AuthorTopic: French Fried Frog Frexit  (Read 11249 times)

Offline azozeo

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Bees living in hives in cathedral's roof found alive after inferno
« Reply #255 on: April 22, 2019, 12:04:18 PM »




Tens of thousands of bees kept in hives in Notre Dame’s roof survived the devastating fire that ripped through the cathedral.

The 180,000 bees that live in three hives in the cathedral’s roof have been discovered alive, Nicolas Geant, the monument’s beekeeper said.

"I am so relieved. I saw satellite photos that showed the three hives didn't burn. I thought they had gone with the cathedral," he said. 



https://www.standard.co.uk/news/world/notre-dame-latest-180000-bees-living-in-hives-in-cathedrals-roof-found-alive-after-inferno-a4122321.html
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Re: French Fried Frog Frexit
« Reply #256 on: April 22, 2019, 01:33:44 PM »
Tens of thousands of bees is not very many bees. Any healthy hive has 10K bees.

 These stories make it sounds like they had some major apiary...the truth is that someone who was a beekeeper got permission to put a couple of hives up there. And the hives made it.
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Offline RE

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Re: French Fried Frog Frexit
« Reply #257 on: April 22, 2019, 02:53:10 PM »
Tens of thousands of bees is not very many bees. Any healthy hive has 10K bees.

 These stories make it sounds like they had some major apiary...the truth is that someone who was a beekeeper got permission to put a couple of hives up there. And the hives made it.

180,000 is 18X 10K.  18 hives for one beekeeper seems like a lot to maintain.

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Re: French Fried Frog Frexit
« Reply #258 on: April 22, 2019, 03:26:41 PM »
Tens of thousands of bees is not very many bees. Any healthy hive has 10K bees.

 These stories make it sounds like they had some major apiary...the truth is that someone who was a beekeeper got permission to put a couple of hives up there. And the hives made it.

180,000 is 18X 10K.  18 hives for one beekeeper seems like a lot to maintain.

RE

Langstroth hives, the usual modular boxes most beekeepers use, can contain as many a 60,000 bees in a SINGLE hive. 30,000 is a more likely number for an average hive.

180,000 bees is nothing for an apiary, that might have upwards of 50 boxes.
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Offline azozeo

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Re: French Fried Frog Frexit
« Reply #259 on: April 23, 2019, 05:54:54 PM »


Discover one last time the hidden wonders of Notre-Dame de Paris and the lives of the people who worked there. Extract from the movie "At the Heart of Notre-Dame" : One of the most famous icons of one of the most famous cities in the world, the Cathedral of Notre Dame now welcomes more than 13 million visitors a year. This film, with unprecedented access to the inner workings of this most sacred of monuments, tells the story of the building and of those who work in it who are part of a tradition dating back to more than 8 centuries!


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/mkGJMExlByk&fs=1" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/mkGJMExlByk&fs=1</a>
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🌧️ Notre-Dame fire: Rain threatens France's damaged cathedral
« Reply #260 on: April 24, 2019, 01:04:31 AM »
A flood about now would be Biblically appropriate.

RE

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-48022661

Notre-Dame fire: Rain threatens France's damaged cathedral


Image copyright AFP
Image caption Protective material has been wrapped around parts of Notre Dame

Architects working on preserving Notre-Dame are rushing to cover the cathedral before rain can cause further damage.

Rain is forecast for the French capital on Wednesday, with further showers predicted for Thursday.

The cathedral's vault, which partly collapsed in the fire, is already partly waterlogged after fire-fighting efforts.

Architects fear that heavy rainfall could result in further collapse of the 800-year-old cathedral.

The chief architect of Notre-Dame , Philippe Villeneuve, told French broadcaster BFMTV that erecting an emergency tarpaulin was "the highest priority".

"The beams are there, the tarpaulin is arriving. The climbers, since it will be climbers who will do that, and the scaffolders, are ready," he said.

There are already plans to erect a large, purpose-built "umbrella" on the roof of the landmark, which will have its own peak and protect the structure while reconstruction takes place.

But the umbrella is not ready - and the threat of impending rain is too serious to wait.

There were fears the 800-year-old cathedral could be completely destroyed during the fierce blaze on 15 April. Firefighters managed to save the structure and much of its interior - but emergency work has been taking place since to stabilise the building.

Three large holes in the cathedral's vault - its arched ceiling - are the most obvious signs of damage. One was made by the collapse of the cathedral's spire.

But its famous rosette stained-glass windows have been covered with protective material and reinforced with timber posts.
What next for Notre-Dame?

French President Emmanuel Macron has vowed to rebuild the symbol of Paris within five years - in time for the Olympics in the city scheduled for 2024.

The cost is likely to be enormous, with hundreds of millions already pledged by individuals and businesses both in France and from around the world.

    How will Notre-Dame cathedral be restored?
    Notre-Dame: Eight turbulent centuries
    Bees on Notre-Dame roof survive fire

Prime Minister Édouard Philippe has suggested an international competition for designs for the new spire, to replace the 19th-century design by Eugene Viollet-le-Duc which collapsed.

