Crack in Paris: the evacuation of La Villette already in preparation

This solution “Can only last a few hours or a few days”. The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, was clear, Tuesday, September 28, in front of the deputies: for him, no question that the consumers of crack, in Paris, moved on September 24 from the rue Riquet (19e arrondissement) at the square de La Porte-de-La Villette (19e) stay for a long time.

A few hours, a few days? No one knows. But the evacuation of the square is already in preparation. It was mentioned during the meeting held Thursday, September 30 between the regional prefecture, the police headquarters, the regional health agency and the Paris City Hall. “Concrete measures are being assessed to quickly carry out an evacuation with humanitarian shelter, indicates Emmanuel Grégoire, the first deputy of Paris. I hope we can announce a plan in the coming days. “

Sustainable slum

The urgency seems obvious. In one day, the Porte de La Villette square, along the ring road, has become a camp of 100 or 150 “crackers”, sometimes aggressive. Tents, makeshift huts have appeared. Resellers move from one group to another. The residents, for their part, are in despair, just like the mayors of Pantin and Aubervilliers, the neighboring municipalities of Seine-Saint-Denis, very angry at this transfer carried out by the State without warning them, and against the wall built in the va -vite to prevent drug addicts from passing too easily in the suburbs. All demonstrated in numbers, Wednesday, September 29. They threaten to start over every Wednesday. Everyone fears the creation of a sustainable slum, as was the “crack hill”, near the Porte de La Chapelle, evacuated in 2019.

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This time, the City Council and the State do not want to move crack users to a new camp which would pose just as many problems. “There are not many other possible places anyway”, observes a manager. Rather, the project consists of providing shelter to homeless crack users by dispersing them in accommodation structures and hotels. This would involve strengthening the “Assore” social support system managed by the Aurore association, which already accommodates 400 active crack users. “We are missing around 200 places”, believes Emmanuel Grégoire. Existing rest rooms could also be temporarily open 24 hours a day, to accommodate some of the future evacuees.

Such a project, however, is a gamble. Since 2009, buyers and sellers of crack in the North-East of Paris have been evacuated several times. “These different episodes have had no effect on the very existence of these scenes of consumption or the number of people who frequent them”, in May noted sixteen leaders of associations in a joint forum published in The world.

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