May 12, 2022

The arrival of consumers “revolts” the residents of the 12th arrondissement

The announcement took everyone by surprise. “We were in the middle of the borough council on Tuesday evening when the AFP dispatch fell, says Valérie Montandon, elected LR for the 12th arrondissement of Paris. I was very surprised and at the end of the Council I asked the mayor if she knew about it and she replied that she learned about it at the same time as me. ” Emmanuelle Pierre-Marie (EELV) thus specifies in a press release that she learned “with dismay last night [mardi] this decision of the prefect of Paris, who did not even deign to inform us of his project”. This project is the movement of crack consumers from the square of the Porte de la Villette (19th) to a railway site in the 12th arrondissement, located between the Seine and the Porte de Charenton, along the Boulevard Poniatowski.

Here, seen from the sky, where the famous land is located. -DR

“On the form, it is inadmissible, storm Valérie Montandon. It shows the state’s contempt for local elected officials. “And on the merits, it is no less severe with the prefectural decision. “This is in no way a solution, because it does not solve the suffering of crack users and contrary to what the police headquarters claim, there are no places in Paris isolated from any dwelling. This will create disturbances to the peace and security for an entire neighborhood. “For once, she is in agreement with her mayor, for whom” this project poses a lot of problems: transferring precarious populations behind barbed wire fences is not a public health measure. It is ineffective and above all, it is inhuman. Suffice to say that the elected officials of the borough are upwind against the prefectural project.

“Let them go to the 16th! »

And Porte de Charenton, the residents are on the same line. “I’m outraged, it’s irresponsible,” indignant Françoise, 82, 30 of whom live in an apartment overlooking Boulevard Poniatowski. They say there are no inhabitants, but we are there. And crack users are not going to stay on their land, they need money so they are going to beg here. The octogenarian fears that he will no longer be able to go out at night in peace. “And why do we install them in our home, in a working-class district, so that they go to the 16th! »

Franck, owner of the bar surprisingly called the At Silvia’s, does not take off despite a loss of voice. “It’s crap,” he blurts out. I am very angry, it will be 100% negative for the clientele. If that’s done, I can put the key under the doormat. “He does not understand the choice of this site when there are” lots of schools nearby and the Léo-Lagrange stadium where lots of children come to play. Not far from there, Jean, who manages a dojo, is “opposed” to the project. “I have children who come so it’s not great, he develops. Parents will be reluctant to put them in our home. “Nevertheless, if the land is under surveillance and it avoids wild camps, he says to himself that this is not necessarily the worst solution. “But we don’t have the assurance that there will be no overflows,” he tempers.

A land already occupied

Another difficulty, the land chosen by the prefecture has been the subject since last September of a temporary occupation agreement signed between the SNCF and the Yes We Camp association. “We responded to a call for expressions of interest [AMI] and we were to occupy the land until mid-2024”, explains Aurore Rapin, general coordinator of the association. She and her team learned the news through the press and have not yet been contacted by the prefecture.

A sign reminds that the association Yes We Camp was planning to open a place on this land.
A sign reminds that the association Yes We Camp was planning to open a place on this land. – G. Novello

The project, which is in the funding research phase, planned to “make a place inspired by the Grands Voisins”, in the 14th arrondissement, with concretely “a garden open to the public with activities that create social ties in the goal of co-constructing with those who want to establish themselves there. While waiting to find out more, the association is positioning itself “in favor of social and health management that is dignified and humane for the people concerned”.

This is also what Catherine Pequart, director of medico-social structures for Oppelia-Charonne, who learned of the forced move via 20 Minutes, while she was in the square on Tuesday afternoon. “If this new place is an opportunity to treat these people differently, I say yes,” she says, even if she is under no illusions. “The associations have been offering the different facets of a global solution for months, even years, namely accommodation, care, occupational activities, better access to therapeutic centres, etc. But there is no miracle solution,” she warns. It also calls for better coordination of the actors, as is not the case for this move. “The lack of consultation, the fact that everyone sticks to their own logic, is the guarantee that nothing good will happen. »