The migrant centre was heavily damaged by arson in Monday’s attack
The people of Forges-les-Bains, a town of 3,700 inhabitants in the southern suburbs of Paris, are violently opposed to the opening of a male-only migrant reception centre in their town.
Locals are suspected of having committing a series of offences in order to delay the migrants’ arrival – with the reception centre purposely flooded last week, and had its roof set ablaze on Monday night.
But now furious residents claim they only found out they would be “forced” to host 91 migrants and integrate them into their close-knit community at the end of August, and have accused the government and local authorities of ‘blindsiding’ them.
We’re not fascists
The Afghan and Sudanese migrants, aged 17 to 40, were due to arrive at the reception centre – a building that actually belongs to the town of Paris – at the end of October.
An emergency meeting held in the town’s cultural centre Wednesday night took a turn for the worse as locals voiced their discontent, and said that they had been “put on the spot” and “kept in the dark” by local authorities and the government.
A villager said Wednesday’s meeting as “violent” and people started booing, putting the blame Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, and singing the national anthem, the Marseillaise.