Jess Hurd

Photographer
Posts Tagged ‘crisis’

Happy Birthday Cash Machine!

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Today we celebrate 50 years of the ATM, cash machine or “hole in the wall”. Happy Birthday.

Images available to license and download from: www.reportditigal.co.uk

Evicted – Jungle Homes

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As the riot police marched through the refugee camp with guns, tear gas and batons, the eviction of the Calais Jungle began. Before fires started breaking out and smoke engulfed the camp I documented how people had left their homes and belongings as they quickly left. One man, still so proud despite everything washed his pots and pans before he left.

Jungle Camp Tear Gas

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Jungle Fires

Smoke from fires illuminates the Eritrean Church after a tear gas battle with police in the Jungle refugee camp, Calais, France. © Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk Tel: 01789-262151/07831-121483   info@reportdigital.co.uk   NUJ recommended terms & conditions apply. Moral rights asserted under Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988. Credit is required. No part of this photo to be stored, reproduced, manipulated or transmitted by any means without permission.

Smoke from fires illuminates the Eritrean Church after a tear gas battle with police in the Jungle refugee camp, Calais, France.
© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk
Tel: 01789-262151/07831-121483
info@reportdigital.co.uk
NUJ recommended terms & conditions apply. Moral rights asserted under Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988. Credit is required. No part of this photo to be stored, reproduced, manipulated or transmitted by any means without permission.

Welcome To Hungary

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Calais: “Shoot me or put me in your trunk”

 

France is dog life, England good life, graffiti in the Calais migrants camp known as the jungle. France. © Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

France is dog life, England good life, graffiti in the Calais migrants camp known as the jungle. France.
© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

Aleppo to Calais: A Syrian Doctor’s Journey

The blue lights of CRS police trucks flashed in the distance, at every access point into the Eurotunnel Terminal in Calais and at strategic positions along the miles of security fencing. Another night of cat and mouse between the migrants and police was coming to an end. The migrants try to breach the fences, stowing away on trucks and trains, the CRS in full riot gear push them back with batons and CS gas.

It was just past one in the morning as people, exhausted and dejected, began the two-hour walk back to the Jungle refugee camp. A Syrian refugee walked over and began talking to me. He was a doctor from Aleppo.

“You can do one of two things,” he said. “Shoot me or put me in your trunk”.

Doctors are being specifically targeted in the Syrian conflict and executed for treating the sick. Four months ago, after a bomb attack, he left his family and his home in Aleppo with £5000 in his pockets. He was robbed by gangs in Serbia and had since lost everything to traffickers.

He showed me a photograph on his phone of his children. I asked their names, very quickly changing the inquiry to their ages. I knew that he could not or would not want to give their names because of the fear of targeting. The fear is very real. Last year one health worker was killed every day in Syria, according to a report for Physicians for Human Rights. Hospitals get bombed almost daily according to Doctors Without Borders. This violation of medical neutrality is a war crime and breaches the Geneva Conventions or laws of war.

The doctor was wearing a cloth to cover his face. The more I gained his trust the more the cloth slipped to reveal his sad and steely eyes, which creased only occasionally when a joke was shared. This was his fourth night attempting to get to the UK.

He said Syrians were peaceful people, illustrated by the quarter of the entire population who were currently displaced. He talked of Gulliver’s Travels and the journey that he has made from the oldest civilisation on Earth. He said he did not deserve this, his people did not deserve to be turned away, even from Arab countries. He had sought asylum in Canada, America and the UK. His asylum claim was rejected, despite Britain’s shortage of doctors.

Last year the UK government accepted only 500 refugees from the Syrian conflict, 1.5 percent of the number accepted by Germany.

“What would you do in our position?” he asked.

“I don’t know,” I said. “Probably exactly the same as you guys, try and seek safety for myself and my family in another country, by whatever means”.

“And you think you would cope?” he said stingingly.

The doctor told me there are some 200 Syrians in the Jungle refugee camp, the total population being somewhere between 3000 to 5000 people. Over the years the refugee camps have been pushed out beyond the city limits of Calais, each previous camp demolished with bulldozers and burned to the ground. This means the journey to try and jump the Eurostar trains is a four-hour round trip.

Politicians do not rank highly in the migrants esteem, nor do journalists. The doctor asked if the French Government could provide transport back to the camp. He was exhausted, exhausted with their treatment in France.

“France treat us like dogs” says the graffiti adorning one wall of the bridge flyover carrying the fortified road to the ferry port, that is the entrance to the camp.

The Jungle is a squalid, semi-permanent shanty town sprawling over the sand dunes that are constantly whipped by the Channel winds. It is rife with TB and scabies. Food is provided once a day and there is not enough food to go round. Most days some people go hungry.

“For a shower you have to have a ticket,” said the doctor. “You have to queue and run or they will be gone. We are a proud people. We have come from homes. Why are they making us live like this?”

The doctor talked about the Second World War, when Syria gave refuge from the Nazis to Greek and other European migrants.

