Several thousand of Marseilles -8,000, according to police – marched Saturday in tribute to the victims of the collapse of two buildings, which killed 8 people, expressing their "black anger" on their arrival under the windows of the town hall to the shouts of "murderer Gaudin! Resign Gaudin! "
As a symbol of criticism and controversy over the municipality and its management of unworthy housing since the tragedy, the balcony of a building – apparently in good condition – has partially collapsed a few meters from The pain of the white march has caused 3 light wounds: a a 59-year-old woman and a 7-year-old boy who fell from the foreground, and a 24-year-old woman who received a stone block on her foot.
Gathered just a few tens of meters from the site of the disaster, the procession rattles behind the relatives of the eight victims – 5 men and 3 women -, a white rose in hand. Among them, many friends of Pope Maguette, a young Senegalese who died under the rubble of his palace, brandished the portraits of the young, the dreadlocks on his head.
"Do you realize that Monday morning, an hour after the collapse, had an appointment for a new home?" His friend Salim says. Tonio, 39, cigarette in hand, evokes him, his "sleepless nights" from Monday: "I am afraid, a month ago, I still lived in a building that was evacuated yesterday, as a precaution (…). normal to live it, it is an insult to the poor ".
In demonstrators, anger increases very rapidly. "Today there are children who refuse to go to school because they are afraid of the mother who stays at home, people who are frightened because their apartment is dirty and wet", says Évelyne, of the collective "November 5".
– "A political catastrophe!" –
After going through an impressive silence Noailles, the popular quarter where the drama took place, usually very lively, the procession reaches the end of the Canebière, not far from the town hall of Jean-Claude Gaudin, the target of virulent criticism from the drama.
Under the balconies of the town hall, the screams merge: "Assassin Gaudin! Gaudin in prison! Resignation Gaudin!" A minute's silence follows, followed by a long salvo of applause, in great emotion.
"It's not a natural disaster but a political disaster!", Lance Mike Kevin, a resident of the Aubagne street. After the tragedy, the mayor had mentioned among the causes of the collapse of heavy rainy buildings.
"We reject this tragedy as an opportunity for the mayor and speculators to free anyone from the neighborhood," warns the youth, loudly applauding. Hundreds of inhabitants of the collapsed buildings – three of which one fell partly under the relief and only one was inhabited – and many others were evacuated by the authorities with caution. They fear a "domino effect" in a neighborhood whose buildings are often very old. The search for victims was interrupted on Saturday.
Several elected officials, including LFI Bouches-du-Rhone deputy Jean-Luc Melenchon, or LREM deputies Said Ahamada and Alexandra Louis, walked discreetly, without a tricolor scarf.
The city council of Marseille supported 187 families or 404 people in five hotels in the city, the municipality announced in a statement on Saturday evening. "With the support of social landowners, the city now has 150 social housing available, including 60 in the city center," the city said, adding that "9 families have accepted a permanent transfer and 2 a temporary transfer". The city hall has also made available to the victims a restaurant and a "free canteen" for all children.
Since November 7, 130 reports have been recorded throughout the municipality and 78 interventions have taken place, said the Municipality. By way of comparison, throughout 2017 the mayor had signed less than 100 imminent danger orders.
Throughout the week, criticism of the management of Jean-Claude Gaudin (LR), who has been in charge of the city for 23 years, has continued to grow. A report presented to the government in 2015 reported 40,000 unsafe homes in Marseilles, threatening the safety of almost 100,000 inhabitants (Marseille has over 860,000 according to INSEE).
An investigation was opened and entrusted to the judicial police to determine the exact circumstances of the disaster and the possible responsibilities.