On The Road To 2008 - Commentary on issues as we countdown to the next opportunity to change the direction of America

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Fighting French Firemen

France is well known for strikes, demonstrations and protests. On Wednesday it was the turn of the fire fighters:

According to official estimates, roughly 6,000 professional fire fighters took to the streets as part of a protest to demand better wages, a premium for dangerous missions and a "decent pension" at age 55. The labor unions that organized the demonstration claim the number of protesters was closer to 10,000. Many marched through the streets of Paris wearing full protective gear and fire helmets.
However, once again things got a little testy:

Police say fifteen officers were wounded and two are in serious condition after protesters hurled flares, street signs and other heavy objects at them. A police vehicle, another car and several trash cans were also set ablaze. Thirty-five firemen have been taken into custody.

The crowning act of dissent, however, came when a handful of firemen clamored up a building on the Place de la Bastille, dropped trow and mooned the authorities down below.

Firemen at the Place de la Bastille take off their shirts...
then lower their pants and moon the authorities down below. (Reuters)

Oh, mon dieu!

Interior Minister, and possible future French president, Nicolas Sarkozy, was not amused saying, "anyone has the right to demonstrate and to say what he thinks, but no one has the right to behave like that." I suspect he was referring to the violence, not the "crowning act of dissent".

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