Thousands of pro-migration protesters took to the streets of Paris, demanding that the French government give amnesty to the “undocumented” migrant population just one day after a Chechen migrant is believed to have beheaded a teacher in Paris.
On Saturday, several thousand protesters were seen marching in the French capital — defying the country’s China virus lockdown measures — as a part of the ‘March of Solidarity’ for migrants “without papers” — a left-wing euphemism for illegal aliens.
The organisers of the protest, which included the Federation of Associations of Solidarity with All Immigrants (FASTI), also called on the government to close migrant detention centres and provide “housing for all”, according to Le Figaro.
“I’m 42-years-old, I can’t eat enough every day because I can’t work. Things must change, the government must listen to us,” a Senegalese illegal migrant told the Fench newspaper.
“I work from time to time in restaurants, construction, cleaning, under aliases (with someone else’s papers),” he admitted, seemingly unafraid of legal repercussions.
“But we are really tired, because even during the confinement, who worked? It’s us. And in addition, we are poorly paid,” claimed another illegal migrant.
— Leïla Chaibi (@leilachaibi) October 17, 2020
European Parliament member Leïla Chaibi, of the democratic socialist La France Insoumise party, joined the protest, writing on social media: “This afternoon, I was alongside the undocumented migrants, who marched in numbers in the streets of Paris for equality and dignity.”
Video footage shared on social media showed thousands of closely packed demonstrators marching through the streets of Paris, and HuffPost France reporter Pierre Tremblay described the scenes as “excited”.
“Thousands of people have come to Paris to support this movement of undocumented migrants for their regularization,” Tremblay reported.
“Several of them also worked on the front line during the [coronavirus],” he claimed.
In September the French government pledged to speed up the pace of naturalisation for migrants in France who took action “on the front line” of the China virus pandemic.
Ambiance survoltée à la #MarcheDesSolidarites. Des milliers de personnes sont venues soutenir à Paris ce mouvement des sans-papiers pour leur régularisation. Plusieurs d'entre eux ont par ailleurs travaillé en première ligne durant la pandémie de #COVID19. pic.twitter.com/w5T7Kwtxuy
— Pierre Tremblay (@tremblay_p) October 17, 2020
The protest in Paris took place one day after a teacher was beheaded by, according to local reports, a Chechen migrant.
French President Emmanuel Macron confirmed on Friday that the beheading was “an Islamist terrorist attack” perpetrated against an educator “teaching his students about the freedom of expression”.
The teacher, Samuel Paty, had reportedly shown his students caricatures of the Islamic prophet Mohammed from the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, which sparked a terror attack in 2015.
He showed the cartoon during a class on freedom of speech. This is said to have caused an uproar amongst Muslim parents, despite Paty asking Muslim students to leave if they might feel uncomfortable prior to the lesson.
France’s anti-terrorism prosecutor Jean-François Ricard said that Paty was “assassinated for teaching” and that the beheading was an assault on freedom of expression in France.
“This is the second attack to take place during the Charlie Hebdo trial which shows the high level of terrorist threat we face,” Ricard said.
The 18-year-old Chechen, named as, Abdullakh Anzorov, was shot dead by police following the beheading. He was granted a residency card in March of this year after coming to the country as a refugee.
Macron Confirms Street Beheading an 'Islamist Terrorist Attack', Victim Targeted for Teaching 'Freedom of Expression' https://t.co/MN812uEWH7
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) October 17, 2020
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