Natacha Bouchart, the Conservative Mayor of Calais, sparked outrage from local aid groups after giving orders forbidding distribution of food to refugees and migrants on the notorious “jungle” camp which was destroyed last year.
In a statement, the mayor said that “regular, persistent and large presence of individuals distributing meals to migrants” around the jungle which housed up to 10,000 migrants posed a serious threat to peace and security.
Several posters explaining the new instruction which effectively outlawed food distribution were plastered around the site. The coastal city Mayor said that whilst he understood the state of affairs “on human level” the ban was necessary to prevent mushrooming of makeshift camps in the area.
The Heat Street reports:
“It’s not a directive against the distribution of meals, but against gatherings because these lead to law and order issues as well as security and waste problems,”the right wing mayor told AFP.
“I took this decision to make sure that no permanent base or squat is created around Calais,” Bouchart added.
Local groups which help refugees with food and shelter said they would resist the police and fight the decision in court.
“We have been distributing food both day and night for two months, and we will continue to do so for a simple reason: people are hungry,” Gaël Monzy from Utopia56, a volunteering organization supporting refugees in France, told La Voix du Nord.