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Video: Stonemasons chisel their support for Paris migrants

© FRANCE 24 Screengrab

Video by FRANCE 24

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2017-03-13

Migrants sleeping rough under a Paris railway were recently surprised to see city authorities place large stones alongside their makeshift homes. Rights groups deemed the move anti-migrant, while Paris City Hall denied that charge.

But the stones have since taken on a life of their own. An appeal on social media drew 20-odd stonemasons from across the country to make the trip to the French capital and chisel out their contempt.

"Stone is usually seen as a material used for building ties, to have some meaning... rather than being used as an impediment,” stonemason Frédéric Thibault told FRANCE 24. “The message being sent was not very positive. And in the current climate where people are scared of each other along with other things, this was an opportunity to say we did not agree."

The masons have made their mark, quite literally, in defence of the migrants, who are mainly from Afghanistan and Sudan, carving messages into the rocks in the name of Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité.

Sophie Guignon, Sylvain Rousseau and Nick Rushworth report.

To watch FRANCE 24’s full report on this story, click on the player above.

Date created : 2017-03-12

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