• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Protesters stage 'die-in' over asbestos risk

AFP · 13 Oct 2013, 10:50

Published: 13 Oct 2013 10:50 GMT+02:00

The protesters from all over France lay down in the street outside Sorbonne University in Paris's Latin Quarter to dramatise that asbestos exposure claims 3,000 lives per year, according to organisers.

They had kicked off the march at the Tour Montparnasse, one of the city's few tall buildings, where inspectors have repeatedly found amounts of asbestos dust exceeding allowable levels.

"Ten deaths each day, with no one held responsible or found guilty," one poster read; "For criminal proceedings on asbestos" read another in the march that ended at Paris's main courthouse.

The National Association of Victims of Asbestos (ANDEVA) called the march, which was headed up by relatives of victims of asbestos exposure, mainly widows holding pictures of their husbands.

The protest aims to "show the public and political officials that the victims of asbestos are still waiting for criminal proceedings," ANDEVA said in a statement.

"It has been 17 years since we submitted the first complaints, and there has still not been a criminal trial," ANDEVA vice president Francois Desriaux told AFP.

"The asbestos risk is not ancient history, it still exists today," he said.

"The Tour Montparnasse should have been ridden of its asbestos years ago, but between owners going round the rules and lax police who have looked the other way and allowed the work to be postponed, they are continuing to play with people's lives," ANDEVA said.

Story continues below…

In August, Paris police threatened to evacuate the building, where some 5,000 people work.

"Mobilisation is the only way to dent the authorities' passivity," said a woman who works for Amundi, a subsidiary of the bank Credit Agricole, which evacuated its employees from the building in June because of the danger of asbestos exposure.
 

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
UK pair charged with funding Paris attacks suspect
Photo: Police

Two UK nationals have been charged with handing over to cash to a suspect in the Paris terror attacks.

Paris makes love-lock bridge even more love-lock proof
Photo: Michel Gauret/No Love Locks

Good luck attaching a love lock now.

France gets tough on Muslim footballers praying on pitch
Archive photo of muslims praying on a sports pitch in France. Photo: AFP

Authorities in the Riviera city of Nice are cracking down on Muslims praying on their football pitches, arguing it is against France's Republican principles.

What's on in France: Ten great things to do in May
Photo: AFP

Events to keep you entertained as summer approaches.

Labour reform protests
Who are the masked rioters causing havoc in France?
Photos: AFP

Who's smashing up shops, banks, and bus stops - and attacking the French police force?

Defending 'monsters': Meet Abdeslam's French lawyer
Frank Berton, lawyer to suspected Paris terror attacker Salah Abdeslam. Photo: AFP

Even terrorists need a lawyer. And the Frenchman defending Salah Abdeslam says he hesitated to take the job.

Dozens more held after violent clashes in Paris
Photos: AFP

Another 24 people were arrested in Paris overnight, following a day of protests that left two dozen police officers injured.

Protesters clash with police over France's new labour laws
Protesters burn a Porsche in Nantes, western France. Photo: AFP

Over 20 police officers were injured and 124 people were arrested as protesters clashed police across France.

Why do the French take such long lunch breaks?
Photo: kattebelletje/Flickr

A new survey found French people take much more leisurely lunches than others... but why?

Parisians paying dearly for their bad 'parking'
Some of the parking efforts are atrocious... Photo: Tejvan Pettinger/Flickr

The atrocious parking efforts in Paris are bringing in some whopping earnings.

Sponsored Article
How to launch your international career
Society
Protesters clash with police over France's new labour laws
Sponsored Article
What's the best way for expats to transfer money abroad?
National
French dangerously 'unprepared' for future natural disasters
Is it really safe to come to France for Euro 2016?
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
National
Salah Abdeslam: Pot-smoking 'little moron' is finally back in Paris
Society
PICTURES: Snow falls in Paris... at the end of April?
Rail strike: Passengers in France face major disruption
Cats in a cafe?!? Nine of the quirkiest things you can see in Paris
Sponsored Article
Retiring abroad: ensuring your health is covered
National
VIDEO: The moment a Paris suicide bomber blew himself up
National
Why there's another rail strike in France and why there will be more
National
Winter is coming (back). Why is France so cold right now?
National
WWI's Anzac Day heroes honoured in northern France service
Lifestyle
VIDEO: Did you know all these stars spoke great French?
Culture
How did the French end up with their 'crazy' numbers?
Politics
Why this man could become the next president of France
Society
VIDEO: Jewellers in southern France raided by... swarm of bees
Culture
Did you know the strange origins of these six French curse words?
Why are more and more people dying on French roads?
National
VIDEO: Mass street brawl erupts at Paris migrant camp
Culture
Film 'Chocolat' highlights taboo of race problem in French cinema
Society
British people have been urged to come to France... and to get naked
Culture
15 reasons Clermont-Ferrand is the best place in France
National
Eight tips for buying wine in a French supermarket
Culture
Steven Spielberg and Jodie Foster top star-studded Cannes cast
2,780
jobs available