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Gens du voyage: Ten years of women’s struggle to change the weather, near Lille

A change of air to breathe: Since 2013, in a place jammed between a concrete factory and a brick factory for travelers near Lille, women have been fighting to demand a livable environment. Next to these factories? In the kitchen of her shack, along with her three sisters, Sue Ellen Demestre displays a complete fury after ten years of commitment. Her family has actually lived in this area for 15 years, where she estimates that about 280 people are trapped. A curtain of trees separates them from the concrete plant and the dam from the rubble-crushing plant. Initially, families camped in the nearby “wild” area to spend the winter there. In 2007, a reception zone was created, the Besson law requiring municipalities with more than 5,000 inhabitants to requires the municipality to own it. Residents are disappointed when they first agree. cement itch, conjunctivitis and respiratory problems, Sue Ellen reports. Not to mention the noise and ballet of trucks. But they root for it because they have no other choice and to educate the children. By 2013 Briqueteries du Nord was established in the gypsy dialect. Petitions, demonstrations, filming follow each other. – “We pay to die” – “42-year-old we lost our sister-in-law to common cancer. His brother also had cancer. Seven out of ten births end up with asthma. Older people have recurrent bronchitis,” list Sue Ellen, who points to “environmental racism.” “From July to August, it’s unbearable: you put the phone down and it’s dusty in two minutes.” Her 20-year-old niece, 9 months Mother of two 6-year-old girls picks up her younger son. Suffers from respiratory problems and eye irritation. No formal link has been established between the residents’ health and site pollution. In November 2020, the prefecture asked the concrete company CCB to assess its emissions at its own expense. Measurements “It will be carried out in the second quarter of 2023,” assures CCB. So far, no design office has agreed to intervene due to the “risk of degradation” of equipment by residents, begging the company. “We can get all the sizes we want, any way there is dust, and they no, I want to live there,” said Patrick Deleb, elected representative of the Lille metropolis for travelers sweeps the arre. But he emphasizes that finding other lands is complicated. – “Unique” mobilization – “Today the law requires that we put these people in healthy places”, whereas at the time “the way of looking at things meant + the law requires putting them in a corner, let’s put them in a corner +”. The department’s scheme envisages family land or suitable accommodation combining houses and pitches for caravans because the sites “no longer meet the expectations of people. Travelers from the north”, he explains. The municipalities of Ronchin and Hellemmes are looking for land, but “we have a lot of public we have no building sites left” and there is a shortage of space, says Ronchin City Hall. For lawyer William Acker of the aviation community, the struggle of women in France “among the worst” is unique “even on a European scale”. “Typically, the struggles are scattered and ongoing. The people at the reception points cannot oppose the administration.” “But I want us to be our way. We want our kids to do something that makes them want to wake up later in the morning.”bj/cab/cbn

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