The campaign of the municipal elections is underway. The vote to elect the mayors and the councils will take place in March. So it is the first time that the law on the parity of men and of women on the electoral lists is going to be applied.
It is the socialist government of Lionel Jospin which has brought in this law. It has to be said that it did not really meet a lot of opposition, everyone being anxious not to displease the ladies who represent, after all, a good half of the electorate.
So, Regin Lesort, candidate of the right in the first electoral district of Lyon, does he welcome this change? In believing in it, the right itself was able to claim paternity too.
Well then, it is obvious that the first thing to do is then to respect the law, and then what's more, it is then a willingness to be ahead of the text of the law..., organising this parity because what would appear then obvious and then that would correspond to everyday life, then, there wasn't a place yet for, for waiting for this legal text. The legal text has only made us confirm that we..., what we welcome basically.
Whilst as for the women, they are ready for action as Nadine Gelas says:
For the first time, top of the list in an electoral district in Lyon, in the second electoral district, and ... it's a great experience, I think. At the start, I was a bit worried and panicky, because it was something completely new and then at the same time unexpected for me, and..., now I find that it is an opportunity.
I am a professor at the university Lyon II and I am the director of what we call the University of Fashion. So I do a lot of things for the city, right, not only within the university but for the city in this area, for creativity and for fashion.
So, if everyone was in agreement, why were women not put naturally on the lists. Why was it necessary to legislate? That is the question which we are posing.
Barbara Romagnan explains it to us:
We had well understood that it is not enough to talk, finally we have to say "it is necessary that the parties do it", except when we say it, we can easily say it, but that changes nothing at all, and really, we could certainly see that... The problem is that if we never do that, nothings happens, and then see say that... we must renew that they there be more equality, that there must be more women elected, we know very well that when someone has a post in power, he stays there at least till we can get rid of him, he does not go of his own accord, because he gets a taste for it, so, yes it was absolutely necessary, there were 50 years while the standards were changing, everything in society was changing excect the situation of women in politics, still five per cent in the Assembly National, still seven per cent of lady mayors in France.
That is also the feeling of Nadine who things the she owes her candidature to the law:
I think that the legislation has been a means of getting things going:
Registered on a socialist party list, Barbara provides an example in more detail, that the law has really changed:
What the law has changed, is that now, when we present lists, we are obliged to present lists with almost as many men as women, otherwise the lists are not valid. So this has the benefit that the parties are really obliged to put as many men as women.
In France, the law does not say there must be a woman, a man, a woman, a man, or even a man, a woman, a man, a woman, but it says... it says that you must have evenness in groups of six, that it to say that the first six..., in the first six, there must be three men and three women, and then, from the seventh to the twelfth, there must also be three men and three women. So that means that... the result is that is not exactly as many men as women elected. This is to say, I am going to take an example to demonstrate, we can have a list where there are, uh, three men and then three women following, then three men, then three women, if there were nine elected then there will be three men and three women, so in the end that will only make thirty per cent, but then, nothing but that, that is to say that that is the worst situation, that is already more than the average that there is up to now, that is to say that the lady municipal councillors in France today are a little more than 21%, so in this way that makes at least thirty per cent. And then there is another positive thing and that is that if there are parties which present first of all their men and then following behind the women, we are in a situation when people say that they want more women in politics that gives a bad picture, so the majority of the lists, in any case the lists of the left which I know, personally I am a candidate in the seventh electoral district, there is a man, then a woman, then a man, then a woman, then a man, then a woman, so there will be as many men as women who will be elected.
Things will happen little by little, even if the last critics of the law deny the abilities of women in politics.
Often there are people who have brought up the problem of competence... we see enough incompetent men to think that there is no reason to think that the women may be more so, after all... We want of course that everyone be competent, but, why do they bring up this question when the women arrive?
The women also have a political conscience. Despite the absence of their own political experience, they have watched their predecessors and dream of keeping a cool head:
Because, later, when we are really involved in action, perhaps we are trapped in a movement which ensures that we become what we have rejected.
Since the recognition of the right to vote for women in France in 1945, the logic of equality is reaching a successful conclusion:
We are realising by our actions, an equality which only used to exist in law.
$Id: 2001_01_act.htm 4 2010-02-03 20:03:32Z alistair $
Belgium has just announced the decriminalisation of using and being in possession of cannabis for personal use. In France this is not yet the case, but it is a subject of discussion. The young are especially interested in this question. They have several arguments. The young people whom we met were unanimously in favour of this rule. We let them have their say:
I don't think this is a big deal, I don't know, you would have to know how that goes exactly in Belgium as well, right, to see what changes and differences emerge by caparison... about I don't know, possible corruption, but I think that it seems to be to be a good idea all right.
