September 21, 2009

A fresh start of les grèves.

Ah, yes - a new bout of strikes is here. La belle France. Currently, it is the postal workers - they refuse to deliver mail today and tomorrow, claiming that they are totally opposed to privatization in any way of la poste. And then it will be the railways...expect strikes on transit October 7.

On days like today you can turn on French television and find forecasts, like the weather, but for strikes. That way, you can plan your transit schedule, anything you need to mail, and all sorts of other things that have suddenly become impossible to do, in advance. Also, there is a convenient site to reference for all your strike queries: Sacré Français!

These photos actually depict a manifestation - not to be confused with une grève (strike). If you watch the video below, it was a manifestation to liberate Palestine. My favorite part about manifestations like this one (and strikes often look similar, but strikes mean people are also not going to work and preventing a bunch of other people from going about their business) is the police factor. Look at these dudes. They are into it. At this particular manifestation, there were more police than there were people manifesting. To me, that is a serious commitment to upholding the right of the people to publicly make their case. I don't really get how this group convinced that many police people to be behind (and in front) of them (and their cause), but every time it looks like this.

I think it must be like a parade; they book their spot weeks in advance with the police. And then the police work it, they really do. They go to the length of barricading our road all the time for the purpose.

For all of these parades/manifestations I have a front seat - our balcony. I take the time to soak it all in. And it happens all the time. And yes, they are saying Liberate Palestine and Go Hezbollah (that is, of course, a very large Palestinian flag) - chants you may not have the opportunity to hear on the streets of a US town...

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