A march of solidarity for migrants has started in Ventimiglia and is scheduled to end in Calais on July 7. For 70 days and over 1,400 kilometers, migrant rights' supporters will walk to fight against borders and for an improved migrant reception.
Some 50 people on Monday set off from Ventimiglia for Breil-sur-Roya, the first part of the voyage. Participants included French European MP José Bové and the former bishop of Evreux, who is well-known for his campaigns for the marginalized, Jacques Gaillot.
The march was organized by the association ''L'Auberge des Migrants'' (the hostel of migrants), in connection with its partners in Calais and the Roya valley. It will last approximately 70 days to enable migrant supporters to cross France on foot across over 1,470 km. The final destination of the march is Calais in northern France on July 7.
1,400 km of solidarity
The march is divided into 70 parts, each about 25-kilometer-long. Each participant must pay a euro per kilometer plus 10 euros a day for room and board as well as occasional transportation. Between 20 and 50 people are expected to take part in each leg of the journey. Supporters can join them for parts of the march.
The march has three objectives: ''Fighting against the shutdown of borders, against the crime of solidarity and asking to improve the way migrants are hosted'', said the president of the association Francois Guennoc.
French president Macron criticized
European lawmaker Marie Christine Vergiat (Gauche Européenne), who attended the opening of the march, said that French President ''Emmanuel Macron 10 days ago came to the European Parliament and launched an appeal for solidarity among Europeans. Yet how can Macron launch such an appeal after systematically rejecting (migrants) from Italy, the country most affected by migrant flows''.
Vergiat added that, ''contrary to other countries in the European Union, which asked to restore borders over the movement of migrants, there was no massive migration movement towards France - it is heresy''.