Thursday, August 23, 2007



Every morning in Tourcoing I sit down to my breakfast tartine in this hotel lobby and read the daily Voix du Nord for news of the asylum-seekers who are protesting nearby for the right to reside here.

(50 or so of them, mostly African in origin, have been on hunger strike for 60 days in protest. Today they were all arrested by the police.)

Then I walk up the road to work, passing rows and rows of the empty houses of this town, some of them empty for so long they have grass beginning to sprout on their roofs.

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