In the streets of Paris, by bike,
Not (yet) “Macron resignation”, but “And even if Macron does not want to, we are here”. At the call of several anti-capitalist collectives, including the group Extinction Rebellion, a few hundred demonstrators gathered in the capital, as soon as the results were announced at 8 p.m.
We first looked for them around the Sorbonne University, a place of mobilization from the end of the first round, and blocked a few days ago. But the school holidays got the better of the ambient discontent. Result: only CRS coaches were there in large numbers! The streets were almost deserted on the outskirts of the Latin Quarter, also the fault of less clement weather than a fortnight ago.
A happening at Les Halles
Finally, the #NiMacronNiLePen had decided to meet behind Les Halles. Not difficult to guess by following the vans of police and gendarmes who were trying to sneak from the left bank to the right, all sirens blaring.
In the park behind the Halles, where the usual flow of Parisians and tourists continued to rush, the demonstrators, mostly young people, chanted anti-capitalist messages, attacking Emmanuel Macron as much as Marine Le Pen. Not enough to whip a cat, or even disturb onlookers.
But a call to converge on the Place de la République suddenly electrified the atmosphere. Groups of helmeted CRS, batons in hand and shield in protection, quickly charged the group with a few hundred demonstrators. Tear gas option activated. “They suddenly landed on our terrace, testifies Mourad, waiter at Bon Pêcheur. We didn’t understand at all what was going on. It was running all over the place, it lasted two minutes, but it was really scary. “A priori, more fear than breakage.
Convergence of struggles in the Republic
Despite this first charge, where a few people were injured and others placed in police custody, the demonstrators succeeded in rallying to Place de la République, a high place of convergence of struggles where not a weekend goes by without that a mobilization does not stick there. There, other disgruntled people waited to sing along, “Everybody Hates the Police.”
On the arrival of some 300 people, but above all dozens of police trucks, gendarmerie motorcycles speeding along the cycle lanes, it is amazement for those who, quietly, spent their Sunday evening in the square. of the Republic. “But they’re crazy, what’s going on,” asks Amadou, who watches without understanding the association that distributes meals and hot drinks, folding its tables in fourth gear. “Let us eat, we’re hungry,” adds the undocumented man in his twenties, who sleeps on the street. With his companions in misfortune, he ends up quickly packing up, frightened by the growing crowd and especially the groups of CRS who gather at each access to the square.
It is 9 p.m., it is the turn of a demonstrator to crack a first smoke bomb. Then, as the anti-capitalist songs follow one another, Leslie, 21, with short bangs and pink hair, harangues the surrounding groups: “We don’t forget to go and vote in the legislative elections, huh! “. “We still believe in this third social and ecological round, she confides then. Relive the past five years, no thanks. For almost an hour, the group of demonstrators continued their mobilization in songs, all interspersed with cries of “Mélenchon, Prime Minister”.
For a colleague, who arrived wearing a helmet, gas mask and ski mask around his neck, “there are as many demonstrators as CRS and gendarmes on the wet finger this evening”. After this estimate, a new charge is linked at 10 p.m., in an attempt to dissipate the troops still present. A waste of time: the #NiMacronNiLePen are still there, singing, chanting. Tomorrow will be another day among the anti-Macron.
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