This post refers to an event I took part in a couple of weeks ago and I have been meaning to write about it for some time. One afternoon Mary and I were walking past Place Gambetta in the 20eme when we were approached by a woman getting people to sign up for a peace protest in the following week. The protest coincided with the interational day of peace, I think. Anyway, what caught my eye was their plan to make an enormous CND sign using people holding flaming torches. I think that this kind of protest can attract a lot more meida attention than smaller activities and so can have more impact. This human CND sign was to be formed infront of the Eiffel Tower, so as to get a good photo shot from above. Mary couldn’t make it but I signed up there and then and bought my wax torch for the protest (the police wouldn’t let the protesters sell the torches at the event itself)
So later that week, I sauntered down to the Champs de Mars with my rather menacing enormous wax-covered batton. When I signed up I was given a number which corresponed to a position in the CND sign at which I would be standing. And sure enough, on the grass beneath the Eiffel tower I found my number written in flour in the glass. Not being a regular protester, I naively assumed that things would kick-off on time. Silly me. But over the next hour, the crowd started to gather. Pic-nicers enjoying a romantic glass of wine beneath the tower became unaware that they were slowly becoming encircled, trapped, overwhelmed by an enormous symbol of peace (I’m only kidding – everyone seemed quite friendly really). All of a sudden it was time to light the touch papers. From the ground it was hard to really make out the form of the symbol. There we stood for an hour while speeches and demands were called out. I only narrowly avoided setting light to the hair of my section commander. It’s amazing actally that no one’s hair did go up in flames. Then it was time to go home, satisfied that the world would surely take notice and get rid of all its nuclear weapons.
From the ground