Some of you know that for the past two-years I’ve been visiting France for one month at a time to visit with Roma and refugee communities. This August we headed up to Calais in the north of France to visit ‘the jungle’. Calais is a port city with direct connections to the UK and for this reason many refugees from Afghanistan, Iran, and Eritrea have been gathering there in hopes that they can reach the UK.
In August, my 15 year old friend Abdullah, led me and some others across a six lane highway and into the jungle where he lived. We walked amongst the men there and talked with many of them. These are young men in a desperate situation. They have left their homes in order that they may survive. One of my friends, Farheid, had his entire family killed by the Taliban. He survived but lost his right arm to a Taliban explosive. He is 17. We met another young boy, only 10, who had left his family in Afghanistan with the hope of finding a better life, one where he may live past the age of twenty. Some of the young men we met, if they were to return home, would face persecution and even death because of their sexual orientation.
Now, here we have the French government taking what is not theirs to take. The livelihood of another. You can’t simply kick 1500 young men and boys out of camps where they have been living for the past 7 years. Where the hell will they go? Who will help them? Also, it’s not just that the police evict them, but those bastards also confiscate their personal belongings. Even going so far as to take from them their identification cards and birth certificates. “Apply for refugee status,” says the EU. How the fuck can they accomplish this after you’ve robbed them of the identification?
God, be with these young men and women who have no home. They are aliens in a land where they are explicitly being told they are not welcome. Shame on you EU. Shame on you. You cannot ignore the strangers in your land. You cannot deny them of their basic human rights. You cannot rob them of their identity. This is a terrible situation that is being handled even worse. If it were not for the fact that God IS ON THE SIDE OF THE OPPRESSED, then these young people would have no hope.
This photo shows some of the refugees in Calais gathered in a parking lot outside of the jungle where they receive food from a Catholic organization.
Two Eritrean refugees living in an abandoned home in Calais.
Walking through the jungle. The shack to the right is home to five guys.