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Monday, November 7, 2011

Strikes and demonstrations

The French take their rights and responsibilities as citizens very seriously. And the rising malaise due to the economic situation, coupled with the upcoming presidental elections in May, 2012 are heating up the political environment. Demonstrations of discontent happen almost daily.

For example, we have attended (and photographed) demonstrations by retired people protesting their diminished purchasing power, firemen who are protesting revisions in their career paths, and a march condemning violence against women. Teachers are protesting increased class sizes, and even midwives have been on the march to protest the situation surrounding birth in France.
Religious extremists have also been in the news. The offices of Charlie Hebdo, a satirical weekly newspaper, were recently firebombed, and Christian fundamentalists are protesting a theatre piece currently showing in Paris. On Sunday, we attended a demonstration decrying these acts of violence and defending freedom of speech.

Firemen on the march

Protesting violence against women

Demonstration of retired people

The national police are always present, but most demonstrations have been peaceful.

Some people march, others just watch.

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