Hundreds of demonstrators occupied the twin towers of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday for five hours.
Hundreds of demonstrators occupied the twin towers of Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris on Monday for five hours. The demonstrators were showing support for striking newspaper printers.
The invading crowd, who wanted a draw attention to the problems of workers at the top selling Paris daily, Parisien Libre, strung protest banners from the top of the medieval towers and tolled the bell of the 12th century church.
A spokesman for the demonstrators said the demonstration was organised to make the public and the French Government aware of the printers' plight.
The invasion of Notre Dame is the most dramatic move by the striking printers since the industrial action began six months ago. The printers came out on strike against management proposed cutbacks in staff at the Parisien Libre. The union has been occupying the newspaper's plant ever since.
The newspaper management hit back by shifting publication of the paper outside Paris where the power of the union is weaker. Police eventually entered the Cathedral through the side doors and persuaded the demonstrators to leave. There was no indication that any force was used to get the protesters out.
After leaving the Cathedral the demonstrators joined colleagues in the square in front of the church and started to sing the Internationale. They then collected their banners, formed up in rows and marched off chanting slogans.