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MARSEILLE AND ITS ROMS (57 photos) Send this reportage Send this reportage
In Marseille, the hunt for Roms, a prey to racism and discrimination continues endlessly.
© G. Robert./
Categories: Politics, Social life, News, Social
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If Roma are present in Marseilles since many years, it was during the summer of 2011 as they appeared in the eyes of Marseilles vividly in settling on the lawns of the Porte d'Aix is the first vision of the city that offers tourists arriving by motorway.

This irruption in the media was associated with a story that could not exist elsewhere in Marseille, that of the "stolen car" which spread throughout the national press and even in the newspapers TVs. Of petty criminals were put to flight the guardians of pay parking and cashed themselves the amount of parking in front of the police who apparently had other concerns.

It was only after a site visit of Claude Gueant, who was then Minister of the Interior that the Roma were expelled, the state had regained control of the famous car Guesde and access to lawns had been closed to the public, a company of CRS 24h/24h monitoring locations for several months.

Since that date, while François Hollande has replaced Nicolas Sarkozy and Manuel Valls took place Claude Gueant, the situation of Roma in Marseilles has hardly improved humanitarian organizations even thinking the contrary, it is worse.

In Marseille, Roma families are literally stalked, expelled more often crumbling buildings, hangars disused land unhealthy, what drives them to settle on sidewalks where they are threatened by the residents and they will leave quickly when a bylaw has been taken.

Associations such as "Meet Gypsies", the "Secours Catholique", "Emmaus", "Médecins du Monde", the "Fondation Abbé Pierre", the "Samu Social," the League of Human Rights, MRAP, Attac and others tend to cut corners and mediate between Roma and neighborhood authorities increasingly hostile. In the city of niches in the northern suburbs of the city, a punitive expedition carried out by the neighbors against neighbors encampment same nearly turned to tragedy in the eyes of the police, who did nothing to oppose the expulsion of Roma and merely prevent physical violence is expressed.

After each evacuation of a Roma camp, OFII (French Office for Immigration and Integration) provides families "voluntary" "help return" to their countries they often agree but is totally ineffective . Roma escorted home by chartered plane is European and therefore enjoy full freedom of movement within the Schengen area. After a few weeks in their country, nothing prevents them from returning to France and find their friends who refused to return aid of 300 euros per adult and 50 euros per child which was offered to returnees.

While this absurd policy is a total failure, associations hoped that the left came to power would change things, but they were soon disillusioned, making the finding on the contrary, the policy of Manuel Valls further accelerates the process of eviction had started his predecessor. While "humanitarian aid back" which has shown its inefficiency was reduced from 300 to 50 euros, the Roma have sometimes agreed to return several times in their countries of origin continue to return to France for strictly economic reasons . Even if they manage to win half the French minimum wage, it is still eight times what they receive in their country where their lives are no better.

Among their claims, the Roma would be able to work legally in France but they are still discriminated against, even if the tax limiting their access to work in France was abolished during the summer by a ministerial circular. Under these conditions, they are reduced to the trash, the recovery of metals and some minor work paid "under the table" which do not allow them access to housing and keep them in an extremely precarious.

While the integration of a few thousand people just should not be a problem in France, the situation becomes very intricate and out, it will come to Europe that finally takes care of the diaspora rather modest people who are, it must be remembered, citizens of Europe that the wing beat.

The photos illustrating this story starts at the time of installation of the Roma on the lawns of the Porte d'Aix. For the sake of discretion and not offend the community becomes suspicious hostile to photographers, many pictures were taken not by an SLR but with a high-end compact more discreet. They reflect many incidents since that date punctuate life miserable for those families who are slowly hunted places they occupied in Marseille. Slowly pushed to the northern suburbs and outskirts of the city, their lives become ever more precarious but they know better than those in Romania.

Chronologically, the first images show the families who agreed to be photographed and then they are followed by shots in squats during evictions, protests by humanitarian organizations, when starting "voluntary" to Romania or the "requisition citizen" of the former police abandoned Cardot Boulevard Plombières.