Lies in the media about No Borders – a Calais Migrant Solidarity response

The propaganda campaign against No Borders is a crude attempt to distract from the govt.’s brutality

Over the past week, the French government has sought desperately to divert attention away from its brutal actions in Calais by resurrecting the perennial propaganda campaign against “dangerous” No Borders activists.

Yet again, various officials – from the Interior Minister Cazeneuve himself, to Buccio the Prefect and Bouchart the Mayor – have come out in a chorus of lies about “No Borders”, lazily parroted once more by the mainstream media. Claims vary from the idea that No Borders are responsible for any acts of violence, to the notion that they don’t actually care about the migrants in Calais, or that they’re actively burning down shacks in the jungle. This tactic is now as predictable as it is crude; whenever migrants dare fight back against their daily repression and humiliation, the answer of the authorities is the same: No Borders must be manipulating them.


So why do the French authorities keep attacking No Borders?

Firstly, to entertain the thought that migrants might defend themselves is to recognise that the cruelty and repression of the border policy in Calais is at such a level that it would provoke most even the most cooperative person to fight back. To acknowledge that people might defend themselves is to acknowledge that they are being attacked, plain and simple.

Secondly, in the past year, an unprecedented level of interest and grassroots support has been shown towards migrants in Calais and their situation. Yet, for over seven years, the British and French governments have been working to drive migrants from the area using any repressive means they’ve been able to get away with. In that time, CMS has witnessed and documented the destruction of jungle after jungle and evict squat after squat. While the repression is nothing new, the level of solidarity and concern this time around is. The lies and scare stories that have been building about No Borders is a crude attempt at divide-and-rule, designed to paint No Borders activists as trouble-makers and turn migrants and aid workers against anyone who talks about resistance. The authorities know how threatening solidarity is to the border regime.

Thirdly, although Calais is a place of tensions and brutality, with fascist attacks and fights between groups or individuals, the overwhelming majority of the violence is carried out by the police in its daily use of tear gas, beatings, and the destruction of people’s homes. The border itself has claimed many lives. Talk about violence from No Borders activists, or from migrants, is a deliberate distraction from the brutality of the state and the border regime. On Tuesday, Buccio claimed that No Borders “mislead” migrants. The only ones misleading migrants are the French authorities and their collaborators, who claimed only last week that the eviction would not involve the bulldozing of shelters – a claim they have directly contradicted in practice over the past few days.


Finally, “No Borders” makes the perfect scapegoat. Why? Because No Borders is an idea, it is not a group with a distinct membership. There are many who share that idea, including Calais Migrant Solidarity. The authorities can point vaguely towards some elusive anarchist-migrant-manipulators, knowing full well that there’ll be no comeback. To give one example, in the past few days, it was widely reported that five people had been arrested in the jungle, and that some of these were British No Borders activists. In fact of those arrested, it transpired that 3 were from charities volunteering in the jungle, and two were Iranians defending their homes. All have been released without charge, but the reputation will stick.


We urge people to be as critical of the claims about No Borders as they should be about the French state’s promises of a ‘humanitarian eviction’. Look beyond the mainstream media for your news, and above all else stand together against the state repression in Calais.

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It's just horrible,  what's happening in Calais.