France's Destruction of a Migrant Camp Looks Like a Scene From 'They Live'

By Matt Novak on at

The French migrant camp near Calais, also known as The Jungle, is currently being torn down with the help of “several hundred” riot police, according to the Wall Street Journal. And sadly it looks like a scene from John Carpenter’s 1988 horror-dystopia film They Live.

“We have started removing empty shelters in the southern part of the camp,” a spokesperson for the French police told the Wall Street Journal today. “That work will continue every day over the next few weeks.”

We often use dystopian media to talk about the world we live in. And the migrant crisis in Europe and around the world looks increasingly like the dystopian fantasies of They Live and Children of Men.

France's Destruction of a Migrant Camp Looks Like a Scene From They Live
French police begin firing tear gas at migrants in the Calais camp (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

In They Live, a makeshift homeless encampment in Los Angeles is destroyed by police with bulldozers and riot police.

France's Destruction of a Migrant Camp Looks Like a Scene From They Live
Screenshot from the horror-dystopia film They Live (1988)

From the Wall Street Journal:

French authorities said last week that they planned to relocate 800-1,000 migrants living in the southern part of the Jungle, after a judge dismissed a last-ditch petition by humanitarian groups to delay the evacuation. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve pledged to offer all migrants new housing, adding the government never intended to “bulldoze” the camp and “brutally evict” its inhabitants.

The government may never have intended to “bulldoze” the camp. But that’s precisely what they’re doing today.

The French government claims that there’s more than enough temporary housing in the area, where an unspecified number of shipping containers have been made into makeshift homes. But humanitarian groups in France say there simply aren’t enough.

France's Destruction of a Migrant Camp Looks Like a Scene From They Live
Screenshot from the horror-dystopia film They Live (1988)

From the Wall Street Journal:

Humanitarian groups, however, say that more than 3,000 migrants will be affected by the dismantlement, and the available lodgings in the area won’t be enough to accommodate all of them.

Those who can’t get housing in local shelters will be transferred to facilities in other parts of France, authorities say.

Police have also been using firehoses to disperse the migrants, a tactic that goes above and beyond any fictional dystopia we see in They Live.

The migrants have held signs saying “We Are Not Terrorists, so don’t destroy our homes.” The signs, of course, have not stopped the riot police.

Upheaval and mass frustration in the world is nothing new. But it’s disheartening when the darkest visions of filmmakers can’t compete with reality.

France's Destruction of a Migrant Camp Looks Like a Scene From They Live
Migrants and activists at the Calais camp (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

This ain’t no Jetsons shit.

France's Destruction of a Migrant Camp Looks Like a Scene From They Live
French police taking position at the Calais camp (AP Photo/Jerome Delay)

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