There were two demonstrations in Paris on Wednesday (15 November). One urged humanitarian aid for?
There were two demonstrations in Paris on Wednesday (15 November). One urged humanitarian aid for Vietnamese refugees and the other better conditions for Parisian workers.
SYNOPSIS: The demonstration urging humanitarian aid for Vietnamese refugees took place outside the United State Embassy. Hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese continue to flee their country and at present concern is centred on the freighter Hai Hong stranded with two and a half thousand Vietnamese aboard off the coast of Malaysia, which has refused them entry. A letter addressed to President Jimmy Carter was presented by officials of the Organisation for Human Rights in Vietnam. In told of only two or three of every ten refugees surviving their flight.
The Organisation appealed to the United States to allow those aboard the Hai Hong into the country. But should the refugees decide, they could go to France. The French Deputy Foreign Minister Mr. Olivier Stirn, said on Wednesday (15 November) that France was ready to receive them in line with France's Constitution and tradition as a country of asylum. France has taken in some 45 thousand refugees since the end of the Vietnamese War three and a half years ago. Malaysia refused them entry because it considered them fee paying emigrants, not genuine refugees.
The other demonstration was held in the Place de la Trinite by members of the General Workers Trade Union. Prominent among the demonstrators were members of the building and construction industry. They complained that two hundred thousand jobs had been cut -- 80 thousand of them in the Paris area alone. Improved wages and working conditions were also demanded.
The demonstrators also deplored what they termed the deplorable rate of accidents in the industry and demanded the creation of a Hygiene and Safety Committee with wide powers. It was claimed that in the previous year there were more than 35 thousand serious industrial accidents --nearly eight hundred of them resulting in fatalities.