About 200 people, mainly activists and some exiles, gathered Thursday early evening in Calais to pay tribute to the 27 migrants who died the day before in a shipwreck in the English Channel.
Twenty-four hours after this drama unprecedented by its magnitude in the Channel, “we got together because 27 unique people, with their families and their friends, their dreams and their hopes, disappeared yesterday”, explained during this meeting. commemoration in the center of Calais Juliette Delaplace, local head of the Catholic Relief mission to exiles.
A minute of silence observed
Supporters for migrants, gathered since 6.30 p.m., observed a minute of silence and deployed a banner bearing the names of most of the 309 people who have been killed on this border between France and Great Britain since 1999, according to an associative count. . This therefore brings the number of deaths to 336, with the victims of the shipwreck on Wednesday, according to this count.
“I feel very sad. I did not know them but I came to tell my brothers (migrants) to be careful, ”said Faysal, a 30-year-old Sudanese who has lived in the streets of Calais for four months.
“I see that there are a lot of dead”
He who also wanted to attempt the crossing to Great Britain is changing his mind, he said: “I see that there are a lot of dead”.
Also in Dunkirk, further along the coast, some 150 people gathered in front of the Human Rights stele, at the call of the collective “Ripostons: for the respect of fundamental rights”. Among them, the mayors of Dunkirk, Patrice Vergriete (various left) and of Grande-Synthe, Martial Beyaert (PS), whose locality welcomes, like Calais, permanent flows of migrants.
“We must be indignant about this French and British policy”
“We must be indignant about this French and British policy which puts the exiles in a situation of having for only recourse only the smugglers, the scandal of the smugglers”, launched Bernard Champagne on behalf of the Human Rights League.
Patrice Vergriete, for his part, pleaded for “a system for distributing asylum requests on a European scale”, a system which would avoid putting the exiles “in the hands of the smugglers’ mafias”.