- Title: FRANCE: Bulldozers move in hours after migrants evicted from Calais camp
- Date: 23rd September 2009
- Summary: CALAIS, FRANCE (SEPTEMBER 22, 2009) (REUTERS) BULLDOZER IN CAMP VARIOUS OF BULLDOZER ADVANCING, DESTROYING TENT BULLDOZER APPROACHING NEXT TENT BULLDOZER WITH DEBRIS FROM THE CAMP VARIOUS OF BULLDOZER REMOVING DEBRIS WORKER SURVEYING DEBRIS BUCKET OF BULLDOZER CRASHING INTO MAKESHIFT TENT MADE OF FENCING AND TARPAULIN AND DRAGGING IT AWAY
- Embargoed: 8th October 2009 13:00
- Location: France
- Country: France
- Topics: Crime / Law Enforcement,Domestic Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA7W7T304XTOWIC7AD5XMCWJXH8
- Story Text: It took little more than a few minutes to flatten what had been home to thousands of migrants over the last few years -- a mass of wooden pallets, cardboard boxes and fencing covered with tarpaulin, that had become known as the Calais Jungle.
Heavy equipment and council employees quickly saw off the ramshackle dwellings that had been used by generations of migrants over the past few years.
The French government says it was a den of crime and a nest of people smugglers. Local humanitarian groups said the unofficial camp was the sole refuge for the persecuted and the oppressed.
Generations of migrants have been through this place since it sprang up following the 2002 closure of an official refugee camp in nearby Sangatte. First the Albanians, Kosovars and then the Iraqis and the Afghans. All made it their staging post in their quest for a better life in the United Kingdom.
The dismantling of the camp is likely to please the British government, which for years has been concerned about the build-up of migrants and refugees who then smuggle onto lorries bound for the United Kingdom. Some British politicians have accused the French of not doing enough to stem the migrants.
But on Tuesday (September 22), all that came to an end. The riot police moved in and the migrants were carted off.
Critics of the operation said it merely moved the problem somewhere else. Many of the refugees have said they would remain in the area and would never give up their quest to cross the Channel.
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