The Good, The Bad And The Ugly – Refugee Crisis Volunteers…

Camera Woman being attacked by vigilante anarchists from the UK
Camera Woman being attacked by vigilante anarchists from the UK

I’m currently in Mytilini, Lesvos – The Greek Island that is receiving most of the Refugees out of Syria and the region coming through Turkey in un-seaworthy boats, many capsizing on route with many fatalities from drowning and hypothermia.

But once the refugees get into Europe looking for asylum, do they really know what lies ahead? Are the volunteers which mount in their thousands across Europe have the best interest of the refugees at heart or do they have their own political agendas?

Myself I come from conservative supporting family and grew up with Margret Thatcher, now there are many that hate her, and there are many that love her, I personally feel you couldn’t have had a stronger leader for that time than Thatcher who stuck up for Great Britain.  So I am a conservative supporter and voter and consider myself centre right on the political spectrum, which in my experiences with the refugee crisis has put me at odds on more than one occasion with many refugee volunteers especially around Calais.

Many volunteers in Calais in my time there and those I’ve talked to on the various Calais facebook pages have asked why am I helping the refugees when I support the current government and their views and my answer is that no one should have to live in such appalling conditions so if by building a shelter I get a few refugees out of tents and into warm sheltered accommodation then I’ve done some good.  The crisis has drawn on too long particularly in Calais, much because international governments have not come together in agreeance with a plan on how to tackle Calais and the refugee crisis as a whole.  This isn’t the fault of the British Government; it’s a combined fault of all of the international leaders involved.  Just because I support a government that won’t except the migrants/refugees into the UK doesn’t mean I think these people should live like this.  What should be quickly done is to assess officially who are genuine refugees and who are actually just economic migrants, once we find this, we send all the economic migrants back home.  Then we can see the real number of what we are dealing with.

One of the biggest problems I see particularly in Calais is the split groups doing their own thing, not knowing what others are going on…  And the divide of groups and their genuine and not so genuine reasons for being in Calais to help, for example there are now two warehouses, but instead of working together they work against each other.  Once the organisers of the original warehouse fell out over the organising of the place so one just up sticks and set up his own.

Then there are your political persuasions, mostly they go from Left Wing to Extreme Left Wing anarchists and activists with their own political agendas to for one make the current government look bad.  So are all these volunteers, well there are those who are doing a great job and for all the right reasons in Calais, both the long term volunteers and the ones that come over the odd weekend when they can find time off work, but then there is the Bad and the Ugly, the anarchists and activists with their own agendas.  For example, only a few weeks ago there was a mass rush of refugees who attempted to overrun and board one of the ferries in Calais, however it was actually organised and drummed up by anarchist groups from the UK.  I was able to locate and speak to one of these activists and when I asked why? His answer was to highlight the fact that there are thousands of Refugees camped in Calais.  I asked if they felt it did the refugees cause any good and again the activist said of course, people must be reminded that the refugees are here in Calais and something must be done.  I put it to him that all this did was make all the refugees look like a bunch of thugs to the British Press and public and make the UK want the refugees even less.  I was answered with I don’t agree.

Even the long term volunteers based out of the warehouse that mostly follow a left wing political view point just wanted rid of the activists involved and asked them to leave Calais.  An incident I personally had with one of these anarchists during my visit to Calais was in town after a long day of building large wooden shelters, we gave him a lift back to the warehouse where we were all staying and he started kicking off about what he called the weekend warriors coming over for the odd weekend here and there shouting that they weren’t committed enough and didn’t have a clue what was going on.  He was pissed and stoned, we later found out he was a regular trouble maker and often causing problems and after we dropped him off he set about defacing caravans and vehicles in the warehouse compound with washing liquid which quickly froze to the vehicles and was difficult to scrape off the next morning.  He was again asked to leave, but there are many more like him.

Chatting to many via facebook, I’ve found in the past two or three weeks long term volunteers have just quit, gone home pissed off, low morale and unhappy with the petty inter group squabbling going on.

So I say again are all the volunteers really helping or are most just causing more problems and issues for both the refugees and the Good Volunteers?  I’d say to the anarchist go home and stop causing more trouble than there already is.

Reported by Mike Buss – 16th February 2016

Published by mikebuss

Former British Soldier and Professional World Record Breaking Ultra Endurance Athlete... Now Freelance Photojournalist and co-owner of smmb media UK. Photojournalist - Adventurer - Athlete - Fitness Professional - PR & Marketing Contact:

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