A pro-migrant group called the Réquisitions collective organised a large occupation of a Paris park involving around 300 migrants who demanded the French government give them housing.
The occupation of the Villemin garden, located in the 10th district of Paris, began on Sunday and continued into Tuesday, with migrants sleeping in small groups in sleeping bags in various parts of the park.
After being pushed back violently during a demonstration, for the second night, 313 homeless people in exile slept park #Villemin located in the center of Paris. Their fundamental rights are being denied @Prefet75_IDF. Local NGOs are by their side 24h to support with daily basics pic.twitter.com/KTBNWPEfkg
— Utopia 56 (@Utopia_56) June 1, 2021
The occupation was organised by the Réquisitions collective, a group that encompasses serval pro-migrant associations including Droit au Logement (DAL), Utopia 56, and Solidarité migrants Wilson (SMW), European Union-funded website InfoMigrants reports.
Several of the organisations have been involved in similar occupation protests in Paris in recent months, including the protest at Paris’s Place de la République by around 500 or so migrants in March, which eventually led to government action after several hours.
Nearly 500 Migrants and Activists Occupy Paris Square for Hours https://t.co/cFc8J7RdDk
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) March 28, 2021
According to InfoMigrants, the previous protest saw the government give around 500 migrants shelter, while a further 700 continue to live in makeshift camps in the north of Paris, most coming from East Africa and Afghanistan.
Alexandra Cordebard, the socialist mayor of the 10th district, visited the occupied park on Monday and spoke to broadcaster BFMTV saying: “The State, in recent months, has made a number of efforts that I would like to commend.”
Ms Cordebard added: “A lot of new accommodation places have been made available, but it’s obviously not enough.”
One of the associations involved in the collective, Solidarité migrants Wilson (SMW), have been working with homeless migrants in Paris for years.
In 2018, the association was forced to give up on aiding a migrant camp in the area of La Chapelle after the area had become too dangerous for activists.
“Cohabitation between these various populations is going badly. Drug addicts are suffering, but they are also aggressive, including with us,” the group had said.