Today (May 4th) at 2 p.m., French riot police – under orders from the socialist government of the City of Paris – raided the occupation in 51 Avenue Simone Bolivar, Paris where Tunisian migrants and activist had been staying for the last 62 hours. Using batons, riot shields and helicopter surveillance, the police first beat and chased hundreds of activists who were blocking the entrance.
After establishing a perimeter around the building, isolating the occupants still inside, the police then broke down the door and proceeded to raid it. Tunisian migrants and activists were drug out of the building and loaded into police vans to be taken to the Commissariats of the 18th, 19th, and 20th arrondissements of Paris.
Outside, activists managed to regroup in front of the building, chanting slogans and attempting to impede the arrest of the occupants. The police then attacked the crowd, again beating protestors and pushing them back into a nearby park. While the battle outside continued, the police proceeded to load the occupants into vans and take them away.
As a result of the activists’ resistance outside, 20 were arrested, adding to the 128 Tunisian occupants that are now in custody.
Groups of activists are now gathering in front of the Commissariats of Paris demanding the immediate release of all the occupants. An emergency meeting has been called for this afternoon at 5 p.m. at the Coordination des Intermittents et Précairs.
The Knowledge Liberation Front hereby denounces this military response to a political question. The true face of the French government’s “solidarity” for the Tunisian revolution has been shown today. While the political left claims to support democratic movements in Tunisia, at home they beat and arrest Tunisian migrants and their supporters.