Thirty seven immigrant workers -- Pakistanis, Moroccans, Tunisians and Mauritians -- are now well into the second week of a hunger strike in a Paris church hall.
Thirty seven immigrant workers -- Pakistanis, Moroccans, Tunisians and Mauritians -- are now well into the second week of a hunger strike in a Paris church hall. They are protesting against the withholding of work and residence permits.
They have sworn to "fast until death". And on Tuesday 2 April one of them had to be taken to hospital suffering from malnutrition.
The main object of their anger is the legislation known as the Circulaire Marcellin-Fontanet, which stipulates that an immigrant worker must have both a residence and a work permit before he can start work. A delegation of the hunger strikers went to the Labour Ministry On Tuesday (2 April). Officials told them that the Minister, M. Georges Gorse, would look into the problem of workers in France without papers.
One of the Pakistanis said that about 400 Pakistanis had come to France over the past ten months in the firm belief that they could find work without any difficulty.
One of the group made a statement in Arabic deploring the fact that they had to take work secretly because their position was illegal, demanding the repeal of the Circulaire Fontanet-Marcellin and calling for the issue of work permits as soon as they found a job.
His statement was translated into French by one of a group of young members of the Socialist and Communist parties who are helping the immigrants.
The sound on the film includes both the Arabic statement and the French translation. An English version is also provided in the commentary over the page.