- Huge flames seen burning in Jungle camp, where thousands of migrants are due to be removed tomorrow
- Riot police fired tear gas in clashes, amid fears anarchists have infiltrated camp and want to spark violence
- Exclusion zones were set up amid fears 'had Left' plan to oppose clearance and called for violent opposition
- Comes as Clare Moseley of Care4Calais compared French to Nazis dealing with Jews in Second World War
On the eve of the long-awaited operation to tear down the squalid camp, defiant migrants said they were staying put and would continue trying to get to Britain.
And as their protests turned violent, French police issued an extraordinary statement saying anarchists from a UK-based group have infiltrated the camp and are planning to disrupt the operation.
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Flames raged in the Calais Jungle camp and police shot tear gas canisters into crowds of migrants amid clashes on the eve of plans to dismantle the settlement
This picture shows trailers from tear gas cannisters fired by French CRS riot police are seen above migrants on the eve of their evacuation and transfer to reception centers in France
Smoke billows after migrants started fires, leaving an orange mist at the camp were tensions with ahuthorities run high
The canisters were obviously enough to deter some of the migrants, seen leaving with their hands full earlier tonight
This migrant is seen walking through the smoke in the camp amid chaos tonight, likely to continue well into tomorrow
A number of migrants are seen here running past a huge fire raging inside the camp on the eve of the controversial clearance
Migrants set alight to bins in the Calais Jungle camp as tensions run high ahead of the clearance and dismantlement of the camp tomorrow
Some of the migrants, many of whom are expected to refuse to leave tomorrow, threw rocks (pictured) at the riot police
There were clashes with police, seen here watching the chaos below from a bank next to the high fences
Thousands of migrants in the Jungle are expected to defy efforts to bus them away from Calais to reception centres around France as the demolition of the camp begins today. The developments came as:
- Migrants protesting against the camp’s destruction lit fires and threw rocks at French riot police, who responded by setting off tear gas and charging at groups of young men;
- A British charity chief working at the camp compared France’s treatment of refugees to the plight of the Jews during the Second World War;
- Another 40 young migrants were brought in buses to Britain from Calais, with large screens put up to shield them as they arrived at an immigration centre in Croydon, south London.
French police last night admitted there was a ‘high risk’ of violent opposition from UK-based anti-capitalist group No Borders against the move to clear the Jungle
In a statement, they said an exclusion zone had been created in the camp because of fears ‘hard-Left activists’ were planning attacks. They referred to an incident in March when the south side of the Jungle was cleared and 100 protesters descended on the camp, adding: ‘Considering activists from hard-Left group No Borders have arrived in the Calais area and have set up home in squats, there is a high risk the activists have penetrated the camp with a view to influencing the migrants as they did in March.’
Police were seen at the camp wearing full riot gear, amid fears that anarchists have infiltrated the Jungle and plan to spark violence
Christian Salome, president of the charity Immigrant Shelter, said there had already been violent skirmishes.
‘People have come for the violence,’ he said. ‘No Borders attack anyone, and we’ve already had some injuries.
‘They remind me of the people who go to football matches to fight with the police. It’s the same thing – people come for the violence, and have nothing to do with the phenomenon of migration.’
It was also reported last night that members of No Borders were seen walking around with walkie-talkies co-ordinating the violence.
Some 60 coaches will be laid on today to transport 3,000 migrants living in the Jungle to reception centres around France. The aim is to empty and destroy the camp by the end of the week.
Yesterday, 10,000 leaflets were handed out to migrants explaining the imminent demolition.
But migrants are putting on a united front in the face of the camp’s planned destruction. Last night tensions escalated and there were clashes between refugees and more than 1,000 deployed police.
Many migrants say they intend to ignore the French authorities and stay around Calais so they can continue with their plans to reach Britain.
And dozens of young men yesterday made last-ditch attempts to get to the UK on board lorries as riot officers violently repelled their efforts. Niebullah, 19, from Kunduz, Afghanistan, said he had travelled too far to give up on his dream of reaching the UK.
‘It was very difficult to get to Calais,’ he said. ‘I went through many countries and I am so close to England now, why would I give up?
‘I have a problem because my finger prints were taken. I don’t want to go back to Italy. Italy has no jobs, no houses, no future. England is good, I want to go to England.’
Shermuhammed Dawlatzai, 32, also from Afghanistan, said he would refuse any offer of asylum in France, adding: ‘I have been in the Jungle for nine months and I only want to go to UK. All my family is in the UK. I will have a good life there.’
A tear gas cannister explodes next to migrants standing on a bank during shocking scenes in the French migrant camp this evening
Migrants hold a blanket by a fire at the camp ahead of the clearance, when many will have to leave some of their belongings as they are taken to various other locations in France
Referring to the camp’s destruction, he said: ‘I will hide up a tree in Calais if I have to. I will see what they do tomorrow then decide. I don’t want to be in France.’
The migrants are being given the chance to claim asylum in France – but many are expected to reject the offer and instead hide out in abandoned houses, derelict factories and forests around Calais so they can continue their attempts to reach the UK. Mr Salome told radio station Europe 1 this would lead to ‘manhunts’ across the region once the Jungle has been torn down.
