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Aid convoy to Calais

OPEN LETTER: Let Aid For Refugees Pass

Monday 20 June 2016

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The Convoy to Calais, on Saturday 18 June 2016, was refused entry into France. Over 250 vehicles carrying many tonnes of much needed aid for refugees in the ’Jungle Camp’ were turned away at the border by the French authorities.

The reasons given for refusing the convoy entry were spurious, including the ’State of Emergency’, football hooliganism and the threat of terrorist attack. None of these had any connection with our humanitarian mission. While two lorries and a handful of cars and vans managed to get through, less than half of the aid collected was delivered.

The organisers of the Convoy to Calais made it clear to the French authorities that there was no intention to cause any disruption, or hold any kind of demonstration or protest, when in France. This was a convoy delivering aid and solidarity to some of the poorest and most vulnerable people on the planet who governments across Europe are trying to forget.

We demand:
 A guarantee that all future aid convoys will be allowed to travel into France and that there is no racial profiling of any attendees

 A full refund from the French Government for the cost of the ferry tickets for those that couldn’t travel. This will be donated to the charities in Calais helping the refugees (unless an individual requests the money back)

 That the French government provides funds to ensure that the rest of the aid collected is transported to Calais

 That the British Police force should not collude with, or aid, the French authorities in stopping any future convoys

 That the British government support these demands and help us ensure that the French government take these actions

Letter initiated by: Sam Fairbairn, People’s Assembly, Weyman Bennett, Stand up to Racism, John Rees, Stop the War Coalition, Maz Saleem, Anti-Racist Campaigner

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