Breaking News: French Ban Stops Aid for Refugees from Belper

Late Thursday night the French government passed a ban on independent aid to the refugee camps.  This stops all community endeavours and denies people the ability to help those in desperate need.

Derby and Amber Valley Solidarity groups responded to a call from the overnight shift in the storage which equips new arrivals with a delivery of much needed supplies, to stop new arrivals from freezing to death without any protection. The volunteers were stopped at the entrance to the Grande Synthe camp and refused entry.

One of the Solidarity volunteers made contact with Solidarity in Britain with this update:

“So today we arrived at France at one of the camps only to find there was a massive police presence due to the change in law. This does not allow aid or building materials to be allowed on site from individual aid distributors. We were unable to entre to distribute aid so we made contact with our contact who have arranged to meet us at the camp first thing tomorrow so we can help out any other way we can.”

Aid Box Convoy encountered the same problem at Grande Synthe:


The law is against “independent aid” (the only kind going in to The Jungle) and was passed 17/12/15.

Update (9:30pm 19/12/15): Denmark is now attempting to pass legislation to search refugees for valuables (the last mementos of their entire lives before fleeing Daesh and all that they own IF they have anything left) to pay for their keep. Europe edges ever closer to the inhumane evil that we once fought against. Amber Valley Solidarity intends to continue in whatever ways it can, opposing all such measures and remaining humane.

Update 2 (12:30am 20/12/15): On 19/12/15  Solidarity managed to get bedding and food into the camp. The police are not letting tents, building supplies or anything that constitutes shelter into the camp. As winter takes hold, this is perilous for refugees. Solidarity are returning tomorrow to do what else they can to help.

Clare Washbrook

Current Editor-in-Chief News and magazine editor since 1995 Post-grads: Literature; Theatre; Journalism, Ethics & Law Community Affiliations: Belper Goes Green, Belper's WW1 Poppies, Amber Valley Solidarity No political party memberships/affiliations.

One thought on “Breaking News: French Ban Stops Aid for Refugees from Belper

  • 20th December 2015 at 8:40 pm

    First full day in camp and we have worked along Aid Box Convoy and helped erect tents for new comers and supplied them with warm sleeping bags. That’s at least 10 people that will sleep warm and dry now because of the efforts put in by the team.
    We also helped with the direct aid distribution of food packages to those that were most in need.
    One of the team helped with the construction of a big massive bell tent complete with raised floor and burner for a vulnerable family to have a safe warm dry place to stay in the family area of the camp.
    There was lots of mud, rubbish and broken tents but there is a lot of volunteers on the ground trying to do there best to make things slightly bearable for the refugees.
    There was a strong police presence who checked all bags going in to camp not allowing tents, tarpaulins or building materials but they did allow us to take food and bedding on to the camp.
    We are all going back tomorrow to get stuck back in where we can, doing what ever is needed.
    Our team have met some amazing people, volunteers and refugees who are all making the best of the worst situation.
    Thank you to the rest of the team who have been awesome and really done a great job.
    Big love xxx

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