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

Stem cell donor with rare genetic makeup needed to save Saanich man after cancer returns

Jeremy Chow is half Canton Chinese, half British and needs a donor with a similar ethnic background

Victoria Humane Society needs volunteers after flood of puppies and kittens

Pregnant cats, dogs and their litters are in need of foster care

Tomato planting controversy inspires Victoria author’s book on transforming cities

Woman behind the Collinson street mural pens third book

New UVic student housing project before Saanich council tonight

Two new buildings would add almost 700 new student housing spaces

Saanich council considers more ambitious climate change goals

Staff promise more details about ‘acclerated actions’ later this fall

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Police seek tips in 2015 death of Island teen Brown

Four years has passed since the body of Penelakut Island woman was discovered

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Unseasonable snow forces campers out of northeastern B.C. provincial park

Storm brought as much as 35 centimetres of snow to the Fort Nelson, Muncho Lake Park-Stone Mountain Park

Most Read