4,000 refugees evicted from makeshift camps in Paris

Paris,Nov7:Almost 4000 migrants were evacuated from makeshift camps in Paris Friday in the city’s largest effort yet to move asylum seekers to shelter.

The 30th operation of its kind moved Afghans, Sudanese, Ethiopian and Eritreans from the makeshift camps around the Stalingrad and Jaurès metro stations to temporary shelters across Greater Paris.

The joint operation by the City of Paris and the state mobilized 600 police officers, 250 volunteers from aid organizations, 80 buses and countless citizen collectives sympathetic to the migrants’ cause.

The numbers of migrants living on the streets of Paris swelled in the last few weeks, especially after the closing of the camp in Calais.

On Oct. 28, Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo urged the government to help with what she called a “dramatic health and humanitarian” situation. The numbers relocated Friday far exceed previous estimates of around 2,500 living in the makeshift camps.

Under the cover of darkness, the operation began at the Afghan camps at the Jaurès metro station and along the Quai de Jemmapes. The area was cordoned off by riot police and closed to traffic, as were the two metro stations that have become namesakes for the camps.

Juliana Vidal, from one of the citizen collectives, arrived at 9 p.m. Thursday.

“Some of the tents are hidden away, so we spent two hours warning them that they were going to be evacuated.

“We stayed up all night to patrol a bit, and at 4 a.m. we woke everyone so that they had time to pack and prepare calmly.”