Day 110 (18 October 2010) – Protests Continue

First, my apologies for the quality of the photo. I took it quickly this morning using my cell phone. I hope I can help it make sense.

The picture is at the tram stop Morrhonnière/Petit Port, one short of where Ella gets off for school. In fact, for most of the day the tram couldn’t move past this place, causing some level of disruption for us. When Ella and I arrived at the stop near our house this morning there were so many people waiting that we decided to walk to school. As we passed by the stop seen in this photo, we were surprised to see a bonfire and the spray-painted phrase “En Grève” (“on strike”) on the garage doors. Like dozens of others, we walked on past the demonstration, bonfire and spray paint in order for Ella to get to school.

Being Monday, Ella comes home for lunch so I met her at the school gate and we walked back past the protest to this stop so we could catch a tram home. Melinda and I then accompanied her back to school after lunch, the bonfire still burning, and then we met her again at the end of the school day. By that time, the tram was making its usual runs. But the fire was still going, even with a shopping cart tossed on for good measure.

It’s quite exciting to be here and witness all the social engagement. Tomorrow is supposed to be an even bigger day with strikes and more demonstrations planned. Everything is coming to a head in advance of the government voting on the Pension Act this week. We sure hope it calms down by the weekend. We have plans to travel to Paris on Sunday and stay for a week, the girls both being out of school.

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