NEWS – Demonstration against a new CRA in Calais

On September 17, more than 200 people demonstrated in Calais against the creation of a second administrative detention center (CRA) in the city. At the national level, the government wants to double the number of places in detention by 2027.

This Sunday, activists from all over Europe met in the city center of Calais to denounce the inhumane policies at the border and the absurdity of this project. “It is part of the racist and security logic of France and the United Kingdom, as well as all European countries, which spend billions of euros on the militarization of borders, policing and harassment of exiled people », declared in a press release the ANTICRA collective which initiated this march.

Last March, the United Kingdom put 550 million euros on the table as part of “the fight against illegal immigration”. Emmanuel Macron took advantage of the Franco-British summit to announce the creation of a new administrative detention center on the northern coast.

Testimonies of detainees

A declaration which is in line with the orientation and programming law of the Ministry of the Interior (Lopmi) adopted in December 2022 by the National Assembly and which provides for an almost doubling of the number of places in detention centers to reach the figure of 3000 by 2027.

Halfway through, several people locked up in the Coquelles detention center testified by telephone about their conditions of confinement by telephone. “My child was born yesterday but I can’t see him. I am locked here without knowing the reason. We are not criminals, we want freedom,” insisted one of the exiles, his voice carried over the loudspeaker.

In France, other projects to create new detention centers are provoking the anger of citizens, notably in Bouguenais in Loire-Atlantique, in Nice and in Mérignac in Gironde where a mega-Cra project with 140 places is planned for 2025.

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Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.