“ We’re all on the streets, let’s all take to the streets!”
“There will always be something to clean up”
7 AM, pigs in uniform drag us out of bed. The first inhabitant they meet is arrested; we’ll learn later they used a stun gun on him in our kitchen. We only have a few minutes to gather the things we don’t want to leave in this place they’re taking away from us. Anyway, the bulldozer is here and Demi-Lune, two beautiful houses, a warehouse and a nice garden, is demolished right after the evacuation. We hear from the walkie-talkie that a friend who came to support us was arrested. Some of us manage to get into the garden and climb on the roof of the warehouse, a building we used for concerts, meetings, canteen, free shop etc… We yell as much as possible, we quickly make up a banner, we want to say that we’re still here, that we won’t leave the district. We watch our houses being demolished.
“This is the dust from our dreams”
Yesterday, in La Boissière, Montreuil, it wasn’t just about people being evicted. It wasn’t just about us, our children, our ready to be born baby, getting tossed up. Yesterday, a police operation tried to crush everything that doesn’t belong to the so-called “republican order” they try to impose on us. It wasn’t only about giving back to the owner, a real estate promoter, Foncière Résidence, its ownership privilege. It was about stopping us from living differently, about making us toe the line and shut up. They demolished Demi-Lune because it was a place of political organization and discussion, a place for party and sharing, a place where we received people passing through as well as people looking for a place to inhabit for a longer time. We tried to share our struggles, our resourcefulnesses, to turn them into strengths and victories. We tried to share our battles of unemployed people, undocumented migrants, exploited workers, part-time students, undesirable people, and make something out of it. Demi-Lune wasn’t a social centre, it wasn’t an artistic squat or a strictly political place. Demi-Lune was a mix of all these things, a weird gathering of different people, different histories, different practices.
One of the last Demi-Lune projects was the creating of a radio-caravan, an itinerant radio studio to record and spread people’s words, to make them travel. Last Tuesday was a national strike day and the caravan settled on the town-hall square, early in the morning, to spread words, struggles, music and strike desires. 11 AM, about 40 riot cops, sent by the prefect of police, finally threaten us and make us go away. Two days later, the same prefect will be supervising our eviction, ordered by a court 1 year and a half ago.
“Repression strikes when anger’s growing”
The city has to be cleaned up this Thursday. The town administration tries to evict illegally a building it owns. Local security agents are ordered to make all occupation of town-owned buildings impossible. Helped by private security, they go as far as releasing dogs on people. One guy gets bitten. Just before Demi-Lune, another squat in the district is evicted. The 6 undocumented people inside are arrested. Move along, everything’s has to be in order, the district got to be clean! Just after Demi-Lune is evicted, high school pupils on strike receive the repression message: riot-cops and criminal squad are sent to the high school to put down the struggle. A 16 years old guy is hit in the eye by a flash-ball, another is arrested. Go back to school, young people, you don’t have anything to do in the streets! Social movements have to be crushed in their beginnings. Nothing must happen.
They want us to be frightened and silent
On the 8th of July 2009, right after the eviction of another squat, La Clinique, police opened fire on us with flash-ball guns, aiming for the heads and a friend lost an eye. High school youngsters, now on strike, are chased by cow-boy pigs and get arrested in every demonstration. We haven’t seen our arrested house-mate since the eviction. First awake, he was behind the door when the cops came. They panicked and shot him with a stun gun. Our friend is epileptic. As usual, when cops hit you, you’re the one that gets arrested for rebellion. Clubbed by the cops he got a first sentence in 2006. He’s now in jail for 5 month.
We’ll never accept their hideous world, the vacuum and the fear they want to impose everywhere.
In spite of the isolation they want to create, people meet and share angers, and hopes, and dreams.
They demolished a space of sharing and struggling but there are others being constructed everywhere.
Solidarity networks are active and people from Demi-Lune found the support they needed not to outshine.
With or without a house, in Montreuil and elsewhere, anger is growing.
Let’s all take to the streets !
Freedom for Dié and all other prisoners !