A migrant camp set up in the center of Paris was raided and cleared by the city’s police last night. Franceinfo reports that hundreds of tents were lifted right off the pavement as law enforcement sought to evacuate some 500 people who had set up camp just an hour before. Some tents were even lifted with people still in them.
Police used teargas and ‘dispersing grenades’ to move the migrants from the area. Just a week ago, residents of a camp in Seine-Saint-Denis, north of Paris, were ordered to evacuate. Buses had reportedly been on site that day set to relocate the 2500 plus residents to accommodations in the area. However, Franceinfo reports that the migrants cleared from the camp in Paris hail from the camp cleared a week ago, and that the migrants had been wandering the streets after their camp had been cleared.
Paris’ city management and the Paris Prefecture of Police issued a joint statement, saying: “The constitution of such camps, organized by certain associations, is not acceptable. The prefecture of police therefore proceeded immediately to the dispersal of this illicit occupation of public space.” But a humanitarian organization that had helped set up the camp, said that the police action was “sudden and aggressive”. Kerill Theurillat, a coordinator for Utopia 56, said “It was a very violent dispersion. We saw incredible scenes, of the police officers which raised tents with people inside and literally throwing them out.”
Meanwhile, France’s Interior Minister Gerard Darmanin, claimed that he found some of the images of the operation “shocking”. This is despite him, according to Franceinfo, working with Paris law enforcement, especially in areas with migrants. Darmanin has supposedly demanded written explanation, tweeting: “I have just requested a detailed report on the reality of the facts from the Prefect of Police by midday tomorrow.”
Utopia 56, however, criticized Darmanin, tweeting that his words were those of a hypocrite,” A violent expulsion in Saint-Denis and a permanent persecution of exiled people.”
Umm Muhammed Umar