France: Calais jungle migrants clash with police
Tear gas and water cannon used as migrants protest plans to close camp
Migrants demonstrating against French plans to shut down the Jungle camp by the end of the year have clashed Saturday with police squads close to the northern town of Calais.
Police fired tear gas and a water cannon upon the group of 200 migrants and 50 volunteers.
French President Francois Hollande had last week promised to “completely dismantle” the camp before winter, saying “there will be no camps in France”.
“We will provide a humane, dignified welcome to people who will file for the right of asylum,” Hollande said on Sept. 24, adding anyone not given asylum in France would be deported.
The migrants in the camp are hoping to cross the English Channel and reach the U.K., but the British government is funding a new four-meter-high barrier that it hopes will stop them from trying.
Construction began last month on the concrete wall that will extend for a single kilometer alongside the motorway to the Calais port where ferries carrying trucks depart day and night for the U.K.
But Calais mayor Natacha Bouchart said this week that she may consider a one-week delay to further construction over concerns of the wall’s impact on the town and its surroundings.
* Michael Sercan Daventry contributed to this story from London.