SLIDE – AUDIO – Protestors against the Labour law are making a lot of noise these days, but the State continues to turn a deaf ear. Desperate times call for desperate measures. On Friday, 17 June 2016, many groups of people, equipped with saucepans, assembled in front of town halls, all over France. There were more than 60 people outside the Grenoble town hall.
Saucepans, frying pans and spoons were joyously banged together, on Friday 17th June, in front of French town halls, on the stroke of 7:30 pm. Baptised “Casseroles Debout”, the action was, once again, aimed against “the Labour law and everything surrounding it”. Where did the idea come from? It happened during a meeting of the movement, Nuit Debout, in Nantes. It then spread like wildfire, across the rest of the France. In just two weeks, 500 gatherings were organised.
Festive, joyful and good-natured… in appearance
In Grenoble, over 60 participants responded to the invitation. Among the pan-players, young people, even younger people and, of course, those faithful to Nuit Debout Grenoble, like Françoise. She took a number of her own pots and pans with her, to lend to those who came empty-handed.
The event was festive, joyful and good-natured… in appearance, because slogans heard over the microphone were less tender : “P like pourri (rotten), S like salaud (bastard). Down with the PS (Socialist Party)!” ; “Everything is for us. Nothing is for them. All that they have, they stole!” ; “Who are the thugs? They are the thugs!” or “the people united will never be defeated.”
Christian, a Franco-Italian artist, passing through Grenoble, heard about the event on social networking. “I wanted to bang a pan too. I think it’s great to see all these initiatives releasing the people from years of silence and hopelessness. I support all of the events organised by Nuit Debout, in criticism of this world, where human rights are lost…”
One participant’s testimony:
“A concert of pans to make a noise and wake up our politicians. Because we are still against the Labour law and everything surrounding it, we continue to fight against their lies, and this is another form of action. We are doing a lot of things, different things, and we will continue, we will be creative. The pan banging is another way to make noise, while being very quiet, and it’s great, this pan-chiming, it has brought us all together. As usual this didn’t come from us, it was Nuit Debout that launched the idea, which came from someone, somewhere else in France. It spread very quickly and it was very nice to see the events map, the Casseroles debout map of France, bloom this week; now it has spread all-over. We said 8 p.m. in front of the town halls, and here we are. You can hear it, you can see it, the mobilization is still there, so yes, I believe that it is very strong, and what happens between the people who take part is also strong. They have created something unintentionally.”
After the action, which ended around 9 p.m., the participants shared their impressions. “Casseroles debout gave us strength! It could bring new life to the movement”, welcomed the group. “We were not very many, but we distributed quite a lot of flyers.”
Yuliya Ruzhechka (photos) and Séverine Cattiaux (text and audio)
Traduction from Speak English Center
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