© Domingos Oliveira / RTL
On Saturday, protesters gathered in the capital to demand more security around Luxembourg City's main rail station.
Residents, business owners and politicians across the spectrum have called for change at the Gare, as a demonstration took place in the capital on Saturday.
A local WhatsApp group on the topic has gathered around 700 members, exchanging messages regarding the safety and cleanliness of the area around the station, while a social media account sharing similar messages has hit over 5,000 followers and used their influence to organise Saturday's demonstration.
Among other demands, the protest called for an increased police presence in the Gare district, according to co-organiser Laurence Gillen, a former municipal council candidate for the DP. However, there should also be more support for drug addicts, she says.
"These people are ill and if they don't receive help, nothing will improve. This would also stop the issue of having 30 different drug dealers on the streets, everyone sees them, everyone knows they're selling, despite it being illegal. Why are they allowed on the streets to sell their wares?"
Members of the opposition party déi Lénk (the Left) also participated in the demonstration, calling it a public health issue. However, at a press conference, the party emphasised that increased police presence and repression did not necessarily represent the right solution. The capital's municipal council was part of the issue, according to candidate and former councillor Ana Correia.
"Instead of investing half a million euros into a private security firm, it would have been better to create a taskforce purely to take care of the Gare district and surrounding neighbourhoods, to keep it in good condition 24/7. It's important to us that the people employed to do these tasks would receive appropriate risk compensation."
The Left has called for more public toilets and mobile stations to exchange used syringes, saying these solutions would be quick and simple to implement. Alleged problematic messages in local WhatsApp Group
The WhatsApp group founded by Laurence Gillen, among others, has come under fire recently, with newspaper Lëtzebuerger Land publishing allegations of racist and xenophobic statements which are said to have appeared in the messaging group.
A politician belonging to the LSAP was also said to have been excluded from the group. Gillen responded that this had not occurred on purpose, but in error, and added that the group's moderation had been adjusted to prevent unacceptable statements from being shared.
"We have several moderators checking the group from 7am until 9pm daily to make sure no one is saying anything bad. If this occurs, the messages are deleted, or flagged to the user. We used to open the group 24/7, but this led to certain unacceptable messages being shared, which we did not approve of, so we installed this new timetable instead."