Some info following the eviction of the rue du Marais squat on Tuesday and attached, returning to the situation at Exarchia, distributed at the demonstration on Tuesday in the late afternoon, as well as the poster to be put up in the coming days.
On Tuesday 22 October 2019, the Marais squat which had housed some 250 migrants since April 2018 was evicted. Late in the night the forces of order position themselves on the edge of the former premises of EDF, rue du Marais. Occupants not wishing to remain inside are evacuated. Barricades are erected to try to keep the cops at bay. Some militants go up on the roof.
The operation kicks off at 6am. Access to the rue du Marais is blocked by the mobile gendarmes. Twenty vans have been dispatched for the occasion. The barricades are removed one after the other. The Raid attack the roof, immobilizing and handcuffing the ten militants. The sorting starts in a hangar on site. The supporters come out, residents are put through controls: for some temporary rehousing, for the others detention or the threat of being sent back home.
Outside, around 80 supporters in the morning arrived in scattered groups. Traffic is blocked for a few minutes in rue d’Auge, where the tram passes but the Mobile intervene quickly to contain the protesters. The latter being too few, it’s difficult to draw the police away to the city or the train station by starting off on a wild demo. Buses turn up late in the morning. One of them leaves empty. We don’t know why they’d been sent. We learn later that it is to dispatch the few families relocated provisionally.
Around noon, from the top of rue d’Auge several police vans embark a number of migrants to take them to detention centres. Inside [the squat], at least one migrant who, despite her irregular situation, chose to stay put to fight against the expulsion.
At the end of the day a press release from the prefecture announces the police report of the intervention: 81 occupants, 28 identified by the prefecture, 28 people rehoused temporarily, including asylum seekers, 7 persons without papers put in detention, a family of 5 are under house arrest pending deportation. They seem to be mainly people of Georgian and Albanian nationality recently targeted by the minister of the Interior Castaner. Since then two people have been released. The GA against all evictions is following the evolution of their situation.
At 18 hours around a thousand people find themselves in a demonstration. After a speech in front of the prefecture the procession sets off. The cops in large numbers in front of the prefecture do not follow the procession. A brief block at Saint-Pierre Street and Place Fontette, but despite a somewhat electric atmosphere at times, no gestures of revolt aside from a few isolated tags against the detention centres, prisons in general and the gentrification of place de la République next to the Pref. The demo ends at the theatre, near the Twisto agency, which does not hesitate to throw the undocumented to the cops.
We nevertheless passed close to an office of Bouygues who builds prisons and detention centres…
In the evening the GA against expulsions organised a meeting in a squat at la Grace de Dieu to rehouse the inhabitants who find themselves in the street, or soon will.
For us, who don’t agree with the Marais’ approach to the struggle, in particular their obsession with the political composition, and are outside this adventure, that day leaves us a bitter feeling about the migrants’situation. A place that sheltered some 250 migrants had been evicted, plunging many of them into an even worse precarity. A space of collective life and mutual aid, for all its limitations and tensions, will no longer serve as a shelter and a refuge. In the end, twelve people fell into the hands of the cops.
And the response to this expulsion also leaves us with mixed feelings. Resistance on the spot was real and did what it could. But it lacked strength on the outside to hinder, harass or force the police to move, to spread the fight outside the walls. The September false alert might have played a part in the relatively weak morning mobilization. The evening event brought together a lot of people. But it was more indignation dear to the citizenist left than rage and anger expressing itself in act.
Yet, the expulsion was no surprise … And finally this expulsion cost the State too little for it to hesitate to empty this kind of squat in the future. There, in fact, was the need for a response to the violence that power and its slaves had exercised.
