Homeless activists outside Notre Dame demand ‘a roof too’

Wealthy people have donated millions to effort to rebuild cathedral after devastating fire

People fix a banner that reads in French: “Notre-Dame is roofless, us too!” during a protest in front of the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, Monday, April 22, 2019. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)

Dozens of public housing advocates protested outside the gutted Notre Dame in Paris Monday to demand that France’s poorest be remembered after donors pledged $1 billion to rebuild the cathedral and its destroyed roof.

Around 50 people from a French homeless association gathered with placards reading “1 billion in 24 hours.” They chanted slogans directed at Bernard Arnault, the CEO of luxury group LVMH, who last week pledged 200 million euros ($226 million). Some chanted “Notre Dame needs a roof, we need a roof too!”

READ MORE: France to hold daylong tribute to Notre Dame firefighters

“We are here … to somewhat denounce these billionaires who show off by funding Notre Dame’s rebuilding,” Jean-Baptiste Eyraut, the spokesman for the Right To Housing association, told The Associated Press.

Paris police monitored the peaceful protest on the central Paris island on which Notre Dame is located but didn’t intervene, and the protest dispersed after several hours.

In addition to Arnault’s pledge, another billionaire, Francois Pinault, and his son pledged 100 million euros for the reconstruction effort from their holding company Artemis, which owns the Christie’s auction house and is the main shareholder in Gucci.

After Easter Mass on Sunday, Paris Archbishop Michel Aupetit said authorities ought to “rethink the whole island and make a place for the poor.”

He added: “The poor and the homeless are at home here (in Notre Dame)… They can always go and get warm in a church and they know they won’t be kicked out.”

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Festival goers at the 27th annual Roots and Blues Festival

The Observer asked: Where are you from and what brought you to the festival?

Mistake-riddled offence leads to first loss for Okanagan Sun

The Sun lost to the Westshore Rebels 16-13

Fire departments extinguish suspicious wildfire near West Kelowna

Crews established a fire guard and knocked down the blaze before it grew to one hectare.

15-year-old boy drowns after midnight jump into Okangan Lake

The RCMP and BC Coroners Service are investigating the drowning.

Letter: LGBTQ2 are part of ‘our’ Canada

“It is all of our taxes that pay for all of us.”

70 years of lifting: Canadian man, 85, could cinch weightlifting championship

The senior gym junkie is on track to win the World Masters Weightlifting championship

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

Okanagan climate advocacy group protests against Tolko

Group to demonstrate outside Vernon head office Monday over plan to log close to water supply

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Okanagan Cultural Connections live venue tour kicks off in Vernon

Two dozen promoters, national booking agents, and music reps to visit venues from Vernon to Oliver

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Fire departments extinguish suspicious wildfire near West Kelowna

Crews established a fire guard and knocked down the blaze before it grew to one hectare.

Most Read