Sunday, May 26, 2013

Paris and the demonstrations

Only a few days in Paris, and life is never dull.  Today was filled with many incredible moments, but what stopped Paris in its tracks was the massive protest for "Le Mariage pour Tous."

It brought much of the city to a standstill.  No taxis, no buses.

Here, at the place de l'Alma, where one group in the parade began.  They were singing La Marseillaise:

The groups of protesters continued pouring from three different directions into the Esplanade des Invalides (where I am staying) until the early evening.  As far as I know, no major problems arose.  I arrived home a few minutes ago and the police were still out in full force, blocking the street:


Madame Là-bas said...

Les manifestations seem to be daily fare in Paris. I have just returned from 2 months in The City of Light where I was staying close to the Senate. You never know when streets are going to be blocked.

Anonymous said...

The protests are AGAINST same sex marriage. Anywhere from 400,000 to 1,000,000 people demonstrated in Paris on Sunday.
Good article in The Independent UK

Canedolia said...

They are, but "le mariage pour tous" represents the antis, not the pros. Go figure.

Parisienne Mais Presque said...

Just to clear things up for those without a front-row seat to French politics: "Le mariage pour tous," or "marriage for all," is the name of the law which was recently passed legalizing gay marriage.

"La manif pour tous" or "the demonstration for everyone" is the name adopted by the anti-gay marriage movement, who are of course deliberately using the same wording. They're easily recognizable by their t-shirts, flags, etc. with the silhouettes of a stereotypical family of four (man, woman, boy, girl) holding hands. Variously elements of the extreme French right-wing have been associated with the fringes of the movement ("le printemps français", for example: interesting article on Le Monde on Friday) as well as more mainstream French right-wing politicians, like Copé.

Autolycus said...

I was in Paris at the time of the parliamentary debates (and punch-up), random homophobic attacks on the street and the right's furious (and perhaps rather baffled) response at the police break-up of their demonstration at the time. Much heated discussion of the emergence of radical right-wing youth, revolt against the system (bearing in mind the continuing stories about corruption in politics, jobs for the boys and so on), a new 1968, etc., etc.

Canedolia said...

Oops, thanks for clearing that up Parisienne mais Presque ... Shouldn't try to write comments so early in the morning!

Polly-Vous Francais said...

It was fascinating to look at the general profile of the people marching: it seemed mostly white, middle-class, all ages from parents with little kids to grandmothers in solid shoes. From every region of France. People apparently anxious to continue life as they have known it. Afraid of change.

In any case, bigger than ANY manif I have ever observed.
Then, *POOF* -- it was over.

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