Twenty African workers went on hunger strike in Paris on October 19 to protest as the French government's work permit procedures.
GV TILT UP Church of St. Hippolyte in Paris. (2 SHOTS)
GV Sign about hunger strike on church wall.
SV Mali and Senegal workers on hunger strike, sit on beds. (2 SHOTS)
CUs Hunger strikers, SV hunger strikers sitting on floor. (5 SHOTS)
CU Signs demanding rights for immigrant workers.
SCU & CU Mali and Senegal hunger strikers. (3 SHOTS)
CU Issa Konate, Senegalese worker on hunger strike, speaking. (French SOT).
(TRANSLATION OF FRENCH): KONATE (SEQ 7):"We began this hunger strike on October 19. We are immigrant workers, originally from Mali and Senegal. We are the victims of immigration laws here.."
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Background: Twenty African workers went on hunger strike in Paris on October 19 to protest as the French government's work permit procedures. The protesters from Mali and Senegal, are fasting in an apartment adjoining the Church of Saint Hippolyte, in the middle of Chinese Quarter in the French capital's 13th arroundisement. The 20 hunger strikers are among thousands of workers from black Africa, mainly from former French colonies, who entered France on temporary work permits or illegally, without permits. Those with temporary permits are demanding that the government change their work status and let them stay, granting them special status. They also want work permit extensions granted to the end of December, many expired in October, and social security benefits reinstated to immigrant workers. A spokesman for the hunger strikers, Issa Konate, said immigrant workers were victims of unjust regulations. The Mitterrand government is holding talks about the plight of immigrant workers with the organising committee of the hunger strike, a committee which represents more than 60 immigrant and workers' groups.