Last Saturday, the 21st January 2017, I met up with a couple of friends alongside the Apollo Fountain in the impressive Place Massena in Nice. We, along with about seventy others, were gathering to march. We were marching – each of us perhaps for slightly different reasons – against Donald Trump and Mike Pence’s position on women’s rights. At least, that was my principal reason for being there. Denial of climate change was another concern that fired me.
It was a beautiful day. The sun was shining. The world of the Côte d’Azur was going about its business. Yachts out on the water, bobbing in the warm afternoon.
All over the world crowds were gathering to voice their concerns. From Washington D.C the call was echoing.
Ours was a very tiny group because no permit for a demonstration had been granted due to the atrocities that had occurred on Bastille Day last year, 14th July 2016, when a lone truck driver had ploughed his vehicle through the heart of a crowd of people out in the streets celebrating our national holiday and murdered more than eighty people including women and children. France remains on high alert and a country in mourning. Joining demonstrations is perhaps not the wisest act at this time. Still, I believe, that we must continue as normal. We cannot allow ourselves to be restricted by fear or groups such as Daesh win.
A few friends advised me against joining the crowd last Saturday but I was determined and I am very glad that I made the effort. How many have since asked: ‘But what was the point?’ ‘What were you marching for?’ ‘No democratic rights have been threatened.’
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