French police stopped one group of refugees crossing the Channel—and then abandoned nearly 120 people in the dunes. They include around 30 children and a two month-old baby (Picture: Utopia 56)

One person has died and another is in a critical condition after a boat carrying 66 people sank in the English Channel on Thursday night or Friday morning.

They are more victims of the brutal anti-refugee regimes in Britain and France. Stand Up To Racism said, “Our thoughts are with the family and friends of the person who died and all those who have been affected in this latest horrible incident.

“It is the price of the hardening of borders and the scapegoating of refugees. And it comes after the tragic suicide on the Bibby Stockholm prison barge in Dorset. Please join the protest at the Home Office on Monday to say ‘Stop the Hate’.”

Two of those rescued were found unconscious. One could not be resuscitated. The other was in a life-threatening condition in hospital. Others have been taken to Calais for treatment, but two further people are still missing. Two more people may be missing, the regional maritime authority told AFP news agency.

French sea rescue coordinators at Gris Nez, near the northern port city Calais, heard during the night that a migrant boat was in difficulty less than five miles from the coast. A rescue vessel arrived in the area at around 30 minutes past midnight.

After the crew found one of the migrant boat’s buoyancy tubes “deflated” and people “in the water”, they took people back to Calais.

Another person was seriously hurt in a separate Channel crossing attempt Friday morning off Sangatte, just outside Calais, local authorities said.

“This is of course a tragedy,” right wing interior minister Gerald Darmanin told reporters after meeting local security forces.

It’s the same hypocrisy that comes from the Tories. Darmanin is trying to ram an anti-migrant law through parliament. It cuts undocumented migrants off from anything but emergency healthcare, makes family reunification harder and deportations easier.

But MPs rejected it as “too soft” with the fascists of Marine Le Pen’s National Rally and the traditional conservatives voting against. So Darmanin is amending the draft law further rightwards.

Two decades after the closure of a Red Cross centre in Sangatte hundreds of desperate people still live in tents and makeshift shelters near Calais and Dunkirk. They are hoping for an opportunity to make the crossing hidden in a truck or aboard a small boat.

French security forces’ attempts to thwart the migrants—partly funded by the Tories—“have done nothing but increase the risk, distress and deaths”, migrant aid group Utopia 56 wrote on Twitter.

Maritime authorities say nine people have died in migrant Channel crossings so far this year. In late November a migrant boat carrying 60 people sank, drowning a man and woman both in their 30s. Another body found on a beach several days later may have been another passenger on the same boat.

And in August this year, six Afghans aged 21 to 34 lost their lives after their small boat capsized.

Protest: Refugees welcome, safe passage now, Home Office, Marsham St, London, Mon 18 December, 5.30pm. Supported by Stand Up To Racism, PCS, NEU, NASUWT, TSSA unions, XR London, Peace & Justice Project, Stop the War, DPAC, Homes4All and more

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