Thousands of protesters in Nantes say ‘stop the insecurity’

Thousands of protesters in Nantes say ‘stop the insecurity’

A thousand people, 900 according to the prefecture, marched in Nantes on Saturday afternoon to say “stop insecurity” after several violent incidents in this metropolis, an AFP journalist noted.

Under a cloud of umbrellas, the procession, made up of people of all ages, some known for their commitment to rights, made their way from the Place Royale to the gates of Nantes Town Hall to the shouts of “Johanna, move – you”, in reference to the city’s PS mayor, Johanna Rolland.

Planned for a long time, well before the latest news that fueled the chronicle of the last few days, this event was organized by the association Sécurité Nocturne Nantes (S2N), created in 2019 by night workers (mid bars and security).

Anne Serizay, 46-year-old Legal Director and mother of 4 children aged 7 to 16, assures us that “living in the city center of Nantes is no longer possible”. “Our car has already been broken into twice. I don’t let my children out alone and we are seriously considering getting out,” she says.

At his side, says Jocelyne Laurant, a 73-year-old retiree who fears she will be assaulted and “stops wearing jewelry and hiding her purse under her coat” as she moves around town.

“I’ve been attacked twice, including once with a knife trying to get my jacket out of a bar,” said UNI (National Inter-University Union) President Charles Guemas. “Insecurity is a big concern among students,” adds this history student.

Isaure and Claire-Victoire, medical students, denounce “constant street harassment” and “the fear of being attacked” when they return home alone.

“Not a night goes by without an attack,” S2N co-president Guillaume, a bar employee who declined to give his name, told AFP. “We want Nantes to find its good life by using more police and more cameras day and night,” he added.

Johanna Rolland is meeting with Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin on Tuesday. The officer-elect announced in a press release that she would request “a permanent mobile force of 80 additional agents” and “a continuous police presence downtown from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.”.


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