France Waking Up: Shouts Of 'We Don't Want Them" Greet Migrants In The Streets Of France
The protests began even before the migrants had arrived.
“We don’t want them!” shouted the demonstrators in this village of 1,900 people, 80 miles from Calais, where the migrants were bused from a camp known as the Jungle on Monday.
“This is our home!” others yelled at the darkened, disused retirement home where the migrants were being housed. Inside the building, a young Sudanese man pressed his face to the window and looked out at the angry crowd, bemused.
All over France, tiny communities like this one, in the old battlefields of the country’s north, are being forced to deal firsthand with Europe’s migrant crisis.
It has not been easy. The effort to relocate many of the 6,000 or more people who had made the Jungle their home has thrust France’s divided view of the migrants into plain view.
On Tuesday, officials began breaking down the Jungle in earnest. Cleaning crews wearing fluorescent orange vests and white hard hats arrived with small bulldozers. They worked their way inward, throwing dirty blankets and mattresses, discarded furniture and tarps into a large container for trash.
It was the second day of a long-awaited operation to clear out the Jungle and bus hundreds of migrants to temporary housing around the country. The authorities said some 4,000 migrants, including 772 minors, had been “sheltered” so far.