At around 7:30 a.m., Thursday, September 2, the police proceeded to “The evacuation of plots of Aubervilliers gardens, illegally occupied since April 30”, said the prefecture of Seine-Saint-Denis in a press release. Environmental activists occupied these gardens to contest their destruction for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. They should indeed be replaced by an aquatic training site and a station for the future Grand Paris Express, scheduled for 2030.
→ REPORT. “Earthen pot against iron pot”, the gardeners of Aubervilliers rebel
“About fifteen occupants were evicted in peace. Only one individual was taken into custody for contempt and violence against the police “, detailed the prefecture.
The destruction of their makeshift facilities, built over the months, immediately began. The ” repair “ and an “Security” places have started, to allow the site to start, according to the prefecture.
Against the tide of the ecological emergency
These allotment gardens, a century-old enclave of 2.5 hectares at the foot of the towers, must be reduced by nearly 4,000 m2 for the construction of a large terrace adjoining this new aquatic center. The infrastructure, which will be used to train athletes for the Olympics, will then be open to the general public.
In the eyes of opponents, this project is the sign of unreasonable urbanization in the name of the Olympic Games, against the tide of the ecological emergency. “We witness the destruction of the gardens by a shovel completely unarmed, it is an incredible violence. We are surrounded by CRS who take us for terrorists ”, testified in the morning Camille, an environmental activist present on the spot.
“Natural and cultural heritage, an island of freshness, biodiversity refuge, a tool for social links, environmental education … the allotments of Aubervilliers destroyed for a few weeks of the Olympic Games in 2024”, tweeted Julien Bayou, the national secretary of Europe Ecology-The Greens.
Sadness and anger!
Natural and cultural heritage, an island of freshness, biodiversity refuge, a tool for social links, environmental education … the workers’ gardens of Aubervilliers destroyed for a few weeks of the Olympic Games in 2024. https: // t. co / e0XyGa0rrQ
– Julien Bayou (@julienbayou) September 2, 2021
Opponents filed an appeal against the building permit for the project on Monday, August 30. At a cost of 33.6 million euros, it is supported by the city of Aubervilliers and notably benefits from around 10 million euros in subsidies from Solideo, the delivery company for Olympic structures.
→ READ. Grand Paris express: the work of the century
At the end of April, Grand Paris Aménagement – owner of the land – assured that it had relocated the gardeners concerned on other neighboring plots in “Favoring dialogue”. Defenders of these gardens called for a demonstration at 6 p.m. in front of the town hall of Aubervilliers.