a year later, the desperation of the residents of the Porte de la Villette

Residents demonstrate to demand the dismantling of a camp for drug addicts one year after it was installed by the authorities in Pantin (Seine-Saint-Denis), on September 24, 2022.

During the week a banner was displayed on the doors of the Pantin Town Hall. Porte de la Villette crack camp: for 365 days, the Minister of the Interior [Gérarld Darmanin] lies to us” we can read there, with an electronic counter marking the days.

It is in front of this banner that dozens of inhabitants of the neighborhood, with signs “Treat them, protect us”, meeting on Saturday, September 24, at the call of the 93 Anti-Crack association and Mayor Bertrand Kern (Socialist Party, PS), for a march against the installation of a camp for crack users in Place Forceval, near the Porte de la Villette, for a year.

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Together with the residents of Aubervilliers and 19me district of Paris, as well as their respective mayors, Karine Franclet (Union of Democrats and Independents, UDI) and Francois Dagnaud (SP), there were about 450 people to converge on the “wall of shame”built at the end of September 2021 and supposedly to prevent “cracker” to join Pantin.

Two days earlier, in this same place, the three elected officials also held a press conference to announce their decision to arrest the Defender of Rights, Claire Hédon. “The constitutional rights and freedoms are no longer guaranteed by the State in this district in a situation unworthy of the French Republic”Bertrand Kern warned, encouraging all his wounded fellow citizens to do the same.

“A Real Hell”

In this Saturday’s crowd, everyone is desperate to celebrate this anniversary of inaction. On September 24, 2021, the neighbors watched helplessly as a hundred crack users were transferred from the Jardin d’Eole (18me district) in Plaza Forceval. On September 28 in the National Assembly, the Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, stated that the situation would only last “a few hours, a few days”.

Today, 150 people sleep in this camp and around 600 pass through during the day. According to the prefecture, the place had the advantage, unlike the Jardin d’Eole, of not having dwellings in the strictly immediate environment. “Today, 25,000 people live in the district, in particular Villette-Quatre Chemins, who live a real hell and who suffer”warns Bertrand Kern.

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“We really feel like sub-citizens, This infuriates Thibault Mahiet of the Villette Village collective, who has lived there for twenty-eight years. They landed here because we are a popular immigrant neighborhood. We have the impression that this authorizes them to loot everything since it is a district where the authorities have never put much money. »

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