A few hundred exiles and their supporters, who had set up tents in Paris on Monday evening to claim emergency accommodation, were dispersed by the police who used tear gas, a noted an AFP journalist.
After the dismantling of their camp, barely installed on Place de la République, 200 to 300 people, mainly associative activists and a minority of migrants, converged in the confusion towards the hypercentre of Paris, surrounded by an imposing device of the forces of order.
After a few minutes, the police repeatedly used tear gas and de-encircling grenades to dissociate several groups.
A journalist who identified himself as such was also pinned to the ground and clubbed while filming the scene, an AFP journalist noted.
“The State gives itself a lamentable spectacle”, commented to AFP Ian Brossat, deputy of the town hall of Paris responsible in particular for the reception of the refugees, himself caught in a police mass and prevented from ‘exit one block from the town hall.
“There is a police response to a social situation. We will only get out if we find accommodation solutions for these people, ”he added.
“You have seen this police violence, while there are elected officials, journalists, cameras, in the middle of Paris. So imagine what the isolated exiles on the edge of Paris are going through. This is what we see every evening ”, indignant Kerill Theurillat, a Parisian official of the association Utopia56, at the origin of the camp Place de la République.
Hundreds of exiles, mainly Afghan men wandering since the dismantling, last week, of an unsanitary camp in the Paris suburbs, were also asking for shelter, in full confinement established by the French authorities because of the COVID-19 pandemic.