Activists Steal Home From Elderly Couple To House Migrants

Activists Steal Home From Elderly Couple To House Migrants

( – Left-wing extremists in France have seized the home of an elderly couple and turned it into a residence for asylum seekers. The radical group claims it was forced to take action after authorities ignored its demands to provide housing. Now the owners’ family is questioning whether the rule of law still exists in France.

On January 7, activists from a group calling itself Maison du Peuple — People’s House — broke into a house in Nantes, France. The group claims they’ve “requisitioned” the property, and photos in French media show asylum seekers being led into it. Three migrant families from Syria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo are now living there. According to People’s House, it was forced to take radical action because, despite asking local authorities for help in housing refugees, the group has had no response.

The seized house belongs to a couple in their 80s who are currently living in a care home. According to People’s House, it’s been empty for a year — but it’s still privately owned. The owners’ grandson says he’s complained to the authorities about the illegal occupation, but he’s now wondering if the law is still being enforced. He told journalists People’s House has no right to seize private property and warned that by working outside the law, they’re also endangering the refugees because “illegal takeovers by militant associations can lead to real tragedies.”

Although French authorities have controversially requisitioned some properties — mostly hotels — to house asylum seekers, this is the first reported case of activists seizing property illegally. France has tough laws that allow squatters to be quickly evicted; the question is whether those laws could be applied in this case. If they’re not, the owners’ grandson is already speculating on whether they could “execute justice ourselves.” If the law won’t protect French citizens anymore, they’ll be tempted to take matters into their own hands.

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