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More than 200. This is the dizziness of daily messaging recorded by 18 policee: The Paris region since the French government imposed measures of restraint on March 17. Explanation: In order to prevent the spread of Covid-19, a house has been assigned, the population must substantiate their trips which, if necessary, should not exceed a maximum of one hour and within one kilometer of the house. In the absence of a certificate and justified reasons, recounting the rules in force to build a certain social distance is subject to a fine ranging from € 135 to € 200 for recidivism. High tariffs are generally reserved for everyone, and particularly for the poor in the north-east of Paris, where most Africans of French descent live. Despite the tightening of measures, violations of the restraint rules have not slowed down.

Social distance is hard to come by

Emanuel Auster, Divisional Commissioner, is in the 18th headquarterse: Arondissement, warns. “Reunions on the street are reduced to their simplest terms and apply only to a minority of individuals. Reservations remain at the level of grocery stores, a significant number of which are by Marx Dormo, Barbes, Markadet or La Chapelle. “Wandering people often go out there to buy alcohol. The race has become an excuse to go out several times a day, ”the official regrets. Thinking ways are going to limit the hours of these food outlets that benefit from wide open periods. For the Commissioner, "there is an emergency that guarantees the health of all."

On March 23, 2020, in the Barbeque district of 18th Paris, a man shows his permission to go to the police.
© Edward Richard / Hans Lucas / Hans Lucas via AFP

To date, about 100 police officers work every day in all 18 arease: to ensure compliance with the instructions. This region, where the well-to-do inhabitants of Butt-Montmartre live to the north, and the modest families of the Sub-Saharan and Maghreb, originate further south (Porte de Cligencourt, Château-Rouge, Barbes, La Chapelle, etc.). And the focus is really on these more common areas.

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Tense control …

On the first day of the new orders coming into force, disputes broke out with police on Dejan Street in the Jet-Rouge police station, known for its food business. For example, without a certificate and refusal to comply with the police, a young girl was punched to the ground. The mother has been fined € 35 at the beginning of the event despite a statement by government spokeswoman Sibet Ndiyaye calling for pedagogy to be preferred to ballistics on March 17. "This scene is more a demonstration of non-compliance with the rules than an act of rebellion, the nuance of Jean-Raphael Bourgeois, president of the Barbeque Union of Residents' Associations. It highlights the relationships some youths may have with the authorities. However, we can ask ourselves if excessive use of force is here, ”he wonders. For Emmanuel Auster, no doubt. “Verbalization is needed to create an electric shock with this high community population whose habits are based on street life. »

… In an area frequented by non-residents

Hundreds of customers were spotted on Dejan Street that same day. Unique and winding corridor, lack of side entrances …, the configuration of the open market hall is such that social distance is difficult. And the mob movement is more visible. However, “this mass phenomenon is not related to the district itself, as the client of Chteau-Rouge is not exclusively a resident, and wants to stress the head of the association. Many people come from outside, ”he says. The same observation by Commissioner Emmanuel Auster. “I often arrange a larger crown for those who come here to shop. It is no longer possible. He is sorry. It should be noted that this market is known for its high quality afro products and where customers can find specialty products. Today, however, is a matter of buying basic food, "the commissioner said.

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If arrest is maintained…

In this stunning neighborhood, where the streets of Afro hairdressing salons and aesthetics, merchants, residents, and tourists alike usually take place, the streets have taken on the appearance of no man's land. A few days ago, tightening of the measures, which assumed the closure of open markets, only half a dozen customers walked from exhibition to exhibition. For the past 30 years Les Primeurs du Château manager Kiki has been smiling. “People have been home since last week. It's better for everyone's health, ”he says. The shopkeeper at a nearby butcher shop shows his more pessimistic side: “There is no more here. My boss mentioned the liquidation of the store. We will all be unemployed. »

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… Families, modest, blame that blow

Due to the large number of publicly owned kiosks in public spaces, making it difficult to comply with de facto hygiene rules, police prefectures recently announced a ban on countermeasures. Restrictions that can punish residents and increase the inaccuracy. "Exotic shops that are open are taking advantage of the situation to double their prices," said a resident of the town of Gutta in the unfavorable district. It's difficult, but we adapt. A short distance away, the barbeque market would also have to be closed. “It's the cheapest in Paris. For very modest low-income families in the area, this site is the only one where they can get basic food near their home, explains Jean-Raphael Burgen. The neighborhood is really devoid of convenience stores. The only one that existed was burnt, ”he said. And the boulevard connecting the Château-Rouge and Barbes metro stations is now a ghost.

The view from the Barbes-Rochchwart station on March 22, 2020. Usually meeting people is empty because of closure.
© Mathieu Menard / Hans Lucas AFP

Even under section 2, street vendors and dealers seem to desert the area. “They are organized differently and are collected in staircases of buildings that are subject to penalties or apply for online sales and delivery. Practical actions that existed a long time ago, ”explains Ms. Oster. Whistles sound on the main pulse.

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Difficult management of homeless people and migrants

At the intersection of Rue Myrha, three homeless people are grouped on a bench. "Shut up, no transformation will take place under arrest." said the policeman. A little lower, the scene repeats itself. This time, three youths on the sidewalk, arrested on the dust, are arrested. Immediately ordered, immediately separated. "These kinds of scenes are ephemeral and often refer to these helpless juveniles, these Maghreb migrants, who fled from childhood and are homeless," remarks President Barbees. "Ninety percent of the gangs we see are concerned about the refugee population, the homeless and drug addicts," the commissioner adds. According to him, this population is not limited or difficult. We just ask them to turn around. »Now in these 18th districtse:, the invisible became visible. What makes it so important to care for these people already with difficulty and to take care of this new coronavirus, which is the best obstacle against secrecy… until better days?

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