At 2:30 a.m., as the town sleeps so deeply that not even the bell tower’s toll disturbs them, a group of sleepwalkers leaves the church. They walk wrapped in layers of colorful, absurd clothes. One wears a moccasin on his right foot and a boot in his left. His friend has his shoes wrapped in plastic bags. They walk onto the church yard, among the SUVs of British and French tourists. A group of “bénévoles” follow them — the volunteers without borders who for months have been finding migrants ready to climb mountains after surviving sea wrecks.
The last link in the chain of solidarity has broken in Claviere, a small, tolerant town just 100 meters from the French border. Now, they’re making demands.
On Friday night, volunteers and migrants squatted here in this granite church and heard the news that a woman had died in a Turin hospital after giving birth in France and being sent back to Italy like a parcel by the gendarmerie.