Public Expo at the Grand Palais : not so public

Many people came to see the Greenwashing expo yesterday at the Grand Palais...unfortunatly there is a dress code.

This Friday midday people converged upon the Grand Palais to see the opening of the COP21 Greenwashing expo and to learn about what dedicated ecologists Coca Cola and AirFrance have to offer to save us all from drowning. Not a small number of the serveral hundred people queued up outside had come with the intention to let the COP sponsers know just what we thought of their plans to use the impending eco-pocylpse as an excuse to sell more crap and to feed the cycle of corruption and consumption.

There was a heavy police presence from the start and unfortunately as we got to the front of the queue it appeared that the organisers had also imposed some kind of dress code. Despite submitting to the search at the beginning of the queue, and the security making sure that none of us had Da’esh or the Black Bloc hidden in our handbags it appeared anyone who looked liked they might be a member of the lower classes was unwelcome. If you were older than mid-30s, and had a suit on. Accessorised with an air of no concern for the crisis then you were let in freely. The rest of us found ourselves excluded once again from vocalising our opinions about the COP21. The atmosphere outside was confused as people who had genuinely come to see the Greenwashing Expo found themselves excluded and given no reason why. Even the good gentlemen of the Gendarme seemed confused and I heard one say to his colleague “C’est bordelle, on arrive pas les distinguish”/It’s a mess, we can’t distinguish them”. We were soon joined by several comrades who had managed to make themselves presentable enough to be let in ; but then started making speeches revealing the truth about the corporate sponsers of the COP or had revealed banners next to the stands. This was followed by a large evacuation of friends from the side of the building.

At this point one comrade climbed a lamp-post and reveal their banner for all of those watching from inside the Grand Palais. By now the crowd outside was almost entirely those of us who had been excluded from the ’public’ exposition and the Gendarme and Police had called for reinforcements. Some of the main streets around Grand Palais were also closed. When it looked like Mountain Rescue would take the friend out of the lamp-post a band of friends formed around it with linked arms. The police dived in with riot gear in order to tear everyone apart and unleashed the pepper spray. Due to their over-enthusiasm however several police pepper sprayed their colleagues by accident ; we offered them eye drops but they didn’t want them. The climber was bundled into a Police wagon with cries of “Free Our Comrade !” coming from the protesters. AT this point was still do not know the legal situation of this individual.

Still unperturbed a big new banner was revealed “No Peace Without Climate Justice” on the steps of the Grand Palais. Many friends joined with the banner holders and held it proudly on the steps. Soon after though ; as the COP21 is not particularly concerned with peace or climate justice, the cops took it away

Mots-clefs : répression | manifestation | police | COP21
Localisation : 8e arrondissement

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