Saturday January 16, a helicopter from the high mountain gendarmerie platoon of Briançon (Hautes-Alpes) takes off to rescue a family of migrants who were trying to reach France by this difficult and perilous path, especially in the middle of winter. Shortly before 4 p.m., activists from the Collectif maraude du Briançonnais, which brings together some 200 citizens, were surprised to see the helicopter return and, instead of heading for the hospital, land … in front of the police station of Air and Borders (PAF) of Montgenèvre. There, the family of exiles – a baby of a few days old, his brother barely a year old and their parents – were simply handed over by the gendarmes to the PAF. “It is impossible to estimate the state of health of an infant inside a helicopter”, denounces a general practitioner of the collective who attended the scene and judges that this family should have been taken to hospital.
Less dramatic but just as absurd: the following night, at 1 am, the police called the militants to… entrust them with the shelter of this same family and other exiles, in all 22 people – including the half of children. All, after the day spent at the PAF, were also notified of an OQTF (obligation to leave French territory). This, while, denounces the collective, the State multiplies “Arbitrary checks, notifications of fines, free hearings and other pressures” against solidarity activists. And, above all, that he “Militarizes the border, tracks down the exiles and almost systematically drives them out of the country”, what drives them “To take more and more risks to return to France”. It is, denounce the marauders, an escalation “In contempt of fundamental rights and in endangering people”. For them, the state is “Responsible for the tragedies that take place at the borders”.