Political activism is on the streets of France again. The French are known for publically expressing their opinions and this time it is the CPE law which allows for employers to hire young people (under 26) without employment security to set in which is the reason for upset.
Since Thursday most of the universities in Paris have been captured and demonstrating students and others, sometimes wild ones, have been protesting against the CPE-law. Police have been numerous and working hard to put an end to demonstrations with teargas and other tough and violent methods. On Thursday 120 000 students protested peacefully in Paris , however in the end of the day the protests became violent with rockthrowing and firebombs.
Still, while universities are closing down, a bookstore was burning, thousends of people were coming together to defend labor rights it was fairly easy to miss that there is a small revolution going on in Paris, since I don't have a TV or radio. I only realised how big this was today when I spoke to a friend who live near Sorbonne and she told me about the demonstrations. She also said was accused of "tourisme revolutionaire" when she took a photo of the demonstrations there. So tomorrow when new demostrations are scheduled all over town maybe I will leave my camera at home when I experience the demonstrations... The chant for the 13.00 demonstrations at Pere Lachaise will be "Ne laissons pas faire!" - We won't let them do it! according to IndymediaParis. LeMonde has made a good audio/visual presentation of Thursday's demonstrations here.
It is an important question, labor rights for all, and BBC comments that ironically it is the generation of the '68 barricades that now cannot promise their children the same rights they themselves fought for and enjoyed.
When I first found out I had been chosen for an internship in Paris, I wanted to learn more about Paris. So I googled, I visited sites and I read blogs. I have already told you about one of my favourite webcamsites where one can see the Eiffeltower and some other Paris sites, updated by the second (including a university computer room!?)
Anyway, I soon found a blog that left me wanting more and soon it was like I was following a quality soap. I had to log in to see what was new in "Petite Anglaise's" life. Waiting for "the new episode" becomes quite thrilling when you know that the wait is real time. Every other day there will be a new entry, and judging from the number and content of comments I am not the only one that somehow feel I know Petite ( she calls herself more familiarily just "Petite" nowadays).
She produces quirky, funny and sometimes sad obeservations on everydaylife in Paris. To give you all an idea of the content and the style of her writing (and to keep my soap analogy going) the other characters "on the set" are "Tadpole" - young daughter, "Mr Frog" - Petite's ex, and "Lover".
Since mid-January, I have been following Petite's whereabouts and I feel like I know her like I know a celebrity - some of her lovelife and thoughts, artistry and family. However, still much of her life is hidden in privacy/secrecy. Last week, I decided to make my first comment on her blog, which was caused by seeing this ad (above) in every street corner in Paris. Are the ad-makers loving her blog too?
She replied instantly. Her email read simply:
"do you fancy coming to the blog meet up thing too? Now you are here?"
But my heart jumped. When was the last time a celebrity wrote you? To ask you to come to a party? I am very excited, this weekend I am meeting an Internet Celebrity! As a plus, I get to meet up with other ex-pat bloggers in Paris - and globalization spins another turn...
This weekend, my siblings came for a visit. We had some great moments in the chilly Paris springtime. My sister and two brothers turned out to be real experts on what I'd like to call "alternative sight-seeing" which they performed energetically, especially after noon. This means that conventional sights, like the Louvre or the Sacre Coeur Cathedral, was of little or no interest, but that other - and maybe even more typical Parisian things - caught their attention. Here is a little list, to inspire future Paris-visitors.
Take photos of the climb up the Montmartre Butte (trees, stairs, feet - no views or towers)
Ordering fabulous "planches" (plates of bread, cheese and meats) to be consumed with wine
Looking at Roadworks (common here, always surrounded by green metal fences)
Playing cards in a café with a Café Crème in one hand
Playing cards in a bar with a happy hour drink in one hand
Walking around with a baguette under one arm
Listening to live jazz
Singing in phonebooths
Trying on sunglasses (for some reason Parisians love their shades and put them on as soon as the sun comes out - is it because they are divas?)
Sleeping inbetween two sheets - where is the påslakan?
Spending hours writing postcards that has nothing to do with Paris
A lovely weekend with friends Kerstin, Camille, Louis och Felix and random people from Hospitality Club in northern France. Included in the weekend was sightseing in pittoresque Honfleur, party at a camping site in Le Havre, a layover at a French grandmother (!), a Feng Shui-seminar (!!)and exhilirating views from bridges and cliffs. I thought of you and took some pics.
Eternal Student - and now also lecturer - from Sweden living in Ghana with my Ghanaian partner, studying migration and what it does to the higher education system in Ghana. This blog is political, positive and sometimes personal.