Interview. In Bordeaux, solidarity is organized with Les Maraudeurs and Précoeurité

We went to meet the volunteers of the association The Marauders and Precoeurity who officiate in the heart of Bordeaux to bring food and clothing to all those who need it. These solidarity initiatives are important in a context where the health crisis makes homeless people more precarious, who are also repressed and driven out of town centers, or even expelled by the public authorities as is the case for the homeless in the Stone Bridge.

We therefore accompanied them to follow their weekly Monday marauding where volunteers distribute food, hot drinks and winter clothing. Permanent Revolution gathered the testimony of Alban Cavignac, founder of Maraudeurs and radio host The Key to the Waves, as well as that of several volunteers of the association Precoeurity.

Permanent Revolution: Why do the marauding? Why is this important? How is it organized in Bordeaux?

Alban Cavignac (Les Maraudeurs) :

“The creation of Maraudeurs was made during a meeting with the grocery store In the sense of sharing who was in Lormont. Members of this team came to Key to the waves. With Johnny, who has more than 30 years of street life, we wondered what was the day when the marauding intervened the least. It was Monday and we started this adventure like that.

It was important because precariousness is growing in the Bordeaux metropolis, precarious people need warmth, smile and eat. Sometimes we also try to provide answers to administrative questions. There are situations of immense distress to which we must provide a benevolent shoulder. We cannot hide this phase on a maraud otherwise the human relationship cannot be created. And Precoeurity joined us 9 months ago, the association distributes clothes and hygiene kits on Mondays with us.

Bordeaux is experiencing a surge of exceptional solidarity, marauding has been set up in a very short time. As if it was a fad. Having experience at AC ! Gironde, I noticed that there was a rise in poverty in Bordeaux. Suddenly, it was necessary to act quickly. “

Kenza Tall, Manon Maleville, Melissa Nicolas (Precoeurity) :

“The homeless are isolated and often forgotten people. They need material, food and human warmth for their survival. Our association does not make it possible to remedy inequalities and precariousness, but we at least try to help for an evening.

We rely on the generosity of people. Every Sunday, we do a home collection and prepare the suitcases for the marauding. Every Monday evening, we start with a starting point fixed every other week (Victoire / Grand-Théâtre) and we follow an itinerary according to the location of our beneficiaries. In order for each maraud to go well, we are counting on the good humor of our volunteers and the good will of our participants. “

RP: How many meals do you distribute? Have you noticed an increase in requests since the start of the health crisis?

Alban Cavignac (Les Maraudeurs) :

“We initially distributed between 30 to 40 meals and today we are at almost 80.”

RP: How do you finance them? (Meals / clothes)

Alban Cavignac (Les Maraudeurs) :

“We operate on donation to donation, because it is estimated that from the moment there are too important money stories, there are links that are no longer in relation to humans but with liberal interests which are, in my opinion, harmful to the fight. “

Kenza Tall, Manon Maleville, Melissa Nicolas (Precoeurity) :

“We don’t have a lot of funding because our association works mainly thanks to the generosity of people and their donations. However, if necessary, we set up online prize pools and we respond to calls for projects. “

RP: Have you seen new sectors of the population on the streets since the health crisis? Families, new profiles, working-class neighborhoods?

Alban Cavignac (Les Maraudeurs) :

“The public is very large, we have young unaccompanied minors, people with RSA, long-term homeless people. It is very evasive depending on the marauding evenings. “

Kenza Tall, Manon Maleville, Melissa Nicolas (Precoeurity) :

“We meet more young people, sometimes minors, but also normally seasonal under 25s who have not been able to work because of confinement and find themselves in a precarious situation. We also meet travelers stranded in France during confinement. “

RP: How do the Town Hall and the public authorities look at your activity?

Alban Cavignac (Les Maraudeurs) :

“The town hall looks at leading associations visible in the media. Among the marauders, we prefer discretion, there is respect for the dignity of our beneficiaries but also for our volunteers. The current town hall does not provide a concrete response to the unstable situation that the city may experience. The goal of a human being is to live with dignity in housing, to have enough to eat and to dress. No staying in the street. If these arrangements are not taken with an administrative follow-up from the beginning to the end of the files over the whole year, well we end up with lost people. Suddenly, without waiting for the winter period, there is a need for welcoming structures to allow homeless people to have information points. Poverty does not last just one season. If the town hall does not make arrangements, it will be necessary to make citizen requisitions on public buildings. “

Kenza Tall, Manon Maleville, Melissa Nicolas (Precoeurity) :

“We never had any real contact with the town hall or the public services. However, during our last marauding, police officers came to inform us that we had to change our usual marauding route because the town hall now prohibits all associations from coming around the Palais des sports and Cours Victor Hugo which is one of the strategic places for people without -shelter. “

RP: Any comments or precision to add? A subject you want to discuss?

Alban Cavignac (Les Maraudeurs) :

“The point I want to add is that it is important to ensure that a maraud is a relationship between full human beings. That the homeless or other precarious people are not commercials for political or financial ends. Humanity is a priority and it is intolerable that the fight against precariousness serves the liberal causes against which we are fighting. “

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