Far-left activists and illegal migrants invaded the Basilica of Saint-Denis on Sunday to protest the French government’s new asylum law before they were forcibly removed by police, resulting in evening mass being cancelled.
After around an hour of occupying the Basilica, police were called and arrived to remove the protestors and illegal immigrants. The area was cleared by around 5:30 pm but evening mass was cancelled in case the protestors returned.
Footage posted to Twitter by Gaullist politician Nicholas Dupont-Aignan shows police using force to remove the activists and migrants.
Scandaleuse occupation par des sans-papiers de la basilique de Saint Denis avec la complicité honteuse de militants et d’élus d’extrême gauche.
Je demande l’expulsion immédiate de ces clandestins qui, en plus d’être hors-la-loi, piétinent nos racines et notre Histoire ! pic.twitter.com/Hz20v09sNP
— N. Dupont-Aignan (@dupontaignan) March 19, 2018
Mr. Dupont-Aignan, who supported anti-mass migration Rassemblement National (RN) leader Marine Le Pen for president last year, called the incident a “Scandalous occupation by illegals of the Basilica of Saint-Denis with the shameful complicity of militants and elected representatives of the far left.”
“I call for the immediate expulsion of these clandestine people who, in addition to being outlawed, trample our roots and our history!” he added.
Marine Le Pen also took to Twitter to condemn the incident, writing: “By calling to desecrate the Basilica of St. Denis, Necropolis of our Kings, ‘la France Insoumise’ and the far-left show that, in their immigrationist madness, they are ready to trample our civilisation and desecrate a place of historical worship.”
La France Insoumise (“Unsubmissive France”) is the party of far-left former presidential candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon and one of the party’s MPs, Eric Coquerel, ho was present at the Basilica during the incident. Mélenchon was noted during last year’s presidential campaign for his hard-left populist platform which included a 90 per cent tax rate on anyone making more than €400,000 a year.
French politician Karim Ouchikh, who converted from Islam to Roman Catholicism, compared the incident to a protest done in Poitiers by the Generation Identitaire (GI) movement which unfurled a banner on the roof of a mosque being built in the city in 2012.
Last year, several GI activists were convicted of inciting racial hatred in relation to the action.
“I’m talking to the prosecutor. You have not hesitated to condemn some identitarian activists for a peaceful presence on the site of the Mosque of Poitiers. Are you going to prosecute the migrants and the leftists who violently desecrated the Basilica of Saint-Denis?” Ouchikh wrote.
In his book, N0-Go Zones: How Sharia Law Is Coming to a Neighborhood Near You, Breitbart London Editor in Chief Raheem Kassam spoke to French firebrand Marion Maréchal-Le Pen about the heavily migrant populated area around the Basilica of Saint-Denis.
Ms Maréchal-Le Pen said she could not walk in the area due to the danger and added: “I am very well known. But if I were a normal citizen and being a young white woman in a skirt, to be sure, I would be harassed, or physically [assaulted].
“Even worse, for a French girl from North Africa, if they refuse the veil, or dress in jeans or anything like that they are in a very very bad situation. It starts with insults like ‘you’re a whore’ and after it can get worse than that.”