A be-scarfed one asked me for money. "Madame, do you speak English." How could she tell? I was the only blonde wearing other than black for miles around. Then she presented me with a hand-written card asking for money. Persistent, I had to tell her "non" twice.
Crossing over into the Tuileries, I felt I was being followed, maybe by a colleague of hers. I was. I sat down on one of the cement benches and the malevolent Mr. Bean, who had seconds before been behind me, sat down next to me. I shot up like my bum was on fire and moved fast across Pont Royal. I watched the traffic on the river for a while and was sure he hadn't followed any further.
I walked down my beloved rue du Bac, then east along rue de l'Universite, and south along rue des Saints-Peres. Heading toward Boulevard Saint-Germain I knew something was up. Phalanxes of police in their dark blue armour were everywhere. Large balloons covered with union logos meant I had found the demonstration. I carried on gingerly and found the picketing strikers marching up rue de Rennes.
I was moved, as I always am at public displays of emotion - I get a nose prickle meaning tears are seconds away. I must have watched the demonstration of people for at least 45 minutes with no sign of it letting up.
RE-SIS-TANCE! RE-SIS-TANCE! RE-SIS-TANCE!
The assembly was very loud and emotional. Because of the issue at hand, the crowd was made up of old and young alike. It made any organized action in Canada look like kindergarten. I was in complete support of them, until the next day when their "greve roulant", rolling strike, would play havoc with my day.
|This one roughly says, |
"Every day, new businesses closures and layoffs are posted-Therefore what have the billions distributed to the bankers and bosses been used for?-To enrich the wealthiest people and impoverishing the population"
|This one was easier to translate: |
"Down with the state, cops, and bosses"
I was going to take the side streets back to the hotel but the cops had shut the Boul'Mich to traffic and it was delightfully quiet.
|This one was popular with a lot of photographers so I joined in. It's union propaganda pasted on a Rolex shop|
Gathered my thoughts at the hotel and then headed off again. I had a craving for French Onion Soup.