French Police Fire Water Cannons, Tear Gas at Pro-Migrant Protesters in Calais

France (Sputnik) – On Saturday, activists intended to march from the refugee camp that was dubbed the Jungle and has become a symbol of the ongoing migrant crisis in Europe to the center of the port city.

The rally was assembled by the International Coalition of Sans-Papiers Migrants and Refugees (CISPM) organization a day after authorities put a ban on public events associated with migrants.

As police tried to stop the meeting, the protest spiraled out of control and turned violent. Activists threw stones at law enforcement that used gas grenades and water cannons to disperse the crowd.

Authorities deployed over 200 police personnel to hold back the unrest. According to media reports, up to 200 migrants and 50 activists were seen clashing with law enforcement. A bus carrying an additional 150 protesters was also stopped on its way from Paris to Calais.

The riot, which lasted some three hours, reportedly ended with ten police injured, of which one was hospitalized, French police union official Gilles Debove

The protesters reported that several were wounded in clashes, although the information is yet to be confirmed.

The media also reported that an AFP photographer was wounded by a stone hurled by a protester.

The clashes in the Jungle became the worst since February, when five people were reported injured.

Prior to the protest, French President Francois Hollande vowed that the Jungle will be shut down by the end of 2016. Currently up to 10,000 people live there.


This report prepared by Sputnik News.