Friday, 30 January 2009

The Communist and the Chocolate Factory

I took La Fille to her first 'manifestation' yesterday. It was not a huge effort as the demonstration passed the end of our road and I thought she might like it - all the noise and hullabaloo - and it would mark and important step in her cultural education. It would not be unfair or racist to say the French do indeed like striding the streets waving banners and yelling slogans that don't rhyme and La Fille is, after all, half French.

It being a General Strike, the police had sealed off the roads well in advance so there were even more motorbikes, scooters and bicycles illegally on the pavements. Within ten paces I was beginning to regret thinking it might be fun as well as educational as in addition to two-wheel hazards several smokers, not paying the slightest attention to where they were waving their cigarette, threatened to singe what is left of La Fille's hair. La Fille did not look as if she was liking her first 'manif', not one little bit, until we headed for Place de la République. Here the demonstration was headed by a lorry decked out with posters and banners of the French Communist Party. Standing high up on a scaffold stage on the back of the lorry were two protestors: one wearing mask to look like President Nicolas Sarkozy and next to him a man in a top hat and tails throwing leaflets to the crowd below.

"Look, look, look," shrieked La Fille, pointing to the Communist in his penguin suit. "Look, it's Mister Willy Wonka."

Ha! Only half French!


A Woman Of No Importance said...

Thankyou for the first-hand account of the demo, and La Fille's education - Well done, you!

Dumdad said...

I avoid these mass demos like the plague. I hope you're not putting ideas into La Fille's head that protesting and generally disrupting daily life (while there's a credit crisis on!) is normal!

Cimon said...

Place de la République is a must see place in Paris : there is a demonstration every day.

Does it mean you are more "pouvoir d'achat" than "Libérez Ocalan" ?


Parisgirl said...

Cimon, welcome back and happy New Year. We love Place de la République...I suppose we're a bit between Marianne and Ocalan!
A Woman of No Importance, thank you.
Dumdad, you get used to mass demos where we this case our mutual friends were somewhere in the masses with the banner and I was looking for them.

louise said...

Shamelessly I put a link to your blog from my new infant one - hope this is okay!

Paradise Lost In Translation said...

Hi PG, I've photo tagged you over at 'my place' as they say. Sorry, I got tagged, and amsupposed topass it on. It squite a fun one though. When I received an award I failed to pass it on to 8, yes 8 others, so thought I'd better do this photo tag thing.

Working mum said...

Love it! Glad to see she didn't take it too seriously.

Paradise Lost In Translation said...

I used to live in Place de la Republique. Right on the square. I loved it! Mad landlord though.