French police have moved into the so-called “Jungle” in Calais to begin dismantling part of the migrant camp.
At the weekend the authorities toured the area urging residents to leave, following a court decision on Thursday approving a government plan to clear the southern part of the shanty town.
On Friday the French government, which has vowed to carry out the order humanely, said some 500 extra places would be made available in reception centres for those displaced.
The activist group Calais Migrant Solidarity, which believes in “free movement for all”, reported on Monday morning that people were being threatened with arrest if they did not leave.
Massive police presence in the Jungle with bulldozers destroying houses and threatening to arrest people if they don't leave their houses— Calais Solidarity (@calaisolidarity) 29 February 2016
Mayor of #Calais tells
BBCNews</a> demolition delayed until today cuz 'No Borders' activists disrupting movement of migrants <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/CalaisJungle?src=hash">#CalaisJungle</a></p>— anna holligan (annaholligan) 29 February 2016
Thousands of migrants and refugees, many fleeing war and poverty in Africa, Afghanistan and the Middle East, have converged on the northern French port seeking to reach Britain.
The order by a court in Lille follows concern over the camp’s squalid conditions, and security – migrants have clashed with police and tried to board lorries approaching the port.
But many migrants are reluctant to leave, afraid that they will be detained or documented.
French authorities begin clearance of part of Calais 'Jungle' camp https://t.co/S3gxDvv1zY— The Guardian (@guardian) 29 February 2016
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