France is seeing protests in some of its small towns. News that the French government is going to shut down the camp at Calais gave some French nationals reason to protest. The improvised camp at Calais is where thousands of immigrants had made makeshift shelters. It had become a sort of slum on the outskirts of the city of Calais.
Although it is good news that the French government is finally doing something about the situation and the terrible conditions that the migrants were living in, some see a downside to it. Authorities are going to tear down the camp at Calais. Then, the migrants are going to be relocated around the country.
The French Government’s Relocation Plan
The quiet life of French villages might soon see an unexpected event. The French government has decided that it can no longer tolerate the camp of immigrants outside Calais. The situation of the refugees and economic migrants had drawn attention at a European level. So the French government is taking steps to address the situation of this unexpected immigration by moving the migrants into the country.
This way, the French government is hoping to disperse the concentration of immigrant population that had appeared in the form of a makeshift neighborhood. With limited access to even the most basic conditions for daily life, the camp was quickly becoming a social issue.
But the French villages that are supposed to welcome the immigrants do not fully support the decision taken by the government. Villagers took to the street to protest the initiative and express their point of view regarding the situation. Europe’s migrant crisis is a difficult issue and surely everyone wants to see a solution for it and a positive outcome. But these French villagers don’t want that to happen at their expense.
Protests at Pierrefeu
This Saturday, protest rallies took place in the Provence region in the southeast of France. The gendarmes were there to make sure that everything would be alright and watched on as the people peacefully demonstrated.
The village of Pierrefeu is one of the French villages that is going to receive immigrants according to the government’s proposal. The government plans to relocate several dozen immigrants to Pierrefeu. They will stay there as they go through the application process for asylum or as officials consider different options for them. Several hundred people participated in the protest against the proposal of the government. The mayor of the village was present, protesting as well.
There was another rally on the same day, with fewer participants. Left-wing activists organized in a show of support towards the migrants. Believing that France should face the issue of immigration together, another group of villagers marched in support of the government’s plan. Their point of view was that immigrants are welcome to their village.
But the most vocal protest on that day was from the National Front. The party organized an anti-immigration rally. Their protest wasn’t so much against the measure for Pierrefeu, as it was against immigration in a more general way. On a national level, the National Front party is opposing the relocation plan for the camp at Calais. One of the themes that are central to the political platform of Marine Le Pen’s party is resistance to immigration.
Image source: here.