Mark Reynolds, Express, July 31, 2015
The protest has taken place after negotiations with the French government over job cuts broke down.
Fires, which are currently blocking access to the harbour, have plunged the crisis zone into further chaos.
It comes after Britain’s borders faced more disruption last night as hundreds of migrants including children stormed the Eurotunnel.
David Cameron has said Britain is threatened by a “swarm” of foreigners and the migrant crisis in Calais was likened to a “warzone.”
Migrants were pictured clinging to a lorry as they left the port of Dover, while others in Calais were seen clambering over fences with children in tow.
More than 4,000 increasingly aggressive and desperate migrants largely from war-torn failed African states have stormed through fences in a bid to clamber aboard trains to ‘El Dorado’ UK.
An estimated 150 have made it to Britain’s shores, with some claiming an increased feeling nationwide that the country is under siege.
Mr Cameron, meanwhile, remains in Vietnam and Theresa May has refused to call in military support to help the beleagured French forces.
Despite the numbers of migrants flooding into Britain, Mr Cameron has insisted the border with France is secure although he did admit the threat was very real.
He said: “This is very testing, I accept that, because you have got a swarm of people coming across the Mediterranean, seeking a better life, wanting to come to Britain because Britain has got jobs, it’s got a growing economy, it’s an incredible place to live.
“But we need to protect our borders by working hand in glove with our neighbours the French and that is exactly what we are doing.”
Natalie Chapman, of the Freight Transport Association, likened the scenes of chaos in Calais to a “warzone” and fears it is only a matter of time till a British driiver gets killed in the French port.
She said: “The situation in Calais has been escalating over the last few months and you think it can’t get any worse–and then it does.
“For lorry drivers trying to get to the UK it’s like a warzone. You’ve got people who have made in many cases very long and dangerous journeys to try to get to the UK who will stop at nothing to try to get on board.
“We recognise it’s a humanitarian crisis and a complex global situation and that these are human beings, but drivers’ lives are being put at risk by people who are so desperate they have no concern with their own safety and welfare and probably even less for the safety and welfare of the drivers.
“We are very, very concerned about the safety of our drivers and we fear it’s only a matter of time before someone is seriously injured or killed.”
Experienced MPs however have called on Mr Cameron to act as the threat continues to grow by demanding the British Army should be sent in to restore order because the French authorities had clearly ‘lost control’.
Labour shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper lashed out at the Prime Minister saying cross-Channel diplomacy had failed. She said: “Still not enough is being done to stop a difficult situation becoming desperate.”
Mr Cameron claimed moves would be made to deport more people who arrive in the UK illegally and added: “We will remove more illegal migrants from our country so people know it’s not a safe haven once you’re there.”
Ukip leader Nigel Farage also waded into the debate saying: “A couple of times I’ve been stuck on the motorway and surrounded by swarms of potential migrants to Britain and once, even, they tried the back door of the car to see whether they could get in.”
British social media users were also becoming increasingly frustrated with what they perceive as Mr Cameron’s inaction on the Calais crisis.
Angry reaction on Twitter included Jammy Bottoms who wrote: “It’s so disgusting that Cameron isn’t even pretending to be the slightest bit concerned for the migrants at Calais.”
stephen phelps added: “UK: the 5th richest economy with the 5th biggest defence spend. How difficult can it be to secure a f*&@!!£ tunnel!”
hard W. Jones said: “David Cameron: ‘Everything will be done to make Britain’s border secure.’ Yeah, right, and I’m a Frenchman.”
Michaela CrossT wrote: “Where the hell is David Cameron in all this? He’s not exactly Chuchill is he!?”
Richard Dingle: “Cameron continues to embarrass over his use of language describing migrants as a ‘swarm’ We need a statesman not a shallow prat.”
The row in Britain follows latest news footage from Calais showing some as young as 15 climbing through holes in the wire and using clothes to help them jump over fences.
When French police arrived in riot vans some of the migrants were rounded up while three or four made a dash towards parked lorries.
Raihan Jan, 24, a clerk from eastern Afghanistan’s Nangarhar province, said that he had travelled first to Iran, then on to Turkey, Greece and Italy before arriving in Calais four days ago.
He said: “We heard that one guy died last night and we know it’s very dangerous, but there is not another way to go the UK.
“This is the last chance that we have. We think that the economy is a little bit better in the UK so we will get a chance to have documents and some work.
“Life in our villages is very difficult, we can’t live there. I lost an uncle and we lost all our property and home in the war, everything was destroyed.
“I heard that it is also difficult there in the UK but we will try. We are going to try again tonight because last night there were no trains.”
As two more migrants died and a further 1,500 once again attempted to storm Eurotunnel trains in the chaotic port, officials on both sides of the Channel bickered over how to sort out the mess.
The ferry terminal and tunnel entrance is now under nightly siege as some 5,000 migrants in a nearby camp dubbed “The Jungle” attempt to illegally make their way to the UK.
The crisis has caused travel chaos on both sides of the Channel, with motorists reporting long queues to get into terminals.
Both British and French governments have pledged to increase co-operation and bolster security, with 120 additional French police officers deployed to try to stem the tide of refugees.
