„For African Migrants, Hope and a Home in a Vacant French School“

450 Männer aus Westafrika haben in Lyon eine Schule besetzt und organisieren dort ein Überleben. Ein Gerichtsbeschluss gibt ihnen eine Frist bis zum nächsten September. Ein bebilderter Bericht in der NYT beschreibt die Verhältnisse in dieser selbstorganisierten Unterkunft.

In Lyon, the metropolitan government, which has been trying to expel the squatters from the school building, is appealing a recent court ruling allowing them to stay until next September.
Today, some 450 young, single men sleep jammed inside the school’s classrooms and manage the premises — ensuring security, cleaning and making dinner with supplies provided by the city. Most are from France’s former colonies in West Africa, though there is a growing minority from the region’s former British colonies.

It all began in September 2018 when Ghassen Zaghdoud, a longtime housing activist in Lyon, set his sights on a secondary school that had closed in 2013, Maurice-Scève.
Mr. Zaghdoud, who had spent years taking over vacant public buildings to house the homeless, said the premises seemed perfect for the young African migrants he had noticed sleeping in a nearby park.
When he began occupying the school with about 50 Africans, Mr. Zaghdoud said he was “pleasantly surprised” by the neighbors’ reaction. Within days, the squatters had more than enough food, mattresses and other donations.
“I’ve never had as much support from neighbors in the 20 years that I’ve been squatting,” Mr. Zaghdoud said.
The Africans found themselves in Croix-Rousse, a hilly neighborhood away from the center of Lyon. Once the site of the city’s silk-weaving industry, Croix-Rousse is now a gentrifying, sought-after neighborhood with restaurants catering to a “bobo,” or bohemian bourgeois, clientele.

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