In the meantime, however, plans are in motion to build a temporary wooden cathedral in the square outside to continue Catholic services on the grounds. The idea which has already earned the approval of Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo.

Notre Dame was already undergoing extensive restoration work when the fire broke out. It is not yet clear if that contributed to the blaze, or what the cause was.

Alongside protecting the cathedral from the rain, the removal of the damaged scaffolding is one of the first steps towards the cathedral's full restoration - a process that could take weeks.
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As the gilets jaunes protests rage on, police attempt to straightjacket the press
https://www.newstatesman.com/world/europe/2019/04/gilets-jaunes-protests-rage-police-attempt-straightjacket-press



The recent arrest of two journalists at a demonstration is symptomatic of the hostile climate facing journalists in Macron’s France.

As the gilets jaunes protests rage on, police attempt to straightjacket the press
Over the last months the gilets jaunes movement has shone a light on police violence. Some protesters have been mutilated for life by police weapons, and an elderly lady was left with a fractured skull  after police knocked her over at a rally in Nice. Up until now, however, the French police have left the press relatively untouched. But on 20 April, which marked the 23rd consecutive weekend of protests by the gilets jaunes, police arrested two freelance journalists during a demonstration in Paris.

Gaspard Glanz, a reporter for Taranis News, and Alexis Kraland, a freelance journalist, were both filming the march. The police, however, cited their “participation [in] a group planning to commit violence or degradations” as the reason for their arrest. Kraland refused to hand in his camera and was detained for 8 hours; Glanz spent the weekend in jail for raising a middle finger to police officers after one of their grenades almost hit him during the protest.

Journalists and human rights groups keeping count of the alarming number of injuries now estimate that 76 journalists, photographers and videographers have been constrained by police since the first gilets jaunes protest. In Emmanuel Macron’s France, journalists are being arrested and detained for an unlawful time for covering demonstrations.

Unlike Kraland, who was released after a few hours and without sanctions, Glanz was held for 48 hours. This is twice the legal amount of time the police can detain someone without giving a reason. Police have since banned Glanz from covering protests in Paris, including the traditional International Workers' Day march on 1 May, until his trial in October.

The armed forces present at each Saturday protest are there to “prevent violence and ensure the security of the protesters and journalists”, the French interior minister told Agence France-Presse. When journalists are arrested, “which can happen”, he said, it is not because of their status as press, but “because of [their] noted infractions”. Raising a finger to the authorities is puerile at best, as Glanz admitted, but a 48-hour long stay in jail and a ban from the capital’s protest is an officious punishment.

Glanz’s case also underlines the precarity that freelance journalists face when covering this type of demonstration. He was denied the status of journalist because he didn't have a professional card to prove it – a card many independent journalists cannot get if at least half their revenue doesn’t come from a “recognised” media organisation.

Fewer journalists hold a press card each year in France, in part due to the profession’s casualisation, with short-term contracts and freelance work increasingly common. Glanz is a journalist nonetheless, but his lack of professional accreditation led to more trouble. It is easier for the authorities to ostensibly confuse reporters like Glanz with protesters “planning to commit violence or degradations”, and therefore to arrest them.

And because Glanz covers social conflicts and street protests, his name is on the French intelligence services’ “S record”, a watchlist supposedly reserved for terrorists but used by French authorities to keep an eye on radical activist networks. This, in turn, was used to paint him as an extreme left activist attending the protest out of his own political convictions rather than to report on the news.

Glanz’s case is symptomatic of an alarming situation for French journalists. Media unions and Reporters Without Borders, a non-profit organisation, are warning of “violations of the freedom of the press.” Catherine Monnet, deputy chief editor at Reporter Without Borders, told AFP that these arrests were “contrary to the right and the freedom of information”: “Journalists must be able to cover these protests freely, to report on them and on the acts of the protesters and the police”, she added. Since Glanz’s detainment, journalist societies – journalist unions – from Le Monde, Libération, France Télévision and Médiapart have spoken publicly in defence of Glanz, denouncing the “deafening silence of the ministry of information and communications, supposed to defend the freedom of the press”.

“We are starting to wonder whether there is a determined will to intimidate journalists, especially photographers, on the ground. We are under the impression that some are being targeted,” Vincent Lanier, from the media union SNJ, told Le Monde. “This is a very slippery slope for freedom of information. It is the freedom of the press that is endangered”, he added.

The independent news website StreetPress has called for a “boycott of government communication” in response to Glanz and Kraland’s arrests: “These are not isolated events. They are part of a global context of violation of the freedom of the press since the start of the current presidency.” Indeed, from deferential interviews to choosing which journalists can attend presidential visits to the closure of the Elysée press room, Macron’s presidency, which is not yet two years old, will not be remembered for its fierce defence of the press.

Shortly after his release, Glanz said he will cover the upcoming protests despite his ban. He warned that a “very serious point of no return” has been reached, assessing the changing relationship of a two-faced police towards the press: “When we were filming their units during the Strasbourg attacks, they were proud to show their shields to the camera, we were helping their promotion. But when we show police violence, the truth of what happens in Paris, then we’re banned from filming. Because we could show things that must not be seen.”
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Offline azozeo

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Re: French Fried Frog Frexit
« Reply #262 on: April 24, 2019, 02:20:06 PM »
Tens of thousands of bees is not very many bees. Any healthy hive has 10K bees.

