Demonstration Against Immigration Law in the Basilica of Saint-Denis
Date of incident: March 18, 2018
Category: Social Hostility / Intolerance
Attack against: Faith
Area of case: Political
Far-left activists and undocumented migrants demonstrated inside the Basilica of Saint-Denis on March 18th to protest the French government’s new asylum law before being forcibly removed by police, resulting in the evening Mass being cancelled.
According to Le Parisien around 80 people organized by Coordination des sans-papiers occupied Saint-Denis Basilica near Paris. The crowd used the religious building, which also serves as the royal necropolis, to protest against the government's asylum and immigration bill. After an hour of protests in the basilica, the police evacuated the area.
Following the incident, the Basilica was closed for the evening and the Mass was cancelled to ensure that the protesters did not return.
The legislation aims to prolong the period for which undocumented migrants can be detained and shorten the deadlines for asylum application. It would make the illegal crossing of borders an offence punishable by prison and fines.
Video footage posted on Twitter by politician Nicholas Dupont-Aignan shows police removing the activists and migrants.