Hundreds of migrants occupy Pantheon in Paris, say activists

French police officers stand as undocumented migrants demonstrate to ask for the regularisation of their situation near the Pantheon in Paris, July 12, 2019. — AFP pic
French police officers stand as undocumented migrants demonstrate to ask for the regularisation of their situation near the Pantheon in Paris, July 12, 2019. — AFP pic

PARIS, July 12 — Hundreds of undocumented migrants today surged into the historic Pantheon memorial complex in central Paris, occupying the premises to demand that their status is regularised, activists said.

A member of La Chapelle Debout activist group, which helps migrants in Paris, said that 700 migrants and supporters had rushed into the building in the afternoon.

A video posted on Twitter showed hundreds of people under the main dome of the building chanting “Black Vests!”, the name of an association of migrants in Paris.

A statement issued in the name of the Black Vests, whose name refers to the “yellow vest” anti-government protests movement, said they were demanding a meeting with Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.

Tourists were evacuated from the Pantheon, the final resting place of France’s greatest non-military luminaries including the writers Voltaire, Victor Hugo and Emile Zola.

Some activists protested outside while police maintained a heavy presence around the building. — AFP

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