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Arts Workers Occupy Theatres Across France in Protest of Continued Closure

The sit-in at the Odeon Theatre in Paris has now gone on for eight days.

Show business workers are occupying theatres in various cities in France in protest of the government's continued closure of cultural venues, Reuters reports.

The sit-in at the Odeon Theatre in Paris has now gone on for eight days. Protesters rejected an additional financial support for cultural venues and artists pledged by the government a day earlier.

54 protesters have brought sleeping bags, inflatable mattresses and food that are laid out in the theatre's hall and balconies.

"We've got everything we need to sit tight for several days," said comedian Jennifer Catelain. "We started with polite petitions, then peaceful protests, we occupied venues for a day here and there, but we were not listened to. So we decided to step it up, stay a little longer in a place that is emblematic."

The group of protesters, which is made up of actors, theatre workers and students, believes that there is no reason to keep cultural venues closed when social distancing measures can be imposed. They have been demanding an opening date as well as an extension to special unemployment benefits for performance workers.

The government on Thursday promised an extra 30 million euros in financial aid and made sick leave and maternity leave more widely available, but protesters said the response did not go far enough.

"They have no choice when it seems they have no other solution," said Paris resident Beatrice Philippe.

Read more on Reuters.

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