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Protests stopped the eviction of Roma due to urban development project in Mazargues, Marseille, France

The Roma community living in the Eynaud land of Mazargues, due to an alleged fire hazard and posterior redevelopment plan. After many protests, the eviction was stopped.


A Roma community that had lived in the Eynaud land of Mazargues (9th) for more than 40 years received a notice for eviction in November 2010 [5]. Adoma, the managing company of their living site (on behalf of the city), had filed a complaint against the community and thus a judge, in November 2010 ordered their deportation [5, 3, 4, 1]. The main argument that Adoma procured was the noncompliance to security procedures of the families residing in the site [5, 3]. The case happened in the context of the criminalization of Roma and attacks in order to maintain "state security" [6].

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Basic Data
Name of conflict:Protests stopped the eviction of Roma due to urban development project in Mazargues, Marseille, France
State or province: Bouches-du-Rhône, Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Location of conflict:Marseille
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Urban development conflicts
Specific commodities:Land
Project Details and Actors
Project details

Type of populationUrban
Affected Population:40 families
Start of the conflict:11/2010
End of the conflict:04/2011
Company names or state enterprises:Adoma - Filed the complaint
Relevant government actors:National delegate of the French Union of Gypsy Associations in charge of housing issues
Deputy Mayor in charge of the fight against exclusion (UMP)
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Rencontres Tsiganes association
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityLOW (some local organising)
Reaction stageIn REACTION to the implementation (during construction or operation)
Groups mobilizing:Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Ethnically/racially discriminated groups
Roma community
Forms of mobilization:Lawsuits, court cases, judicial activism
Street protest/marches
Health ImpactsPotential: Mental problems including stress, depression and suicide
Socio-economical ImpactsVisible: Displacement
Potential: Loss of livelihood, Violations of human rights, Land dispossession
Project StatusStopped
Conflict outcome / response:Court decision (victory for environmental justice)
Development of alternatives:There were no alternatives developed by EJOs because the point was to stop the eviction however, it is interesting to note that in the case the families needed to be relocated, the city thought to provide two reception areas of which the only one existed in the Marseille Saint-Menet (11th), wedged between the A50 and the railway [5].
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:There is a win for EJ because the people were not evicted, but as some articles have reported, there is a latent stigma against this community that has not been addressed, as well as the security issues of the site.
Sources & Materials
Links to general newspaper articles, blogs or other websites

[4] Mille Bâbords (2011). À Mazargues 40 familles expulsées dans les prochains jours - Rencontres Tsiganes.
[click to view]

[5] Amandine Racnoule (2011). Le campement risque d'être à la rue.
[click to view]

[1] Mille Bâbords (2011). 40 familles à la rue? Empêchons leur expulsion.
[click to view]

[2] Arnaud Murtas (2011). Gitans de Mazargues : soulagés mais pas tirés d'affaire.
[click to view]

[3] Arnaud Murtas (2011). Gitans de Mazargues : 40 familles au voyage forcé?.
[click to view]

[6] Piedad Belmonte (2011). « C'est le grappillage de tous nos droits »: Le président de Rencontres tsiganes à Marseille Alain Fourest s’inquiète de l’attaque dont les Roms sont la cible.
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Berta Roset Pérez, Junior researcher in Environmental Justice ICTA-UAB. Contact email: [email protected]
Last update10/06/2021
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