Ile-Saint-Denis (France): The Pavillon Solidaire, solidarity with refugees

Solidarity, not just a word

What do you see when you take a walk around L’Ile Saint Denis – along the river banks, under the bridges, through the squares, the park? Everywhere desperate people hiding in tents, in flimsy constructions of plastic and wood, in the bushes, in any hole they can find. Hiding from the freezing cold, and hiding from the police with their batons, dogs and choking gas.

Over the weeks before the occupation we checked inside the Pavillon Solidaire several times, we wanted to be completely sure no one was using it. What did we find? The doors left open, rubbish piled up, mould growing everywhere, building work unfinished, foul stench of food left to rot, the garden clogged up with leaves, the building literally rotting.

These days it’s a cliché to say we’re living in scenes from a zombie movie. But that’s just what it seemed like, an abandoned house whose inhabitants have fled the apocalypse. A house that could provide a shelter from the cold and fear outside – at least for a few people, at least for a little while. [Read More]

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. [Read More]

Saint-Denis: new evacuation of camp, police violence against migrants

New evacuation of a migrant camp in Saint-Denis. Another communication operation on the shoulders of migrants!

This morning, Tuesday November 17 at dawn, hundreds of migrants were evacuated from the camp near the Stade de France. Prefect Lallement was present on the spot and willingly answered the microphones of the media, who had obviously been warned in advance of the evacuation.
Between 65 and 70 such evacuations have taken place in recent years in the Île-de-France region. The State’s solution is to evict people without any real care. It is a policy of “burying one’s head in the sand”. When it becomes too visible they evacuate. A few days or weeks later a new camp is formed until… the next evacuation and so on. [Read More]

Nantes: New squat on rue Babonneau. You can’t lockdown people outside!

Every evening during the meal distributions the volunteers of l’Autre Cantine (the Other Canteen) meet single men, families with babies and children who have no accommodation. They are out in the cold, often in the rain with wet clothes and wet mattresses. In September they even saw their belongings being thrown in the garbage by the municipal police. They ask us where to sleep and if the state will shelter them.
Since last March we have been in a sanitary crisis due to Covid-19 and have been locked again for 4 days. But them, how can they lock them outside? Why don’t the State and the town hall plan anything? Neither masks, nor shelter, it is once again the most precarious who are voluntarily forgotten.
It is inconceivable for us to see a hundred people on the street, it is a heartbreak to which no one can remain insensitive. This is why we support the new occupation of an empty building, 2 Rue Babonneau!
L’Autre Cantine promises material aid (clothing, mattresses, blankets, food) to the building’s occupants until the state takes over. [Read More]

Lyon: evacuation of Collège Maurice Scève

Press release following the evacuation of the Collège sans frontières Maurice Scève by the collective support migrants Lyon Croix-Rousse, October 28, 2020.

The evacuation of the Collège sans frontières Maurice Scève on October 27, 2020 went off without a clash with the police, which is appreciable after the violent intrusion on October 6. We regret that, for what could only have been a move, such a police deployment was necessary (preventing in particular the supporters from being on the premises), stigmatizing these young migrants as potentially dangerous, whereas they are rather endangered by the lack of State support, but we note that all the actors on the spot did their utmost to ensure that the operation was carried out in good conditions.

The collective would like to thank the elected municipal and metropolitan officials and the mediators who came to the site despite the early hour of the morning, showing their commitment to ensure that everything went as smoothly as possible.

The collective and the inhabitants also thank all the neighbors who came in large numbers to show their unfailing support and their vigilance during the day, and who, since the opening of the place, have been able to see in these young people something other than the image that some try to convey about them, and have been able to integrate them with benevolence. [Read More]

Susa Valley: Call for demonstration in Claviere

The self-organized refuge ChezJesOulx calls everyone for a walk of resistance sunday 1st november at 11h from Claviere. The walk will be preceeded by a day of discussion on related topics such as: the border and the repression deriving from it, the detentions in the CPR, the exploitation connected to migratory flows in the Saluzzo countryside and beyond, at the occupied Casa Cantoniera in Oulx on the 31st of october at 11h.

Solidarity is under attack on both sides of the border, from the high valsusa to the briançonnais. In Italy, the Casa Cantoniera Occupata has continued for two years now to provide a free and self-determined space for all people who want to fight for their freedom of movement. The principles of self-management, anti-authoritarianism and direct solidarity guide our political project. As part of an investigation involving more than 170 people, 17 of them have received a residence ban from the border territory, the first time a precautionary measure is confirmed against an occupation.

In France, the occupied house in Gap, Cesai, was recently evicted, although this did not prevent the reopening of a new space, Chez Roger. In Briançon, the new mayor, Arnaud Murgia, declared open hostility to all solidarity initiatives, with the intention of closing the Maraudes and the CRS legal refuge,legally under possible eviction from the 28 of october. In addition, at the end of the summer, 60 new gendarmerie units were mobilized at the border between Montgenèvre and Claviere to increase the level of surveillance and pushbacks, with the support of the Italian police. But, as several cases already demonstrate, closing the borders, the places of association and struggle has never been a deterrent to migration. [Read More]

Calais: the saga of evictions continues

Yesterday morning, October 22, 2020, the Prefecture of Pas de Calais once again proceeded with the eviction and mass destruction of a camp. It was a place called “Unicorn Jungle”, where nearly 300 exiled people were surviving, according to the distribution of tents made by Utopia 56 a week earlier. Once again, the associations denounced the brutality and inefficiency of these operations. They do not respect the fundamental rights of the exiled.

