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French authorities ban Calais rallies ahead of planned Pegida march


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French authorities ban Calais rallies ahead of planned Pegida march

French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve has declared that protests planned for this weekend (February 6) in Calais have been banned following violence at recent similar demonstrations.

Those running the northern French city’s so-called Jungle refugee camp estimate almost 6,000 people are currently sheltering there.

Right-wing anti-immigration group Pegida had planned to march through Calais on Saturday. However, during separate pro-migrant protests on January 23, some 200 migrants burst into the port, forcing it to close for several hours.

Cazeneuve said:
“In view of these protests and the serious threat to public order they provoked, I asked the prefect of the Calais region — after we discussed the subject with (Calais Mayor) Natacha Bouchart — to ban all demonstrations.”

The ban will concern all rallies which might threaten public order, he said, and will remain in place as long as necessary, no matter who organises the gatherings.

Light relief

In the ‘Jungle’ camp on Wednesday (February 3), a group migrants was treated to a performance of Hamlet by English company Shakespeare’s Globe.

Although there were bemused expressions among the crowd, some later said they enjoyed the performance.

The theatre company is in the throes of a “Globe to Globe” tour to mark the 450th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s birth (1564) and the 400th anniversary of the Bard’s death (1616).

Before arriving in Calais, Shakespeare’s Globe had performed for Syrian refugees in Jordan and Yemenis in Djibouti.

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