Yesterday, the settlement of Les Coquetiers in #Bobigny (northern Paris), home for over three years to some 250 #Romanian and #Bulgarian #Roma, was forcibly #evicted by the #French authorities. Many of the residents were children.
About 130 of the residents were offered alternative housing in remote regions far from the children's schools and their parents' places of work. The rest were left homeless. Late last night, the City Council of Paris decided to house those families in a gymnasium. They can stay there tonight but it is not clear what will happen after that.
The police and bulldozers arrived at the settlement at noon yesterday and evicted the people who had not yet left. When the authorities arrived, there were approximately 50 people (including 25 young children) still at the settlement.
For three hours, the police followed the evicted Roma, blocking their way to the city centre and blocking the metro station to prevent them from going to the centre of Bobigny. The Roma had to walk three kilometres with their children and their remaining few belongings in trolleys before reaching a metro station. The police stopped following them only when they left the city. The Roma nonetheless made their way to Place de la République in Paris to draw attention to what had happened to them.
It was cold and rainy in #Paris yesterday. At 8 p.m. the Roma entered a hospital to find shelter. At 10 p.m. 17 police vans arrived and the police forced the Roma out of the hospital.
The behaviour of the police is illegal. These people should have been rehoused; instead, they were harassed by the police and left homeless.
The ERRC is representing two of the evicted families in cases before the European Court of Human Rights about this eviction and a previous one.