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The migrants in Calais

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The migrants in Calais Empty The migrants in Calais

Message  PatrickB le Dim 6 Sep - 22:06

The migrants" in "Calais"translated into  France=>HERE
PatrickB Following an article published in the "courrier international" on "migrants" by an English photographer who came to do a report on the subject, allow a "Calaisian" to express his feelings.
A bit of history: the first "migrants" arrived in Calais in 1998, with the war in Yugoslavia, from Kosovo.  They were called here "the Kosowars". Then, as wars, famines and political changes took place, we saw refugees arrive from Europe (Chechens), the Middle East, Asia and Africa. They all had in common the hope of a new life in England because they spoke the language. The lack of identity papers in this "Kingdom", the ease of employment, the possibility of finding fellow countrymen in this territory, which in Victoria's time never saw the sun go down on its immense empire whose exploitation had made the fortune of this country. So we have been rubbing shoulders with "refugee migrants" for more than 20 years.
 
A little bit of definition " Migrant ". For me who met some of them from the beginning (I was working at the time in the hospital as a paediatrician). When we talk about "migrant" we have to be careful not to "commodify" the term. Each migrant is different, each has his or her own history, family and multiple traumas. It is a woman, a man, a child to whom we can only respond individually. No "global" solution will solve their problems. On the other hand, any "global" solution will add its share of difficulties to its own solutions. So always think that our "solutions" will add difficulties "to the problems of solutions".
 
A little humanity. There are many humanitarians, all with different personal, political, altruistic, conscious or unconscious projects. Young people coming from Europe to help others and to help themselves. Activists to give substance to their utopia (no border) which is an instrument of migration, but which, let's face it, also helps to unblock situations (installation and organisation of squats) and pushes politicians to react. Classic humanitarians: Red Cross, doctors of the world, etc... who do their usual jobs. Local associations: Salam, Secours Catholique, etc... which are made up of committed Calaisians who have been providing daily aid for 20 years with a courage and selflessness that deserves a "hat-trick". They too have ideas on solutions, with political or religious commitments that should be taken into account.
 
A bit of politics. Politics can be divided into two main categories, obviously to be divided into sub-classes (because politics means leading, and leading means dividing in order to rule). So we have national, international and local policies.
- the national ones: the English, the French (first concerned by the Calaisian situation), the Europeans (concerned by migration),
- the internationals (concerned by the instrumentalization of migrants for their politics (Erdogan, Trump) (I put capital letters because they are proper names but personally I would have put lower case letters because I think that they are small subjects not even small people because this term is reserved for "good people of modest condition"), and all the international organizations: UN etc. (as De Gaulle would say: "all these big things"...).
- the local authorities: the mayors (in particular here Calais, Marck in Calaisis, Grande Synthe etc...), the deputies and other state functions which are sometimes the same as the mayors Mrs Bouchart (mayor of Calais, former senator, vice-president of the Hauts de France) Mr Dumont (former mayor of Marck, deputy of Calais) and of course a key figure "the prefect", the man in charge of the police force and the transmission belt of the national authorities.
A bit of ground: and on the ground 2 protagonists Calaisians and migrants whose cohabitation is not always obvious depending on the area they occupy, of course. For it is the same for all, "sharing an agreement" on condition that it is my neighbour who does it... One cannot deny the nuisance that the cohabitation of populations with aspirations, needs and cultural modes as distant as natives and immigrants in transit brings. On the one hand, people whose primary needs are satisfied while belonging to the local least well-off class, and on the other hand, people whose primary needs: food, hygiene, shelter are a daily preoccupation with a legal non-existence with no other project than to leave as soon as possible.
Confrontation is inevitable in the face of the incivilities of the newcomers (rubbish, non-respect of cultural rules), sometimes theft, aggression and even, over the last 20 years, violence against people, in short, the circle of fear of the other person, since we do not know them.
 
A few solutions:
It is obvious that it requires humanity: giving food, drink, hygiene, care and a roof over the heads of the refugees - no one denies this - the real question is WHERE?
It is obvious that it requires an individuality of help for each person, taking into account their aspirations, their history etc... the question is by WHOM? with WHICH LEGAL AUTHORITY?
And what to do while waiting? How can one make a person understand that his project is impossible because England does not want him? How can we offer him an alternative project that is attractive enough to dissuade him? by whom? where? with what funding? How can we stem the flow of hope in distant populations in despair?
England plays on its insularity by saying that it is the problem of others, denying its colonial past and the wealth it has derived from it, denying the conditions in which migrants will work and house, which allow its economic development through low-cost work.
Europe and its absurd regulations play on the complexity of the issue to discuss and turn away, leaving the authorities on the ground to fend for themselves while handing out money to buy themselves a conscience.
(Dublinisation obliges a migrant to apply for status in the European country he or she has entered. So a migrant who is in the process of integration in France must sometimes return to Greece or Italy, of course without money, to have his status renewed. Along the way, if they are fined for travelling without a transport ticket, they are fined and when they are regularised, they will be asked to pay a fine or even be reproached for not respecting the law. In the meantime, he will have abandoned his studies or even his integration work for 1 to 2 months with still difficulties to reintegrate on his return. Kafka has returned).
The local associations propose solutions, small structures at a distance from the coast (every morning the Sangatte refugees used to see the English coasts when they got up, to change project it is not ideal) with qualified staff and means to elaborate individualised life projects. ,
In conclusion: not all Calaisians are dogs far from it, many have given time, money, a roof, food, a phone refill, smiles, compassion and many will give more. In more than 20 years many refugees have passed through Calais and many have benefited from the support of the population.
Not all migrants are angels... The proportion of incivilities varies from one individual to another from one moment to another. They are partly cyclical rather than structural to the individual. Linked to the cultural differences and atrocities that drove them away and that they experienced during their journeys, as well as the living conditions we offer them, combined with the monetary demands of the smugglers who offer to make their dreams come true and sell them a nightmare.


