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France: Anti-Government Swelling In The Make

  Posted at 08:00:00 AM
  File under  France Travel Protests
  Author: Mike Werner
  Location: Normandy, France
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With the new series of severe restrictions and repressions announced by the already unpopular French government, the people have had enough. The new laws that allow very little alcohol in the body before driving is applauded by most, and grudgingly, the disappearance of the warning signs of an upcoming speed radar is tolerated by some. The Minister of Interior is saying this is for our own safety, despite the fact that statistics have shown many times that speed is not what kills people, it's bad infrastructure and bad training. But in the end, it's all about money.

But a) make us have bigger license plates on our motorcycles, b) make us wear fluorescent vests over our jackets (many that have air vents which will now be obstructed, so we'll overheat) and c) no longer be allowed to use apps that pinpoint radars (like almost any smartphone GPS program, most GPS and dedicated hardware like Coyote, Inforad or iPhone/Android apps), that's a NO-NO (or as the French say NON-NON) Headshake Smiley

In the very short time that the law has been announced, already 1 million signatures have been gathered against the anti-radar mapping devices, and 100,000's of other signatures from bikers against all the extra restrictive measures.

FFMC Protest 18June
Starting this weekend, motorcycle protests will be commonplace around the country. For the next few weekends, the FFMC Open link in a new window (the French Angry Biker Association) has planned many protest rides around the big cities. The big and main motorcycle protest is now planned for the 18th of June, but as usual with these FFMC protests, they are scattered and not all at the same time.

On June the 2nd, the Association of Manufacturers of Technology for Driving Assistance (AFFTAC Open link in a new window) is calling for massive protest rides/drives (cars, motorcycles, trucks, rickshaws and even skateboards) in all cities in France, but particularly Paris. All sorts of vehicles will be blocking the roads, slowing down the already slow traffic, so if you plan to visit France on the 2nd, better rethink your options.

What's even more interesting than these protests, which are just a way-of-life in France, is that several high ranking members of the current political party in power, the UMP, have declared themselves against the new measures, and are even contemplating leaving the party if it continues. That's probably the strongest signal to a very unpopular political party.

Even with the removal of the main contender for the Presidential elections next year (the famous DSK arrest in New York), the current President, Nicholas Sarkozy seems to have outstayed his welcome.

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