Sunday, September 04, 2005

No squatters, no evictions

Another deadly building fire in Paris over the weekend killed 14 people, including 2 children -- but no one has been evicted from the building, the AP reports via Guardian Unlimited. Perhaps that's because the fire was in a privately-owned complex built with government money. Meanwhile, 5,000 squatters rallied in Paris on Saturday to protext the government's eviction drive. The article notes that Parisian authorities have identified more than 1,000 run-down buildings, in which some 13,000 families - the majority of whom are African - are housed or are squatting. Does the government plan to evict them all? Why are the horrific conditions in which they are forced to live their fault? Why is the French government blaming the victims here? Why not invest in their buildings instead of vacating them?

For the personal story of an African immigrant family in Paris, read this BBC dispatch. It should make you ashamed of how little we care about others.

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