[VIDEO] Slums: “in Montpellier the Roma are evicted by fire”

“In Montpellier, the Roma are being evicted by fire,” that was the title of the press conference hosted by Sophie Mazas, lawyer and president of the Human Rights League of Hérault, this Friday, September 17, in front of the prefecture, surrounded by families who had suffered the destruction of their homes.

The word is strong: « fascist, ”But for the lawyer, it is fair. “These are fascist methods. Setting fire to accommodation at night, to make people leave, who we think are not worthy of the humanity that we would have, these are fascist methods […] we ask that these processes cease. “ For Sophie Mazas, it’s not just fires, there is also violence, intimidation and indifference: “We have policies that look away […] the silence of the politicians who make up the municipal majority is deafening […] Why is this done in the indifference of good Montpellier society? “

In a city that would like to “Height of children,” to use an expression dear to Michaël Delafosse, mayor of Montpellier, in recent days, there are children who no longer have a change of clothes. What little they had was destroyed with the dismantling of their camp. It is Rosa * who testifies: “I slept on the road, I slept at the red cross, at the gymnasium. And my child, he goes to college every day, he works well. And I work in the hotel housekeeping. How do I do, do we have anything left? “ She does not always know where she will sleep with her family. She would prefer to return to her camp. Even precarious, he was well organized to take care of his son. Today there is a brave little guy in the 5th grade who studies and sleeps as best he can, and who goes to his classes in the same clothes, the only ones he has left. But he’s lucky, other friends from the slum can’t even go to their school anymore.

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“This is the third fire in a slum, and strangely enough, they are not asked if there is a criminal origin. ” Sophie Mazas

More surprisingly, “The SDIS * would not have received a request to know whether the start of the fire was criminal or not,” underlines the president of LDH-Hérault. “It’s still incredible, we asked them to intervene to put out a fire, this is the third fire in a slum, and strangely we do not ask them if there is a criminal origin to the fire. […] It doesn’t shock anyone! It’s incredible, “ and Sophie Mazas specifies ” There’s the, a use of violence, to impose illegal domination. ”

“Politically, what does that mean in a city where a prefect indicates that he is going to eradicate the slums and behind a fire, an evacuation? Then a fire with two starts of fire where we have big questions, with pressure and attempted violence on the inhabitants. Fire, eviction, rewarming a fire that is described to us as being of criminal origin and a new eviction is being prepared, “ Sophie Mazas admits to being very worried. But the president of the LDH-Hérault that she remained determined: “Now we are going to take the time for law, after having been in the activist reaction on the ground. “

“My objective is not to explain to you how the prefect can circumvent the powers of the mayor. ” Gregory Bozonnet

Sometimes there are time concordances that are self-evident. Grégory Bozonnet, Michaël Delafosse’s chief of staff, was leaving a meeting at the prefecture that same day. Perfect opportunity to ask him a few questions.

Whereas after this new fire in a Roma camp, humanitarian associations are calling for an investigation, Grégory Bozonnet explains: “We have just reaffirmed with the prefect’s team that there is a long-term plan for the absorption of these slums. “ The chief of staff also specifies “We were consulted to know that it was our only requirement for possibly sheltering the people who were on the Mas Rouge 3 plot, and the city’s response was very simple, it’s time. “ Then concerning the competences of the mayor or the prefect according to the different scenarios, Grégory Bozonnet is direct: “I will not comment on the procedures any more, my objective is not to explain to you how the prefect can circumvent the powers of the mayor. “

[VIDEO] Grégory Bozonnet, chief of staff of Michaël Delafosse, mayor of Montpellier:

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Rosa *: The first name has been changed to preserve the anonymity of the mother and the young schoolboy
SDIS *: Departmental Fire and Rescue Service