Paris residents are fed up with having migrants sleeping on their neighborhood streets, so much so that they are willing to forgo food until authorities act.
Locals in one Paris neighborhood are threatening a hunger strike if authorities don’t remove the migrants, as they claim “campers” trash the sidewalks, start fights and harass women in the area.
“The pavement is sometimes soaked in urine and the streets aren’t cleaned every day,” Pierre Vuarin, a spokesman for the neighborhood association, told The Telegraph. “Some people have sold their flats at knockdown prices and others have suffered mental breakdowns.”
A center that processes asylum requests is located in the area, which residents say is a “magnet for migrants.”
Representing the concerned residents, the neighborhood association has told authorities they have until Jan. 1 to find a solution to the problem, or “dozens of members” will go on a hunger strike.
“We cannot be expected to tolerate the establishment of shanty-towns or slums in Paris,” Alexandra Cordebard, the district mayor, said. She also stated that the government promised the asylum center would be relocated by the end of the year.
President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to clear the streets of migrants, but mass evacuations by police have not prevented camps from reappearing across the city.
Macron still believes “persecuted” migrants “must be welcomed on our territory,” according to a speech he gave in July, The Times reports.
Clashes between Muslims and protesters have also caused Interior Minister Gérard Collomb to propose a ban on Muslim street prayers in Paris.
“They will not have prayers on the street. We will prevent street praying,” Collomb reportedly said. “We will make sure we resolve this conflict in the next few weeks.”
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