Hundreds of undocumented workers storm Paris' Pantheon, demand legal status

About 700 undocumented migrants calling themselves “black vests” stormed the Pantheon monument in central Paris on Friday demanding legal status and housing assistance.

The protesters, mostly from West Africa, 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 organiser read.

Young men were chanting “black vests” – a reference to the recent anti-government “yellow vest” protests – while marching around the monument, which is located in the heart of the capital’s Latin Quarter, an area popular with tourists.

About 50 to 60 riot police barricaded access to the site of the protest, which was taking place peacefully, and them out of the building in groups.

Friday's sit-in came a day after President Emmanuel Macron welcomed members of the African diaspora to the Elysée palace for talks on building a new partnership with Africa.

The gathering was slammed by critics as being an elitisit affair that failed to represent the entire African community.

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