Several political parties, organizations and student's syndicates called yesterday night for a demonstration at the Greek embassy in Paris. I went to the Tolbiac University to meet some comrades from Sud Etudiant, a leftist student syndicate. We gathered and headed together to the embassy.
Three to four hundred persons, mainly students, showed up at 17:30 in front of the embassy in response to the call.
The demonstrators started to chant against the Greek state terrorism. They came to show their solidarity with the Greek social movement and to protest against the Greek police assassination of the 16 years old Alexis Grigoropoulos. After 45 mn of demonstrating in front of the embassy the demonstrators decided to march to the Champs Elysees Avenue. This avenue is one of the wealthiest in Paris.
The demonstrators formed a block and started to march down the street to attend the avenue, but the police stood in front of them.
There was a big tension between the police and the demonstrators. I was so close to the police. I saw the policemen coming and I was able to tell from their look that they were physically and psychologically ready for a battle.

The police settled iron barricades to block the street but the demo succeeded to take them off. So, instead they tried to push back the demonstrators, while the demonstrators insisted of stepping forward. me, stuck in the middle, I was pushed by a policeman on purpose, so my video cam fell on the ground and was about to be smashed … and I, was about to hit him...

I was lost, as always, between, shooting with my steady cam and my video cam and my overwhelming desire to be between the demonstrators. Usually camera makes me feel, to a certain extent, distant from the incident, no matter how much I have affinities and how much I’m involved in or I do support a cause.

After 45mn of tensions, suddenly z demonstrators turned their back to the policemen, and started to run to the other side and took another street that leads directly to the Champs Elysees main avenue. This decision came on the spot when the demonstrators realized that there is no balance of force and the police are blocking totally the street. But can you imagine the reaction of the policemen? Actually they were totally stunned; they didn't understand what's going on. The demonstrators where there, they looked so determined to defy the policemen till the end, and suddenly they run! ... The police really didn't know what to do, do they run after the demonstrators... but that is completely nonsense, but they can't just sit and watch!

Arrived at the Champs Elysees main avenue, the demonstrators brought some barricades that were put on the side of the street and they blocked it on both sides. Totally perturbed, the police were not ready for such move; it took them 10 or 15 mn to arrive to the avenue. By that time, the demonstrators succeeded to stop the car circulation.

blocking the Champs Elysees main avenue

While walking, running and filming, I heard so many comments from French people in the street. One said: "these are the youth of tomorrow, a bunch of troublemakers!" others stopped me to know what’s going on, and when I explained to them, they were so supportive.

The policeman in z first car that arrived was scared. The demonstrators smashed his car. He walked down & tried to catch any person that falls under his hands. But he couldn't. Soon the backup arrived. They were by hundreds coming together.

The demonstrators started to run down the avenue, but police cars waited for them there. However, it’s so difficult to encounter the demonstrators in the Champs Elysees, the police were so stupid to imagine that they could! It’s so large with thousands of tourists and people shopping or sitting on the street cafés.

The demonstrators managed to escape the police forces. Unfortunately 4 or 5 comrades were arrested, among them comrade Otman Fekar. In Fact the police cached any person that was running. Whether he has or he has nothing to do with the “perturbation of the public order” and “damaging the public and private properties”.

Beyond showing their solidarity and support to the movement that started in Italy than in Greece and now in Spain, the demonstrators had a clear and direct message to Sarko. In fact, within the crisis, the general discontent from the policies implemented by the right government is growing constantly. Students at schools and universities all over the country are starting to mobilize against the policy of Sarkozy’s government that started to reduce the budget and funding for public schools and universities. In many places students and teachers are calling for common actions to defend their rights.

It’s true that such separate and dispersed demonstrations, won’t change the system, but they for sure, radicalize more and more the students and for sure in the next demonstration there will be more than 400 demonstrators in the street.

by Farfahinne


  1. moh'd issa said...

    Hopefully, there will be demonstrations soon in Beirut for a unified just cause that brings the youth of Lebanon together.

  2. Farfahinne said...

    10x Moh'd for your comment... i believe that this is what many are struggling for and what we are witnessing in France, Greece, Italy and Spain should be examples to us!students in public schools are occupying their universities and side by side with their teachers they are organizing massive demonstrations against privatization... the basis for possible mobilizations in Lebanon exist especially with the pub sector teacher's strike! and this is the kind of move that we have to generalize!

  3. Anonymous said...

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