The Frogmarch

"I've got to pull up my stakes and roll, man." --Jean-Jacques Libris de Kerouac

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Lyon Calling

Another night of overtime pay for the riot cops: Things were quieter in general Monday night, although there was a relatively better-organised demonstration parading down Rue de la Republique-- better-organised in that people were actually carrying signs and banners, rather than just randomly breaking and burning stuff.

This procession marched past us down to Place Bellecour, where they were blocked by the police. I'm not sure why, since they were not particularly disorderly--perhaps they didn't have a permit. After this, chants of "Police everywhere, justice nowhere" started up, and the cops became intent on dispersing them. That's what these pictures show--first the remnants of the marchers moving past around Place de la Republique, then the police moving slowly down the street, bunched tightly together behind riot shields and brandishing tear-gas guns (or rubber-bullet guns? Hard to tell). You'll probably need to click on the photos to be able to make anything out.

After the police had moved the crowd down the street, we heard loud metallic scraping, as if the metal construction barricades further up Republique were being moved around, then several loud gunfire-like pops, as if tear gas was being launched, but we didn't see (or breathe) any gas.

Sunday night turned out to have been a pretty rough night in lots of parts of France, with 730 cars torched and 592 people arrested; 12 police were reported injured in Lyon. Some pictures here; note that #5 is in front of the tourist office in Place Bellecour (and the guy in #9 is not me).

When we moved in to this apartment, we knew the neighborhood would be lively; we had no idea just how lively. I'm starting to think about permanently mounting a camera tripod on the balcony railing... maybe it'll help with the blurriness.

Hopefully the next post will be back to the usual banal musings on French life and culture, rather than dark, blurry action shots of riot cops.


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