A few chants resounded against an accordion background. So yes, they were only a handful. About 150 people, in a district that should have more than 10,000 inhabitants. But they have won their bid to unite and march “for peace” around the Gros-Chêne plate, which has been sorely lacking in recent times. Hit by an outbreak of violence on the back of drug trafficking, the Maurepas district saw a 28-year-old man lose his life on 13 June.
Stitch in the heart, the young man was undoubtedly the victim of a settlement. Before and after his death, shots were also fired in the streets of the working-class neighborhood. Police even came under automatic gunfire during a bicycle patrol.
“I came to say stop”
This Wednesday, therefore, residents had many reasons to take to the streets to shout that they were tired. But all seemed united by the same desire. To show off. “I came here to say stop. I want to say that I love my neighborhood, but that I can no longer live there under these conditions. Crime has intensified and I am afraid of my children,” explains Awa (first name is has been changed at her request.) Mother of two young children, she no longer dares to let them play alone near the school, for fear of being hit. “I heard the gunshots, I’m not quiet. I do not bother to take the ball out in the stomach anymore. »
A little further on, Catherine (first name also changed) is one of the oldest in the district where she has lived for forty-six years. “Maurepas, before it was too good. There was mutual help, exchanges. Today it makes me sad to see all this violence.”
In recent weeks, several serious events have taken place below. So Catherine decided to come and go with about 150 people to “show that we exist”. She, like everyone else we’ve interviewed, is steep. It is the drug trade that pollutes their neighborhoods. “The dealers have taken over the premises, and the children are following along. They have a ‘doen’ instead of the brain,” condemns Catherine. As the small procession passes, the residents stick their heads out the window. Some clap, but few come down.
This march “for peace” was organized by some residents of the district, including the Vice President of the Rennes Métropole Priscilla Zamord. The neighborhood also chose the moved, tricolor scarf on the shoulder. “All people are affected by these acts of violence. But they also want to assert their place in the public sphere, to show that there is something else in Maurepas than acts of violence, ”says ecologist Marion Deniaud. To solve the traffic problem, the elected representative is dependent on “the mayor, the prefect and the prosecutor”.
“Some people dare not go down”
As the march passed, monitored by the police, the young people sitting at the bottom of the towers had for the most part disappeared. They will probably be back very soon. “They are no longer afraid of anything, not even the police. They stay here all day. Some residents no longer dare to come down for fear of being bothered, ”testifies Amina (first name changed). She also heard the shots that made her blood run cold. ‘Some children can be caught in these gangs. We must protect them, avoid school disruption. »