We have seen many demonstrations — mostly labor demonstrations — in Paris over the years, so as we walked from Odeon to Parc Luxembourg and saw the police vans lined up by the Medical School, we suspected we would be seeing another one.
The press is in an uproar over the deaths of members of the flotilla and public opinion is squarely against Israel’s actions on this one. There have been a number of actually quite thoughtful pieces in LeMond on the complexities of the Israeli/Palestinian dilemma — but the view that this was unimaginative and inept bungling is fairly universal. Although the sentiments have been consistent, the press gave no coverage that we saw to this small demonstration. There were about 200 demonstrators chanting and parading on the edge of the gardens led by this float.
One of the things that is always fascinating when you watch demonstrations in France is the tremendous amount of police security that is mustered. There were lots of police in full gear.
But we also spotted at least a couple of dozen undercover security agents like this one. He was sitting on the bench like a homeless beggar with collection hat — with steel toed boots on, a bulge on his hip under his plaid shirt, a wire in his ear and lord knows what in the backpack.