Montreuil/Paris (France): Occupy houses, destroy prisons! Demo next February 16th

Demonstration, Friday February 16th, 2018, at 7pm.
Meeting point at the entrance of the pedestrian street, metro Croix-de-Chavaux, in Montreuil.

Housing problems in Montreuil?

Obviously yeah! Here it’s a pain to find a place to stay when you don’t have the good papers, the good guarantors, the good payslip or problems with the CAF (French social welfare). A pain for those who don’t want to, or can’t, bend themselves to all the conditions asked by the owner, wait for years for social housing, bite the bullet at each financial aid for housing reform.

In July 2016, in La Boissière (a popular area in Montreuil), several Roma families have been evicted from their homes by the city council; the Baras, a collective of undocumented people, are forced to leave Montreuil after several evictions of squatted houses; in December 2017, about 30 women were evicted from their home in Montreuil, rue Ernest Savart; the “foyer Bara” is being destroyed day after day, as homes are regularly walled up; in 2017, numerous persons have been evicted from their home.

This is happening in Montreuil, but it could be anywhere, in the “Big Paris” coming soon or in any town affected for example by urban restructuration and gentrification.

Both here and elsewhere, the state, the city council, the speculators and the cops, with the collaboration of some vigilant-citizens, are chasing the poor while increasing the cost of life. At the same time, the conditions of existence of the poor push them to leave, when they’re not simply being evicted.

While houses are empty and people are forced to sleep outside in the streets, they are on the lookout for any squat, using every “weapon” in their possession: arrests, controls, attacks and pressure. They have the law for themselves, and when it’s not they model it as they please.

For example, Justice finds the means to criminalise squatting practices by indicting people of damage or theft. A person is in prison in Fresnes since October 2017, accused of theft during an attempt to open a squat in Arcueil, and in November three persons spent a week in prison before being released for an alleged attempt of burglary in an empty dwelling in Montreuil.

With its politics of housing, coupled with various security measures, the state sorts, manages and puts pressure on the most precarious, drawing paths between the emergency shelters and the detention centers for foreign people, the “state social housing” and the prison, so that finally everyone walks in step.

To refuse to submit to these logics means being able to enjoy more decent housing, it also means trying to escape the control over our lives (work, papers…), and to experiment with situations of solidarity, mutual aid, resourcefulness, it means being able to question concretely the idea of property.

As long as this world is based on property, as long as there are people sleeping in the streets, as long as there are prisons, we will continue to occupy houses and take back the streets!

Occupy houses, destroy prisons!

[Original version in French | Translation in Catalan | Translation in Spanish.]