But the latest breaches caused lengthy delays of up to three hours for passengers travelling from Eurotunnel’s UK terminal in the early hours, the operator said.
The firm added it had suspended ticket sales for those who had not made a reservation.
Now politicians and those representing British hauliers–currently losing £750,000 a day because of the chaos–have said enough is enough and it is time for military action.
Ukip leader Nigel Farage led those calling for the British army to be drafted in to help search vehicles coming into the UK for illegal immigrants.
In addition, hauliers said the French military should also be called in to Calais to protect the lives of drivers which were increasingly in danger.
Mr Farage said: “In all civil emergencies like this we have an army, we have a bit of a TA and we have a very, very overburdened police force and border agency.
“If in a crisis to make sure we’ve actually got the manpower to check lorries coming in to stop people illegally coming to Britain if in those circumstances we can use the army or other forces then why not.”
Former Shadow Home Secretary Ann Widdecombe agreed that the army could be deployed at UK borders, but stressed that the situation in Calais itself could only be the responsibility of the French.
She said: “There is an argument for the army getting involved, but there then has to be a clear policy of what to do with the migrants when they are found–and in my opinion they should be sent straight back to Calais.
“Calais is the French’s responsibility–we haven’t had control of Calais since the reign of Queen Mary. The migrants are in a safe country and the French must uphold the law in their own country.”
Eurotunnel earlier revealed that since the beginning of the year it has blocked 37,000 migrants trying to make their way to Britain and that in the last month nine people have died trying to cross the Channel.
It is thought that up to 148 people made it to the UK after Monday’s incursion.
So far Home Secretary Theresa May has refused to be drawn on calls for military involvement, saying the priority was to install security fencing.
Kevin Hurley, the police and crime commissioner for Surrey, called for Gurkha soldiers based at Shorncliffe barracks in Folkestone to be deployed to protect Britain’s border.
He said: “I am increasingly frustrated by the huge numbers of illegal migrants who jump out of the backs of lorries at the first truck stop–Cobham Services in Surrey–and disappear into our countryside. There were 100 in the last month alone.”
In addition to the calls for the British army to be drafted at UK borders, there were also calls for the French to use their own military in the chaotic port of Calais itself.
The Road Haulage Association (RHA) warned that the lives of lorry drivers were now in danger because French police were simply no longer able to cope.
The RHA’s chief executive, Richard Burnett, said: “It has become clear that the French authorities in Calais simply cannot cope. This has become an untenable situation and is obviously now beyond the capabilities of the French police. The RHA strongly repeats its request, made in June, for deployment of the French military to contain, segregate and control the migrant threat.
“We need to see help on a giant scale. We think it’s a resources issue. The police resources are obviously limited and the military will have greater resources.”
He added: “For the thousands of British drivers whose lives are now being put at risk on a regular basis, a quick and effective solution to the current situation must be found.
“The news that yet more lives have been lost in such tragic circumstances underlines the desperation of the Calais migrants.”
And Mr Burnett stressed that the UK Government must also play its part.
“Lives of migrants and HGV drivers are being put at risk,” he said.
The Home Office said 1.2 miles of fencing will secure each side of the platform at Coquelles. It is being supplied from the security fencing used at a Nato summit in Newport last year and will be in place by the end of the month.
Meanwhile one man who did not want to give his name said that 13 people had died after the boat he had boarded to cross from Libya had capsized.
Several Africans claimed that they had been attacked by what they described as French “fascists” since arriving in Calais.
At around 1.30pm police mounted a sweep to push the migrants back from the road next to the fence, forcing some to return to their camp, known as the Jungle.
Others lay down by the roadside, watching as lorries went under a flyover beneath them.
Mohammad Al-Mohammad, 26, from Aleppo, Syria, said he graduated in English literature from the city’s university before the civil war left it in ruins.
Speaking good English, he said that he wanted to carry on studying for a masters degree in the UK, where he claimed his brother was living.
He said he had walked and hitchhiked from a refugee camp in Turkey, through Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Austria and Italy before arriving in France three months ago.
He said: “I have tried maybe nine or 10 times to get to the tunnel but I have failed.
“I have come here for many reasons. The Syrian regime wanted me for military service.
“I graduated from the University of Aleppo after three years and Isis wanted me to teach the kids (to be) jihadists and I refused.
“When I graduated there was no work because of the war and in the area where I live there is no electricity, no internet, there is nothing because the war has destroyed everything.
“I am seeking peace in the United Kingdom and my brother is there. I ask the United Kingdom authorities to help me to go to him.”
Last night, the Department for Transport announced it was temporarily relaxing rules around drivers working times to help clear the backlog of lorries on the M20 in Kent. For the next month drivers will be able to work 11 hours a day, rather than nine.
Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “We have listened to the concerns of hard working lorry drivers who are suffering as a result of this disruption and are doing everything we can to help.
“This temporary relaxation of the rules around driver hours is a targeted, temporary measure, to make it easier for people passing through Kent in the course of cross Channel journeys.
“The government is working with the French and Eurotunnel as we all want to see the Channel Tunnel operating, Calais operating and people able to go about their business without disruption.”