 These stories make it sounds like they had some major apiary...the truth is that someone who was a beekeeper got permission to put a couple of hives up there. And the hives made it.

180,000 is 18X 10K.  18 hives for one beekeeper seems like a lot to maintain.

RE

Langstroth hives, the usual modular boxes most beekeepers use, can contain as many a 60,000 bees in a SINGLE hive. 30,000 is a more likely number for an average hive.

180,000 bees is nothing for an apiary, that might have upwards of 50 boxes.







No apiaries amigo....

Gargoyles neck. What a wild honey flavor, Gray Granite Gargoyle   :icon_sunny:





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Re: French Fried Frog Frexit
« Reply #263 on: April 24, 2019, 03:46:54 PM »
That's a swarm. They will swarm until they arrive somehow (the real mechanism is not known) at a decision to move to a new place to build a hive. When they know, they will fly there and start over.


 In a city like Paris, that might be in somebody's attic. I had to have professionals remove a hive from my house in West Austin. It was a big deal.
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Offline azozeo

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Re: French Fried Frog Frexit
« Reply #264 on: April 24, 2019, 04:41:50 PM »
That's a swarm. They will swarm until they arrive somehow (the real mechanism is not known) at a decision to move to a new place to build a hive. When they know, they will fly there and start over.


 In a city like Paris, that might be in somebody's attic. I had to have professionals remove a hive from my house in West Austin. It was a big deal.

I was being funny.

Kathy & I had the same thing happen here a couple years back. A swarm set up shop in the apricot tree for a couple days & then moved on.
With the auto refill water dish sitting out back for the critter kingdom we've had em' all. Mule Deer, Puma, Coyotes. No bear yet, thank God.
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🔥 France's Macron responds to yellow vests with promise of reforms
« Reply #265 on: April 26, 2019, 03:07:20 AM »
"Reforms." Right.  ::)

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https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-48059063

France's Macron responds to yellow vests with promise of reforms


Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Emmanuel Macron made the live address at the Elysee Palace

French President Emmanuel Macron has given a long-awaited response to the yellow vest protest movement with promises of tax cuts, higher pensions and a reform of the civil service.

Despite insisting that order must return, he acknowledged a "lack of trust" in the establishment.

Protests, sometimes violent, started in November over rises in fuel costs but widened to cover a range of grievances over economic inequality.

Mr Macron said he stood by his reforms.

His speech was originally scheduled for 15 April but was postponed after the devastating fire at Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris.

President Macron recognised that at the core of the movement were "fair demands".

The protests against the fuel price rises - intended to fund eco-friendly projects - escalated into the gilets jaunes, or yellow vest, movement, a national uprising against what protesters see as economic injustice in France.
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption The yellow vest movement spread across the whole of France as well as some parts of the UK

When he was elected in 2017, Mr Macron vowed to fight "the forces of division that undermine France".

    Yellow vest violence returns to Paris
    Who are the 'gilets jaunes'?

Although he questioned in his speech whether he had taken a "wrong turn", he insisted that government reforms so far had been right, but not fast enough.
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The president said he had "learnt a lot" from national debates held with French citizens across the country - an unforeseen political exercise.

His plans include:

    A "significant cut" in income tax worth €5bn (£4.3bn; $5.6bn), financed by spending cuts and closing company tax loopholes, but the French will have to "work harder"
    Reintroduction of inflation-linking for pensions worth less than €2,000 a month but more working life spent making pension contributions
    More decentralised government
    Extending proportional representation in elections, and making referendums easier to hold
    Abolition of the ENA university, which has trained political leaders and captains of industry but is seen as elitist by many

The president also acknowledged there were concerns in society regarding climate change and immigration.

The president's announcement is the culmination of what was touted as a "grand debate" with the French people about their concerns.

The latest proposals come on top of changes announced in December at a cost of €10bn.

Those plans, including a government bonus scheme for the low-paid, failed to quell the protests.
A speech for France, not the yellow vests

Yes, there were announcements.

More PR at elections (good news for the far right); fewer MPs; lower income tax for the middle classes; reform (but perhaps not outright abolition) of the National Administration School (ENA); decentralisation of the state administration; longer working lives.

And yes, there was partial admission of responsibility for the breakdown of trust between governed and governing that led to the yellow vests. He should have been more human, less arrogant, Mr Macron admitted.

But such was not the burden from tonight's marathon press conference.

The overall message was not what must now change, but what must remain the same. And that, says Mr Macron, is the overarching "orientation" of his presidency. The reforms enacted so far, on tax, labour and education, are the right ones and they are working, he said. There will be more to come.

