Yesterday Friday began in farce. Access to the site of the evacuation and destruction of the slum was regulated by an order on behalf of the state of emergency issued on October 23rd and put up on the same evening for the next day. Only the associations accredited by the Prefecture, and the lists of names of people provided by these associations accepted by the Prefecture were allowed access to the site. The others, witnesses deemed troublesome (see here and here), would incur a six months prison sentence and a fine of € 7,500 (the basic state of emergency rate). Physically, the Police closed off the site and controlled access.

An appeal has been made against this decree, to be held last Friday at 10 am at the Lille tribunal. To prevent the judgment, which might have created an unfavorable jurisprudence against abuse of the state of emergency, the Prefect repealed the arreté on Thursday night with effect from Friday morning at 8 am, two hours before the hearing. No more order, no more urgency,hence no more judgment en referé (emergency procedure) but at least, it is still possible to judge the order on its merits, even if it has been repealed.

If we already had an abuse of the state of emergency, now we have the farce. The families of the victims of the attacks will appreciate it.

You can download the decree of October 23rd here.

You can download the order of revocation here.

The day continued with the announcement of the destruction of the church in the shantytown, which was part of the buildings preserved by administrative court ruling , which had held that the legality of the destruction of common spaces , including places of worship, had to be made through a court judgment .

In fact, it was not destroyed, it was the Ecole Laique de la Chemin des Dunes, also protected by the same judgment, that was .Displaced wandering minors who had slept their the previous night, have been dislodged by the police in every morning. Two small bulldozers ripped open the buildings as they rolled over them, and were joined by a larger one for the rest of the destruction. Things have been destroyed in a lot less time than it had taken to build them.

Further on, among the ruins of the shantytown near the last huts and tents still standing, people went about their business as if everyday life was going to continue. Minors housed in the nearby container camp who prefer to spend their days around the fire rather than an impersonal place where they cannot even get together over a tea. But also minors who do not know where to go. Others sleep in front of the entrance of the container camp, which is already hosting 1,800 minors for 1500 places.

The teams of France Terre d’Asile, which is subsidized for marauding and getting in touch with the minors as well as facilitate their safety, are curiously absent. La Vie Active, the association commissioned by the State to manage the container camp and Jules Ferry center a few hundred meters away, is also active in the field of child protection. Yet it forgets the signaling procedures of these wandering minors.

In the Jules Ferry centre, about four hundred women and children are housed. Among them are minors. They do not know any more than the centres staff, and no more than the minors housed in the containers, what will happen to them.


What was the main street of shops in the shantytown.


Some tents and huts still waiting to be destroyed next to the ruins


Minors sleeping in front of the container camp