Moment crowds of migrants climb fences and chant ‘freedom’ in protest at conditions inside disused Kent barracks where they are being held awaiting asylum claims
- Crowds shouted ‘we want freedom’ at a fence in Napier Barracks, Folkestone
- Footage recorded by an onlooker shows the group hit and pull at the barrier
- Some lift a man in a jacket so he can talk to police on the other side of barrier
Migrants have protested over living conditions under lockdown at a former military barracks.
Crowds shouted ‘we want freedom’ at a fence in Napier Barracks, Folkestone, on Monday.
Footage recorded by an onlooker shows the group hit and pull at the barrier while officers watch from the other side.
Some help lift a man in a blue jacket so he can better talk to police on the other side of the gate.
The man looks agitated as he waves his arm and shouts to the officers and others who have gathered outside the centre.
Crowds shouted ‘we want freedom’ at a fence in Napier Barracks, Folkestone, on Monday
He can be heard shouting about ‘security’ and having waited quietly to be released during his speech.
After climbing down, he rejoins the rest of the group as they continue to chant ‘freedom, freedom, freedom,’ and again attack the gate.
Napier Barracks is currently serving as a temporary assessment centre for thousands of people who have travelled across the English Channel.
Many of those who risk their lives to make the arduous journey do so in small boats and dinghies.
A second video, filmed by an onlooker on the other side of the gates, shows police approaching the fence to talk to the migrants.
One officer said: ‘Guys if you break the gate, there’s no freedom because you will be arrested for criminal damage. So don’t do that.’
Footage recorded by an onlooker shows the group hit and pull at the barrier while officers watch from the other side
But a member of the group replied ‘please open, please’ before the video comes to an end.
There have been complaints about the living conditions at Napier Barracks in the past.
An inspection earlier this year by HM Inspectorate of Prisons found people were kept in rooms for days without showers, sleeping facilities or access to open air.
The footage echos similar scenes seen in the seaside village of Penally, Pembrokeshire, last week.
Around 230 migrants were sent to the former army training centre in the sleepy holiday village after arriving in the UK from the Middle East.
Up to a dozen of the refugees protested outside the base holding signs saying: ‘Where are the human rights,’ and ‘we want justice’.
The footage echos similar scenes seen in the seaside village of Penally, Pembrokeshire, last week (pictured)
A resident of the camp in Penally, Wales spoke on his mobile phone as he held up a cardboard sign demanding human rights
Others held carboard banners with ‘the refugee has a right to stay in a home’, ‘we want better conditions’, and ‘save us from Covid 19’.
The arrival of the men was initially met with protests from worried locals concerned over the impact on local services and house prices in the 800-population village.
Far right activists later joined in demonstrations and anti-racism groups also gathered at the centre.
The refugees – all aged 18-35 – arrived at Penally in September and are due to stay there for up to a year while their asylum claims are processed.
The men are mainly from Iraq and Iran.
Meanwhile French police have cleared a huge Paris migrant camp where more than 2,000 people lived shoulder-to-shoulder in tents under a motorway overpass.
An officer in heavy riot gear and a face mask stands guard as firemen douse the inferno at the migrant camp last night
A migrant hurls a wooden pallet onto a burning mass of tents and other belongings as riot police moved in to prepare 2,400 people to be moved away from the underpass in Saint-Denis in the northern suburbs of Paris last night
Around 2,400 migrants, most of them young men from the Middle East and Africa, set fire to their camp under the A1 in Saint-Denis in the northern suburbs of Paris last night after police in heavy riot gear arrived.
The nearby metro station was closed for security reasons as officers attempted to control the crowds ahead of the arrival of dozens of buses to remove them today.
Police said the operation would ‘guarantee the safety and health of all, especially against COVID-19.’
Firemen were dispatched as thick black smoke billowed up from under the overpass near the Stade de France national stadium.
At a press briefing, Paris police prefect Didier Lallement declared the camp ‘not acceptable.’
He said: ‘This operation aims to ensure that people with the right to be here are given shelter and those who do not have that right do not remain on French territory.’
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