31 March 2006
More Strike Photos
A CNN anchor compared Paris to Tiananmen Square (and then another CNN journalist called the statement "regrettable").
In any case, the protests continue, I just saw a bunch of students march through Place d'Italie with their horns and signs. But they're gone now, and the intesection is back to normal. I'm still getting emails from people freaking out about their safety in coming to Paris.
How many times does one have to say: stay away from the marches and you won't have any problems!
Even on Tuesday's "Big Strike", all of the public transport was working at 75% of it's regular service, and unless you were on the march rout between Place d'Italie and Place République, you wouldn't even know anything is going on in Paris. Really.
I was listening to NPR (Diane Reams show, sorry if that's misspelled) and Diane was interviewing some French pundits and American journalists covering the protests and she asked, "But how do you know where the riots will be?"
As the guests replied, it helps to know a bit of French. All demonstrations are announced in advance, along with their routes, so everyone in Paris knows exactly what parts of town will have traffic problems. The protests are separate from the "riots", or the window-breaking/car-burning idiots from the suburbs who come into town anytime there are big gatherings in order to cause trouble. They're called "casseurs", or smashers. This is who thepolice are fighting with, and in many cases they're actally helped by the marchers themselves, who are the ones who are getting hurt from their clashes (again, the damage is happening under the "cover" of the large crowds during the marches; there aren't "rioters" roaming loose around Paris torching random cars). Many of these thugs have already been arrested and fined, in some cases sent to prison for a year (the idiot who set a car on fire that accidentally set a Gap on fire).
There's another strike andmarch planned Tuesday the 4th, FYI.
And here are some photos of Place d'Italie from last Tuesday.