On June 6th more than a 100 cops over 2 hours surrounded Barbès in Paris, conducting raids across 4 districts – Gare du Nord, La Chapelle, Château Rouge and Antwerp – forcing identity controls and arresting thousand+ undocumented people. These areas are popular to sans papiers, a hang out place for people living on the streets in Paris and a meeting place for friends passing through.
More than 40 people arrested during the raid are now in detention centre Vincennes!
A testimony from inside the deportation prison :
“The cops treated us like terrorists. They tied us up with plastic handcuffs, which were really tight. We still have scars. We will soon see a doctor and ask for a certificate.
They shut Barbès in and made racially profiling controls, every arabic and black people…They were very nasty and unrespectful. They arrived in Barbès at around 2 p.m and yelled at everyone in the street. Some people have lived there for 10 years and never seen a thing like this. I was leaving the hairdresser when a civil cop/ a cop in plain clothes arrested me.
It was like Guantanamo. What does it mean ? We are arabs so we are terrorists, what’s the point ? We have risked our lives on a boat, sailing to Lampedusa and here, there is no freedom. At some point, we thought we were in Tunisia. We don’t have any problem with the people here, the only problem is the police. Then, they took us to a police station in Clignancourt, 40 people in one cell, we could not breathe. When protesting, the cops would yell : “shut up ! Why did you come here ? Go home !” There was also an old moroccan tourist jailed with us, his family brought some evidences and he was soon released. What a welcoming travel !
In front of the police station, Some women who did not agree with the situation were shouting for freedom. The cops hit them. We must be around 40-50 people from Barbès at the detention center (CRA). Even in Tunisia the prison is different. Here, nobody eats. We decided to make a hunger strike next week. Prison is better because here, you don’t know what will happen to you the next day. There is no way out. If we go by the Ramadan here, we will burn the centre.”