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France: 18 June - Better Not Come To France, But If You Come...

  Posted at 06:00:00 PM
  File under  France Protests
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France
click to see where France is on the map

If you're planning to come to visit France this weekend, especially Saturday, better think again. The 18th of June is a national day of protest against the proposed and upcoming driving repressions. The current unpopular French government had announced, then retracted, then re-instated, then watered down, a whole series of new rules for the French roads, hitting car drivers very hard, and motorcycle riders even harder.

Manif 20110618

To make sure that the French government understands that they serve at our pleasure, and not the other way around, the French are having a protest day. But what will make this a more memorable day, is that it's one of the first times that the protest involves both motorcycles and cars. The French Angry Bikers Association (FFMC Open link in a new window) has joined in with several road users associations to fight this governmental madness.

What does this mean for you if you're visiting France?
Typically these protests involve the cars and motorcycles driving from a central assembly point to the local government's location (usually the City Hall or Governor's office), but they do that in a go-slow method. Riding up a few kilometers, then stopping, then riding a few kilometers, then stopping. In other words, all traffic comes to a standstill in the cities in the question. Not only is traffic blocked for miles, but will remain blocked for hours, since the protest "parade" is long, and requires time to clear. Eventually the parade ends at whatever the destination is, speeches are held, and everyone goes home.

Motorcycle Protest Paris
10,000 Bikers on the Parisian ring-road       © AFP Joel Saget

Which cities are targeted?
Almost very mayor city is going to be hit. Click here to see the list of provinces/cities and their times Open link in a new window. It's in French, but you'll see the city mentioned. You'll also see that the list is very long...


Obviously we'd love it if you came along and joined in. The more motorcycles, the better for us all. Most foreign motorcycle associations are supporting the events. Neighboring countries will have official delegations joining in for our fight. At the bottom of the above mentioned list of cities/provinces you will find the foreign associations, and a text where you can meet up, depending on where you are coming from.

Yes, I should be there. I'm planning to visit the Rouen protest (Department 76).

....And if not, be warned if you're visiting.


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