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Marina Vlady: “We must not give up the fight against injustice”

Translated Monday 19 October 2015, by Rosalind Sanders

Marina Vlady, actress and founding member of the right to housing foundation Droit au logement (DAL).

"I am involved in a great many causes, such the right to abortion or Algerian independence. But, it is true that I have been particularly involved with Droit au logement, right to housing (DAL) since it was created in 1990. Alongside Léon Schwartzenberg (the famous ontologist who was her partner at the time – ed), we were even part of the founding supporters of the association. And twenty five years later, I am continuing this fight, in my own small way. Whenever I can, I join their protests. And sadly this is still quite often, I am disappointed to say, as there is very little written about these protests in the press. It is as though these poor people are becoming increasingly invisible. A few days before the beginning of the period in which tenant evictions are suspended for the winter is the crucial time to act, as it is when the number of evictions rises. Indeed, recently, a family with nine children was evicted in Romainville. To put these people out on the streets when the cold winter is coming is appalling. Furthermore, we see more and more people living on the street, and society seems to have become used to this. We protest, we sign petitions and appeals, we organise sit-ins. But things barely change. How many empty buildings have the DAL occupied, which were not then made available to those who are impoverished? Yet these millions of square metres, which sit empty, could provide decent housing to a great many families. But the large institutions would rather keep their money warm. However, there has also been some progress. The Dalo law is one example, at least on paper. Unfortunately, it is not properly applied. What upsets me the most about this fight is the injustice towards the most destitute, the people who have no voice, that no one wants to listen to. This is why I have just signed a new appeal calling for evictions to be stopped. Because we must not give up the fight against injustice. If we do that, then all that is left to do is sit at home, watching the telly and crying. But that is not for me!”

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