Information on the situation in Briançon! Call for help

Information on the situation in Briançon! Call for help

14 September 2023 Off By passamontagna

For the past 2 weeks, the “refuge des terrasses” (a reception area for people who have just crossed the border into Italy) run by associations in the valley has been closed under pressure from sponsors because it had been full for months.
As a result, the refuge association set up a camp on land belonging to the parish to accommodate the large numbers of people arriving in Briançon every night. The camp only lasted a week and was also closed yesterday, as the church wanted to reclaim the land for an event.

The Pado, a squat that opened at the beginning of August, has therefore become the only unconditional reception centre in the Briançon area, to prevent people from sleeping outside in the town when they arrive. (Opening press release: In recent weeks, a huge number of people have been crossing from Italy into France via this valley, arriving in Briançon after walking for several hours through the mountains, often at night. So it’s essential to have places here where people can rest, take care of themselves and get information, without having to worry about having to set off again straight away.

We are currently trying to organise a decent and comfortable reception area as quickly as possible.
The idea behind this place is to be able to operate horizontally, without employees or volunteers. There are people here, with or without papers, who want to organise themselves together to make the end of the journey across these mountains less violent. We are trying to avoid reproducing the infantilising and racist dynamics that are often present when people are welcomed at borders.

But the material situation at the Pado is not ideal: the town hall cut off the water very quickly after opening, and is also trying to cut off the electricity, which makes it difficult to welcome people here (the sanitary and hygiene conditions are not great). It’s a common strategy of the city to make squats uninhabitable rather than evict them.
For the moment, we’re managing to get by with tons of water, but in the long term, especially with winter approaching (frost, need for hot water, showers…) it won’t be livable.
On the subject of electricity, we’re also worried, as the local council has already come and cut the electricity off once by removing the cables, so there’s a good chance that they won’t let us have access to electricity, so we’re looking as quickly as possible to become self-sufficient in this area (solar panels, batteries, etc.).
And despite a great deal of material and human help from the refuge, there’s still a lot missing here.

We need help, so come and lend a hand!
And if you can’t come, you can send us some equipment and food – the list of our needs is just below!
Or if you happen to be very rich, you can donate all your moula to this fund, and put the Pado on your inheritance (

List of the Pado’s needs :

Consumables :

Dried products (rice, pulses, etc.)
Hygiene products
Cleaning products
First aid products
Infant products

Not consumables :

Water jug with tap
Do-it-yourself equipment
Brooms and mops