Marseille mothers march against gang violence

When three local representatives of his own Socialist Party turned up at a meeting with local community workers, he insisted they leave because one, MP Sylvie Andrieux is currently appealing against a prison sentence for corruption, while another MP, Henri Jibrayel, is being investigated for misuse of public funds.

A working-class housing estate in Marseille

Residents of Marseille’s working-class housing estates demonstrated on Saturday against criminal violence that has cost the lives of a number of youths. This year’s European capital of culture has gained a reputation for being a capital of crime and local residents want to stop that.

Several hundred people, many of them mothers, marched through the centre of Marseille on Saturday afternoon, before delivering a list of 23 propositions they hope will end violence that often results in the deaths of bystanders.

A grassroots movement sprung up in the Mediterranean port city in February after one of a series of shootouts between gangs, involved in drug pushing and other crime.

The appearance of Kalashnikov semi-automatic rifles in disadvantaged areas and a series of killings has brought national attention to crime in Marseille.

Interior Minister Manuel Valls visited the city on Friday, declaring that the strategy of declaring tough areas security priorities was beginning to bear fruit with six people murdered in the city so far this year, “half the number in the same period of 2012”.


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