Well no, I am really not against it, that's my take, but it does not have an effect that I like on me too much, as I have stopped drinking and that... well... there are some things like that, that... for the moment, that's not a while, but... who knows? Maybe... No, otherwise I think that... yeah, I think that it is a good idea, I think that it would be good. It is not a what's-it, certainly much less dangerous than alcohol and other things which are completely legal and... well, there you are. After all some things are easy to do, you see!
Well, I don't know. Personally I don't use it. I have never really considered the questions about this, but it is sure that it is... yes, decriminalisation, already, that would be good, right, but then... we'll see.
Well everyone smokes already, so that doesn't change anything, except that you would be relaxed, that depends if we are talking about legalisation, that is to say, it is sold by the state, or if we are talking of decriminalisation , just the right to have it, having some on you.
Personally, decriminalisation would be interesting in the sense of the respect of the citizen and of personal liberty, as we have the right to drink, I think that we have the right to smoke a joint. But there are a lot of people who think like that, that we can ask ourselves why it has not been like that for a long time...
Afterward for the legalisation step, personally I am not convinced that this is clearly a good step. If it becomes like tobacco, that is to say that...
Ah, but that is a very delicate subject.
Why is that?
Well, it is difficult to know what happens next, right.
No, no but personally I am just expressing my apprehension that following legalisation if that becomes a very highly taxed product like tobacco and alcohol. But, all right, probably, they must be equal, so that would be fine too, right.
No, personally I don't think so because there are plenty of things which go around illegally, rightly, which are frightful, whilst if they were controlled the products would be much less frightful and... somewhere, we would still get into the same state too, so to avoid that, how can I put it, this overwhelming police state which would not achieve very much in the end. It is just to control people who smoke the drug. So if you legalise it, right away that avoids the situation where the cops take this as their job to do that, and they can do something else with their time.
I think that it is taking the lead on a problem of public health because, at the moment, it is true that it is controlled by a distribution network which is infected by Mafia and the products are often bad quality, so...
I am afraid that it may become something highly taxed, that it may become as expensive as tobacco... No, no, it is true that I am in favour of the total legalisation of cannabis.
It will happen, but it is a political problem. The older generation must take this on board and those who now since the seventies, although it started well before that, but since the eighties we can say that in France it really took off, that most of the young have tried it or smoke everyday.
There were several attempts that... everyone believed in it, and finally they failed several times.
But, well, we know that the subject, it is all the same there and then, there is all the same a sense of change, there is all the same a tolerance which has emerged. No one talks about it, but on the ground, there is all the same, I find, tolerance. All the same, there are too, lots of inequalities.
They have mad progress recently in Spain, Italy and in Belgium too... in Switzerland too, yes, even in Switzerland. Switzerland supplies Lyon, in the end everyone is going to look for their grass in Switzerland and that supplies Lyon.
All that is saying that finally... finally it is really hypocritical, the law in France as it relates to cannabis in general. Finally by comparison to products in general, finally the law 627 is not really viable. Really it needs to be reformed in any case, right. Soft drugs and hard drugs are mixed up a bit all right.
It is true that we still have a law that does not make a difference between cannabis and heroine, that is true in the year 2000, that's a bit pitiable.
Ah yes, personally I think that, because right away that would stop people selling bad cannabis... Well, fine, I agree.
I don't think that it is bad for health. I think that, as with everything, it mustn't be abused. But I don't think that, that is... all this story about how that feeds the neurones apparently, it's not true, it's not at all true, and we must, really in my opinion, we must keep a balance, smoking a joint in the evening like that to reduce your inhibitions, that's good, you see.
I have the feeling that we are surrounded now, that we see a map with the countries which have decriminalised and then we see France which is in the middle of all that, in white and all the other countries around are in red, I find that is a bit paradoxical, right, in the context of a Europe where we can move around freely, we don't have the right in France to use whilst now, it is truly... that France decriminalise, that all the countries prohibit, right, but that cannot work as, I don't know, I find that that has created a paradox all right.
$Id: 2001_02_act.htm 4 2010-02-03 20:03:32Z alistair $
|2001||3||act||780||http://www.laguinguette.com/lejournal/2001/03act||03/04/2010||.||alistair||Lionel Jospin - premier ministre||
Lionel Jospin, Prime Minister
It is election time in France.
