Red Flags

photo, may day, place de la republique, red flags

Blue Smoke

by Ric Erickson

Paris:– Thursday, 1. May:–  When I got to République there was blue smoke all over, as if it was an encampment of a raggedy army having a feed before a tricky campaign. But I was so early that the onions were still recognizable, some of the chipolatas were still pink, and of course the fresh Lilies of the Valley were still white and green.

Some quite spiffy dudes were up on the big statue in the centre, waving red flags. There was some yellow device on them. There were a lot of red flags, all of which appeared to be new. The sky was a bit threatening, a bit dark, so the bright red showed up fine.

In another part of town the Front National had its usual little show. Jean–Marie Le Pen doesn't want to retire, his party is broke and the stalwarts are getting dubious. His daughter puts on a brave face, and does most of the political work. I don't know if anybody ever thanks her for it.

On the left side of town, at République, the CGT and CFDT marched together for the first time in years. The FO marched by itself, elsewhere, as usual. Some of the employed–without–papers marched too, holding up their temporary and brand–new residence permits. There are supposed to be another thousand who have applied for them, with a little help from big unions.

A bientôt à Paris
signature, regards, ric

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