Demonstrators also stood in solidarity with activists on hunger strike who are protesting the plight of migrants and refugees and the systemic harassment they face on a daily basis.
Hundreds of protesters have marched in the French cities of Calais and Briancon in support of displaced refugees and migrants, demanding authorities end the practice of evictions during the cold winter.
Migrants and refugees arrive in Briancon after crossing the Alps in subzero temperatures. French police turn them back illegally without confirming their arrival.
Briancon, situated to France's southeast, is a destination for migrants crossing from the Italian border. With an altitude of 1,326 metres, its temperature can drop to -17 degrees Celsius with its alpine climate.
The demonstrations in the northern port of Calais seek to mobilise support for activists Anais Vogel and Ludovic Holbein, who have been on a hunger strike since October 11 in Calais.
They demand France ends the daily systemic harassment and violence perpetrated against refugees and migrants.
Calais is a major hub for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants looking to cross into the UK.
Ce matin les équipes #MSF et des bénévoles d’associations locales ont installé à #Briançon une tente gonflable chauffée de 50 places pour venir en aide aux personnes exilées #untoitcestlaloi @tousmigrants @MdM_France [#Thread] 1/4 pic.twitter.com/cDhoPrDfNQ— MSF France (@MSF_france) November 13, 2021
Putting the 'civil' in society
The Medicines Sans Frontier (Doctors Without Borders) medical charity group set up a heated tent with room for 50 people in Briancon after authorities failed to respond to demands for a “dignified reception area”, the NGO said.
Various NGOs who attended the protests called on the French government to initiate dialogue with civil society groups, allowing them to set up distribution points to provide food and medical assistance to the exiled people.
“Today, associations and citizens are mobilising in Briancon for the respect of the rights of exiled people and asking for a dignified and unconditional welcome in France,” MSF said in the tweet.