A year later, a tribute to the 27 migrants “who were left to die” in the Channel

MIGRANTS – A year after the drowning of 27 migrants in the English Channel and a few days after the revelations of an investigation into the passivity of French relief during the sinking, several tributes were paid to the victims of the tragedy, this Thursday, November 24, in Paris and in the north of France.

As you can see in our video report at the top of the article, a hundred people gathered at Place de la République in Paris, including several members of associations, representatives of NGOs and parliamentarians. At the foot of the bronze statue of Marianne, white sheets bearing the names of the victims had been affixed.

Protesters listened to the reading of a letter from a widow and mother of two to her drowned husband who “didn’t deserve to die like that”. A member of the LFI-NUPES group, Gabriel Amard, denounced the “hardening of militarization in Calais to prevent departures”. And announced the tabling in the Assembly of a motion for a resolution to obtain a commission of inquiry into the conditions of the sinking.

In a column published for the occasion by The world65 French, British and Belgian humanitarian associations have called for the opening “safe pathways” towards Great Britain, to avoid a new tragedy.

A tribute at sea

At the end of the afternoon, a tribute was also organized off Dunkirk by rescuers at sea. Three wreaths of white flowers were thrown into the sea and three blows of the foghorn sounded. “It is a drama that we expected, and there will undoubtedly be others”launched aboard a lifeboat the president of the local National Society for Sea Rescue (SNSM), Alain Ledaguenel.

Parts of the town hall of Dunkirk, several hundred people marched towards the beach of Malo-les-Bains, behind a banner proclaiming “Your borders, our dead”.

In the crowd, the EELV MEP and former mayor of Grande-Synthe, Damien Carême, asked that “justice be done”, in view of the revelations in the press on a lack of help from the French and British services pointed out by the investigators. Documents unveiled by The world and consulted by AFP implicate the French and British rescuers, who passed the buck without coming to the aid of the wrecked boat.

“Everything that is written is quite shocking”said Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin in an interview with France 3 Hauts-de-France on Wednesday evening. “From what I understand (…), we should have intervened, because obviously they were in French waters”he added.

This shipwreck did not deter exiles from braving the sea from the coast of northern France: more than 40,000 of them have reached the English coast since January, a record. At the same time, more than 7,000 people were rescued, according to the maritime prefecture.

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