Youth Against Ecology: What a Riot!

Beneath the gleaming skyscrapers of La Défense, a business district in the north-western suburbs of Paris, a group of student demonstrators warmed up by heckling a child on a bicycle. “Cyclists are terrorists! They consume nothing- get yourself a 4X4!” chanted the crowd, to the young boy’s shock, horror, and ultimate discombobulated joy, as he caught on to the joke. The excitement continued as dusk fell, and men and women in suits began to pour out of buildings for their evening commute.



Carrying banners proclaiming “Sauver la bourse, pas les ourses!” (Save the stock market, not the bears!) and “Les générations futures n’avaient qu’à être là avant!” (“Future generations just should have got there sooner”), the protesters caused passersby to rubberneck as they shouted “organic food is for badgers” (“Manger bio est pour les blaireaux!“) into megaphones and got down on their hands and knees to praise the skyscraper housing Total, the French energy company responsible for the Elgin-Franklin gas leak. Here is some footage from the march:





An Initiative of REFEDD, a politically neutral French network of student organizations for sustainable development, the Paris “O-vert-dose” anti-ecology protest was one of three similar marches across France on Thursday evening (the other two were held in Lyon and Marseille). The idea was to show a less whiny side of the environmental movement, according to one of the rally’s leaders. Their irony provoked many a chuckle, even if the turn-out was slightly less impressive than the organizers had hoped (they estimated that 60-70 demonstrators were present). Even the policemen following a few paces behind the chanting amoeba got into the spirit of things- one grinning officer said that he’d be waving a sign at next year’s march.

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