We share here the leaflet of the “Support Committee for the Maison de l’Ermitage of Montreuil” of September 28, 2021. Return on a strange practice of eviction in the city of Montreuil, accompanied by a history of the place… Meeting on Saturday (October 2nd) 2pm at the Parole Errante to organize solidarity! The Ermitage is a place of life, of self-organization, but also the backstage of many solidarity initiatives in the city of Montreuil and in Paris! Let’s defend the Ermitage house!
Since 2018, the house at 18, rue de l’Ermitage was occupied. Property of the Montreuil City Council since 1990 and until then rented to relatives of successive mayors, it had remained vacant since the arrival in power of Patrick Bessac, but the situation of housing distress of Ms. Fahima LAIDOUDI, her son and other occupants without housing had led us to squat it. Since this summer, talks were underway with the mayor’s office and the prefecture to resolve the housing problems of its occupants and to decide on a collective future for this house, which should not be sold off to real estate developers, but used for the common good.
On Saturday 25 September, after having prepared sandwiches to be distributed in a demonstration, the residents left the house at 1pm to go to Paris for the rally. When they returned at around 7pm, the residents found the door closed, a chain had been installed as well as guards and attack dogs to prevent them from re-entering their homes. The neighbors then explained to them that a fire had broken out an hour after they had left the house, around 2pm, and that they had immediately informed the firemen that people had potentially been trapped inside. Thanks to them for their reactivity and their solidarity!
It would be around 6 pm that the city hall would have decided to send a private security company to change the lock and take possession of the place. However, legally and according to the police, no order to leave the premises had been issued against the occupants, as the situation of the house and its inhabitants was to be discussed with the prefecture in October.
The expertise of the firemen allowed to notice 3 fire starts, in 3 different places of the house… This raises questions. As well as the total absence of concern of the town hall for its inhabitants, the first victims, with whom it had contacts through the office of the town hall and with whom it had started negotiations during the summer! Far from worrying about their situation, it was surprisingly the police officers who asked for nights in a hotel for the occupants, and not the city hall, which was only concerned about the informal condemnation of the premises by a security company financed with taxpayers’ money.
Thus, on Monday morning, agents from the city hall’s hygiene services were dispatched to the site, accompanied by the BAC (Anti-Crime Brigade), to legalize the guarding of the house as quickly as possible for security reasons following the fire, even though only one of the eight rooms of the house was affected by the flames. Despite the improvised camp set up by the residents outside the house, no elected official, no member of the cabinet, no person from the housing department went to the house to discuss with the residents, to allow them to see the damage, nor to give them access to their belongings, furniture and provisions that remained inside the house. As a result, the inhabitants of the Ermitage are currently in a situation of de facto eviction, this fire coming at the right time to bypass the legal procedure in progress, the lawyer of the town hall not depriving himself of reminding the legal precariousness of its inhabitants rather than worrying about their situation.
Following the fire, a complaint was filed against X by the inhabitants. Another one should be opened for home invasion. We are waiting for explanations from the city hall. Many houses have experienced much more serious disasters, which have never led to the homelessness of their inhabitants.
Since the fire, no contact has been established by the city council to solve the critical problem of housing the residents, no assistance has been set up on its own and no access to the business has been allowed so far, although three guards are living and sleeping there.
WE ASK TO BE FINALLY TAKEN INTO ACCOUNT
AND RECEIVED BY THE CITY HALL FOLLOWING THIS FIRE
To know where we are going to sleep while waiting to have access to the house again.
To discuss with the hygiene services of the town hall so that they inform us of how to reintegrate the rooms not damaged by the fire
To have access to our belongings still inaccessible to this day inside the house
To discuss the future of 18 rue de l’Ermitage, knowing that a meeting was to take place with a deputy and elected officials in charge of housing, during which an agreement for the use of this house was to be discussed.
Indeed, the support committee of the 18, rue de l’Ermitage wishes to perpetuate this place where multiple social and cultural activities took place during several years:
– preparation of meals: the place is used to collect, store and prepare meals for various actions or for people in precarious situations in Montreuil and elsewhere.
– marauding operations have also been possible thanks to this place: distribution of meals to the homeless, to precarious students, to migrants, to occupied places or places in demonstrations.
– accommodation: a sort of “115 citizen”, the Maison de l’Ermitage has made it possible to temporarily house migrant minors, women in danger, and families who have been evicted, thus compensating for the various failures of the State and the local authorities at its level.
– support to different groups of struggles: many associations or activists find in the Ermitage a resource place to start or continue their struggles. The Ermitage is a place of resource for the local life but also a place of meetings and reflections around internationalist questions.
We can have an idea of this by listing the partners or supporters who are leading the fight with us to oppose the eviction requested by the Montreuil city hall: La Parole Errante – EVA (enfants venus d’ailleurs) – l’association de quartier Charton et autour – Awa Gueye et le collectif Justice et Vérité pour Babacar Gueye – Brigades de solidarité populaire de Porte de Paris – Brigade de solidarité populaire Bagnolet/Montreuil – Collectif Vies Volées – Comité Adama – Comité Vérité et Justice pour Lamine Dieng – Stop Précarité – Femmes Gilets Jaunes Île de France – FUIQP Paris-Banlieue – Les Gilets Jaunes de Montreuil – Gilets jaunes de Rungis – Justice pour Ibo – Hébergement solidaire – Montreuil Rebelle – Les Mutilés pour l’exemple – Non aux expulsions à Montreuil – NPA Montreuil – Les réfractaires du 80 – Réseau d’entraide Vérité et Justice
How to support us ? By making this struggle known around you – by joining the support committee (via email: lesamisdelermitage [at] tutanota [dot] com – and by participating and relaying its actions.
Some groups in Montreuil https://radar.squat.net/en/groups?fulltext=Montreuil
Some squats in and around Paris: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/city/paris/country/FR/squated/squat
Some squats in France: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/FR/squated/squat
Groups (collectives, social centres, squats) in France: https://radar.squat.net/en/groups/country/FR
Events in France: https://radar.squat.net/en/events/country/FR