Under a cloud of umbrellas, the procession, made up of people of all ages, some of whom are known for their commitment to the right, set off from the Place Royale to the gates of the Nantes town hall to cries of “Johanna, move- you”, in reference to the PS mayor of the city, Johanna Rolland.

Planned for a long time, well before the latest news items that have fueled the chronicle in recent days, this event was organized by the association Sécurité Nocturne Nantes (S2N), created in 2019 by night workers (mid bars and Security).

Anne Serizay, 46-year-old legal director and mother of 4 children aged 7 to 16, assures us that “life in the city center of Nantes is no longer possible”. “Our car has already been broken into twice. I don’t let my children go out alone and we are seriously considering leaving,” she says.

At his side, Jocelyne Laurant, a 73-year-old retiree, says “no longer wearing jewelry and hiding her handbag under her coat” when she moves around town, for fear of attacks.

“I have already been attacked twice, including once with a knife to take my jacket out of a bar,” said Charles Guemas, head of the UNI (National Inter-University Union). “Insecurity is a big concern among students,” adds this history student.

Isaure and Claire-Victoire, medical students, denounce “permanent street harassment” and “the fear of being attacked” when they return home alone.

“Not a night goes by without an assault,” Guillaume, co-president of S2N, a bar employee, who does not wish to give his name, told AFP. “We want Nantes to find its good life by putting more police day and night and more cameras,” he added.

Johanna Rolland is due to meet Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin on Tuesday. The elected official announced in a press release that she wanted to request “a permanent mobile force of 80 additional agents” and “a continuous police presence in the inner city from 6 p.m. to 6 a.m.”.