The yellow vests, or the more hard-line among them, will not like it. But they are not Mr Macron's target audience. The target is France as a whole.
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https://www.greanvillepost.com/2019/05/01/the-yellow-vests-are-just-the-start-of-the-global-working-class-revolution-thats-underway/

The Yellow Vests Are Just The Start Of The Global Working Class Revolution That’s Underway
May 1, 2019


Dateline: 30 April 2019

In December of 1999, the lefty cartoonist Dan Perkins (pen name “Tom Tomorrow”) ended a cartoon with these words:

What can you do? You don’t matter. Your vote doesn’t matter. Your protests don’t matter. Go ahead, march in the streets and chant your little slogans. The political sophisticates and media elites will smirk at your naivete, your misguided nostalgia for the sixties, and then they will steer the conversation back to the stock market or the fabulous new restaurant they’ve recently discovered. They’re not worried about you.

And yet…something extraordinary just happened in Seattle. Demonstrators took to the streets and made their voices heard-and it made a difference. The media were forced to address issues they had previously swept under the rug, to explain why anyone could possibly be opposed to unfettered global capitalism. In a few short days, the entire debate was altered, perhaps irrevocably.

You know something’s wrong. Maybe it’s time to start making some noise about it. Happy new millennium.

Twenty years later, the brief moment of hope for working class revolution that Perkins described has become a routine occurrence. Almost every week since November of last year, France’s Yellow Vests have been agitating in the streets for the restoration of social benefits, livable wages, taxing the rich, climate action, and (according to a Yellow Vests assembly from this month) the abolition of capitalism. As the Yellow Vests in France continue to demand change amid violence from police and attacks from the media, similar rebellions are happening around the world.

Additional Yellow Vest movements have happened worldwide, from Russia to Canada to many countries throughout Europe. America’s lack of such a mass protest effort is clearly only temporary, as the United States is brimming with the same revolutionary energy that’s appearing in much of the rest of the world. This year, strike action in the U.S. has hit a 32 year high as its teacher strikes have escalated. Around the U.S. the Poor People’s Campaign has been using civil disobedience protests to continue Martin Luther King Jr’s vision for a just society. Similar rebellions are underway in seemingly every other place where poor and working people are oppressed, with examples ranging from the additional teacher strikes in Europe to the anti-government protests in Algeria to the massive recent communist-led general strike in India.
Additional Yellow Vest movements have happened worldwide, from Russia to Canada to many countries throughout Europe. America’s lack of such a mass protest effort is clearly only temporary, as the United States is brimming with the same revolutionary energy that’s appearing in much of the rest of the world.

These events make up the first stage of a revolutionary period that the capitalist world has entered into. Resistance efforts against corporate power are overall much more frequent than they were just a few years ago, and we have every reason to expect the class struggle to keep accelerating in the coming years. This is because unlike during the time of the WTO protests, the victims of global capitalism have reached their breaking point.

In America most of all, inequality has been steadily increasing throughout the developed world for almost half a century. Those in the more wealthy countries have seen their living standards decline to the point where in the United States alone, half the population is poor by modern standards. The global concentration of wealth has also led to increased poverty in the poorer nations, with NAFTA having devastated Mexico’s economy and similar damage having been done to the Latin American countries where neoliberal reforms have taken place. The imperialist powers have long carried out corporate looting in the global south, but now that inequality has risen so much in both parts of the world, ordinary people in the dominating nations have a shared sense of victimhood with their counterparts in the foreign sweatshops.

With the capitalist world’s extremely debt-ridden and unstable economic system heading for a crash that will likely be worse than the one from 2008, this restlessness among the lower classes is no doubt going to keep intensifying in the coming years. Unemployment, lowered wages, consumer debt, slashed social benefits, and government handouts for the rich will all explode after the next financial crisis, and this will drive more people to get out and fight for their rights.

But while it’s certain that the next decade will see great efforts to reject the current system, a vision for what we want society to look like next hasn’t yet been adequately articulated. This clarification of our collective goal for the future is where the anti-capitalist movement will be needed. We can’t water down our demands and accept a setup where capitalism continues with some reforms. We need to infuse our protests with an explicitly pro-socialist message, which can be articulated through signs at demonstrations, posts on blogs and social media, and public statements on behalf of the protesters. The world’s poor and working people must unite under an agenda which includes taking the means of production away from the capitalist class.

If this movement is equipped with the aspects that have been historically needed for socialist revolutions-such as an armed population of revolutionaries and strong institutions to support the people’s struggle-we’ll have a much better chance at defeating capitalism. Like all ruling classes, the capitalists won’t give up their power willingly, and they’re demonstrating this by preparing to violently crush a rebellion. President Trump’s declarations of global war on socialism are backed by the power of America’s security apparatus and militarized police departments. And Trump’s statement last month about his supporters potentially carrying out violence on his behalf showed that he and the rest of the ruling class are willing to use military force to defend their power. We’re committing ourselves to a power struggle where violence should be avoided as much as possible, but which will no doubt entail violence because of the violent nature of the people in power.

