700 undocumented migrants occupy Paris’s Pantheon memorial complex, forcing tourists to be evacuated

Hundreds of undocumented migrants stormed into the historic Pantheon memorial complex in central Paris as they demand the right to remain in France.

Police on the scene said there were an estimated 300 ‘Black Vest’ protesters – mostly from West Africa – who managed to get into the Left Bank mausoleum where national heroes including Voltaire and Victor Hugo are buried.

But a member of La Chapelle Debout activist group, which helps migrants in Paris, claimed as many as 700 migrants and supporters had rushed into the building in the afternoon.

A video posted on Twitter showed hundreds of people under the main dome of the building chanting ‘Black Vests!’, the name of an association of migrants in Paris.

‘We will remain here until the last one of us has been given documents,’ a leaflet given out by an organiser read.

A video posted on Twitter (pictured) showed hundreds of people under the main dome of the Patheon chanting 'Black Vests!', the name of an association of migrants in Paris

A video posted on Twitter (pictured) showed hundreds of people under the main dome of the Patheon chanting 'Black Vests!', the name of an association of migrants in Paris

A video posted on Twitter (pictured) showed hundreds of people under the main dome of the Patheon chanting ‘Black Vests!’, the name of an association of migrants in Paris

Police on the scene say there are an estimated 300 'Black Vest' protesters, mostly from West Africa, managed to get into the Left Bank mausoleum

Police on the scene say there are an estimated 300 'Black Vest' protesters, mostly from West Africa, managed to get into the Left Bank mausoleum

Police on the scene say there are an estimated 300 ‘Black Vest’ protesters, mostly from West Africa, managed to get into the Left Bank mausoleum

But a member of La Chapelle Debout activist group, which helps migrants in Paris, claimed as many as 700 migrants and supporters had rushed into the building in the afternoon

But a member of La Chapelle Debout activist group, which helps migrants in Paris, claimed as many as 700 migrants and supporters had rushed into the building in the afternoon

But a member of La Chapelle Debout activist group, which helps migrants in Paris, claimed as many as 700 migrants and supporters had rushed into the building in the afternoon

Photos shows protesters waving white papers, symbolising their wish for documentation

Photos shows protesters waving white papers, symbolising their wish for documentation

Photos shows protesters waving white papers, symbolising their wish for documentation

Photos show protesters waving white papers and chanting ‘gilet noirs’ or ‘black vests’, a reference to the recent anti-government ‘yellow vest’ protests.

‘Black vest’ protesters marched around the monument, which is located in the heart of the capital’s Latin Quarter, an area popular with tourists.

Visitors were evacuated from the Pantheon, the final resting place of France’s greatest non-military luminaries such as the writer Emile Zola.

French police officers stand in front of the Pantheon in Paris as undocumented migrants occupy the landmark

French police officers stand in front of the Pantheon in Paris as undocumented migrants occupy the landmark

French police officers stand in front of the Pantheon in Paris as undocumented migrants occupy the landmark

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

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

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

Young men were chanting 'black vests' - a reference to the recent anti-government 'yellow vest' protests - while marching around the monument

Young men were chanting 'black vests' - a reference to the recent anti-government 'yellow vest' protests - while marching around the monument

Young men were chanting ‘black vests’ – a reference to the recent anti-government ‘yellow vest’ protests – while marching around the monument

The Left Bank mausoleum is the burial site of national heroes Voltaire and Victor Hugo are buried

The Left Bank mausoleum is the burial site of national heroes Voltaire and Victor Hugo are buried

The Left Bank mausoleum is the burial site of national heroes Voltaire and Victor Hugo are buried

A statement issued in the name of the Black Vests said they were demanding a meeting with Prime Minister Edouard Philippe.

Their demands also include a release of fellow migrants from detention centres and an end to police brutality.

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

A statement issued in the name of the Black Vests said they were demanding a meeting with Prime Minister Edouard Philippe as protesters gathered outside the Pantheon

A statement issued in the name of the Black Vests said they were demanding a meeting with Prime Minister Edouard Philippe as protesters gathered outside the Pantheon

A statement issued in the name of the Black Vests said they were demanding a meeting with Prime Minister Edouard Philippe as protesters gathered outside the Pantheon

'We will remain here until the last one of us has been given documents,' a leaflet given out by an organiser read

'We will remain here until the last one of us has been given documents,' a leaflet given out by an organiser read

‘We will remain here until the last one of us has been given documents,’ a leaflet given out by an organiser read

Undocumented migrants demonstrate to ask for the regularisation of their documentation

Undocumented migrants demonstrate to ask for the regularisation of their documentation

Undocumented migrants demonstrate to ask for the regularisation of their documentation

An estimated 700 'Black vest' protesters gathered outside the Pantheon as riot police barricaded their access

An estimated 700 'Black vest' protesters gathered outside the Pantheon as riot police barricaded their access

An estimated 700 ‘Black vest’ protesters gathered outside the Pantheon as riot police barricaded their access

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen branded the occupation unacceptable. 

She tweeted: ‘In France, the only future for any illegal immigrant should be getting kicked out, because that’s the law.’ 

Earlier this year, ‘Black vest’ protesters staged a sit-in at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris to protest deportations.

Many of the protesters, who live in migrant shelters in the Paris region, were petitioning authorities to grant them legal status in France. 

Between 2018 and 2017, approximately 14,859 people were deported, according to interior minister Christophe Castaner.

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