Lost shoes and teargas highlight mixed messages from Paris

timcadman

IMG_1546Photo: Cadman 2015

Amidst scenes of chaos and confusion, it is possible to discern the deeply divided nature of the response of Parisians and the world to the climate negotiations taking place in France’s capital city over the next two weeks.

After the November 13 terrorist attacks the French government banned the ‘Marche Climat’, which, it was predicted, would have over one million participants. Instead, those wishing to attend left shoes, and the Place de la Republique quickly filled up with these poignant reminders of the impact on democracy that the latest attacks have had. Four tonnes of shoes, organised by Avaaz.org.

But today people still came regardless. By midday there were 4,500 attendees, who created a human chain; within half an hour it was 10,000. Then came the teargas and police squads as the area was evacuated, and the subway station shut down. By four in the afternoon it…

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