In Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport on Sunday, between 300 and 500 self-identified illegal immigrants stormed a terminal and occupied it for about three hours, preventing access to flights, to demand they be given papers to remain in France.
Both the New York Post and blog Heavy.com reported that the protesting illegal immigrants said they would not leave or allow access to the terminal until they were allowed to speak with French Prime Minister Édouard Philippe.
It is impossible for any American witnessing the events not to think of issues surrounding immigration here in the United States, which could explain why there was so little coverage of the dramatic scenes in the American press.
“France does not belong to the French! Everyone has a right to be here!” shouts one occupier.
Here’s more from Heavy:
French media reported that the group of protesters, who were calling themselves the “black jackets,” were all of African origin. The group issued a manifesto titled “The Black Jackets Are Seeking the Prime Minister.” The manifesto demanded better conditions for undocumented immigrants who are held in Charles de Gaulle airport. It also criticized the conditions under which the airline Air France expels would-be immigrants
The situation lasted for hours as social media shared videos and CNN didn’t.
A French activist group posted the demands on Facebook: Papers now! Papers for everyone! They also included this photo.
Weekly French news magazine Le Point spoke with one of the organizers of the protest, who promised “other actions will follow,” in what is now a series of such protests. In January, hundreds of “undocumented” immigrants and migrants seeking asylum gathered outside a police station to demand they be given papers making them legal. The groups insists France, and all its social services, is for everyone, not just the French citizens.