This Tuesday morning two comrades were on trial charged with assaulting cops, the PSIG [Gendarmerie watch and response platoon], during a failed attempt to open a squat in Ouistreham. One of the lawyers pleaded for acquittal, the other nullification of proceedings for a defect of form. The two were sentenced to 70 hours’ TIG [community service] and a prohibition to demonstrate in the Calvados region for six months. The reason for the court’s decision will be given in December. An anecdote – one of the prosecuted, a well-known activist of the NPA [Nouveau Parti anticapitaliste] for over 15 years, was served with an anarcho-autonomous ultra-left militant S card [i.e. as a threat to national security]. That is to say, the intelligence are doing their job well…
A callout was made for Saturday 26 for a new demonstration. None of us could make it. About 200 people responded to the AG’s call against all expulsions. A call was also made on this occasion to host expellees of the Marais. An inter-organization meeting bringing together the flower of the political, trade union and associative left will be held on Tuesday at the callout of the GA against all expulsions. It aims to prepare a response to the detention or house arrest of those evicted from the Marais.
send by email: And translated to English by Act for freedom now!
Translation of the poster in English by Act for freedom now!
From Exarcheia to the Marais, Solidarity !
ON AUGUST 26, A GREAT REPRESSIVE OPERATION started against the Exarchia district in Greece, a stronghold of the anarchist movement and social struggles. At dawn, the cops descend on the neighbourhood and evict 4 squats, some of which are occupied by migrants. 144 of them are arrested and sent to detention centres. Since then, Exarchia has been transformed into a militarized zone, with controls, harassment and attacks.
For many years this district has sheltered, not without conflicts and problems, initiatives and anti-authoritarian spaces, seeking a freer and more egalitarian life and self-organized spaces to attack the existing order. It is not surprising that exiles can find a place of refuge from the brutality of the State and its borders. By this operation called “law and order”, the Greek government is targeting two categories of undesirables: the rebels and the migrants.
What is also being played out in Exarchia is the desire to transform the district into a “Greek Montmartre” and to remove any subversive dimension from it. As in other cities, the process of gentrification is on the move: the area must become attractive for investors and the tourist rental market. Power and capital are at work to erase graffiti, to “green” and “secure” the neighbourhood, install smart streetlights, increase the police presence, empty rebel places and hunt the poor.
In CAEN, the SQUAT DU MARAIS, which housed 250 exiles has also been evicted. The current owner, ENGIE, is in the process of selling part of its land to companies like Bouygues or Vinci, one whose many disgusting specialties is building jails and detention centres. Here too, what is being prepared for the delight of our developers is the gentrification of the station area.
HERE AS ELSEWHERE, it is the same logic. Again, the repression brutally strikes resistance to the harshening of the conditions of exploitation control of individuals. Greece and France are becoming new law enforcement laboratories.
Targeting mainly the anarchists, new legal procedures in Greece aim at bringing participation in a social movement under anti-terrorism laws. Even if repression is nothing new, we see everywhere in Europe that States are no longer hesitating to resort to particularly heavy prison sentences in the context of social struggles and to employ new legal strategies for locking up protesters, at times only on the basis of intent or ideas. It is enough to see the police and judicial treatment of the Yellow Vests movement in France to realise the extent of the repression and its new tools.
Similarly, the designation of scapegoats by States whose responsibility in the causes of forced exile is evident (looting of resources, wars of neo-colonial exploitation and domination), and the hunting of undesirables is intensifying. Major revolts have also erupted in detention centres over recent months. Relations of solidarity and struggle have been built with the outside. Here too, resistance is organizing.
Numerous actions have been carried out in solidarity with Exarchia. Most often by attack and direct action. Because if we want to abolish power and social hierarchies, if we want to support the forms of struggle and life being experimented in Exarchia, we think that the best defence remains the attack against those responsible for these operations and solidarity with those who are targeted.
The most beautiful solidarity is to keep alive the idea and the practice of autonomy in our struggles and direct action.
Against all expulsions, here or elsewhere !
Anarchists against borders and expulsions,
Caen, October 2019
Contact : firstname.lastname@example.org