Seven people were tried on Tuesday for charges of degradation and refusing to provide DNA and fingerprints following the illegal evictions of two squats almost one year ago.
There were only two convictions out of the total fifteen charges. They were for two people refusing to give DNA and fingerprints in the first case, and the sentence was a suspended fine of €150. All were acquitted of the charges of property damage.
What was most notable in the trial was the complete lack of effort by the police and prosecutor to present any evidence of property damage, although the evictions were carried out under the pretense of investigating that damage.
The trial showed very clearly how the city hall and police abuse the criminal law to circumvent the legal procedures required to evict squatted buildings in Calais. They enter the properties by force and arrest everyone on charges of criminal damage that they have no intention of substantiating or actually prosecuting. While the occupants are in the police station they send workers to barricade the building; materially, if not legally, evicting them.