In short, this revolution will require a lot more than mere street marches. But as Perkins assessed about the WTO protests, any act of resistance can have an impact. And we’ve entered an era where acts of resistance are reaching a tipping point.
This essay is part of our special series

Closing words
Like vampires fearing light, capitalists elites have always been afraid of the socialist demonstration effect. A huge and constant effort is aimed at “showing” that socialism doesn’t work, that it is tyrannical, inefficient, etc. Thus sabotaging and killing socialism wherever it may arise —Russia, China, Korea, Venezuela, Chile—by any means necessary, no matter how brutal and dishonest, is therefore standing policy. But socialist solutions work. And Medicare for All would show everyone in America, the key capitalist fortress, that many of our nightmares can easily vanish under socialism. For the capitalists and their hanger-ons it would be a Pandora’s box.—P. Greanville

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Offline K-Dog

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Re: French Fried Frog Frexit
« Reply #267 on: May 02, 2019, 11:53:14 AM »
Quote
Like vampires fearing light, capitalists elites have always been afraid of the socialist demonstration effect. A huge and constant effort is aimed at “showing” that socialism doesn’t work, that it is tyrannical, inefficient, etc. Thus sabotaging and killing socialism wherever it may arise —Russia, China, Korea, Venezuela, Chile—by any means necessary, no matter how brutal and dishonest, is therefore standing policy. But socialist solutions work. And Medicare for All would show everyone in America, the key capitalist fortress, that many of our nightmares can easily vanish under socialism. For the capitalists and their hanger-ons it would be a Pandora’s box.—P. Greanville

That may be true enough but it is not on the news.  The lies are on the news.  It was May Day I understand.  I used red text on my website yesterday too.  But this article is fairy tale optimistic.  The truth is WTO won and all the little acts of resistance have not amounted to shit.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2019, 11:56:28 AM by K-Dog »
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https://www.greanvillepost.com/2019/05/06/the-yellow-vest-salpetriere-hospital-hoax-i-reported-live-from-there-as-it-happened/

The Yellow Vest Salpêtrière Hospital hoax: I reported live from there as it happened
May 6, 2019

HELP ENLIGHTEN YOUR FELLOWS. BE SURE TO PASS THIS ON. SURVIVAL DEPENDS ON IT.


The French government has been forced to shamefully admit that they made totally false accusations that May Day Yellow Vest anti-government protesters tried to break into the Pitié Salpêtrière Hospital in order to “attack”, “assault” and “steal”. Countless mainstream media are just as covered in ignominy for having repeated these untrue claims.

I was right there when it happened, covering it for PressTV, so I witnessed exactly what transpired.

In fact, I even gave a live interview at the exact time of the incident, just after 4pm. I don’t have a copy of that for now, but I hope to get one soon: certainly, I can explain what happened and why.

Why it happened: A new rule permitting even worse police brutality against Yellow Vests
May 1st was the debut of a new policing tactic: cops can initiate violence against peaceful protesters.  It is just that objectively simple, openly discussed, and easy to explain:

Cops are now using the age-old method of “divide and conquer”… on peaceful protesters. On May 1st a line of riot cops repeatedly charged the demonstrators in order to sever them into two, more manageable sections. One section of the protest is forced to advance, while the other section is forced to wait behind.

Of course, police are not watching their elbows and politely saying, “Excuse me” – the only way to stop peaceful demonstrators from moving is to violently get in their way and then violently bar them from advancing one more step. That is “initiating violence”, and they didn’t used to do that with the regularity we saw on May 1.

The cops did this at the start of the demonstration at 2pm, and to achieve their goal of cutting the demo into two sides they gassed about 5-8,000 people. I was doing a live interview at that time as well (I don’t have a copy of that one, but I do have others from that day, read on for the link!). It was so violent and so shocking – tear gas forcing thousands of people to flee – that I had to talk (yell) for 20+ minutes live, giving myself a temporary headache. We almost had to turn and run, but we stood our ground: I take no credit, of course, but when cops advanced as far as journalists reporting live they finally relented and let the demonstration proceed, as they had set up an unprecedented, shockingly-narrow, cop-filled corridor tens of thousands of people had to slowly pass through. Happy International Workers’ Day!

Back to 4pm: the cops again cut the demonstration, and they did so right in front of the hospital. So, firstly, if anyone is at fault for putting the hospital in the line of fire it is the riot cops because they chose to re-initiate violence at that particular spot.

Why that spot? Because Boulevard de l’Hôpital was the final straightaway until the end of the protest – the roundabout Place d’Italie: the government’s new tactic also meant they wanted to allow the first group of protesters (the most hard core) to enter Place d’Italie all alone… so they could be gassed, attacked and cleared out before for the next section of protesters arrived. Gas, attack and clear out; gas, attack and clear out Place d’Italie – this happened three times (in my estimation, but I was only there for numbers 2 and 3). This is the result of the new, so called “more offensive” police tactics.
Why do that? Because the government did not want the protest – 40,000 strong – to finish together, in celebration. The government was threatened by this large gathering, so they simply did not allow it to happen.

This explains why when I finally got to Place d’Italie it was a bizarre, desolate, damaged ghost town. Construction barricades had been toppled and damaged, along with advertisements and bus stops, there was garbage, glass and tear gas canisters everywhere… yet no people. Just an empty Place d’Italie, surrounded by cops at all eight exits.

