On a day just like any other, I was making my way from St. Michel to my apartment in the 11th via my bike, Jane Avril (yes, I named my bike). Everything seemed to be going according to plan until I discovered that ALL the streets leading into the round-about at Republique were CLOSED.
(I think they need to give fair warning to drivers / bikers when they pull shit like this because it took me a hell of a long time to get back as I had to blindly wander around little streets until I found Voltaire.)
But when I walked back down to Republique to see what all the commotion was about, I was pleasantly surprised and entertained to see a large gathering of what seemed to be hardcore communists complete with hammer and sickle flags and authentic communist hats. It's great that communists can congregate like this without having 400 armed policemen surrounding the premises. I think the French are much more politically tolerant than Americans - one utter of the term communists would throw politicians into a frenzy conjuring up unpleasant memories of McCarthyism and the "red scare".
God. Americans, get over yourselves.
This parade was awesome, I saw a little five-year-old running around waving a huge communist flag. It was one of the highlights of that weekend. But I wasn't quick enough for a picture.
Later I realized that essentially EVERY political party in France had a group marching in this parade. Socialists, republicans, fascists alike marched in the same parade. Political posters and flyers were everywhere, you'd think it was election day or something!
Labels: may day