Compiled from press sources
The Indignados forced to leave La Défense
It has been one of the longest demonstrations ever at La Défense. Occupiers had been camping on the Parvis de La Défense for six weeks. Beginning Friday November 4, 2011 at about 5:00 PM, more than 400 occupiers had set up their “cardboard village” at the foot of the Grande Arche. On the first night, police confiscated some thirty tents, forcing the Indignadxs to sleep without any real protection. The camp had considerably reduced its size as the weeks went on, from 200 occupiers the first night to fewer than 30 on the last. The police refusal to allow tents, but also the construction of shelter of any kind and the use of materials such as pallets, cardboard boxes, mattresses, etc. had discouraged many of Indignadxs and had caused discord and tension within the camp. The presence of “disruptive elements,” the winter weather conditions, and other factors contributed to the demobilization.
At 6 AM on Friday December 16 2011, police evacuated the camp where eleven Indignadxs were sleeping under tarps attached between the barriers and the ground, but also twenty others who had been sleeping for several days in an emergency exit of Les Quatre Temps, located between McDonald’s and Pizza del Arte.
Police justified the decision made by the Prefect of the Hauts-de-Seine, Pierre-André Peyvel, by citing requests for expulsion from Unibail-Rodamco due to the illegal occupation of an emergency exit in the company’s shopping center Les Quatre Temps, which allegedly made it difficult to use in case of an accident, in particular during this busy holiday period. The Orange Alert issued by Météo-France, the French weather service, for storm “Joachim” – which caused no damage at La Défense – was also cited as justification for the decision.
The Indignadxs were escorted to the RER commuter line at around 8 AM by police and told to leave La Défense. But some twenty persons were arrested later in the morning after an unsuccessful attempt to occupy the Maison de l’Architecture in Nanterre and quickly released in the afternoon.
Defacto, the company in charge of management of La Défense, quickly removed all traces of the six weeks of occupation, sending in cleaning teams from the service provider Gom Propreté. Since then everything has been effaced – the pavement steam-cleaned, the panels with posters and notices removed, the barriers taken away… Nothing is left to remind anyone of the hundreds of persons who took turns occupying the site for 42 days and nights.
The police, present 24/7 since the start of the occupation, will remain in place to ensure security at La Défense during the holiday period, but also to prevent the Indignadxs from returning to the La Défense site in the coming weeks, as they have already stated they will do.
Press Release from the Paris Camp: http://99getsmart.com/?p=1565
News of the Paris Occupation – Sarkozy comes to call: http://99getsmart.com/?p=1494
Two Indignés Arrested at the camp in Nantes: http://99getsmart.com/?cat=16
News of the Paris Occupation 12/01: http://99getsmart.com/?p=1421
Communication Working Groups – For Immediate Release: http://99getsmart.com/?cat=21
Paris Occupation – Dome Update: http://99getsmart.com/?p=1295
News of the Paris Occupation – November 25 & 26: http://99getsmart.com/?p=1271
Paris Occupation Update for 11/23/11: http://99getsmart.com/?p=1070
Paris Occupation Update – November 21: http://99getsmart.com/?p=1030
News of the Paris Occupation: http://99getsmart.com/?p=779
News of the Paris Occupation 11-9-11: http://99getsmart.com/?p=805
Update: News of the Paris Occupation: http://99getsmart.com/?p=873
Occupy La Défense, Paris: http://99getsmart.com/?p=791