Tensions are high in the Marolles amid the lockdown. Credit: Belga
Two non-profits representing the youth of Brussels’ Marolles neighbourhood want to meet with Mayor Philippe Close to discuss tensions in the area, following the death of 19-year-old Adil in Anderlecht.
The non-profit organisations “Le Foyer des Jeunes des Marolles” and “Jeunes Ambition Marolles” sent an open letter to the mayor on Friday, explaining that Marolles residents are struggling with lockdown rules.
They face cramped social housing apartments, little space for large families, a lack of green spaces, no internet at home “and increasingly, powerlessness in the face of abuse, excesses and violence exercised by some police officers,” Foyer des Jeunes des Marolles coordinator Bilal Chuitar said.
Tensions soared in early April after 19-year-old Adil was killed while fleeing after police checked whether he was complying with the lockdown regulations.
“We are aware that the situation must be complicated for the authorities and for the police,” Chuitar said. “It is in this spirit that we call on you to think collectively about ways to ease tensions in our ‘sensitive’ neighbourhood,” he added.
He added that the fight against the new coronavirus (Covid-19) remains everyone’s priority, “but we cannot ignore the calls for help from young people and their families in the face of the injustices they suffer and denounce.”
As such, the non-profits want a meeting with Close and either the chief superintendent or the chief of the Brussels Capital – Ixelles police zone, “at the request of the youth of the Marolles.”
“It is high time to shed light on these realities in order to avoid a definitive social divide between populations,” concluded Chuitar.