Home immigration Hundreds of French villagers march in protest at plans to re-distribute Calais...

Hundreds of French villagers march in protest at plans to re-distribute Calais migrants

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Scores of migrants from the sprawling camp at the port town are being distributed throughout the country as the government looks to shut down the shanty town.  Join today

Thousands are camped out at the de facto border with the UK in an attempt to illegally sneak into Britain, but French president Francois Hollande has declared it will bulldoze the entire site by the end of the year.

He has pledged to dismantle the sprawling slum city before winter, relocating the 9,000 inhabitants to 164 locations across France.

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Work could begin as soon as October 17, Calais officials say.

In March security forces demolished the southern part of the tent city, but the northern section remained and shipping containers were installed in a bid to improve conditions and sanitation.

But plans to shut down the camp and evenly distribute its inhabitants across the country has been met with fierce opposition from locals.

Residents of Pierrefeu and Forges-les-Bains took to the streets in outrage, with the mayor of Pierrefeu leading a march.

French migrant protest

Currently there are plans to house 60 migrants in the 6,000 strong town for up to five months.

Mayor Patrick Martinelli led a procession of several hundred through the town on Saturday, objecting to government plans to house some migrants in the abandoned wing of a psychiatric hospital while their asylum applications are processed, or other options are considered.

Mr Martinelli said: “Even if we can understand the dismantling of Calais… our small towns are not the solution for this dismantling. We are too small to host so many people.”

Residents’ concerns focus on tensions between the migrants and other psychiatric patients, and fears for security.

Resident Laure Paul said: “I am ashamed because we repress the poorest. They need us, the people who are coming from abroad, and are dying in the seas.

France migrant protest

Members from the FN joined Saturday’s march in Forges-les-Bains, as around 200 residents protested the arrival of 40 migrants, from Afghanistan, in an empty building in the town.

Residents held signs saying ‘not against migrants, but against the state’ and ‘plan imposed from above (equals) mounting anger’.

Elsewhere in France Gerard Cozier, mayor of Allex, in south-eastern France, has protested plans to temporarily house migrants in a a disused village centre, formerly used to treat drugs addicts and alcoholics.

He demanded a referendum on the issue, saying “All these people said to me ‘we must be consulted’.”

France migrant protestMayor Patrick Martinelli led a procession of several hundred through the town
And shots were fired at a planned migrant centre in Saint Brevin, a seaside town, earlier this month, and at another building planned to house migrants in Saint-Hilaire-du-Rosier, southeastern France.

Pro-migrant rallies were also held in the towns over the weekend

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