How to Help in Calais

The clearing of the Calais ‘Jungle’ camp has left some people, including children, sleeping rough.

All this week bulldozers and police have moved into the camp to evict the people there. It is chaos. Voluntary organisations are desperately trying to help the children eligible to come to Britain safely and legally – whether because they have family in the UK or they qualify under the Dubs amendment.

Yet they and the British officials now working with them have faced persistent difficulties ensuring the children are registered by the French and so in safe locations – resulting in many being put at risk or taken out of Calais to unknown destinations. Without action more could go missing and last night many slept rough in the dangerous remains of the camp.

Stella Creasy MP has produced text of a letter in French and English so that you can write to the French authorities about this.

Go here for instructions. There is also a link for writing to your own MP.

Black Lives Matter UK – UFFC remembrance procession

The United Families and Friends Campaign was set up in the UK in 1997 to seek justice for those who have died in police custody in the UK. Originally a group of black families, the movement has expanded to include people of different ethnicities (and their supporters) whose loved ones have been killed by the police. For the past eighteen years, the UFFC has held a remembrance procession around October, where people walk from Trafalgar Square to Downing Street in memory of the people killed. This year, the procession takes place on Saturday October 29th.

The UFFC calls for the following:

  • Prison deaths be subject to a system of properly funded investigation that is completely independent of the Prison Service;
  • Officers involved in custody deaths be suspended until investigations are completed;
  • Prosecutions should automatically follow ‘unlawful killing’ verdicts;
  • Police forces be made accountable to the communities they serve;
  • Legal Aid and full disclosure of information is available to the relatives of victims;
  • Officers responsible for deaths should face criminal charges, even if retired.

Violence at Standing Stone Camp

Big Oil meets grass roots resistance. I’ve posted a video before from the Sacred Stone Camp. Predictably, as time goes on, things have gotten uglier. Police have been drafted in from various locations to deal with the protesters, along with private security firms hired by the oil companies. They will attempt to secure the pipeline in the face of protests by any means necessary. So far this has included: pepper spraying people at prayer, beatings, firing live rounds at horse riders and their horses, setting trained dogs on protesters, mass arrests, concussion grenades thrown into crowds… the militarised force of the State versus the people. Uncomfortable echoes of earlier times when First Nations people and Native Americans were brutally attacked and murdered by the authorities, trying to defend their land. And as climate change starts to bite, and the need for alternative sources of energy to fossil fuels becomes increasingly urgent, this is everyone’s fight.

Over 300 police officers in riot gear, 8 ATVs, 5 armored vehicles, 2 helicopters, and numerous military-grade humvees showed up north of the newly formed frontline camp just east of Highway 1806.

You can follow what’s happening over at the Sacred Stone Camp Facebook page. The people on the ground there are asking for videos of events to be shared.

If, like me, you’re sat behind a keyboard many, many miles away wondering what you can do, you can donate to the Camp’s legal fund. There’s info here.

An earlier article about the Camp from Huffpo is here.

“This is not your word”

Tiffany Martinez writes:


This morning, my professor handed me back a paper (a literature review) in front of my entire class and exclaimed “this is not your language.” On the top of the page they wrote in blue ink: “Please go back and indicate where you cut and paste.” The period was included. They assumed that the work I turned in was not my own. My professor did not ask me if it was my language, instead they immediately blamed me in front of peers. On the second page the professor circled the word “hence” and wrote in between the typed lines “This is not your word.” The word “not” was underlined. Twice. My professor assumed someone like me would never use language like that. As I stood in the front of the class while a professor challenged my intelligence I could just imagine them reading my paper in their home thinking could someone like her write something like this? 

Read the whole thing.