Hundreds of undocumented immigrants crowded into Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport on Sunday afternoon, vowing to stop people from boarding their flights unless they were allowed to speak with the country’s prime minister. You can see the protest below:
Reports on social media said that the immigrants were carrying out a peaceful protest and were demanding to speak with Prime Minister Édouard Philippe. The protesters said that they wanted to draw attention to the plight of undocumented immigrants in the country and said they would not let anyone board their flight unless their demands were met.
French riot police quickly arrived on the scene and fired tear gas at the protesters.
The ‘Black Jacket’ Protesters Said They Wanted Better Treatment for Migrants Held at Charles de Gaulle
French media reported that the group of protesters, who were calling themselves the “black jackets,” were all of African origin. The group issued a manifesto titled “The Black Jackets Are Seeking the Prime Minister.” The manifesto demanded better conditions for undocumented immigrants who are held in Charles de Gaulle airport. It also criticized the conditions under which the airline Air France expels would-be immigrants. The group dubbed Air France the “official deporter of the French state.” Eventually, representatives of Air France met with four members of the “black jackets” late on Sunday afternoon. It wasn’t immediately clear what they discussed or what the outcome was.
The “black jackets” also said that they wanted legal immigration status for themselves.
Protesters said they wanted to speak with Air France management. They also vowed to remain in Terminal 2, blocking people from boarding their flights, until their demands had been met — including their demand to speak with the French prime minister.
The 400 or so protesters reportedly arrived at Charles de Gaulle at about 2PM, local time, on Sunday afternoon.
You can see another photo of the protesters — and the riot police — here: