Eight thousand people marched Saturday in the streets of Marseille, after the death of eight people in the collapse of two buildings.
A huge and collected crowd marched on Saturday, November 10 afternoon in Marseille, in a chilling silence, through the neighborhood of Noailles with decrepit facades, where two buildings collapsed on Monday, causing the death of eight people, a balance now final. They were eight thousand according to the police, "A human tide", congratulate the organizers.
At the head of the procession, the relatives of the victims wear a white sheet on which we read: "Noailles dies, Marseille mourning". The friends of Pape Maguette, a young Senegalese who died in the collapse of 65 rue d'Aubagne, brandish his picture, while one of his friends explains that the young man had an appointment on the day of the tragedy "For a new home".
A rose in the hand, a sign at arm's length to denounce "The negligence of the mayor", anger argues with sadness among the demonstrators, poor and rich side by side. The gap no longer exists between a north of the city that combines poverty, the violence of drug networks and the abandonment of public services, and a rich and prosperous South.
Alain Scemama recently moved to Marseille for his retirement and Noailles soon became one of his HQs: "I'm going to do my shopping, smell the atmosphere, it's the Marseille that I love". Right next to him, Rachida is sad: "They did not deserve to die just because they are poor. We poor people, we live rejection every day. I live because I do not have clothes that attract, because I can not afford to receive ».
It is a united and united Marseilles who, at the passage of the procession on Cours Lieutaud, where the battalion of the firefighters has installed its aid stations since a week, applauds, thanks "Those who risked their lives in research".
Suddenly, a balcony falls
Firemen sailors called a few tens of meters from the procession to rescue three people slightly injured in the fall of a balcony at 20 Boulevard Garibaldi. A big boom followed by a panic, a collapse that resonates like a new bad blow to a municipality, that the demonstrators make responsible for the tragedy and unworthy housing in which live 100,000 Marseillais.
Linda Chassaigne and her roommate tend a white sheet: "It's not rain". A slogan in response to the first explanations given by Jean-Claude Gaudin, Mayor (LR) of Marseille, who spoke of a particularly rainy autumn as cause of the tragedy. This teacher lives a few blocks away. She wants to express her "Great anger at the contempt displayed by the municipality, by the owners".
At the age of 73, Michelle hardly walks anymore, but she kept scrolling with her crutches because she "Aubagne street in the heart", a street that has always been poor in the depths of its memories, with its "Sellers of nuts and almonds". "The aperitif at Mr Bizot, the baker of the plot, it's all my memories, it's a street that disappears"she laments.
The deputies (LRM) of the northern districts, Alexandra Louis and Saïd Ahamada, and, in another place, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, MP (LFI) of the district where the disaster unfolded, parade without sashes, without comments.
"Gaudin resignation! "
Sometimes the silence is broken by a wave of applause that goes up the procession. Renaud and Marie live in Noailles, a neighborhood where social mix is entrenched. "It is not normal, in 2018, that in the second city of France, buildings collapse"says Renaud. "There are people who die in these buildings but the worst is that there are people who live there", adds his wife, who admits "Desires for revolution, that the people of Marseilles go farting the city hall, where there are the kings who drink chocolate".
But the couple's little girl reminds them of the drama, a flower in her hand: "We must talk about El Amine". El Amine, nine years old, lost her mother, he is in the same school as the little girl, Albert Chabanon school, where are educated the children of Noailles, "Classified in REP
while she should be in REP more »regrets Marie.
In front of the town hall where all the flags are at half-mast, a building like Bastille besieged by the crowd, anger is expressed: "Gaudin resignation! ", "Gaudin in prison! " or "Gaudin assassin! " Surrounded by "November 5th collective", a group of associations and inhabitants of the neighborhood created after the tragedy, relatives of the victims speak.
Emotion and claims
Perched on a pole, microphone in hand, the cousin of one of the victims thanks the demonstrators, associating the fire-fighters, the police: "It was a human drama. Do not forget them ". "Live for them, please", beg a woman in the megaphone before bursting into tears.
Do not forget anything, this is the goal that the "November 5th collective". Kevin, his spokesman, lists the demands of relatives of the victims and hundreds of evacuees of neighboring buildings. He claims a day of mourning, the assumption of funeral expenses, including when repatriation bodies abroad, but also relocations in apartments not at the hotel: "We want the flowers and candles we put down not to be removed. It is unacceptable to see police officers in helmets while we are trying to mourn ".
The group wants to create a crisis unit, psychological and legal support, more specialized psychologists at Chabanon School and social workers who visit isolated elderly people. Time, too, "Time for the inhabitants to recover their belongings", in their homes.
But what the inhabitants of Noailles claim is "The truth, transparency on the expertise already made on buildings. Know Mr. Gaudin, Mr. Macron, Donors, we will never forget ". The collective will also ensure that the disaster "Do not be the occasion to release anyone from the neighborhood".
A few moments before the start of the march, Vice-Admiral Charles-Henri Garié, commander of the battalion of firefighters, announced the end of the search because of "The certainty that there are fortunately no more victims under the rubble".