The associations denounce the violation of the exiled people’s right to come and go. Once again, a dozen buses had been chartered to take them to an unknown destination. The authorities carried out a “sheltering” operation for at least 190 people. This “sheltering” of men, but also women and children. The uselessness of this “sheltering” operation can be seen, in particular, by the frequency of these operations. [Read More]

Caen: Eleventh eviction in 4 months!

This morning, around 8:00 am, the gendarmerie evicted the three houses of the Cité de la Sucrerie in Cagny, squatted since September 9 by 7 families of Albanian and Kosovar origin. The procedure initiated by the multinational company Südzucker, owner of the premises, was quick. The deliberation reached us very late on Monday, October 5, day of the passage of the judicial officer who gave us an order to leave the premises within 48 hours! This one, very partial, was totally unfavorable to us, because it stipulated that the right to housing is of lower value than the right to property, and none of our arguments were retained. Those of the opposing party, which were not at all supported, were all retained: the unsanitary condition of the premises, the houses for sale on September 10, the day after their occupation as if by coincidence, the occupation, the failure to send the children to school even though we had produced the school certificates, the failure to seek housing on the part of families who “prefer” to squat, the implication of illegal income, etc. [Read More]

Nantes: what future for the Maison du Peuple?

After a year of hard work, the Maison du Peuple was able to meet its challenge: a place open to all, capable of accommodating those who needed it unconditionally. Hundreds of people, families with children in difficulty have found a place to rebuild (education for children, unconditional support by the State, etc.). But also to offer a meeting and gathering place to the inhabitants of the city, to set up solidarity actions, to let artistic and sports talents (painting, visual arts, music, dance, etc.) flourish. And yet, this place of life and mutual aid is now threatened with eviction.

There are many reasons for this: the Maison du Peuple is a squat and does not, moreover, meet the safety standards that would allow it to be a permanent place of accommodation. It does not matter that the Maison du Peuple was able to safely accommodate homeless people at the time of confinement: it must close! Supported by various associations of all faiths, the leaseholders found themselves obliged to disassociate themselves from the silence of the public authorities. The work that would have made it possible to rehabilitate the premises was not undertaken despite repeated requests. [Read More]

Bordeaux: the Free Zone squat under eviction threat

Alert, Friday morning, October 16, police officers came to the Free Zone squat (La Zone Libre) and began a census of the inhabitants, then abandoned it due to the absence of many (work, school, various activities). When questioned, they suggested that the eviction could take place on Monday morning, October 19th.
A support meeting to propose mobilization and response to this unacceptable eventuality took place at the Free Zone.
A concert in support of the Free Zone was planned for this Sunday at the Rocher de Palmer (a concert hall and loyal support for the Free Zone), in Cenon.
In addition, a rally will be held on Saturday, October 17, at 3:00 pm, Place Pey Berland, in support of the March of the Undocumented and against squat evictions.

The Gravelotte squat on September 25th, then Lajaunie squat on October 2nd, mass evictions of squats resumed in Bordeaux. Each time, hundreds of people, families, and children are thrown into the streets in a veritable “state abuse”.
The Zone Libre (also known as the Ramadier squat in Haut Cenon) with its 80 families, 300 people, and 100 children (80 of whom are in school), is threatened. [Read More]

Calais: the tension does not fall back

On Saturday, September 26, 2020, more than 400 people walk in the rain for freedom and human dignity.

Calaisians, activists, volunteers and migrants found themselves in the pouring rain and set off in a demonstration from the camp next to the hospital in Calais. In spite of the wind and rain, the migrants join the parade by dancing to the sound of drums, leading the march and parading with joy and determination in the rain.

At the arrival at the Place de Norvège, a few words from supporters and migrants alternate with music and hip-hop improvisation in all languages. In spite of the cold, it is a moment of euphoria and unity between people who don’t have the opportunity to mix in the city otherwise.
At the microphone, migrants testify to their fatigue and exasperation in the face of daily harassment by the police who evict, destroy tents and confiscate their materials, calling for them to be treated as human beings and not as animals. [Read More]

Montpellier: the police evict a squat in rue Triolet, eight families with young children find themselves without solution

On the morning of Friday, September 25th, the police evicted a squat in Montpellier, leaving about thirty people without a solution, half of them children.

Eight families, including some with young children, lived in this squat on rue Triolet, which was opened under tension a year ago, in particular to accommodate migrants. No arrests were made. Private security will remain night and day for two weeks in front of the building, and should allow the evicted people to recover their belongings – although it is still necessary to know where to put them. The network of solidarity has allowed the families to find a place to stay for a few days, but nothing stable. Some children who left this morning for school will bitterly discover this afternoon that they no longer have a home. A construction company is on site to seal the entrances, the toilets have already been broken.

This eviction is part of an offensive against squats. At the end of August, the media repeated over and over again the story of a couple from Lyon, distraught by the occupation of their second home by a family. One commentator after another expressed indignation at the plight of the owners and protested against allegedly lax legislation. On September 16th 2020, the deputies voted an amendment allowing the rapid eviction of squats, left to the decision of the prefect, without a court decision, even after forty-eight hours of occupation. A call for mobilization is circulating to recall the obvious: squatting in an abandoned building for housing and escaping the hell of the street is absolutely legitimate. [Read More]