Mayor of Calais Natacha Bouchart said she hoped the whole demolition of the camp would pass off ‘smoothly’, but said heavily-armed security were ready to deal with any trouble if required.
‘We have tried to plan for everything,’ she said. ‘This is a big operation, the removal of more than 6,000 people from the Jungle.
‘But I am confident that 90 per cent will make the right decision and accept a place at a reception centre in another part of France.
Rubbish bins were set alight amid clashes with police, who, along with immigration officials will be removing every migrant from the camp tomorrow
Police are well armed as they march into the Calais Jungle camp during very tense times
‘We will not allow another camp to spring up anywhere else in the Calais region.’
A Syrian mother and her three children, aged six, 11 and 14, arrived at the camp late on Saturday only to be confronted by a 50-strong mob rioting against police.
One witness claimed that the family, who were carrying their worldly possessions in suitcases, were pulled to one side by riot officers, who humiliated the mother by ransacking her case. Mary Jones, who runs a centre for children in the camp, said: ‘They had no idea the Jungle was going to be demolished.
‘The police went through their luggage, it was everything they owned. They threw toys and framed photos on the floor and even went through the mother’s underwear.
‘It was so humiliating for her. It really was a sad sight. She was weeping and the youngest girl had to be distracted from what was happening to her mother.’
A family of Afghans including an 18-month-old baby also remained stranded in the Jungle yesterday.
Migrants who refuse to board the buses have been warned they face arrest or deportation
Activists working for Care4Calais have called on the UK government to do more for refugees
The group – Osman, six, Sheemlia, nine, Haleema, 11, Aisha, 12 and baby Hassan – are being cared for in a centre for the youngest children with no idea where they will go following the camp’s destruction. Along with their mother Zaina, they are intent on starting a new life in the UK.
Despite their ages, they are unable to take advantage of the UK’s asylum offer because they are with their mother rather than unaccompanied. They also have no family in Britain and have lost contact with their father.
Aisha, who has been in the Jungle with her family for nine months, said: ‘We love England. It is nice. We love the Queen and the girls in England are pretty. It is not good in Afghanistan because of the Taliban. I want to go to England and study, not France.’
Authorities say 7,000 people are living in the camp, but aid workers put the figure closer to 10,000. They will this week go through a processing point in a warehouse near the Jungle before they are moved to accommodation centres across France.
AFGHAN BOY, 14, WELCOMES CLOSURE OF THE JUNGLE WHERE HE ONCE LIVED AFTER BEING REUNITED WITH FAMILY IN THE UK - BUT ADMITS SOME WILL REFUSE TO LEAVE
French police have been searching vehicles arriving at the camp looking for weapons
One refugee charity handed migrants a map showing the location of the camps and the English coastline so they can find their way to the United Kingdom from their new homes
Children will be interviewed separately in a joint operation by the French and UK government, with age assessments undertaken to ‘stop older people from entering the children line’.
Italy wants EU countries that do not take in migrants to be fined after 14 died, including a pregnant woman, and more than 5,700 were rescued from the Mediterranean in two days.
Prime minister Matteo Renzi also asked Brussels to allow Italy to increase its budget deficit as it struggles with the costs of migrants arriving in the country and the effects of the earthquake in August.
He said their alternative would be to side with the ‘Hungarian way’ of putting up walls against migrants, adding: ‘That would be the beginning of the end.’
The migrants are being moved to a number of reception centres around France
CHARITY CHIEF IN CALAIS COMPARES FRENCH TO NAZIS AS SHE LIKENS TREATMENT OF MIGRANTS IN INFAMOUS CAMP TO JEWS DURING THE SECOND WORLD WAR
Migrants have been warned they must apply for asylum in France or face deportation
Police have already been turning away newly arrived migrants from the condemned camp
French riot police are preparing to challenge middle class British anarchists who have arrived in Calais to violently protest against attempts to raze the Jungle migrant camp to the ground
Aid groups in Calais have condemned the 'No Borders' anarchists over their violent methods
French authorities are removing the Jungle camp dispersing migrants across the country
Police are preparing themselves for running battles this evening ahead of the evictions
The French government has drafted in some 1,200 police to quell trouble in the Jungle
French police fired tear gas into the demonstrators during skirmishes in Calais last night
When the south side of the Jungle was destroyed in February, there was widespread violence, with CRS riot police and gendarmes coming under sustained attack.
Fires were lit across the camp, while water canon and tear gas was used to hold back mobs of activists and migrants.
Angry young Afghan men have already been seen smashing up the cafés, shops, and restaurants inside the Jungle.
Failure to leave the Jungle or to cooperate with the authorities will result in arrest and detention.
Migrants will be required to present themselves at a warehouse close to the Jungle where they can choose between two regions in France where they will be transferred.
France has promised a place for each migrant in an official reception and counselling centre
Migrants have been busy packing their suitcases ahead of their eviction tomorrow
French police are planning a major security operation involving more than 1,200 police
French police have been handing out letters warning migrants about the planned evictions