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June 11, 2017

3

Marche Pour la Fermature des Abattoirs

by soundlandscapes

DURING MY TIME living in Paris I have witnessed and recorded countless street demonstrations, or manifestations as we call them here. Whether it’s the spectacle of one million people filling the streets in 2010 to oppose the then Président Nicolas Sarkozy’s pension reforms or a mere handful of people protesting about the implementation of some obscure local byelaw, people here are not shy when it comes to taking to the streets to make their voices heard. Whatever the issue under protest, and whether I agree with it or not, I find the politics of the street endlessly fascinating.

Yesterday afternoon I was in the Beaubourg area of Paris, the area around the Centre Pompidou, recording street musicians. Having made several recordings, I headed off to a café for much needed refreshment and a sit down, but on the way I came upon a manifestation progressing along rue Beaubourg.

01

I discovered that this was an animal rights protest under the ‘Marche Pour la Fermature des Abattoirs’ banner, a march aimed at closing down abattoirs. I also discovered that this march was not confined to Paris; similar marches are taking place across the world this weekend.

02Marche Pour la Fermature des Abattoirs:

03

As you can hear, the protestors’ vocal theme centred on the chant, ‘Fermons les Abattoirs’, close the abattoirs, a theme supported by leaflets with the message:

It’s time to claim loud and clear the abolition of slavery of all the animals, the abolition of the practices which cause them the biggest wrongs: their breeding, their fishing and their slaughter.

Every year in the world, 60 billion land animals and more than 1000 billion aquatic animals are killed without necessity, which means that 164 million land animals and more than 2,74 billion aquatic animals are killed every day.

04

This was a large, well-organised, enthusiastic and peaceful march with a wide cross-section of people taking to the street to express their point of view. Which brings me back to what I said at the beginning: whatever the protest, I find the politics of the street endlessly fascinating.

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3 Comments Post a comment
  1. Heide
    Jun 12 2017

    As manifs go, this one at least sounded fairly good-natured. (No signs of any casseurs, I hope?) Also, interesting to see how few of the riverains along the route were looking out their windows. I suppose one can only watch a protest for so long before getting bored — or perhaps they shuttered their windows in an attempt to shut out the noise. In any case, thank you for this little slice of life in Paris. It’s always wonderful to tag along with you on your sound-adventures.

    Reply
    • Jun 12 2017

      Thank you, Heide,
      This manifestation was certainly very different to the ones protesting the Al-Khomri labour laws this time last year – and no, no casseurs or tear gas this time!
      This one was simply a sea of passionate people expressing their views about a subject they obviously believe in. What was interesting though was this demonstration took place with a minimal police presence – just a couple of police cars clearing the street at the head of the demonstration and a couple more bringing up the rear. That’s how it should be.
      On a different note, I hope you are keeping pace with our Président and his La République en Marche. It’s fascinating!

      Reply
      • Heide
        Jun 13 2017

        ” … just a couple of police cars clearing the street at the head of the demonstration and a couple more bringing up the rear. That’s how it should be.” It is very reassuring to see that there can still be some civility to these things. As for the new Président et son République en Marche … why yes, I have indeed been following the past few days’ developments. As much as I can tolerate, anyway, before the “president envy” sets in.

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