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France: Roma families evicted from Bobigny - Catherine Peyge asks the State to hold a round table conference

Following a new eviction on the morning of Wednesday May 20th, the Bobigny town hall is demanding an end to these evictions, which only shift the problem and aggravate human distress.

On Wednesday the 20th of May, hundreds of Romas were removed from a plot of land in Bobigny, on which they had been settling for around a week, and which is located near to the former railway station – Haute-Lieu de la Deportation. Among them were children, elderly and sick people, and all have been marked by what they consider a brisk eviction. This eviction was carried out on the request of the landowner, the public company Réseau Ferré de France (Railway Network of France).

Some of the families were already evicted from the same place, on April 22nd, a few days before the “National Day of Remembrance for the Victims and Heroes of the Deportation .”

Catherine Peyge

Catherine Peyge, the mayor of Bobigny

I would like to express my overwhelming emotion and my fear regarding these repeated evictions.

I would also like to salute the actions taken by the associations and the humanitarian organizations working in the field, as well as the group that was formed by students of the Beaux-Arts* to support the families.

We need to seriously examine the issue of discrimination that the Romas face, especially on the morning following the work by the European Parliament, which sheds light on the terrible eviction situations that these European citizens face.

Instead of this, these evictions only shift the problem - sometimes by a few hundred metres – and they aggravate the families’ distress.

In Bobigny, and like in the past, I have decided to accept all my responsibilities. In the same way that we school the Roma children and create basic hygienic conditions, with all the means at our disposal, I have decided to ask the State to make available a piece of terrain on land belonging to the local council, so that these families, who do not know where to turn, can be settled, while a more detailed assessment can be made that will allow us to find a long-lasting solution.

I am also calling on the State to organize a round table conference, with the participation of local authorities and associations that act daily on these issues, and whose experience and expertise I wish to salute.

This meeting should enable us to address this situation with all the seriousness, the spirit of humanity and responsibility that it deserves.

We can only admit that everyone continues to pass the buck, as if human lives are not concerned.

Press contacts: Stéphane Pariyski – stephane.pariyski@ville-bobigny.fr

* Contact Beaux-Arts' student: Tiago Nacke –

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Arleene Mcfarlane