Eastern Paris Neighborhood News: March Edition

A new art and music venue in town, a feminist march with an unsettling conclusion, and the impact of the Covid-19 in the capital — your neighborhood news from Paris Lights Up!



A group of local associations and collectives has been selected to occupy The Flèche d’Or – a long vacant former train station – until October 2020. After a collaboration between its owner, the Paris City Hall, elected officials of the 20th arrondissement, and the local association La Flèche d’Or, the jury designated “the organizations Curry Vavart and Union des Collectifs to manage the site, in coordination with the Collectif Mu, La Gare XP, Le Doc, the collective Pieg, Doxa Esta, Ancoats and the collective ObliQ”. Some of these names may sound familiar to artists and party attendees of Eastern Paris: the Doc currently operates by Place des Fêtes, and many of these collectives are active in the local nightlife of neighborhoods such as La Villette, Belleville, and Ménilmontant.



A crowd of “strong, proud, and angry” Parisian women gathered for the feminist night march that descended from Place des Fêtes to République on March 7th. Thousands of demonstrators marched with chants and music, but the dense procession was unfortunately interrupted as it reached its destination point: videos show officers striking blows at the crowd, even dragging a woman down metro steps. Along with this offence against protesters, and other recent incidents – such as the arrest and custody of minors for blocking the Maurice Ravel highschool in Paris’ 20th arrondissement last month – have refueled the controversy of the current political response to public demonstrations in the capital.



The collective Morts De la Rue has reported that at least 569 homeless people lost their lives in France in 2019. These individuals averaged 50 years old at their time of death – thirty years younger than the mortality rate of the general population. Unfortunately, this total has not decreased from the previous year. A tribute is organized on March 31st, a date that legally marks the end of the suspension of tenant evictions during the winter period. The event will be held in the heart of the 19th arrondissement at Serge Reggiani square, at the crossroad of rue de Crimée and canal de l’Ourcq.



The impacts of the Covid-19 virus have continued to progress across France. In Paris, many events and gatherings are being cancelled, such as the Tattoo Salon (which was supposed to be held in La Villette this month); on March 9th a first school class was asked to stay home following a case of contamination. In Eastern Paris, medical staff at Hospital Tenon have been positively identified for the virus, as well as an assistant priest at the church Notre-Dame de la Croix of Ménilmontant. Furthermore, the campaigns of the candidates for City Hall Anne Hidalgo and David Belliard have cancelled their respective meetings scheduled on Thursday, March 12, before the first round of voting. They will instead hold a “virtual meeting” for the former, and an “open air party” across the Cirque d’hiver for the latter.



A small segment of the iconic Petite ceinture just reopened to the public in the neighborhood of La Villette. This stretch of elevated railway is 230 meters long, and its entrance is located at 30, rue de Thionville.

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