London2Calais: Refugee Solidarity Appeal 2016
supported by rs21, NUS Black Students Campaign, Movement For Justice, London Palestine Action, Defend The Right To Protest and HaLOL
Email: [email redacted]
The French government has bulldozed sections of the camp and set up shipping containers which have been likened to detention centers, prisons and concentration camps, as alternative shelter for some.
The 'buffer zone' at the entrance to the camp will make it easier for authorities to cut off aid, supplies and solidarity from reaching the estimated 6000 people living in 'The Jungle' refugee camp.
London2Calais oppose this and any further encroachment into the camp by the french state. We support the right of refugees to resist any eviction of their homes and the constant harassment and violence they are subjected to by the French police.
In Britain, 4 Syrian refugees are admitted to the UK from Calais thanks to a successful legal battle which London2Calais have worked very closely on. There are many more we hope can be reunited with their families in the UK.
These cases expose the British government has neglected to establish any process by which unaccompanied children who have a legal right to be reunited with their families in the UK can apply for asylum.
Yet David Cameron continues to make racist remakes, referring to people in the French camps as 'bunch of migrants', to only hours later announce more unaccompanied children will be taken in.
Without giving and indication of numbers, the Home Office is only considering those from Syria and neighboring countries, not the many child refugees from Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Eritrea and elsewhere within Europe, such as those in the Calais and Dunkirk camps.
Our next convoy will be on Feburary 27th.
London2Calais is growing, open and democratic. We welcome all those who wish to get involved.
We are making an urget appeal so that London2Calais/Convoys2Calais can continue all aspects of our work through into Feburary 2016.
Since August last year, London2Calais have:
Taken tens of thousands of pounds of food, clothes, medicine and other supplies to refugees in the Calais camp.
Worked on a project which has already seen 4 vlunerable Syrian refugees from Calais, including 3 unaccompanied minors, be admitted to the UK.
Housed families and vulnerable people from the Calais and Dunkirk camps in hotels.
Supported refugees who have arrived to the UK via Calais.
Mobilised for demonstrations in solidarity with refugees in Calais, Dover and London.
In January 2016 we have already:
Organised a demonstration at St Pancras calling for borders to be opened to refugees as part of an international day of coordinated action in solidarity with migrants.
On 23rd January our convoy delivered van loads of food and other supplies to Calais as well as mobilizations for a fantastic demonstration alongside refugees and french activists.
Organised a coach to take activists to demonstrate against fascists who are calling for the borders to be closed in Dover, on 30th Janurary.
Our Previous Convoys:
15th August 2015:
Our 7 car convoy delivered food, clothes and essential supplies to refugees in the Calais camp.
As well as distributing 400 food packages in the 'The Jungle' we also provided a generator to power a school in the camp.
On this convoy we spent £2400. The bulk of this was spent on food.
29th August 2015:
We sent 3 cars with clothes donations and 9 volunteers to help French charities with their clothes distribution. We reached over 500 people that day handing out clothes, sleeping bags and food.
We also spent £300 on a much-needed water pump for the camp on this convoy
19th September - Refugees welcome, Day of Action:
We transported over 100 people to Calais to join refugees and french organisations for a march through 'The Jungle' to the fences of the port. We packed a 50-seater coach from London and directed several cars. We did not spend any campaign funds on this action - the coach was funded entirely through ticket sales.
3rd October - 1500 parcel food distribution
We aimed for 1000 food parcels but thanks to your support exceeded this target and distributed 1500 supply packs to refugees in 'The Jungle'. Our team consisted of 70 people and 22 vehicles. The video above covers this distribution.
17th October - Open Dover: Let Them In!
We chartered 3 coaches to take activists from London to Dover where we marched with local anti-racist groups, trade unionists, students, lesbians & gays support the migrants, rs21, green party and labour party activists. We blocked the ferry port and demanded refugees be free to move safely across borders as goods and other people can. We did not spend any campaign funds on this action - the coach was funded through ticket sales.
24th October - London2Calais Refugee Solidarity Summit
100 people came together to discuss the refugee crisis with speeches from Wilf Sullivan of the TUC, Natalie Bennett, Leader of the Green Party, Movement for Justice activists including former Yarl's Wood Detainees, rs21, Black Dissidents, Syrian refugees and many more. This event was funded through ticket
29-30th October - Secours Catholique new warehouse
We dispatched a team to help Secours Catholique move to a new, modern and much larger warehouse
31st October - 2nd November - Family Support
We worked closely with l'auberge des migrants activists to collect shopping lists of items needed from families with young children in 'The Jungle' and bought them the supplies they need. We spent about £300 on these essential supplies.
Our projects for November:
Let Them In
We are shifting the focus onto action which can help refugees in Calais get to Britain. Watch this space for updates. Please fund us to help make this possible...
November solidarity convoy: 21st November 2015
On 21st November we took £6000 worth of food to refugees in the Calais camp. We supplied several communal kitchens with food catering for various communities. In addition to this we distributed 1000 indiviudal parcles.
December Winter Solidarity convoy:
We headed to Calais on 13th December to distribute food and essential supplies to help people make it through the harsh winter months.
London2Calais Welcoming Fund
London2Calais have established contact with refugees who have arrived to the UK from 'The Jungle'. Some of them are being temporarily housed in cheap hotels around London. Whilst they are having their applications processed, the conditions enforced on them are that they can not work and that they must reside at a specific hotel. They do not receive any money whatsoever from the state.
As we are now in contact with refugees from Calais who are arriving and being temporarily settled in London, we want to provide them with cash to help them. Please give generously, money from this round of fundraising will also go to providing this kind of practical support for new arrivals.
We are also arranging for immigration lawyers to support them with their case work.
In the past our funding has been exclusively for food and aid distributions. This time we want people who contribute to be aware that we may use some funds for the purposes of building a political campaign. Booking coaches such as for the demonstration in Dover, printing leaflets for our Refugee Solidarity Summit and hiring venues costs money, which we so far raised independently from the campaign.
Our aim is to break even on political campaigns through coach ticket sales and charging entrance to events, however, we would like to reserve the option of using up to 10p in every £1 of our funds towards political work. We would like to be clear that about the fact that donations to London2Calais are going to a political campaign in support of refugees.
- Salma Kassem
- Oliver Craggs
- Magdalena Tulaza
- Sarah Ruddick
- Guy Rainey