May Day in Paris

Apr 29th, 2013, 02:00 AM
  #1  
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May Day in Paris

I am looking for information on May Day parade routes, times and any other activities for May day in Paris.
Thanks
giro is offline  
Apr 29th, 2013, 04:24 AM
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The main trade union march goes from Denfert-Rochereau to Bastille via avenue Denfert-Rochereau, boulevard Saint Michel, boulevard Saint Germain, Pnt du Sully and boulevard Henri IV. Starts at 15:00

This is still subject to approval by the authorities.
kerouac is offline  
Apr 29th, 2013, 04:53 AM
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Thank you very much!
giro is offline  
Apr 29th, 2013, 09:26 AM
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I do hope you realise these parades are trades union / political parades. It's a million miles away from Disney or the NYC New Year's Day Parade, and therefore not something the average tourist would be interested in. There's not normally any trouble (apart from disruption to public transport along the route) but there will be a significant CRS riot police presence and lots of noise/crowds.
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Apr 29th, 2013, 10:36 AM
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For me, that would be the whole point, Gordon_R.

We don't have parades like this in the US any more. We don't have a Labor Movement any more or much of a left, except chattering leftists (and their chattering rightist opponents).

I assume this DR-Bastille route is because of continuing construction at Republique.

I missed the Republique-Bastille parade last time I was in Paris on May Day, but I did follow a political rally later that day way up by the Porte de Gentilly. It was fascinating and took me back to my youthful days picketing the White House in 1964-66.

I don't share their politics, but I do like the excitement. However, in other contexts in Paris, observing various greves and manifs, I have formed the conclusion that when the CRS lower their visors and lift their shields and batons, it is time to be elsewhere as quickly as one can without breaking into a run. We watched them chase a group of anarchists (they are the ones with black flags) near the Prefecture of Police in the 5th a couple of years ago. Vigorous.
Ackislander is offline  
Apr 29th, 2013, 10:41 AM
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Like I said it's not something the average tourist would be interested in but if you want to go see, why not. I only mention this becasuee it's hard to tell whether the OP was aware of what sort of parade it is, that's all.
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Apr 29th, 2013, 10:41 AM
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There are indeed precious few people from other countries not bordering France who have seen a trade union march, and I think it would be a fascinating experience for a lot of people. Food trucks park along the route to sell grilled merguez and chipolatas, as well as the usual sandwiches and frites.

Traditionally, these marches start from Place de la République, but it has been undergoing a major renovation for the past 2 years, and it is not quite ready yet. For anybody planning a trip in 2014, République will probably be the place to be.
kerouac is offline  
Apr 29th, 2013, 10:44 AM
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There is a counter-demonstration that went from Opéra to the statue of Jeanne d"Arc near Place de la Concorde (at least the year we were there on May 1).

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca/...57623429262296

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mksfca/...57623310709181
Michael is online now  
Apr 29th, 2013, 11:30 PM
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Tend to disagree about the "average tourist" comment. Being in a European country on May Day is a great opportunity to see how other cultures treat issues affecting the rights of its citizens.
Then again, maybe that is the difference between a "tourist" and a "traveller".
giro is offline  
Apr 30th, 2013, 07:12 AM
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The National Front demonstration at Opéra is not a "counter demonstration" because it does not concern Labor Day but instead the Jeanne d'Arc feast. She is used as the national symbol for extreme right wing politics, and unlike the trade union march, it can be dangerous if something sets off the skinheads at the back of the group. They particularly do not like cameras.

As for the trade union march, an article in today's paper mention the route as being Bastille-Nation now, so I really don't know what the route is. Time is still 3pm, though. (That other event is at 11am, I think.)
kerouac is offline  
May 2nd, 2013, 01:43 PM
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As a follow up to my post, we did get to the Bastille around 2 pm. The various different groups were congregating all around the square. True to form the food trucks were out enmass and doing a brisk business.
As a westerner, it was interesting to see all the red-soviet style flags and pictures of past Communist leaders (MLKP -Marx Lenin Komunist Party- seemed to have a large following.) As it got closer to 3 all the other groups were present and accounted for, and sort of minimized the MLKP. Aside from all the trade union groups, there was a large contingent of South American groups, there were those who held signs boycotting the upcoming Iranian elections that were being controlled by the mullahs, an animal rights group was there along with groups who had all sorts of societal grievances.

We followed the parade all the way to Nation. By the time we arrived the rains came and we along with others left. What was noteworthy was how orderly everything and everyone was. We didn't see any police presence whatsoever. It appeared that people from all walks of life were present along with many children. All in all it appeared to be what a demonstration of rights and or grievances should be about.
giro is offline  
May 2nd, 2013, 10:02 PM
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I'm glad you had a good time. It's true that May Day is used by all sorts of immigrant and exile groups to publicize their causes because there would be no media coverage at all of they called their own tiny demonstration.
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May 2nd, 2013, 10:13 PM
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>> It appeared that people from all walks of life were present along with many children.<<

I once came across a protest manif by chance, somewhere near the Bourse. The front looked properly militant, with banners and chanting, but nearer the back it looked more and more like a group stroll-and-natter for mums and toddlers, and at one point I couldn't help noticing a young revolutionary and her friend peeling off to do some window-shopping in front of a window full of sequinned sandals.
PatrickLondon is offline  
May 3rd, 2013, 02:30 AM
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Thanks for the follow up! It is really nice to see someone doing something out of the ordinary.
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