Police in Paris have removed scores of people who invaded the historic Pantheon where illustrious French figures are buried, in order to press their demands for residence papers, on Friday, July 12th.
Police moved into the monument hours after the occupation began, and evacuated the occupiers who are technically living in France illegally, and were demanding a meeting with Prime Minister Edouard Philippe, to discuss their right to remain in France.
Reuters stated there were hundreds of undocumented migrants making up the group of protestors, who stormed the Pantheon, which is in the heart of Paris’s Latin Quarter, an area popular with tourists.
Police on the scene estimated 200 to 300 protesters, mostly from West Africa. They said the group had managed to get into the Left Bank mausoleum, where national heroes including Voltaire and Victor Hugo are buried.
“We will remain here until the last one of us has been given documents,” a leaflet given out by an organizer read.
Some members of the group identified themselves on Facebook as "black vests," a reference to the recent anti-government “yellow vest” protests, and others as members of a group called the La Chapelle Debout (Standing), referring to the sector in northern Paris teaming with migrants without shelters or homes, according to AP.
One of the occupiers said in a video published on Facebook before the evacuation, that "they should put our papers in order. We would like to have the same rights as French people."
French far-right leader Marine Le Pen called the occupation unacceptable. She tweeted: “in France, the only future for any illegal immigrant should be getting kicked out, because that’s the law.”