Remy It is better to be a native than a migrant...
Everyone should one day have to face exile, for a year or two, and also face disability. This would allow people to stop behaving like idiots, as it is true that, until you have experienced something, you cannot understand it. As Lao Tseu would say, people's experience is never useful to others.
 
 
murielB It's very beautiful what you wrote Rémy. I agree with you and with Lao Tseu, and yet we talk a lot about empathy.
Empathy is defined as "the intuitive faculty to put oneself in the place of others, to perceive what they feel", according to the Larousse dictionary.
Is this possible?
 
 
Remy Empathy has something to do with the emotional quotient, which I believe is very useful for leaders. It's a form of intelligence, not necessarily very widespread...
 
 
 
murielB Hyper-empathetic people feel in their bodies the energy, emotions and physical symptoms of those around them. They feel their joy, but also their sadness.
It is not easy to assume but it is a form of intelligence. I agree


Steph Hello Patrick,
 
I propose a clarification on your statement "how can one make a person understand that his project is impossible because England does not want him? "
 
Having lived quite a bit in England and having discussed the subject with people connected with the Department of Immigration and People with an Immigration Background, it seems obvious to me today that this is an Anglo-English problem.
In fact, part of the population Wants migrants, and that is why the problem persists. These are the people who have an interest in having cheap and submissive labour, for example the heads of small businesses, who are sometimes themselves from an immigrant background. But there is another part of the population that DOES NOT WANT migrants: the British working poor. Regulations in England mean that there is very little unemployment (low and short compensation) but on the other hand there are very badly paid jobs, which can only be used as a supplementary job (women, young people living with someone who has the main income). Having migrants accepting very bad working conditions inevitably leads to social dumping for the British with the lowest incomes=lower skilled jobs.
 
Therefore, to spare the goat and the cabbage, the government must DO something to block immigration (to satisfy its most modest constituents), while NOT TAKING the measures that would really solve the problem (identity papers, identity checks, strengthening of the labour inspectorate to eliminate undeclared work), and to justify not taking them, provide demagogic discourse ("identity papers would be an infringement of freedom").
 
Consequently, if the problem persists, it is because in our neighbours, the right arm is trying to sabotage what the left arm claims to be trying to do.
 
And I don't know if it is really true to claim to migrants that "their project is impossible". Honestly, many end up going through and getting out once they get to the other side.


PatrickBI would like to thank Stéphanie for this very interesting lighting which "feels" the experience. Indeed among our British "cousins and friends" it is customary in politics when a thorny question arises to put the blame on "frog eaters" and thus to reach a consensus. Personally, I always try to distinguish between "the English" as a people and "the English" as a collection of particular individuals who each have their own stories and thoughts. In the same way, we can compare a Corsican, a Breton, an Alsatian, a Ch'ti, an Auvergne, a Basque, etc...? And within each sub-group there are a lot of points of agreement and a lot of points of divergence. We will recognise that the British have a great practice of tolerance and therefore that they are not adept at expressing clear-cut opinions, that it is difficult to negotiate with them because they never express a negation out of respect for the other, which does not mean either that they have a tacit yes in the sense that "he who says nothing consents". In short, there is only one subject on which there is unanimous agreement, and that is when it comes to their independence or the crown. This is what the politicians are playing at by betting on fear rather than tackling the real problem you describe: the low cost of migrant labour and the social dumping it causes, allowing "financiers" to reap more wealth rather than share it. But here we touch on a crucial point in their case which is very different from ours: they admit that the nobles can be rich by birth and keep the privileges that this "blue blood" grants them and by extension the rich are not regarded, as in our case, as profiteers but with respect. Of course all this is only a point of view and certainly does not reflect a more complex reality and this is precisely the purpose of this forum to allow the nuance of thought through different illuminations for a perception of reality that will only be temporary and already outside the truth so soon expressed. Nevertheless we will have perceived a fleeting photon of reality. Thank you again Stéphanie for your contribution.
PatrickB
PatrickB

Messages : 238
Lieu : café de Calais (et d'ailleurs - déplacements)
Langues : Français (Langue maternelle) , Gb

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