Montpellier: Emmanuel Macron went to La Paillade a year ago. What’s left of your visit?

On April 19, 2021, the President’s visit, accompanied by Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin, had taken a security focus. In particular in Hauts-de-Massane in an old business point. Neighbors and committed actors in the neighborhood remember.

It was April 21, 2021. To see the results of his “daily security policy,” Emmanuel Macron came to visit Montpellier. After thanking the police for the work at the police station, he went to Hauts-de-Massane, a former drug trafficking station dismantled shortly before. Emmanuel Macron will speak to a handful of locals. First under the gaze of the cameras and then to one side.

Specifically with a man who has been living in the Hauts-de-Massane for four decades, involved in associations and who, in the same place, had explained that he had been able to “talk about the degradation of the neighborhood with the absence of diversity and local police “. The president had been listening. “He responded when he disagreed.” But a year later, the resident himself politely rejects the idea of ​​discussing a report on this visit.

“Young people are in danger”

No Hamza Arab. He, a former historical activist of the Justice for the Petit-Bard association, president of the MMF (Montpellier Méditerranée futsal), always involved in social and educational issues in the districts of Montpellier, had been received by an adviser to Emmanuel Macron . At the prefecture. “Since then, unfortunately, we have not seen any real political will. There is a problem. Young people are in danger.”

Hamza Aarab, however, points out some positive aspects. “The prefect has started mobilizing companies to create jobs in the neighborhoods. The Mozart Circle and the Medef as well. Everyone has to sit around the table to move forward without falling into the witch hunt.”

“Discussion result? Nothing!”

Present, from the end of the morning of April 19, near the center of the Caf de La Paillade, with other members of the association, Adil Sosso hoped to send demands to the President. “We had to deal with a staging. The people authorized to speak to Macron again had been selected by hand. We arrived at around 11 in the morning with banners. The police were right. Adil Sosso recalls that the situation “The official program of the visit was delayed and we were pushed back, without ceremony.” Hundreds of meters away, concentrated behind barriers along the tram line, hundreds of residents they watched the scene.
A year later Adil Sosso laments “the lack of listening from social actors. There are, however, many urgent issues to be resolved in neighborhoods such as Paillade and Hauts-de-Massane. Because what was the result of the discussion at the Café center ? Nothing. !”
And the activist imagined a new visit from Emmanuel Macron, just re-elected. “I should go back to La Paillade so as not to permanently ignore the issues of working-class neighborhoods. The ball is in his court. We have seen that his recent visit to Cergy did not go very well. “.

Not even in angelism. “Nightclubs are run by the City Council, but why not work on local economic development? Same with the issue of housing, of course. I also know many disabled pailladins who suffer daily. The Department, of which this is one of the competencies that needs to be involved. Like the Region in matters of education “.

“Stop clientelism!”

Hamza Aarab insists: “We must stop constantly reproducing the same patterns. Let’s stop clientelism! The state wants to inject millions into the Paillade. But it must be done with the inhabitants who must be able to get involved. The associations are in charge of the subsidies ”.

In short, an imperative, in the short and medium term, of civic reinvention. “I have the impression that we are at a turning point with consciousness. It is crucial because, in parallel and after the pandemic, we are seeing a loss of ties and solidarity in the neighborhood.” In another way? “I fear a withdrawal of identity and community.”

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