The women of Montroy have changed their address but are still threatened with eviction

Montreux (93) – Morey and Daouda, 11, cycle back and forth on their motorbikes on wet concrete after it rains. Behind them are large four-storey buildings. The boys seem inseparable. They met at City Hall, when they were still sleeping in the tents provided by the Utopia56 Association. They haven’t left each other since. In May, they took refuge in an abandoned old Chinese restaurant. They shared their bed with other children, and a hundred exiled women. In this squat, three weeks ago, StreetPress met them. At the end of May, alerted journalist and Entraide Montreuil group member Capucine Légelle, rapper Clash and his wife Clara Kata funded the arrival of a company to empty and clean the place. Their work made it possible to publicize these women’s battle for resettlement. But that didn’t stop them from being threatened with eviction, on the mayor’s order for “urgent security.” Like Morey and Daouda, they had to leave. once again.

to me read Moreover Montroy: Despite rapper Kalash’s work, 120 women and children are threatened with expulsion

He is still threatened with deportation

For two weeks, the boys have been playing in this new, uninhabited place in Montreuil. These former offices still house hundreds of women and their children. “They are princes,” Sharif says, referring to the two young partners. “They are the ones who speak French to the best of our ability,” adds the person who fled Guinea with a candid smile. The place, larger than the old squat, allows the women to get a little more space. There is also a concrete patio enclosed with a gate that allows children to play outside safely. “Here we are better than there. Here we have electricity, water, shower and toilet.”Explains Sharif, who has dyed his hair blonde since his last meeting with StreetPress. “And here when it rains, we don’t have wet mattresses.” But families continue to share mattresses on the floor and sleep together. Above all, they can only make use of this accommodation on a temporary basis.

In the courtyard of a previously uninhabited place in Montreuil, children play. /
Credits: Pauline Gower

These former offices still house hundreds of women and their children. /
Credits: Pauline Gower

The owner of the new place filed a complaint. A summons to appear before a judge is scheduled for 6 July. “Hopefully we’ll get a first delay, and have support in court,” says Hannah Raggenbach, the group’s attorney.

“We are still sleeping outside,” says Fatou (1), mother of four-year-old Qadi. This time, there is no Plan B anymore. Ibrahim who she carries on her back. She is starting to get tired of this situation. Like the majority of those who sleep here, Sharif doesn’t squat all day. I stayed there, waiting for the rehousing offer that never came. “It’s always the same, we have nothing, no news. ‘ Fatou says wistfully. If their sickness is less than in the first squat, they remain tired. “Many of us have sore eyes as well,” says Sharif, showing redness in his eyes, without being able to explain why.

Sharif, who fled Guinea, does not squat all day. I stayed there, waiting for the percentage of resettlement that never came. /
Credits: Pauline Gower

“Every child has the right to a home. /
Credits: Pauline Gower

big arms

Morey and Daouda ascend the stairs to the offices before descending faster, jumping two steps. In what look like old offices separated by glass walls, Amado, now a month old, sleeps in his bed on a mattress. Despite the coming and going of children, he is resting in peace wrapped in a colorful sheet. He doesn’t seem to understand what’s going on around him.

With their backs folded forward, the women rinse the children’s clothes in a large basin. /
Credits: Pauline Gower

Ibrahim, the son of Sharif, plays with the other children. /
Credits: Pauline Gower

The debut of the new squat was lively. In the early days of their arrival, the owner had come to challenge the women. “She was angry. She was filming us and telling us we had no right to stay here,” Fatou sums up, sitting outside in the courtyard. Then she called the police and left to file a complaint. The police had passed on the same day and then returned several times during the week. “They would come every time at four or five, they spoke kindly to us, and told us it was a private building, but they never came back.” A neighbor would also complain of the inconvenience.

Mori and Daouda sat inside and passed a balloon. /
Credits: Pauline Gower

But the women also talk about “big arms” that would have come to threaten them in the first week. Two men driving a car could have stopped in front of the gate. They would release: “You have until 8 p.m. to empty the corner, or else you’ll see”Remember Mary. Then a member of the owner’s family comes and asks to come “to check that nothing is broken”. The women refused. To pressure, the latter could have replied that next time “it’s not just the two big guys that will come back”.

The women’s group put together a cat online as well as a list of needs. They are mainly looking for: food, hygiene products, baby essentials, children’s school supplies, subway tickets and medicine. /
Credits: Pauline Gower

Daouda would like to “become a footballer”. /
Credits: Pauline Gower

Fortunately, the group of residents can always count on the association Les potes de la maraude, which continues to provide them with food. Or about Judith, the resident who helped them move their things with her truck. “There is also a baker from another squat who comes to bring us bread”Mary adds. On the stairs, a woman sitting on the stairs preparing bananas for barbecue. On the ground floor, it’s time to wash up for music. With their backs folded forward, the women rinse the children’s clothes in a large basin. Mori and Daouda sat inside and passed a balloon. shyly says:

“I would like to become a footballer.”

Through its press officer, Town Hall notes by phone that it is the state that always has the power to suggest a state of emergency residence. It defines “working with the county” to find accommodation. And he wants to be reassured by saying: “The new place is not unhealthy, so no order will be taken for expulsion.”

(1) The first name has been changed

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