Black Vests storm Pantheon in Paris *PARTNER CONTENT

French police officers stand as undocumented migrants demonstrate to ask for the regularisation of their situation near the Pantheon in Paris

French police officers stand as undocumented migrants demonstrate to ask for the regularisation of their situation near the Pantheon in Paris

About 700 people occupied the building, chanting: "Black jackets" (the so-called Association of immigrants in Paris). The organization sent a letter to the Prime Minister Edouard Philippe weeks ago, in which they had detailed their complaints about working conditions for asylum seekers.

"There are plenty of speeches about racism, and our rights", one member of the collective Chapelle Debout said, insisting that "all tourists had been evacuated".

The incident unleashed a torrent of reaction on social media, with far-right leader Marine Le Pen saying it was unacceptable for illegal migrants to invade a building as prestigious as the Pantheon "in total impunity". "We come to the graveyards of your great men to denounce your desecration". Inside there are symbols representing the fight against slavery. "We are fighting against modern-day slavery", said Laurent, an activist from French rights group Droits Devant.

"Many people have been living without rights for years". We have done this to ask the prime minister for an exceptional regularisation.

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The protesters, many of whom were from West Africa, called themselves "Black Vests", an allusion to the recent antigovernment "Yellow Vests" protests.

In June, they briefly occupied the headquarters of the Paris-based Elior Group which works in contract catering and property.

France on Saturday detained 21 African migrants who surged into the Pantheon in Paris to push their claims for regularised status, police said.

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