Mass Eviction From Paris Warehouse in Preparation for Olympics

Authorities carried out a massive eviction at the largest squat in southern France only 100 days before the Paris Olympic Games. The improvised camp of around 450 illegal migrants at the abandoned bus company offices in Vitry-sur-Seine was swept out on April 17th by several dozen police officers.

It was the largest group of squatters in France. As a result of the Olympics, its size increased twofold in only one year. Paul Alauzy of the humanitarian group Médecins du Monde has been carefully tracking the continuous rate of evictions over the last two years. He said that officials drove out squatters surrounding the Olympic Village last year, so many displaced persons moved to the camp. Alauzy claimed that the warehouse was packed. He believes most of the illegal migrants will be back sleeping on the streets in just a couple of days or weeks.

Reports show that the clearing operation will continue for many days.

There are no squatters at the location anymore. 150 individuals exited the previous night, and 300 were forcibly removed early morning on Wednesday.  As the city gets ready to host the Olympics, local officials are making a bigger drive to destroy tent settlements, and this is only one element of it.

The Summer Olympic Games will be held from July 26th through August 11th, 2024, and the Paralympic Games will be held from August 28th through September 8th, 2024.

Five buses arrived there on Wednesday, with the purpose of transporting illegal migrants to designated locations in places like Bordeaux or Orleans or to the larger Ile-de-France area, which includes Paris. Additional migrants will be transported to makeshift screening locations by bus.

Fifty illegal migrants, some of them families with small children, were forcibly removed from the Paris City Hall courtyard in early April by French police. The refugees loaded up their stuff and took a bus to Besançon, a town in eastern France, where they would stay in temporary government accommodation.