Emmaus International

Up to 1,000 people responded to a call by Emmaus France, Emmaus Europe, Emmaus International and the Organisation for Universal Citizenship to take action in Calais, France on 18 December.

The call was put out to protest against the construction and reinforcing of what’s been dubbed the “wall of shame” there. Demonstrators came together on International Migrants Day to call attention to the disgraceful conditions in which migrants are living and lack of appropriate measures taken by the authorities – even though local NGOs and charities have been sounding the alarm for months.

“What we need today is action,” urged Jean Rousseau, Chair of Emmaus International. “After so many years of inaction by our governments, citizens are now our only hope – only they are capable of bringing about the change we need.”

Migrants themselves, members of the Emmaus movement, activists from partner organisations and citizens of Calais came together to express their solidarity with the migrants and anger at their governments’ lack of action.

The wall of shame, which is a wire fence topped with barbed wire, now surrounds the port of Calais. Intended to stop migrants from crossing into the UK, the fence has recently been fortified, which is further evidence – as if there were any doubt – that our governments’ migration policies are solely concerned with national security, and not with migrants’ rights or freedoms.

To see images of this day of action, click here (video in French).

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