Volatile atmosphere and growing violence in the area forces charity to stop work
A pro-migrant charity who volunteers to provide aid to new migrants in Paris has been forced to cease its operations due to the growing violence in the area.
Solidarité Migrants Wilson was set up to distribute food to migrants near Porte de la Chapelle station in Paris’ 18th district.
The charity has been running for 20 months, but one group decide to stop their work as they are unable to cope with the increasing level of violence in the area.
Philippe Caro from Solidarité Migrants Wilson explained that the situation has become “incredibly tense.”
“From the beginning, our mission was to serve hot drinks and bread and we have done this for 20 months, every day. During the last month though (July), we started questioning our mission, as we don’t want our volunteers to be put in danger.” Caro told said.
According to RT: “Sometimes they are being woken up by police early in the morning, they kick them and use tear gas to move them,” Caro states.
The situation gets even more dangerous when drug addicts show up at food distribution events and cause problems.
“It creates additional tension,” Caro says. “They’re aggressive, including towards the volunteers. So this is an explosive situation,” he admits.
The activist blames both the French government and the Paris administration for their inaction which lead to the growing level of violence in the district.
“The state is responsible for people on the streets, for taking in migrants.
Meanwhile, the authorities in Paris are restricting access to water taps in the summer. It’s irresponsible,” he laments.
Solidarité Migrants Wilson wrote a letter to the Paris administration, explaining that their volunteers won’t be able to work in the area due to tension between police and migrants, as well as the massive presence of drug addicts.
The group called upon the city authorities to improve conditions in the district and solve the problems. The volunteers are planning to meet in September to discuss what the group will do next.
France, like other EU states, is currently experiencing the worst refugee crisis since WWII.
The number of asylum seekers in the country reached 100,000 in 2017, according to asylumineurope.org.
In June this year France was among those states that said they have no intention of opening refugee facilities on their soil following a summit between EU leaders.
At the gathering, a solution was reached which would involve EU members propping up so-called controlled centers on a volunteer basis.