Paris, France. March 2003/January 2008
paris march 20 2003 paris march 20 2003

There is a war, now - in Iraq*. It started in the night. This is Place de la République, right in front of the United States Consulate. In a few minutes, thousands of students will arrive from the north. The police will cheer from their position at the limits of the protest zone. The students will fill the square. As they settle in, thousands of university students will arrive from the south. There will be speeches from activists and politicians. The Parti Communiste will set up a trailer with a giant red balloon on the fringe.

But none of this has happened yet. Cars are still making it into the protest zone. There are just a few hundred anarchists, Iraqi dissidents and exiles, other non-student activists and concerned people - press. There is no agenda, not really. In this moment, it's not about passing through a political program. In this moment, there is just the question of
what these gathered bodies can do - and they do it.

The police will do everything they can to isolate the demonstrators from the populace. They do it in the name of safety - but:
What would it mean if all of that discontent were to bubble through the cracks of their dear sweet civil society? This we will see later.

Once hundreds of thousands of people are filling the square, listening to the program of speeches, surrounded by police -- the creative potential is lost, for there is no motion.

*wikipedia classifies this war as part of the 'war on terror', so apparently it is really just a sub-war.

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