Yellow vests: the place d'Italie dresses its wounds in the aftermath of the violence


Degraded, abused, desecrated, the statue of Marshal June which sits in the center of the Place d'Italie (13th arrondissement), in Paris since 1983, is still standing. On this Sunday morning, in the aftermath of the violence that enamelled for several hours this little piece of Paris, during the act 53 of the yellow vests movement, the stigmata are still very present. And the strong resentment: "When I saw the statue, I almost cried," says Claudine, a CAF employee who has traveled all the way from the 14th arrondissement to see for herself the damage.

Bus shelters destroyed, cracked shop facades

Next door, Marie-Christine, who has come to her neighbor, is angry: "It's pathetic, it's disrespectful. That's how we treat our culture, our past? I've been a nurse for forty years, I'm retired, I know what it's like to see your pension go down. I have already demonstrated especially for the defense of the public hospital but I never broke anything. This is also why I do not participate in the yellow vest events. Even though I share some of the claims, it's scandalous to destroy everything. "

The windows of the banks were quilted and their cash machines. LP / Philippe Lavieille
The windows of the banks were quilted and their cash machines. LP / Philippe Lavieille

Not far away a car carcass burned, probably the rest of a Renault Clio, waiting to be evacuated. Even if the bulk of the damage has already been cleaned by agents of the city of Paris, on the floor, scattered, the pebble and residues of tear bombs and grenades desencclement.

Around the square, unfortunately, the same scenes appear. With its bus shelters destroyed, its windows of banks and ATMs attacked and cracked or tagged store facades. "Dad I'm a bitch," claims bravache, this inscription written in pink. Everywhere the symbol of anarchists or the acronym ACAB ("All cops are bastards") that could be translated as "All cops are assholes".

The mall was evacuated and closed

The glass doors of the shopping center of Italy 2, opened this Sunday, are cracked: "They yielded, says a security agent of the store, present this Saturday. The demonstrators used small ice axes and threw paving stones on the windows. We took refuge inside the center. We've been scared ". But meanwhile, Italy 2 was evacuated.

"We made this decision when we found that the gathering degenerated, says Peguy Guchet, assistant manager of the store, met on the spot this Sunday. And the center was closed all day. Fortunately, the police arrived quickly and prevented him from being invaded. "

VIDEO. Riders back in Paris

If the damage should, at Italy 2, be at least several thousand euros for the glass doors, not counting the loss of the turnover of the day of Saturday, they remain moderate compared to those of October 5th. That day, activists from Extinction Rebellion had entered and occupied the lobby of the mall for several hours. They wanted to denounce the consumer society and its impact on the environment.

Slogans on the December 5th mobilization

Adjacent to Italy 2, the Citadines hotel is laying plywood sheets to protect its damaged windows. "We were scared," concedes Sakou and Ali, the two security agents at the school. For at least 30 minutes, they tried to return. It was very hot, we confined the guests inside. It was too dangerous to go out. "

Less than 24 hours after the scuffles, the pungent smell of tear gas and powder is still present. But already, slogans registered on the huts of building sites of this place, currently in renovation, announce the continuation: "Tremble", "5/12, early retirement for Macron". An allusion to the big demonstration of December 5 against the pension reform. Several unions and several professions call for demonstrations, including railway workers and RATP agents. As for the Elysee, she promised to rebuild the stele dedicated to Marshal Juin in the shortest possible time.

Meanwhile, the mayor (PS) of the thirteenth, Jerome Coumet, invites those who wish to a "republican gathering", Monday at 12:15 on the forecourt of the town hall.

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