This Thursday, the mayors of Pantin, Aubervilliers and the 19th arrondissement of Paris held a press conference two days before the first anniversary of the installation of crack consumers on the Forceval site, on the edge of the Porte de la Villette.
“We are asking for the camp to be evacuated”, indicated Bertrand Kern, mayor of Pantin for whom in one year “nothing has happened and the situation has deteriorated”.
For its part, the Addiction Federation, which brings together care associations, has released a report presenting several ways to deal with the problem, some of which are far from unanimous.
“There is no need to argue over partisan affiliations,” says François Dagnaud, mayor of the 19th arrondissement of Paris to a resident of the Porte de La Villette sector.
Claiming to belong to a group of local residents, she had previously denounced a "denial of responsibility" by local elected officials on the issue of crack in Forceval - "it's been a year and you are only beginning to realize the situation" -, insisting on the “mental, psychological social distress” of the inhabitants.
These tensions between citizens and elected officials reflect the deterioration of the situation since the installation on September 24, 2021 of crack users from the Jardin d'Eole on the Forceval site, adjacent to the Porte de La Villette.
The press conference of the three mayors, François Dagnaud, Bertrand Kern (PS) from Pantin and Karine Franclet (UDI) from Aubervilliers, had however started well this Thursday morning on the other side of the wall which separates Pantin from the Forceval site.
In glorious weather, Bertrand Kern recalled that for a year "nothing has happened and the situation has deteriorated" and asked for "the evacuation of the camp".
"People are going through hell, being attacked, cars broken, building doors smashed in when it's not crack users who defecate in building halls... The situation is untenable," he continued. , adding that "it's also hell for crackers, unworthy of the French Republic".
“Every day more is a day too many”
For her part, Karine Franclet recalled that "the movement without consultation" of crack users decided by the former police chief Didier Lallement is "unacceptable".
“Each day more is a day too many”, continued François Dagnaud with a formula worked on in training.
"The constant pressure that people in pain put on people around them is unbearable," he said.
Then the attention (the tension?) focused on “the public authorities [who] seem to tolerate here what they would not tolerate elsewhere”.
“We denounce the fact that Darmanin has been lying to us for a year”, asserted Bertrand Kern who even seized the defender of rights on the subject, considering that in this sector the rights and freedoms are no longer guaranteed by the State.
The mayor of the 19th called for more cooperation pointing to "the Ministry of Health, conspicuously absent from the debates".
And it was during question time that residents, visibly annoyed, took the floor to express their remonstrances towards the elected officials who defended themselves by assuring that “the repression of drug trafficking is a State responsibility”.
Or by leaving for the political field.
“Be objective, you are committed!
retorted Bertrand Kern to our first interlocutor to whom François Dagnaud reproached his “pro-government plea”.
These tensions also disrupted the holding on Thursday evening of an event organized by the Addiction Federation (FA) and reserved for the actors involved in the treatment of this problem.
Initially planned in Aubervilliers, the mini-seminar was finally held in the 17th arrondissement, groups of vehement residents having announced that they would invite themselves there.
We invite those not invited to join us.
We ask all the boroughs to show solidarity because their turn will come thanks to this #planCrack2 ❌StopHSA @LariboisiereGDN @collectif19 @NeCrackPas @JusquMer @citoyen_auteuil @Genghis44209613 https://t.co/yUkY57qxUh
– UnionParisienne75 (@UnionParisienne) September 20, 2022
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“We are actors of care who work every day with crack users, defends Marie Ongün-Rombaldi, general delegate of FA.
We have no vocation to consult with the local residents.
There is a group of residents invited for the first round table, but that's it.
And we do not tolerate violence, threats on social networks and accusations of getting rich on the backs of crack users.
The "shoot rooms" in the viewfinder
Another sticking point is the issue of Addiction Care Stops (HSA), better known as “shooting rooms”.
In the report unveiled by FA during the seminar on Thursday evening, HSAs are one of the main avenues put forward to deal with the problem of crack.
"It's a solution but not the magic solution," tempers Marie Ongün-Rombaldi.
Nevertheless, the report calls for the opening of at least four HSAs, in addition to the one backed by Lariboisière, within 3 years.
“You should know that it is a regulated and supervised consumption space, beneficial for everyone.
There is less danger of living next to an HSA than next to Forceval”, assures the general delegate who has experienced this since she lives near that of Lariboisière.
But the establishment of an HSA does not reassure future residents and the failure of the Pelleport project (20th arrondissement) in the summer of 2021 bears witness to this.
And elected officials, in tune with their constituents, are not much warmer.
"I oppose any structure of this type in my city," said Karine Franclet.
Each territory must do its part, and we are doing more than enough.
Less categorical, François Dagnaud is not much more motivated.
This is "not the first solution to implement", he said.
"Let's stop putting it forward.
Will that fix everything, especially with crack?
I very much doubt it.
Our file on crack
The differences are therefore strong between elected officials, associations and collectives of local residents while rumors of a new crack plan after that of 2019-2021 are buzzing, one of the major weaknesses of which was precisely the lack of consultation.
For the future plan, in theory under the patronage of the regional prefect, neither the town halls of Pantin and Aubervilliers, nor FA have been solicited for the moment... And to bring back a little unity in the ranks at the On the occasion of this sad anniversary, demonstrations will leave on Saturday at 4 p.m. from the town halls of Pantin, Aubervilliers and the 19th arrondissement to converge on Forceval.
“Will Anne Hidalgo and Emmanuel Grégoire be present?
innocently asked a resident of François Dagnaud.
A question that remained unanswered.
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