Perspectives: The Demolition of the Calais “Jungle”
Being Libertarian Perspectives serves as a weekly, multi-perspective opinion and analysis piece by members of Being Libertarian’s writing team. Every week the panel, comprised of randomly selected writers, answers a question based on current events or libertarian philosophy. Managing Editor Dillon Eliassen moderates and facilitates the discussion.
Dillon Eliassen: The French government has forcibly removed refugee residents of, and razed, the “Jungle” in Calais. From CNN: “Authorities dismantled part of the camp early this year, but it failed to stop more and more migrants from arriving, with high hopes of crossing the Eurotunnel from Calais to reach the UK, just over 30 miles away. The Jungle has become a gritty symbol of Europe’s migrant crisis and has been a thorn in the French government’s side. But to a tight-knit community there, it is also a symbol of determination and resilience — more than 70 business have sprung up in the Jungle, including restaurants, cafes, bars, hairdressers and barbers, and leaving is not as simple as packing up and moving on.” What are the implications of the actions of the French authorities?
Nathaniel Owen: This is not the first time a stationary refugee camp has appeared in Calais. Calais is where one might go when trying to get to the UK, and the “Jungle” makes a good waiting spot; somewhere to stay while thinking through future plans. Like any shanty town, it doesn’t take much speculation to assume that crime was likely a problem. I say “was” because it was announced that the area is entirely clear of refugees. The fact that the refugee camp naturally spawned businesses and restaurants should be deeply considered. We’re seeing capitalism here, born from necessity.
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