Went to a Pension Protest in Paris. Again, getting there was easy. Walked to Neuilly Plaisance train station, caught the train to Auber, crossed the River Seine at Pont de la Concorde, followed the river along Quai d’Orsay, went into the 7th Arrondissement and finally got to the Ecole Militaire (aka the Military School) where the protesters were due to congregate.

So, apparently, there are demonstrations all over France. Especially in Paris. I think it’s some kind of fashion statement. Something to do with the wearing of yellow hi-viz vests. Oh that’s right, it’s because of the raise in the pension age by TWO years

As planned, I got there quite early so that I would have time to become a familiar face amongst the organisers and to be able to talk to a few of them. Managed to find a young guy who could speak English. I can’t honestly say that I found his views to be either persuasive or coherent. More in my article on the protests in France

I’d got to the Ecole Militaire at 12:30pm and there were barely half a dozen people in attendance. This number grew very slowly. However, by the time the march started at about 2:00pm, the numbers were in the thousands.

 

Although there were plenty of photographers and videographers in attendance, I didn’t see any evidence of coverage by the more recognised news and/or media outlets. I did see two guys who looked to be seasoned photojournalists and a small news crew made up of the camera man, a sound engineer, a female presenter and, two rather burley bodyguards. There was nothing to mark this crew out as being from any news network. For all I know, the presenter may have been a student. Alexandra did tell me that some students from her university were going to be attending. But, I don’t know if that was to protest or to document or both.

 

What there was plenty of was police. Especially CRS. Armed to the teeth and armoured more like gladiators in some despotic games than a civil police force.

After the demo, I took a slightly different route back to Rue Auber. I went across Pont Passerelle Leopold-Sedar-Senghar, the footbridge where lovers declare their devotion with padlocks affixed onto the wire mesh of the bridge itself. From there, it was the Tuileries Gardens. No doubt it looks amazing during the warmer seasons. Spring and Autumn must be particularly gorgeous.

In total, I walked about 17km and, again, my back was killing me by the time I got back to the house in Neuilly-sur-Marne. This trip is either going to give me the exercise that I need to strengthen my back or, finish it off completely.

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