UK

London's Shoreditch House Blocked By Masked Calais Solidarity Protesters Throwing Smoke Bombs

02/24/2016 09:21 am 09:21:31 | Updated 24 February 2016

Masked protesters have blocked the entrance to an east London private members' club in opposition to the closure of the migrant camp in Calais.

Witnesses reported seeing smoke bombs thrown at the entrance of Shoreditch House on Tuesday night, as activists dressed in black blocked the doorway and shouted.

The group of up to 30 people from Calais Solidarity restricted entry to the exclusive club, where the French ambassador to the UK Sylvie Bermann was reportedly at an event.

"People are protesting outside Dirty Burger and Shoreditch House (no idea why). Someone's thrown smoke bombs," journalist Zin Tsjeng posted on Twitter.

She said there were "about 30" people involved and shared a picture of a leaflet rallying against the planned clearing of the Calais camp known as 'The Jungle', where thousands of migrants are living.

Witnesses said some shouted and held a banner reading: "Borders are weapons of fear and division. Tear down their fences live fighting live free."

The group, which describes itself as 'Acting and speaking out in solidarity with the migrants of Calais', is campaigning against the planned clearing of the camp, where residents and volunteers have built homes, schools and shops.

Its leaflet called for "no borders" and for the world not to go back to "a time of razorwire fences and concentration camps, of murderous nationalism and authoritarian 'states of emergency'."

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It said the current treatment of migrants is "all too familiar", citing 'First they came for the migrants...', a sentiment attributed to a poem written by Pastor Martin Niemöller about why few people stood up against the Nazis' targeting of different groups.

It tweeted after the demonstration: "To clarify the French ambassador to the UK, Sylvie Bermann was in attendance."

Police attended the demonstration at around 6.50pm on Tuesday evening, and said no arrests were made.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police told The Huffington Post UK that officers had attended the scene and "inquiries are continuing".

Last year a nearby Shoreditch building was targetted by anti-gentrification protests, who attacked the 'Cereal Killer' cafe that served cereal and painted the word 'scum' on it.

The Jungle in Calais
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