More makeshift shelters will be dismantled on Tuesday (1 March) from the so-called "Jungle" in Calais after a night of violence when police fired tear gas at migrants who in turn were throwing stones at demolition squads.
The migrants have been asked to move to shipping containers on another part of the site which many fear will lead to them claiming asylum in France and not being able to travel to the UK.
Police and migrants battled through the night after authorities demolished the homes of up to 200 people out of the 3,500 who live in the camp.
Reuters said police fired tear gas at about 150 people and activists who threw stones, and shelters were on fire on day two of the demolition at the camp.
Earlier, standing just 3m from police lines and 20m away from what she described as "the combat zone", Claire Moseley, the founder of Care4Calais told IBTimes UK the situation on the ground was quickly deteriorating. "It's going bad now and they are shooting tear gas and stones have been thrown – it's not good," she said with the sounds of shouting and cheering clearly audible over the phone.
Mosley explained a stand off was under way. Migrants and refugees had set fire to a handful of tents in one area while French police had surrounded another group. "In one area we have got a stand off taking place because the refugees are standing on the roofs of their houses. At the moment those houses are surrounded by a circle of police in full body armour with helmets and shields," she explained, adding: "There's a woman in the middle".
The charity head said roughly 240 heavily armoured members of the French security forces had been deployed at Calais since 8am on 29 February. "There were maybe 20 vans of police with 12 police in each van. There is an absolutely massive police presence on site and they have worked really hard to keep the Europeans out. They are not letting anyone in," she explained.
80 or so people in a southern section of the camp were evicted between 8am and 9am this morning and their homes destroyed, Mosley explained. She said when some refused to vacate their shelters they were removed by 20 police. One migrant has been arrested.
On 25 February, the French government was given the go-ahead by a court in Lille to clear the Jungle migrant camp near the port of Calais. Authorities imposed a deadline on the 3,000 – 5,000 migrants from across the Middle East, Asia and Africa to vacate the camp on 23 February; however, a challenge to the order postponed the ultimatum.
The camp, which saw its numbers swell to well to more than 5,000 people in the summer of 2015, has been gradually cleared by a third over the past month. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said last week his ministry would work with humanitarian organizations to relocate the migrants to stop outbreaks of violence.
Mosley said Cazeneuve had not upheld his promise adding the demolition was connected to an emergency legal instrument rather than the eviction notice. "It is a bit of a sneaky thing to have done and it is a kind of psychological war against the refugees to make them feel like the police can do whatever they want," she said.