Sunday, March 19, 2006

One more demonstration post!

You might have seen it on the news today we had another demonstration in Paris today - and apparently a couple of riots towards the end of the march. I could not help going there and take pictures for PDP... Here is a mosaic but you can see them in more detail on the "making of".


  1. Great shots Eric. I can't even believe that over here it was the number 1 story on the national news! Even CNN has it on their homepage.

  2. Could you translate some of the signs for us Eric?

  3. Thanks for providing us with fresh images of the word on the streets in Paris :)

  4. Superb mosaic!! I love it!!!

    There is even a guy that says "fuck the system" now where have I heard that one before? Oh, yeah, that was me, back when I was their age! ;-)

    Seriously, nobody likes precarity and low wages but it seems to be a global trend.

    Maybe these kids should come to the States and see the meaning of precarity in employment ;-)

    I heard on FIP that the Government is not backing down this time. Maybe it isn't going to be like '68 after all.

    Well, that's enough rambling out of me, I think :)

  5. Marcos: This is a very approximate translation on-the-fly of most of the signs to give you a general idea.

    #40 New Slave Contract

    #39 Resist lack of job insecurity

    #38 Keep fighting, legalize undocumented workers

    #37 Play on words that means that the government leader (“Elysee”) should be sent to
    a mental hospital.

    #38 Against CPE, but don’t forget education. General strike.

    #36 Guy with an umbrella that says “The Future”

    #35 Fewer teachers, more cops, culture is disappearing, repression is here

    #34 Popular Choir of Paris (?)

    #32 No

    #28 All this is very sad

    #26 2 year probation? No way! Enough job insecurity and low wages! Youth, workers, and
    unemployed all unite! (etc.)

    #25 We’re not going to win with negotiations and elections but by taking to the streets!

    #23 Freud, come back, Villepin needs your help!

    #20 Contract New Slaves

    #18 “CPE” up your @ss!

    #17 “And He said, let it be job insecurity forever.” Amen.

    #13 Professional Team Slacker, because you ain’t worth anything

    #14 Trust me (with a picture of Sarcozy)

    #6 Carrots, potatoes, spinach ... enough salads! ("enough salads" is a French idiom that means “cut the crap”)

    Hope that helps.

  6. This mosaic is powerful...the demonstration is headlines of international news here.

  7. Bien sûr, c'est à la une ici à Montréal. Ici aussi, il y avait de très grandes manifs étudiantes il y a un an déjà.

    Très belles photos!

  8. Yeah! It looks so "riot", cool anyway.

  9. Thank you for the translations! I love:

    #23 Freud, come back, Villepin needs your help!

    At least with students you get creative signs!

  10. Belle mosaïque, lol les pancartes sont vraiment drôles

  11. Actually Tomate, I think #13 is a play on the L'oreal ads ("because I'm worth it").

    I read it as saying, "Professionally Unemployed, because you're not worth it" with de Villepin holding up a deck of cards and wearing a dress.

    I agree Marcos, the students have been very creative at least!

  12. the way, #7 says, "Villepin, your trial period is over" making a jab at his once popular position representing France at the U.N. during the discussions pre-Iraq war and now with his new law. Very funny and ironic!

  13. You're all talking about "the students" but from what I can see here - and from what I saw on TV - the movement is now entirely into the hands of polical parties (especially the French socalist and communist parties), the unions and the extreme left movements and does no longer belong to the students.

  14. Interesting observation anonymous. Yes, I guess we can say this has now become a political platform.

  15. Quelle riche idée, ce montage photo. Très esthétique. Cela mériterait d'en faire tirer un poster.

  16. Hi Eric, it would be nice if once in a while you could tell us what you think, and get a little bit involved... pictures are nice of course, but you don't say much more than just... pictures.

    Are you in favor or not of the CPE ?

    Don't worry, it s not because you give your opinion you're gonna gain or lose readers... or maybe are you afraid so ?


  17. Now this is looking a little more familiar. I also like "Freud! Reviens! Il faut soigner Villepin." What is the meaning of "49-3" written on the scarf around Mona Lisa's mouth? This is getting very serious. I hope the response on Monday isn't too explosive. The riots were on the news here last night, but just briefly. They covered the anti-Iraq war demonstrations, showing the low numbers that turned out for the demonstrations. I'd like to borrow some of these students . . .

    Very effective monsaic, Eric. And thanks for providing all of the individual shots as well.

  18. These French people are very creative in their slogans. And so are you Eric for making that big collage!

  19. > Tomate thank you for the translations, I did all this posting yesterday evening (well actually this morning between 2 and 3 am!) and I was to tired to translate - I was sure somebody would!

    > The mosaic. I thought it was a good idea - I make it a point not to publish more that one pic a day! - but I wanted to show demonstrater's creativity.

    > Marcus. You are right, the term "riots" is improper this time. It's a true demonstration.

    > Michael. The trial period actually refers to the law the governemnt has passed. With this new law you have a 2 year trial period and can be fired within a very short notice with no specific reason - which is new in France.

    > Pierre. Un poster? Mais quelle excellente idée !

