These villages which take care of exiles far from identity tensions

Between 2015 and 2018, the municipalities of Uzerche, Sissonne, Notre-Dame-de-l’Osier, Luzy and Pessat-Villeneuve were volunteers to receive reception centers or integration sites. If they have not escaped resistances, the mayors share their successful experiences.

by Camille Bordenet

These rural elected officials do not want to let the extreme right shake the case of Callac (Côtes-d’Armor) as a trophy. Because if the repeated pressures of the identities were right for the project of this Breton municipality to welcome refugees, several years that other bourgs, everywhere in France, have made the bet of hospitality. And that “it goes well”, in the opinion of several elected officials. Thus from Uzerche (Corrèze), Sissonne (Aisne), Notre-Dame-de-l’Osier (Isère), Pessat-Villeneuve (Puy-de-Dôme), from Luzy (Nièvre), for Cite only a few. Municipalities of 500 to 2,800 inhabitants which all, between 2015 and 2018, were volunteers, with associations, to accommodate people requesting asylum or recognized refugees, either in reception centers or by an integration site .

Admittedly, none has escaped resistances. Especially at the beginning. The mayors who lived it remain marked by the first public meeting in crowded festivals, where the fears and fantasies of some, sometimes attributed by the presence of far -right members, spilled. “They will violate my children!”, “The value of my house will drop” first heard the mayor of Pessat-Villeneuve, Gérard Dubois (various left), before the meeting switched to humans. The municipality was one of the first to be a candidate to open a center during the 2015 migration crisis. As well as that of Uzerche. “You put the devil in the school of our children” gets said to say the communist councilor, Jean-Paul Grador. Amalgams exacerbated by the attacks. In Luzy, who opened its accommodation structure in 2018, the room ends up getting out of the meeting under the hoots the few identities who came to try to put the bazaar.

In all these municipalities, the citizen start has finally taken over, and the volunteers flocked: French lessons, help with travel … Certainly, all tensions have not disappeared: the mayor of Pessat has filed several complaints For death threats. But the situation was nevertheless peaceful. We have even seen refractories converting. At the Uzerche gymnasium, a former soldier yesterday worried for his children organizes combat sports workshops for exiles; In Sissonne, the friendship between children has changed families. Since 2015, 700 exiles have stopped in Pessat-Villeneuve, almost as much as the number of inhabitants. “It has become natural, it is no longer a subject, asylum seekers are part of Luzy,” said the mayor, Jocelyne Guérin (various left), who evokes an “extended tolerance” and “a window on the world for Morvandiaux never left “.

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/Media reports cited above.