France: evacuation of a migrant camp in northern Paris

Nearly 1,500 migrants were “protected” on Wednesday during the evacuation of the Aubervilliers camp in northern Paris. The associations fear the reform of a camp within a few weeks. They condemn repeated dismantling without real solutions.

The migration camp along the Saint-Denis canal in Aubervilliers, north of Paris, was evacuated on Wednesday 29 July. From 06.00 a large police presence crossed the area, where almost 1,500 people were installed.

“This operation is the logical continuation of all those we have already carried out for several months,” Paris Police Chief of Staff Didier Lallement told the press. “I wanted to evacuate the camps on the outskirts of Paris and ensure that the entire Paris police sector and the three adjoining departments [les migrants] do not gather in the camps, ”he added.

Another evacuation

The associations regret the “opacity” around these “shelters”. “The exiles had no information, they did not know where they were taken,” laments Kerill Theurillat, Paris coordinator for Utopia 56, contacted by InfoMigrants. According to the prefecture, the migrants were directed to the gym in the Paris region.

Nevertheless, the next evacuation is unlikely to convince humanitarian workers. “People are exhausted, for some it is the tenth evacuation, they know they will end up in the gym and half will end up on the streets tonight,” assures Silvana Gaeta of the Solidarité Migrants Wilson collective. Same story with Utopia: “It’s always the same, they will stay a few days in the gyms and then put back on the streets and we will see a camp reform soon,” predicts Kerill Theurillat. “Every protection is useful, but this repetition since 2015 is absurd and unworthy,” protested on Twitter Pierre Henry, head of France’s asylum country. “It all starts in the republic with dignity. We have to rethink the first reception system with all players,” he continues.

“The state is incapable of welcoming with dignity”

Words that Alalisad can only endorse. This 32-year-old Somali is in his fifth evacuation since arriving in France in 2015. “I do not understand, they will pick us up, put us in a hotel for three months and then we will return to the streets. I do not understand why the French the government is wasting so much money on putting us in hotels instead of giving us long-term accommodation, “the young man told AFP.

“There is wear and tear, despair, almost five years that this situation lasts. We have already seen this film. The state is unable to welcome with dignity,” laments Louis Barda, general coordinator of Doctors of the World in Paris.

The associations also protest against the policy that leads to “invisibility of migrants”. “They are being pushed back more and more outside Paris, but no real solution has been found,” blows Kerill Theurillat.