Allow me to say this: I have never seen more cops that day in Paris. This was a city under foreign occupation, truly.
Entire regions of the city were rendered inaccessible to citizens, with armored vehicles and enormous temporary, metal gates blocking off road after road after road. But the number of cops… staggering. There was a squadron of riot police every 200 meters along the demonstration route, which was limited to a tiny section; so small, in fact, that I started my day at Place d’Italie at 11 am, covering the first demo (ecological protesters, of course, who only want to make their stupid complaints and then leave – quite pleased with themselves – before the violence starts), only to return there at the end of the day. Yes, it was back and forth along the only, narrow, permitted path to celebrate International Workers’ Day in the “birthplace of human rights”. This is why there was not more violence that day – cops were everywhere.

But wait, it’s worse! I actually drove in from 130 kilometers outside Paris that day: there were rural gendarmes searching cars and people (without warrants, based only on suspicion) at every toll booth and gas station. They waved me through, each time, without searching me.

What went down at the hospital
So the cops cut the demo at 14h, the start, and then they did it at again at 16h. I was in the group forced to wait behind, stuck in front of the hospital, as the first group was getting their butts kicked at Place d’Italie while waiting for comrades who would never be allowed to join them. May 1st was a demonstration in stages, and only in certain places – certainly not “freedom of assembly”.

So to cut the demo into two means to separate friends from each other – that creates anger. The cops have no fear of provoking anger because they have tear gas, rubber bullets, water cannons, truncheons and the power to arrest against totally unarmed protesters… and that’s exactly what they did at 16h.

It was a rough 30 minutes. I was at the front lines and I’ve seen worse in France, but it was no picnic either.
Cops launched tear gas first, as always, to repel the protesters from the separation line they were undemocratically enforcing. Tear gas, then water cannons, and then hand-to-hand combat – it’s the same thing I’ve seen since 2010, but I assume this existed in France long before then: this is the culture here.

So, via tear gas, cops caused a third of the protesters to flee into a side street (Rue des Wallons), while another third fled further back on the Boulevard de l’Hôpitaux, while the final third was pushed against the side gates of the now-infamous Hôpitaux Universitaires Pitié Salpêtrière. This is where the cops made their mistake (although this is all mistakes in preserving citizen security): they tear-gassed protesters who had nowhere else to go. Some panicked protesters somehow got through the side gates and entered into the hospital grounds.

And it was “panicked protesters” – subsequent videos have proven that it was not “Black Bloc” nor even Yellow Vests who forced their way into the hospital. The only people who actually made it into the hospital were just two elderly men who said they had been “tear gassed all day”. The video has made the government and the mainstream media appear even more terrible and pathetic. Not much more needs to be said…

More interesting: Why even try to get into the hospital? It’s a stupid move, like running upstairs in a horror movie – you have nowhere to go; you are sure to be arrested and/or abused. But those protesters couldn’t think that far ahead, because they were frightened, gassed, hurt, simple everyday citizens and not Black Bloc, cops or that other group which straddles both those groups – journalists.

Of course, there were no TV reporters during this long melee. There were plenty of photographers and some cameramen, and surely some print reporters, but not any TV reporters. Maybe all these journalists were working for a company, or maybe they were working for independent Yellow Vest blogs – who can tell? However, as is often the case at the front lines, I was the only one with a logo and doing a live interview.

I take that back: a lady for Italy’s RAI was there during all this. She was doing her “piece to camera”, the little wrap-up for a TV report – not a live interview. Major kudos, though.

French media on the front line? Ha! Dream on!
I don’t know why – they could be. They could hire 3 security guards (instead of the usual 1 or 2), and then 3 ombudsman to explain to (very likely angry and confrontational) protesters, “We are here now! We are trying to do a good job for France! Don’t get violent with us, please!” Maybe that’s naïve of me, but totally hiding from the front line – hiding the reality of what’s going on at the front lines for everyday citizens, such as those trapped at Hospital Pitié Salpêtrière – only further ruins the reputation of French media within France. Don’t they feel an obligation to report on such an event properly… in their own damned country?!

And then they so quickly relay whatever the government wildly claims without any verification. Oh boy….

Please stop the tear gas – I’m live on TV
The hand-to-hand combat: Tougher protesters had wanted to… keep marching. That’s all. But riot police violence prevented them and attacked them – so they fought back.

Such “resistance” is really quite, quite stupid, I think – I mean, both sides keep the kid gloves on. And thank God, because it’s not even close to a fair fight: every square inch of the bodies of cops are protected with 8,000 euros worth of equipment; cops have been searching for weapons from a 130 kilometer-wide radius around Paris, so nothing can even the playing field; protesters have none of the cops tactical knowledge, organization or discipline. Hand-to-hand means a cat and mouse game and very quick skirmishes.

I recall that, amid the melee, there was a teenager dressed in black tossing a rock up and down, like a gangster flipping a quarter on a street corner.

