Daily Mail's Ferry Offer Used By Activists To Help Calais Migrants

Daily Mail's Ferry Offer Used By Activists To Help Calais Migrants

Your average Daily Mail reader might take advantage of the newspaper’s £1 ferry offer to load up on bargain French wine, tour the battlefields or visit the charming Bologne-sur-Mer.

But one group of activists have decided to use them for a better cause, to help the freezing migrants huddled in Calais homeless camps – sponsored by the Mail’s generosity, and prompted by the paper’s negative attitude toward immigration.

calais migrant
A migrant holds up hot food received in Calais

The initiative was begun by the editorial team at the anarchist magazine Strike! in a Facebook post entitled: “How to help your fellow human beings at the Calais migrant camps… at the Daily Mail’s expense! This is probably the best thing you could do this weekend/ever”.

David Charles and fellow journalist Beth Granville have made the trip to France this weekend, and Charles told HuffPost it was Granville’s grandmother who had originally spotted the deal in the paper.

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Activists have been pictured with trolley-loads full of winter clothes, games and blankets to help the Calais Migrant Solidary campaign. And, the post points out, campaigners can reward themselves with the Mail’s offer of a free bottle of wine on the way back to Dover.

Charles, one of the campaigning journalists involved with the stunt, wrote an open letter to the newspaper on his blog, entitled “A thousand thanks for your tireless support for the much-abused Calais migrants! (Or, as they’re also known, “Fellow Human Beings”.)”

“Some freeloading scroungers might have cynically used your festive promotional offer with P&O Ferries to go over and stock up on cheap continental booze and fags,” he wrote. “But we know you meant to launch a D-Day-style flotilla of solidarity with Fellow Human Beings who have fled the blood and torture and killing and more blood and bombs (paid for by the British taxpayer!) in the hope of joining us in El Dorado where you can’t even have a fag indoors any more.

“Your courageous humanitarian stance should be saluted – but instead you’re constantly pilloried by the loony left as ‘anti-immigration’, ‘anti-welfare’ and ‘anti-freeze’. Everyone should clearly understand your newspaper is cover-to-cover political satire!”

“This is great, I will definitely come along with a bag of supplies. Glad Daily Mail has finally seen the light,” one Facebook commenter wrote below.

There are between 2,000 to 3,000 people living in the makeshift camps in the French port hoping to catch a ride in a lorry or truck into Britain. The British border is protected by six-metre-high triple-layer chain-link fences topped with razor wire and patrolled by sniffer dogs, and armed guards with electronic heartbeat detectors.

More than a dozen, including young women and teenagers, have died over the past year attempting to reach Britain,

Last month, the European director of the UN’s refugee agency warned more people will die in the refugee camps in the freezing temperatures.

“The conditions are totally unacceptable and are not consistent with the kind of values that a democratic society should have,” Vincent Cochetel told the Guardian. “This is a shameful situation to witness in the heart of the Europe Union.”

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