 100 minors not under state protection who are still without a ‘safe’ place to sleep tonight.
Those children housed in the containers are nevertheless surrounded by the camp and affected by smoke from fires, as well as having to witness the destruction and violence around them.
Around noon, Fabienne Buccio, regional prefect, told the Associated Press news agency that ‘operations to clear the camp had been completed’, and that there were ‘no more migrants in the camp’. However, numerous NGOs and our own volunteers report that this is untrue. At least 50% of shelters and tents in the Jungle are still standing, and there are many residents still there this evening.
Authorities have said there will be no more buses to CAOs (accomodation centres) tomorrow, and that the last buses today will leave by around 8pm. If true, this is concerning, as many people remain in camp.
For all our friends who have taken buses to accomodation centres today, we hope you have a safe journey and are welcomed as warmly into your new communities as you welcomed us into yours.