Hundreds of Migrants Allowed to Occupy Paris School in Name of ‘Solidarity’

Donna Rachel Edmunds, Breitbart, August 7, 2015

Hundreds of migrants have moved into an abandoned school in Central Paris, prompting a political row over what to do about them. The Socialist mayor of Paris first ordered them to vacate the building, but has now said they can stay. As many as 600 migrants are expected to be in situ by the end of the week.

The migrants were invited into the former Jean Quarré lycee in the 19th arrondissement of Paris by a left wing migrants rights group, who have also provided food and legal advice. Men and women are sleeping on the floors, segregated into different classrooms by nationality, but they are determined to stay, the Times has reported.

As the first hundred or so migrants arrived, the Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo first vowed to evict the squatters. But 24 hours later she changed her mind, leaving them in place while alternative accommodation was sought.

Deputy mayor Bruno Julliard has made it clear that he supports the dialogue, telling reporters: “We are convinced that we must make the choice of responsibility and generosity. The city of Paris has to show solidarity.”

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Nadine Morano, a former Minister serving under Nicolas Sarkozy, said that Paris was “becoming dirty.” She accused the migrants of bringing “prostitution, drugs and crime,” and denounced the camps as a “scandal for the image” of France.

Mr Julliard hit back, accusing Ms Morano of “xenophobia.”

As the number of African and Middle Eastern migrants has rocketed across Europe over the last few months, so too Paris has seen a significant rise in the number of itinerants looking for shelter. Since January seven camps have sprung up around the city’s suburbs, only to be broken up by the Police.

The authorities have not provided housing which was promised, but not all of the migrants are looking to stay: many see Paris simply as a place to stop and rest before they continue on their journey to Calais, and thence to the UK.

But others are planning to put down roots in France. Upon news that the migrants were not to be evicted, they held a celebratory barbecue. Yacoub, a Libyan migrant told Libération that he welcomed the decision not to evict: “This is great news to be able to stay here. There are showers, toilets, one can cook, and we sleep under a roof. We live better than in accommodation provided by the town hall.”

Muhammad Ben al-Rashid Matassan, a 26 year old Eritrean, made the decision to stay in Paris after failing to cross the Channel at Calais for two months. “So here I am,” he said.

The Town Hall has asked that the migrants hand over a list off all in their number who have not yet formally registered for asylum, a request the migrants have refused, and that the school is made safe for habitation. {snip}

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