Paris: occupation of the Place de la République, repression and manhunt

The night of the tents: the worst happened. Horror and outrage, the statue of the Republic was petrifiedExtracts from the joint press release

The worst is not the images, it is the night that has once again swallowed the migrants outside. The worst is that the 400 migrants present, at 7pm, Place de la République, will sleep outside again tonight, far away in Clichy, far away in Saint-Denis, hidden under the bridges of the canals or elsewhere, invisible. The worst thing is that again, we will not see them fall asleep wounded in the cold.

No, the appalling thing did not happen when the police took the migrants out, at 8 pm, of the tents that the association Utopia 56 had set up on the Place de la République (20,000 euros of budget according to the association). The police began to throw away several hundred tents purchased this weekend to put them in a safe place. The abandoned bodies of the migrants, taken out by force, the light fabrics flying through the air from hand to hand in police hands, the soon-to-be-torn canvases, the tired faces of all of them… We were only there at the beginning.

Nor was it the worst when lawyers from Droits d’urgence, the Bus de la solidarité, the National Lawyers’ Council, pleaded unsuccessfully with the police to avoid charges. Like all migrants, the Wilson and Utopia 56 associations and the League for Human Rights (LDH), they were charged. It was 9 p.m., Place de la République, and the three successive police charges were still not the worst against this makeshift camp and its defenders such as the associations and collectives Utopia 56, LDH, Solidarité Migrants Wilson.

Later, migrants, associations, chased in the streets of Paris, it was not the worst for tonight, despite the beatings for those who did not run fast enough. From 9:00 pm to 1:00 am, this long race strewn with police charges, LBD shootings, concussion grenades, thousands of police forces squaring the space for two hundred people, this long absurd march, without consistency or respect for rights, was not the saddest tonight.

The worst is not the shocking, horrible and unworthy images, the videos of migrants being chased, of journalists trampled on by the forces of law and order. These images, which will circulate in the coming days in all the media and associative networks, do not show the true horror.

The worst has happened: they will remain outside tonight. This is madness.

And the nights to come, they will be there or they will come back, others will be added, there is the unspeakable. As long as this inconsistent cycle of botched evacuations continues, as long as legislative measures do not allow every asylum seeker, refugee or undocumented immigrant, without distinction, access to dignified accommodation, as long as state funds are insufficient to create genuine reception places, the system will continue despite the violent outbursts of one night. From Calais to Paris, to La Roya, the same methods are gradually taking hold throughout the country.

The heaviest fault of the State is finally further away, deeper. Beyond the violation of international and French law, it is the destruction of hope that creeps into our hearts. Hope for a better life after persecuted lives, hope to have here an unalterable, simple and necessary right to obtain protection: a reception, a roof and an asylum procedure that respects rights.

We were under the statue of the Republic, demanding the application of the principles of republican law. All we saw was an outburst of useless violence, with no accommodation solutions for these 400 migrants.

The statue did not react last night, it remained alone in the empty square, crying for its rights, once again trampled on.

First signatories: Utopia 56, Droits d’Urgence, Ligue des droits de l’Homme (LDH), Solidarité migrants Wilson, Syndicat des avocats de France (SAF), Elena, Réseau d’éducation sans frontières (RESF), Avocats pour la défense des droits des étrangers (AADE), Cimade Ile-de-France, Dom’Asile, Syndicat de la magistrature, Emmaüs France.

Paris, November 24, 2020

Paris, two days after the night of shame, where are we?

We will not return here to the scandalous behavior of the police that night, a direct consequence of the criminal orders given by the prefecture. Everything has been said on this subject and there is much indignation, and rightly so. However, we have the feeling that the debate is moving away from the main topic, the consequences for the people who were present at the camp.
Two days after the extremely violent evacuation of the camp, hundreds of migrants are still surviving in the streets in undignified conditions.
We have heard the indignation of various political leaders since Monday. However, indignation is not enough when it is not accompanied by action, especially on the part of those in power.
We heard the announcement yesterday of the creation of 240 housing places by Emmanuelle Wargon, Minister Delegate in charge of Housing, and Marlène Schiappa, Minister Delegate in charge of Citizenship.
This number of places is absolutely not enough. More than 400 exiled people were present on Monday evening at Place de la République, and an even greater number of people left behind last Tuesday when the Saint Denis camp was evicted.
It is thus 1000 places of accommodation that are needed without delay.
If this is not the case, we will be present again on Saturday evening in a symbolic place in Paris with those that the public authorities are abandoning to the streets.

Utopia 56

Gathering Tuesday, November 24, 2020 at 6:00 p.m., Place de la République

Following last Tuesday’s evacuation in Saint-Denis, hundreds of migrants were chased away by the police and settled on Monday evening in Place de la République because in the middle of a cold and sanitary crisis they are on the streets, constantly harassed by the police without any decent accommodation. A rally will be held this Tuesday, November 24th at 6:00 pm, Place de la République.

Communiqué from migrants collectives in Paris and surroundings, Utopia56, Solidarité Migrants Wilson, Marche des Solidarités :

Hundreds of migrants settled on Monday evening in Place de la République because in the middle of a cold and health crisis they are on the streets, constantly harassed by the police without any decent accommodation.
The indignity of their situation and the violence of the police reaction were shocking. This time it was filmed and targeted migrants as well as journalists and people from support collectives and associations. But for the migrants this violence is daily.
This is why we call for a rally on Tuesday, November 24th at 6pm in Place de la République:
– for an immediate solution of decent accommodation for migrants on the street.
– for the regularization of their situation
– for an end to police harassment against migrants and undocumented.

Housing for all! Freedom, Equality, Papers!

Tonight an action is taking place with Utopia 56 and the migrants to raise the visibility of those who were not taken care of during last Tuesday’s evacuation and to put the State in front of its responsibilities.

Refugees related groups in France
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Groups (collectives, social centres, squats) in France:
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