Stupid….
A plainclothes cop – dressed as if he was a fellow Black Bloc member – dropped his phony act: he grabbed the kid and threw him to the ground with 100% of his force. Hey, the kid was holding a rock like a weapon and looking like he was about to use it – the kid was dead to rights, and by showing off he gave the cops time to think and react. As they dragged him away I thought: Poor kid – he’s going to prison for a year or so. Some might be surprised that a cop would – gasp! – dress up as a Black Bloc member: Why that never happens! Yeah, sure…

Anyway, about a minute later – amazingly – the kid actually breaks free! He’s running away!

But a cop trips him up and the first, arresting officer hits the kid on the ground on his thigh with his telescopic truncheon as hard as anything you can imagine. Punches sound nothing like they do in movies, of course, but the sound of this hit was enormous. If the cop had hit the kid’s knee it would have been shattered – thankfully, the human femur is stronger than concrete. The kid surely has a nasty, nasty mark and a limp today.

Good ending: The kid still jumped the short garden fence on the west side of the Boulevard and got away. LOL… kids.
While watching this I overheard protesters talking about how cops had just fired rubber bullets. I didn’t hear or see the bullets, so I can’t 100% confirm that it occurred then, but rubber bullets have obviously become a regular feature of French protests.

During this whole time I am dodging all this and waiting to go live on (smartphone) camera. My cameraman is dodging too. PressTV, which doesn’t seem to understand that I am avoiding the wild crowd along the hospital gate, the arrests and beatings across from the gate, and the cops further up the boulevard who can attack, gas or water cannon us at any moment, keeps pushing us back because they want a “stable shot”. LOL, yeah right. Amid this fluid situation?! Where I was just “stable” a rock just landed!

They want me to stand there – stock still – amid this violence, LOL. Just put me on air, already!

But PressTV is still waiting – I move to the side of hospital gate. Cops gas there again. I’m not going in the hospital grounds, but some do. Various ministers, reporters and know-nothings at home will soon be calling them bad little boys and girls… until the truth comes out.

One has to realize that during a bad gassing there is only one thought: get away from the gas. Certainly, LOL, you cannot do a single other thing until you complete that task.

Then there is – maybe – a second thought: if cops charge and attack now, I am totally helpless and done for.

That’s why ya gotta know these things, and avoid being right where the gassings land; ya gotta think a step or two ahead; ya gotta not celebrate your survival, as if it was some huge victory, because more gas (or worse) is coming. It takes time to learn this stuff – a couple dozen people haven’t had good luck and lost an eye, while over 600 have been seriously injured. Reminder: the weekly anti-Yellow Vest violence is nearing a half-year now! A half-year!!!

Anyway, I get away from the re-gassed hospital gate, and PressTV finally puts me on the air. I’m thrilled, because I want to get this live interview over with. So, I’m between the line of cops higher up Boulevard de l’Hôpitaux, and across from the hospital (Rue des Wallons) where the cat-and-mouse, will-they-or-won’t they is taking place, and I’m doing my live blah blah.

Blah blah is done, and all is well. I had been gassed several times in 30 minutes – medics kindly spraying my face with cooling solvent at one point – but I could tell the fight was ending, as it can’t go on forever. The cops finally get the order to pull back and stop antagonizing and attacking this section of the protest.

I didn’t know this at the time, but they had gotten these orders only because they had sufficiently gassed, attacked and cleared out the first protest section at Place d’Italie.

The protesters are thrilled – they have “won”… by not losing an eye or being arrested. Little victories for the oppressed masses. Cops are slowly pulling back, and the protesters all congregate in front of a group riot cops and start singing a chant. I forget what – On est la (We are here), probably.

Stupid. (But I did join in for a short minute.)

They’re just going to get gassed again. I tell my cameraman that this is not the place to be – indeed, it’s all about knowing where’s the place to NOT be! The crowd is singing louder, and it reaches a point where it’s either dance or fight, and the French don’t dance even though they are a Latin culture. Therefore, I know that someone in the crowd is going to do something to offend or antagonize the cops – or the cops will just get annoyed at the crowd’s sense of triumph – and gas will arrive shortly. Everyone is celebrating, but we are moving… and more gas arrived where we had just been. I had gotten my fair share of abuse by then.

Thanks to my press card the cops let us through and we enter Place d’Italie early.

Hey, I am not obligated to document and witness every tear gassing! LOL, this is France – that’s impossible. And there are other journalists, both good ones and bad ones.

This was the exact time when a cop was filmed throwing a rock at protesters, which is generating some news. Indeed, as we had passed the police line I had noticed that up and down Boulevard de l’Hôpitaux protesters had pried off chunks of road asphalt – they are being attacked and have no weapons, let’s recall. Nothing will happen to that cop, who should be fired immediately. It is ABSOLUTELY the primary part of the job description of a “riot cop” to take punches and not give them… but that’s only in a country which is honest, which enforces law and order, which doesn’t sic the cops on the protesters, etc.
Place d’Italie is totally empty, except for a thousand or so cops, and it’s a wreck. Me and my cameraman speculate on the possibility of an alien abduction of the first protest group.

The protest section we were with starts to filter in: we’re all gassed immediately.

That pushes us to one side of the roundabout, and that allows cops to push them all out. Ah, so there probably wasn’t an alien abduction? Coulda been nice, maybe…

We stay, because we have an interview at 18h.