    > I'z. Er... I actually don't know it yesterday was the anniversary the commune (big riots at that time!). I am sure you know more than I do about this! Interesting your final sentence: What goes around comes around.
    The worst in my opinioin is that unlike in Germany or in Northern Europe countries - and northern America also - let's say protestant countries, in France the is absolutly no way opponents can sit and talk. All social battles have to be violent (and take place in the street or via a strike). Tiring sometimes, but it works.

    > Peter. Yes it probably would, but it will not happen!
    I make it a point here to be as descriptive as possible and act as a tiny press agency: here is what I noticed in Paris today.

    Of course I am no fool; I know that the choice of the photo I publish is a political choice in itself...

    > La rêveuse. 49-3 is a special legal "tool" that allows the government to pass a law before the parliament without going through the usual procedure - generally to go quicker or to by pass a strong oppositoin.

    It is rarely used but I think part of this new law - I don't remember exactly - was voted thanks to this.

  20. Hi Eric!
    Lucy here in NYC.
    We've been reading about this in the papers and discussing it and it was quite a concept for us to wrap our heads around, that so many, across a whole country, would consider it a right to keep your job once hired, because here unions and so forth have been very much weakened by economic conditions, and we are in no position to protest anymore. We would love to have this ourselves, but unfortunately I don't think any amount of political action is going to change those economic forces and conditions in the US --- we will never have such security again, at least not in my lifetime, I am afraid. I think we will be lucky if there is any such thing as pensions or medical insurance paid by employer at all, most people are losing those too.
    Great pictures, it is amazing you can find the right place and the right time every is always a pleasure to visit your Paris, protests or anything...

  21. Lucy, you about summed it up there. Can you believe my little brother (who is 22) think's he'll be able to depend on Social Security for his retirement?!? Oy. I tired to get him to think a bit more realistically and invest some of the small inheritence we recently got towards retirement like I'm doing but he swears up and down that he'll have SS and he'll be able to live off it when the time comes. I say, I wouldn't mind some protests and demonstrations on the state of our economy today!

  22. People will give up everything, all rights to a meaningful life, to be more "competitive." We don't need governments making this choice for us. I'm with the students (even if they are wearing 100.00 # Diesel jeans).

  23. Nice photo Eric. Keep up the good work!

  24. its great that people are going in the streets and protesting for their rights. You know, last year in the quebec province, students of university did a strike and went into the streets too, and it lasted 6 weeks, so forone months most of the students didnt have school and were defending their rights against the governement. of course no one have probably heard about it, because who cares about whats happening in montreal right!? anyway, great pictures. sous les paves la ny a p-e plus de paves,mais il faut continuer a rever de la plage, a force de solidarite et de conviction, cela arrivera un jour..

  25. Excellent photos, Eric. I will most likely use them in my French Civilization class in a couple of weeks. I couldn't believe the amount of coverage there was of this on CNN yesterday. And yes, most Americans do not understand the issue, because they are used to the precarious nature of their own jobs (unless they are tenured academics like me.)

  26. Michael: thanks for fixing my translation I was thinking of running it by you, first, but my guess is that you were fast asleep at that time. :)

    BTW, the story also made the front page of the online San Francisco Chronicle this morning at:

  27. This issue is all over the Spanish news too. We already have the precarious situation here with most contracts being only for short periods, like six months.

    If you want a mortage though, you need a fixed, long-term contract, but employers don't want to give them, because then it's hard to get rid of workers. It used to be that after a certain number of short contracts, a job had to become fixed, but then they changed the law (in favour of precarity) a few years ago.

    And, even when employers do make fixed contracts, the unscrupulous ones use any means - including threats - to persuade employees out of them. Been there, got that T-Shirt.

    I'm with the students also, but I tend to think "the market" will win for a while, until and unless the entire world comes to it's senses.

  28. Eric:

    Great set of documentary images! We all really got the feel of being int the surging crowd. In many of the shots the light was magnificant, back lighting some signs. Shooting tight really pushed the comments in our face, so to speak.

    Amazing amount of creativity and resourcefulness in the signs and typography.

    We all thank you for bringing us along on your "observations" and putting in the extra time late at night editing, posting and assembling all these images. It was so much better than just one image.

    computer translation:
    traduction par ordinateur:

    Grand ensemble d'images documentaires! Nous tous avons vraiment obtenu le sentir d'être internes la foule d'augmentation. Dans plusieurs des projectiles la lumière était éclairage magnificant et arrière quelques signes. Le tir fortement a vraiment poussé les commentaires dans notre visage, ainsi pour parler. Quantité étonnante dans de créativité et ressource les signes et typographie. Nous tous vous remercions de nous apporter le long sur vos "observations" et de la mise dans le temps supplémentaire tard la nuit éditant, signalant et assemblant toutes ces images. Il était tellement meilleur que juste une image.

  29. I loved this photo so much, I borrowed it (with a track back link, of course) for my blog. Elle est trop belle!

  30. p.s. I hope that's ok! If it's not, just let me know and I'll take it down.

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