Shipwreck of migrants: in Calais and Dunkirk, gatherings in tribute to the victims

About 200 people, mainly association activists and a few exiles, gathered on Thursday, November 25, in the early evening in Calais to pay tribute to the 27 migrants who died the day before in a shipwreck.

Twenty-four hours after this tragedy, “We got together because 27 unique people, with their families and their friends, their dreams and their hopes, disappeared yesterday”, explained, during this commemoration, in the center of Calais Juliette Delaplace, local head of the Catholic Relief mission to the exiles.

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Activists and members of migrant rights associations light candles in front of a banner reading

Minute of silence

Supporters of the migrants, gathered since 6.30 p.m., observed a minute of silence and unfurled a banner bearing the names of most of the 309 people who have died on this border between France and Great Britain since 1999, according to a associative count. This therefore brings the number of deaths to 336, with the victims of the shipwreck on Wednesday, according to this count.

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“I feel very sad. I didn’t know them, but I came to tell my brothers [migrants] to be careful ”, told Agence France-Presse Faysal, a 30-year-old Sudanese man who has been living in the streets of Calais for four months. He who also wanted to attempt the crossing to Great Britain is changing his mind, he said: “I see that there are a lot of deaths”.

In Dunkirk, November 25, 2021.

“We must be indignant”

Also in Dunkirk, further along the coast, some 150 people gathered in front of the human rights stele, at the appeal of the Ripostons collective: for the respect of fundamental rights.

Among them, the mayors of Dunkirk, Patrice Vergriete (various left), and of Grande-Synthe, Martial Beyaert (Socialist Party), whose locality welcomes, like Calais, permanent flows of migrants.

“We must be indignant about this French and British policy which puts the exiles in a situation of having as only recourse only the smugglers, the scandal of the smugglers”, launched Bernard Champagne on behalf of the Human Rights League.

Mr. Vergriete, for his part, pleaded for “A system for distributing asylum applications at European level”, a system that would avoid putting the exiles “In the hands of the smugglers’ mafias”.

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The World with AFP

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Shipwreck of migrants: in Calais and Dunkirk, gatherings in tribute to the victims

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