Monday evening, around 500 blue tents were deployed under the statue of the Republic, on the square of the same name.

But around 9:30 p.m., the camp had been completely dismantled by the police, despite protests from associations defending exiles.

Several hundred migrants, wandering since the evacuation of a large exile camp last week, set up a new camp in central Paris on Monday, which the police quickly dismantled in the evening.

"We were at the (previous) camp, we were fired the day the others were taken to the buses (to be sheltered) and since then we are again in the street where the police won't let us sleep, "said Mahdi Jafari, a 19-year-old Afghan man, setting up his tent at 7 p.m. sharp on Republic Square.

Emergency accommodation requested

In less than two minutes, around 500 blue tents were deployed under the statue of the Republic, quickly taken over by hundreds of exiles, the overwhelming majority from Afghanistan.

"They have been left behind and invisible, but they too need accommodation, especially in the midst of a health crisis," said Maël de Marcellus, Parisian manager of the Utopia56 association, which helped the exiles to settle. install.

Barely an hour after the installation, the police began to remove part of the tents, sometimes with exiles still inside, to the cries and hoots of activists and migrants.

Around 9:30 p.m., the camp was dismantled, while the exiles, association activists, elected officials and lawyers remained on site to demand emergency accommodation. 

"The constitution of such camps, organized by certain associations, is not acceptable. The Prefecture of Police therefore proceeded immediately to the dispersal of this illegal occupation of public space", indicated in a joint statement the Prefecture of Police and that of the Ile-de-France region (Prif), which manages shelter operations. 


"All people in need of accommodation are invited to come to the day centers where they are offered very regularly guidance towards accommodation solutions adapted to their situation," added the Prif.

"We do not respond to misery by the baton. The shelter of the migrants of the camp of Saint-Denis remained in the street is urgent, essential, indisputable. It is in the honor of the French Republic", reacted Delphine Rouilleault, general manager of France Terre Asile, association and State operator on the management of camps.

More than 3,000 people, mainly Afghan men, had received shelter in reception centers or gymnasiums in Ile-de-France last Tuesday.

But between 500 and 1,000 people had since been wandering the streets on the edge of Paris, according to the associations that come to their aid and which denounce in particular police abuse.