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Les gilets jaunes

Saturday afternoon is when the demonstrations take place throughout France. Apparently, today the big one was in Avignon. The one in Montpellier was much smaller than when this all started, Lynn told me.

What I saw was a disparate group of discontented people without direction. They say most of the gilets come from the country, from small towns left behind by globalization, but I saw a lot of what looked like middle-class people from the sixties, comfortably-off people my age, who just love them a good protest. Without a leader or a focus, what is legitimate about these protests has been taken over by the anarchists, the men in black who just want to smash and destroy.

A new Canadian restaurant here. Our claim to fame – French fries drowned in gravy.

 This – believe it or not – is a trompe l’oeil – painted on both these houses on the corner.

A bank near the city centre with windows boarded up and closed on Saturday, as were many shops today, still, though more than usual were open, Lynn told me. The small hotel I’m staying in had a big glass door broken. Lynn has no patience with the demonstrators. She understands Macron was ham-handed in lowering the speed limit and increasing the tax on gas; rural people depend on their cars and trucks to get them around, and fast. As Lynn said, they are not ecologists. But still, she points out, in this country, health care and university tuition are free; there is free all-day schooling from age 3 (with free 3 course hot meals) and a huge social safety net. And still there’s so much rage. What is the answer? She has faith that Macron is smart and trying to fix things. But – looking at Trudeau, let alone the rest of the world – except New Zealand – there’s no sense that an answer to society’s many problems is forthcoming.

I’m happy to be far from the news.



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About Beth

I began keeping a journal at the age of nine. Nearly fifty years later, I started this online journal, sharing reflections, reviews, updates, and the occasional secret.

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