Saturday, October 17, 2009

Demonstration on the Champs Elysées

This morning I heard on the radio that some French farmers had "invaded" the Champs Elysées, covered the street with hay and set it on fire! I had to go there! Of course I arrived too late but they were pretty cool remains on the street... (check this little Animoto that I made especially for you ;-)). Of course I sound like I'm making fun of the situtation, but in fact these farmers are pretty desperate. Prices of agricultural goods have dropped dramaticaly recently and they find it hard to make a decent living.


  1. Love the angle. I hope you were on the sidewalk!!!

    I feel for the farmers. I would think the profession is essential to our survival. If this keeps up there will be no one willing to become a farmer - then what happens?

  2. Great photo, sad cause. I feel for the farmers too and we have similar problems in the UK. Farmers are diversifying their role into holiday lets, workshops etc. just to survive.

  3. Farming is one of the most difficult ways to make a living, just about everywhere. :/

    My utmost respect for these people

    Great shot, BTW. Reminds me of the one you posted a while back with hay all over the Champs.

  4. What a juxtiposition of hay and a haute address!
    I saw on France 24, farmers letting out vats of milk in protest of falling prices for their food. I think that France 24 is the name of the TV station(?).

  5. Eric,
    I don't want to sound flip but I do love a Parisian demonstration. We waded into the middle of one at Musée Rodin last June. The police were there in their riot gear and everything was most civilized, of course! There was much noise etc. but it was all done peacefully. I learned later it was farmers protesting prices as in your post. Well everyone gets their say in Paris. I like that! Your photo with the hay and the Arch is wonderful!!!!

  6. Here's the Tenin perspective again, funny to see Champs Elysées by this angle.

    It is an important cause, hope things will get better.

  7. It has been such a terrible financial year for so many people. We shop at a farmers market here. I wonder if it helps, but I don't know.

  8. Yes, a lovely example of the Tenin Perspective at its finest. :) I was almost expecting 'where there's hay, there's a pony', so it was a surprise to read what this photo was about. I hope this helped the farmers draw attention to their situation. We have farmers in our family and it's pretty tough out there all around.

  9. Yesterday morning by 7.45, when I drove around the Place de l'Etoile (Arc de Triomphe), the Champs Elysées were already closed, as the farmers were beginning their operation... And I said to myself: "this is going to be a perfect subject for Eric..." ;-)

    I am also 100% with the farmers: my father-in-law and brother-in-law are farmers, and I know how it can be difficult.

    Lynn-PHX: "France24" is a "French CNN" TV, launched 2 or 3 years ago. It's available in French, English and Arab.

  10. Thanks for going out there for us, Eric—to give us your famous perspective on the subject (both physical and intellectual!). Love the animoto too. Here in NYC, I get my produce from the farmers' market and my food co-op—which means it all comes from small, local, mostly organic farms. Hope that helps them stay in business. Farmers have a tough row to hoe—literally!

  11. It may not have been as dramatic, but it would likely have been quite effective, if the farmer's had brought their fruits and vegetables and set up an impromptu market on the street, to highlight what they produce.

    It's great to support regional farmers and showcasing what they raise would've been very illuminating and educational, and a wonderful way to get public support for supporting locally-raised fare.

  12. Very touching ... yes, yes, yes...
    I just saw your little animoto just for us and I loooove it.
    Very much. How beautiful from you taking some of your time for their hard cause.
    Thank you so much :)
    Thank you.

  13. David, they did in a recent past. Fresh milk a few weeks ago, ang fruits and vegetables a few months ago.
    As far as I remember, Eric was there too ;-)
    Yesterday in Paris, these were cereals producers, so no vegetables or fruits to distribute ;-)

  14. I love your "photo a day" blog! So glad I found it!

    Would you by any chance have a photo of the very serene beggar man sitting on his knees, with his head bowed in silence with a dish for coins, on the very wide sidewalk as all the people flowed by him like a river around him?

    I wish I'd photographed him when I was there last week. He gave me the most peaceful strange feeling.

    He was at the corner of Saint Michel at Rue de Sommerard each time I saw him.

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  16. Merci Thib: Last week in the Bastille they were selling big bags of local produce for only €5, which was a great way to not only showcase what they do, but to get the word out that in the past 10 years, 30% of the farmers in France have disappeared.

    Let's hope they continue to showcase how important they are!

  17. This made the news in Australia. Love your trademark perspective, Eric. Hope you dusted yourself off afterwards :)