“They were not put in camps,” he said shaking his head. “They were invited into our homes. We will never forget”.

The conversation had begun with one of the Syrians telling me to get lost and that the media were part of the problem. The group were all professional people, doctors, an interpreter, a decorator and a computer engineer. We talked about politicians and racist immigration policies. I have never felt so completely powerless, answering the same questions from utterly desperate people who were unable to comprehend why Britain would not help them.

Our conversation ended with a final plea from the doctor. “Can you help me?”

“I’m not going to shoot you,” I said.

He laughed for the first time.

© Jess Hurd

See other Calais stories:

CALAIS – OPEN THE BORDER

CALAIS JUNGLE ÉCOLE

CALAIS SUNDAY SERVICE

WE ARE NOT ANIMALS!

Calais Sunday Service

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Images available to licence from www.reportdigital.co.uk

Lightning Strikes Canary Wharf

Lightening strikes financial buildings, including Barclays, Citi Bank and JP Morgan. Canary Whark. Docklands, East London. © Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk Tel: 01789-262151/07831-121483   info@reportdigital.co.uk   NUJ recommended terms & conditions apply. Moral rights asserted under Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988. Credit is required. No part of this photo to be stored, reproduced, manipulated or transmitted by any means without permission.

Lightning strikes financial buildings, including Barclays, Citi Bank and JP Morgan. Canary Wharf. Docklands, East London.
© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

Canary Wharf

Storm clouds gather over Canary Wharf and the financial buildings in the London Docklands. Poplar, East London. © Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk Tel: 01789-262151/07831-121483   info@reportdigital.co.uk   NUJ recommended terms & conditions apply. Moral rights asserted under Copyright Designs & Patents Act 1988. Credit is required. No part of this photo to be stored, reproduced, manipulated or transmitted by any means without permission.

Storm clouds gather over Canary Wharf and the financial buildings in the London Docklands. Poplar, East London.
© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

Calais Refugee Crisis

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Hundreds of refugees from Afghanistan, Syria and Africa shelter in makeshift camps, prior to an eviction planned by French authorities in Calais, France.

© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

Images available to licence from www.reportdigital.co.uk

Occupy Everywhere

Occupy the London Stock Exchange against corruption and the banking crisis. Banner reads “Make Money Free – Take back the Bank of England”. St Paul’s, London.

© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

Greek Revolution

Demonstrators with a hangman’s noose outside the Greek Parliament. Against IMF imposed austerity measures. Syntagma Square, Athens, Greece.

© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

Piraeus

Fisherman on the harbour wall as a container ship leaves the COSCO Chinese dock in Piraeus, the main port in Athens. Greece.
© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

Greek General Strike

Man stands in front of graffiti on the Eurobank as running battles between police and protesters take place outside the Greek parliament. Trade unions hold a general strike against IMF imposed austerity measures. Syntagma Square, Athens, Greece.

© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

See web gallery here

The Indignant movement planned to circle the parliament in a huge show of public opinion against the savage IMF austerity measures. Thousand began gathering early Wednesday morning in Athens, many who had never previously joined demonstrations. Carrying banners with “Traitors” and waving Greek flags.

Around the polytechnic those involved in the general strike were also massing and planning to march to Syntagma Square.

It wasn’t long before battle ensued. Early attempts to pull down a fence guarding the parliament building were fought back with volleys of tear gas from the the Greek police. Fights broke out between right-wing opposition supporters, who were also in large numbers outside the parliament and those intent on fighting the police and who planned to occupy parliament. Street fighting between left and right gave way to intensified police attacks from all corners of Syntagma Square which drew the protesters away from the parliament building and into the side streets.

Running battles ensued, barricades were built, buildings spray painted, banks attacked and marble was chipped from any available surface for use as ammunition. The police were brutal, tear gas grenades, high powered pepper spray, concussion grenades and violent arrests.

It looked like a war zone, the police repeatedly saturated Syntagma Square with gas, which had become a permanent tented protest camp, leaving many chocking and blinded, ambulances arrived to collect the wounded.

By early evening word was spreading about the proposed changes to parliament, the reshuffle was met with distain, “it’s still the same people” said one man working near the square. More protests are planned tonight.

© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

Insert Coin – We are Hungry

Web gallery of (belated) images during the Democracia Real Ya protests in Puerta del Sol, Madrid, Spain.

Web Gallery here

© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

 

 

 

Ghost Estates

Belmayne Estate, one of Dublin’s Ghost Estates, finished but largely uninhabited due to the economic collapse. Dublin, Ireland.
More images available to license: www.reportdigital.co.uk
© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

Anglo Irish Bank

The docklands headquarters of Anglo Irish Bank remains incomplete and a building site. This building was referred to by the Irish Times as “a symbol of Ireland’s property and financial collapse”. Dublin, Ireland.
More images available to license from: www.reportdigital.co.uk
© Jess Hurd/reportdigital.co.uk

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