Home Europe About 100 men and boys have been living in tents outside the council

About 100 men and boys have been living in tents outside the council

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Aid group Le Revers de la Medaille said the operation was part of a campaign to move migrants from the streets of the French capital in the lead up to the Olympic Games in July, and to ”make room for the beautiful Paris postcard”. It said the asylum seekers have nowhere else to go.


Officers converged on the camp just before dawn and urged the migrants to pack their tents and belongings, before directing them to a bus to be driven to a transit centre outside the city.

Only two or three of them climbed aboard the bus. Most others walked away carrying their belongings. 

Police said the operation was carried out for security reasons, notably because the tent camp was near schools.

The 100 or so men and boys from West Africa had been living in the makeshift camp in central Paris for several weeks.

Paris-region officials told the migrants – many of them minors and in the process of seeking residency papers – that they could be housed temporarily for three weeks in the Loire-region town of Angers if they wished. 

Some who declined to take the bus said they feared being left isolated and abandoned in Angers, 250 kilometres southwest of Paris, once the three weeks of temporary accommodation run out.

It is the latest clear-out of people without homes that aid groups say is a campaign of ”social cleansing” ahead of the Games, according to Antoine de Clerck, Le Revers de la Medaille coordinator said.

”Most of them will probably refuse to go to another city because if they go, they will lose their appeal to the court. So, what they do is just take their stuff and just move away and settle in another place. So that’s a problem that we’ve seen around Paris when the Olympics is coming,” he said.

”We call it ‘nettoyage’, social cleansing, as there’s no proper solution that are proposed to the people to just, you know, be pushed away.”

Migrant camps are commonly dismantled every spring in France with the end of an annual winter-time ‘truce’ that limits evictions and evacuations when the weather is cold.

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