For several weeks, a neighborhood in Saint-Gilles has been considered a no-go zone. A hell on earth. A place where people no longer dare to leave their homes after a certain hour. An area where assaults, insults, incivilities or other degradations occur daily. This is Jacques Franck square, in Saint-Gilles.
"15 years ago, we didn't have any problems. Everything has happened very gradually. And then, since last June, horror. In fact, it's tied into the shifting of the [crime scene?]. Since the police have secured Bethlehem place, the juvenile delinquents have come all this way to the two Towers" [says the assistant director of the apartment complex.] "All this because of a gang of youths who squat in the entryways of the two buildings." They squat, vandalize and act in such a way that the residents no longer dare leave without being accompanied by security agents. The youngest [in the gang] is 10 years old, the oldest barely 15.
..."But I want to assure you that I am scared. I can no longer go out. They [the youths] consider me a racist. If I leave the building alone, they follow me into the street. They have thrown stones at me!" Stephane, the assistant director, confirms [the story]. He adds also that since then, he has taken away all the stones that used to be found at the base of the two towers!
Unfortunately, post-Christian Europe won't be receptive to my hope of reducing recidivism through religious conversion, convinced as the continent's ruling class are that their society's worship of the secular will somehow, in some way, inspire the current generation of belgian "youths" to live as people, and not animals.
UPDATE: More on Belgian urban violence here.