So it’s 18h and here I am – getting gassed live on camera again (6:50 mark). The wind had shifted and it was on us quickly… but I have a tolerance to tear gas after all these years.

PressTV takes me off camera… that’s so annoying. What am I getting gassed for, then? We want to show the sufferings of the people – so show it! If we aren’t going to show it, then I can just stay in back with all the other journalists!!!

But ya gotta be at the front – at least sometimes. Protesters gotta see professional journalists are there to (somewhat) protect them, and cops gotta see that professional journalists are there to document what they do.

It’s a real shame more reporters aren’t doing live reports from the front lines, because cops know they can’t do anything to anyone on live TV – they surely are forced to rein in their violent tactics. It’s a real shame mainstream reporters (and I include PressTV with them, in a rare instance) aren’t going to the front line. Again, I am no courageous guy, I just feel that the Yellow Vests are nothing new: France’s Yellow Vests: It’s just 1 protest…which has lasted 8 years, was the first article I wrote on the Yellow Vests, and it stresses that this violence against peaceful protesters is absolutely, positively nothing new.

I’ve seen these “battles” before many, many times – and I think I know how to safely handle it. Knock wood for luck, but experience gives everyone – a reporter, a Black Bloc member, a cop – a sixth sense, and a genuine ability to predict what comes next because it is all rather formulaic (although not on May 1). I know I am not courageous, because I would never put my cameraman at risk; more importantly, I would never put his expensive camera at risk, and that shows you how well-paid we are when the camera is the utmost priority! No joke…

But French TV reporters weren’t at the front lines with the rail workers, with anti-State of Emergency protesters, with the “you can’t ban pro-Palestinian marches” protesters, and on and on and on in France since 2010.

That was, I assume, the last gassing of the day because right when I am gassed live you can see that unions and their fancy floats are starting to arrive – no more poor Yellow Vests.

Unions, of course, have signed off on every major austerity measure since 2010, and are incredibly easy to “divide and conquer” with targeted concessions… so cops surely just wanted to give them a nice Place d’Italie to stand around, talk loud and say nuthin’. This is why many Yellow Vests don’t want to march with unions, even on May Day.

At that point I left to go and do our report for that day.

All in all – not a bad day
I was expecting May Day to be bad – I was honestly concerned, as I do have things to live for besides these articles, you know – and it was pretty bad.

But it was only bad at the start and the finish – the massive, massive, massive police presence all along the route made any sort of “permanent shenanigans” impossible. That filtering corridor after the first protest-separating was appalling. May Day 2019 in France was like holding a march during a North Korean military parade, minus the great choreographed dances and true socialism.

It was also bad because it is much safer when the cops are playing defense, as they are supposed to always be doing, but on May Day they were playing offense. They have all the weapons, all the tactics, all the legal ability to whatever they want… and then a reporter – who invariably finds his or herself on both sides of the front line – has to worry about the cops, and also about rocks being thrown in his direction (at the cops). Whereas on a day like March 16, the last time the Champs- Élysées was a scene of civil disobedience, things are perfectly safe because everyone knows who the Yellow Vests are targeting and why. Cops… they can do whatever they want, and whenever they want – they respect nothing.

French reporters need to be at the front lines… but they aren’t. I’m sure editors tell them not to, and that they are told that by their publishers. But that’s why we got nonsense reporting which initially accused May Day protesters of breaking into a hospital to… do what? Burn, pillage and behead? Yeah, right…

Frankly, this new tactic of “initiate violence in order to divide and conquer peaceful protesters” is something which I can’t see the Yellow Vests being able to combat… but that’s the subject of a future article.

This is part of a series of dispatches by correspondent Ramin Mazaheri

About the author
RAMIN MAZAHERI, Senior Correspondent & Contributing Editor, Dispatch from Paris •  Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. He is the author of I’ll Ruin Everything You Are: Ending Western Propaganda on Red China. His work has also appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television. He can be reached on Facebook.
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Reward offered for deciphering centuries-old French stone
« Reply #269 on: May 14, 2019, 04:07:32 PM »

Could you decipher a semi-ancient code from a centuries-old stone? A French village is offering a reward to do just that. A €2,000 reward to be exact (about $2,246 at the date of publishing). A 230-year-old stone found off a cove off of a village outside of the village of Plougastel in Brittany contains 20 lines of script that no one to date has been able to decipher, and the French are asking for help in deciphering it.

Called “The Champollion Mystery at Plougastel-Daoulas,” the challenge pays tribute to the person who deciphered ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics on the Rosetta Stone, Jean-François Champollion, in the nineteenth century.

The stone, about a meter tall, is only accessible through the cove, and only at low tide. Researchers have dated the stone to just a few years before the French Revolution.


https://www.ancient-code.com/reward-french-stone/
I know exactly what you mean. Let me tell you why you’re here. You’re here because you know something. What you know you can’t explain, but you feel it. You’ve felt it your entire life, that there’s something wrong with the world.
You don’t know what it is but its there, like a splinter in your mind

 

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