Saturday, August 18, 2007

Soviet Sanitarium Redux

In today’s Le Figaro, Thibaut Danancher covers the story of one woman’s treatment by Paris’ city hall when she complained about vandalism and crime in her neighborhood in the 18th arrondissement: they referred her for Psychiatrist treatment:
By opening her mail last Saturday, Sylvia Bourdon discovered that it was invited to go to consult a psychiatrist at the Maison-Blanche hospital in Paris. An appointment planned for August 20 at 2 p.m. Subject of the consultaion: emails sent to the ministry for the Interior “to complain about what occurred in my neighborhood”.

Sylvia Bourdon then decides to take the things into her own hands. She created several blogs to denounce “this chaotic ghetto, this busted-up crime-ridden capital”. She spent June 14th at the window of her apartment taking photographs of what she qualifies as “persistent criminal activity”.

Tracked down by ten young men, her apartment was broken into a few days later. She had it. So much so that she sent angry emails to senior people at the Ministry for the Interior just to ask them to ensure her safety.

On one blog Sylvia Bourdon, a former porn and horror/ B-movie actress is shown to have been given the ultimate Scarlet Letter and being outed as some sort of xenophobe and racist, presumably for wanting to be able to walk safely down the street in a City in a Nation that won’t shut up about the wonders of its’ social model. In Paris, even when an argument to support someone’s views hints at any of this, the characterization becomes the kiss of death.
Last Saturday she received a letter which made it all clear to her: “Due to the various emails which you addressed to the Ministry of the Interior, the proper authorities required of us to contact you. If you wish, we can set up an appointment [with a Psychitarist] for you. I propose Monday August 20, 2007 at 2 p.m”, wrote someone from the hospital.

This last email was acted on at the request of the office of Mental Health Action of the Paris Police Prefecture, in particular the office responsible for involuntary admissions.

[ ... ]

Angered, Sylvia Bourdon has decided to leave Paris and France altogether. She announced that she will be migrating permanently to Greece in the fist half of 2008.
There goes the neighborhood. After all if you can’t cart off the citizens who speak up, what’s left?

- Hat-tip to Carine

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