France- Gens du Voyage Camps

Sep 14th, 2010, 08:59 AM
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France- Gens du Voyage Camps

The recent flap over French President Sarkozy's campaign to rid the country of illegal Romani immigrants, with orders to close hundreds of 'gens du voyage' camps - gens du voyage being the French colloquial term for Romani (or the perjorative 'gypsy') brought back memories of my recent visit to France where right near the house i was staying in in Orleans there were two gens du voyage camps - typical of ones i have seen for years all over France.

And having seen these two camps for years i am always appalled at their allowed existence. (I know towns of over 5,000 residents legally must provide areas for such camps - i have no problem with that - but with the awful sanitary conditions of these camps as well as the threatening nature of some of the residents.

Both camps near the house i stay at seemingly have no sanitary WCs as everyone it seems just defecates on the camp periphery - sometimes IME right out in the open as i have seen several times - and that is not a pretty sight! Soiled TP is strewn everywhere around, etc.

And one camp is on a public venelle (sp?) - or alley that i like to take as a short cut to the train station - but i have had so many catcalls going by it i no longer take that route - mangy roaming dogs are a problem as well.

So though i am fine with such camps, full of dozens of old caravans, i just cannot understand why local governments do not supply if needed a sanitary WC system and enforce obvious existing laws about just defecating anywhere.
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May 3rd, 2013, 01:31 PM
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One of the Orleans camp is still there - another has been made to close - someone in the Romani camp shot and killed someone the other day and the paper said he lived in the camp. So such camps are still tolerated!
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May 3rd, 2013, 01:38 PM
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And when an encampment is closed, where do its residents go?
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May 3rd, 2013, 01:58 PM
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The issue isn't whether they are tolerated or not. The aires (or terrains) des gens du voyage are set up, equipped, and monitored by the government - have been for quite a few years now. Gens du voyage don't have the legal option to just set up their own camps.

When they are closed, whether for new construction or updating or because they have proved problematic, the community's elected officials meet to determine how they will provide temporary accommodations. In some cases, residents have been deported.
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May 3rd, 2013, 04:27 PM
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Gens du voyage don't have the legal option to just set up their own camps.>

the one that has been in Saran (Orleans) is definitely not set up by local government - it has no plumbing and people defecate along the train tracks - TP strewn about - you may be quoting the official line but this camp does not at all fit that bill.

the one in a former hypermarche parking lot that was there for a few years was dismantled and did have toilets, etc.
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May 4th, 2013, 08:24 AM
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<>

Wrong. http://www.ville-saran.fr/spip.php?article733
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May 4th, 2013, 09:17 AM
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The vast majority of the official gens du voyage camps are used exclusively by French gypsies, who would run off any Roma who tried to move in. And the vast majority of the Roma camps spring up spontaneously in awful abandoned places and are tolerated (or not) by the authorities -- simply because there is no other solution.

I made a very long photo report about everything I saw along the T1 tramway line in the northern Paris suburbs, but here are just two photos that are pertinent to gens du voyage.

The first photo is a typical French gypsy camp. The second one is a typical Roma camp. These two places were across the road from each other.

http://i450.photobucket.com/albums/q...0T1/T1a076.jpg

http://i450.photobucket.com/albums/q...0T1/T1a074.jpg
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May 4th, 2013, 09:25 AM
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Well I errore at the camp I am thinking of is just across the line the Fleur-les-Aubrais - east of rail tracks which at that point is Fleury.

Tolerate and set up are two different ideas. Kerouac knows the real term - tolerate - St cirq claims the government organizes and sets up the camps then the gens du voyage move in - she has in this cart in front of the horse.
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May 5th, 2013, 10:18 AM
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Kerouac's photos - the 2nd photo is like the Gens du voyage camp I see at Fleury-les-Aubrais - not like the first of kerouac's pictures which is probably the type of camp St Cirq is familiar with (but obviously not familiar with the just as common it seems unofficial but tolerated camps.
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Oct 3rd, 2013, 12:27 PM
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the new French President has even accelerated the "re-patriotization' of Romani from France - a recent NYTimes article indicates about 50% of all Romany in France have been given the boot!

A Vive la France pour les francaises!
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Oct 3rd, 2013, 12:53 PM
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Nope, the opposite is true. It is the minister of the interior Manuel Valls (a naturalized citizen) who shot off his mouth about sending the Roma home. He was slapped down by the president, who is extremely aware of the rights of EU citizens -- and the Bulgarian and Romanian Romani in France will finally have to right to work as of January 1st, 2014. (They already had the right to stay as long as they wanted, which was a ridiculous contradiction if they could not work.)

Not the first time that the NYT gets all of the facts wrong.
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Oct 3rd, 2013, 12:56 PM
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It should also be mentioned that President Hollande stopped the repatriation flights as soon as he was elected, along with the corresponding payoffs (300€ per adult, 100€ per child) that Sarkozy had implemented.
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Oct 3rd, 2013, 01:31 PM
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well I was shocked that Hollande would try to outdo the midget, as some of my French friend called Sarko - it did say thousands were still right now being deported so a serious missing the real story.

Thanks for the correction.
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Oct 3rd, 2013, 01:40 PM
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http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/20/wo.../20france.html

Here is the article from Aug 19 which contradicts what kerouac says completely - and the Times could have it wrong but says within the past year 10,000 Romani have been sent packing - an incredible 2/3's of Gypsies in France - the story mentions the raid of a camp near Paris this August, when Hollande was President.
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Oct 3rd, 2013, 01:43 PM
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Oops - the story was from 2010! My apologies for posting it - weird I was reading a stack of recent papers the other day and read this, and thought it was this year's - i don't know how that happened - very weird and of course what kerouac says was right as it always is!
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Oct 4th, 2013, 03:14 AM
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Don't worry -- we all fall into the outdated article trap from time to time. I try to immediately check the date when I find an article on the net but I still forget every now and then.
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Oct 5th, 2013, 08:27 AM
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"It should also be mentioned that President Hollande stopped the repatriation flights as soon as he was elected,"


You bet he did :
"La ligue des droits de l’Homme estime que la France, depuis l'élection de François Hollande, a expulsé plus de 10.000 Roms de leur campement et 424 se sont vus attribués une obligation de quitter le territoire français."
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Oct 5th, 2013, 09:34 AM
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I'm puzzled. I suspect I'm not alone.

You can only repatriate foreigners (and then only if they can't claim asylum under the various treaties).

Most gypsies in France are French. So who WAS repatriated under Sarko, and who's been "expulsés de leur campement"? Since 9,600 who've been chucked off the camps haven't been deported, what's happened to them?

As an aside, it really would be easier if we called Romanians "Romanian" and gypsies "gypsies". "Gypsy" is pejorative only if the speaker intends it to be: in Western Europe today, with the extraordinarily high crime levels among expatriate Romanians and the widespread nervousness about their imminent right to work anywhere, it's arguable that calling gypsies "Roma" causes them more trouble then the old non-PC terms did.
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Oct 5th, 2013, 09:54 AM
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Under Sarkozy they were deported. Under Hollande they are repatriated. See the difference? I don't.
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Oct 5th, 2013, 01:45 PM
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Sarkozy paid them to leave. Big difference to taxpayers.
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