In two rounds (11th March and 18th March) French men and women are going to vote to elect their local authorities, notably their mayors. And this time it is not only the French men and women who will have the right to vote. In effect thanks to new rules included in the Treaty of Maastricht , for the first time citizens of the member countries of the European Union living in France will be able to help to elect the political representatives of their cities.
It is a development which the prime minister, Lionel Jospin welcomed when we met him on the occasion of his visit to Lyon to support the collected candidates of the left, of which he is the leader.
It does not concern all foreigners, it concerns members of the European Union.
We find that it is a very good thing that in the local elections this vote is possible for the men and women who really live in the city and then it is a way of bringing to life the European Reality.
But up to now, only 9% of Europeans living in the large towns of France have signed up. Is there an absence of publicity for the new law? For Lionel Jospin it is not about a lack of interest but about a new dimension of integration, the European dimension.
It does not seem however that the number of inscriptions was really very high which shows that included in it, these citizens of the European Union living in France have not been taken into account, but I know for example that in Paris in our party there are included there some candidates, I have seen them recently, Italians for example.
The elections come at a very sensitive time for Mr Jospin who is surely going to put himself forward as a candidate for the presidential election next year. It is an opportunity then for electioneering but be careful, you must respect local sensitivities. Some do not want that a stranger to their town involve himself in their business for his own benefit. Lionel Jospin justifies himself:
Personally I am not campaigning. These are municipal elections and regional elections and moreover you must not forget the regional elections . I make some jumps to be at the side of candidates. That is all. And I do them in the conditions which are those of democracy and of meeting the people, that's it!
That does not prevent him from giving his opinion, while passing, on the town of Lyon.
I believe that in the three districts that the parties of the left have had the responsibility of managing since 1995 that they have been managed well. I believe that Gerard Collomb has made, personally, in the 9th a quite exceptional demonstration of economic revival in revitalising a neighbourhood which was a bit adrift and I believe that this team, if the man and women of Lyon give them their vote of confidence can bring new developments. I believ that it will follow the policy of developing the town of Lyon as a large European metropolis, that, certainly. And I believe that the team assembled around Gerard Collomb with its skills, with its economic skills especially, but also with the representatives of local groups, are up to the job of pursuing this action and that moreover the State, the government, including the outgoing local authority, have supported because by very large investments, we are showing that we wish to favour this role of Lyon as a regional European metropolis. But I think that this team can bring something more and something new. That is to say more focussed attention, and perhaps more humanitarian, to the life of the people of Lyon, not just the influence of Lyon or the power of Lyon, but the way people live in it at the level of the school, at the level of the environment, of the city, of security also which for me personally is a real theme of the left. And then, perhaps, a style of management closer to the people, closer to the reality of the neighbourhoods, of the collective life.
Surrounded by smiling candidates, both men and women, on a barge on the Rhone, the movements of this distinguished visitor are choreographed with the precision of a ballet...
Please, I think... yes, that's it... it will be necessary to do, perhaps, the photos later...
The photos, we can do them elsewhere outdoors with the television shots and all that will be better, that will be very good. Right? Good!
Off we go?
On you go!
Lionel Jospin - the reason for your visit to Lyon today...
And the ballet continues. The result of so much effort will be known in the coming weeks. Be at the coming election.
 The Treaty of Masstricht - 1992. An important treaty signed in Masstricht in Holland establishing the European Union and the Euro currency.
 In 1982, France introduced a system of 22 regional authorities each covering about 4 departments which still exist.
$Id: 2001_03_act.htm 4 2010-02-03 20:03:32Z alistair $
Most likely you have heard of the film Chocolat which is experiencing a certain amount of success in our cinemas this season. Juliette Binoche was an Oscar nominee for best actress for the leading role which she plays.
As it happens, this film is having more success abroad than in France. It's filmed in English, and, if the action is situated in France, the French have a hard time identifying the characters as being genuinely from their country.
However, it's true that chocolate benefits from a great reputation in France. It's a product which is greatly appreciated. True connoisseurs know very well how to differentiate among the various qualities of the product.
Historically, it's admittedly Anne of Austria, wife of Louis XIII, who introduced chocolate to the French court in the 17th century, after the discovery of America and the Mayan and Aztec populations by the Spanish. For the Mayans and the Aztecs, cocoa beans were very precious products but were consumed unrefined. Since then, they have learned how to cultivate them.
In Lyon, a chocolate maker named Bernachon became famous twenty years ago. Since then, his reputation has never failed. The manufacturing company employs an active team. Noël Sève is the master chocolatier.
All said and done, between the shop and the confectionery, we come to fifty.
The Berchanon house particularly owes its reputation to the choice of cocoa beans it uses. Without a doubt the best quality comes from South America.
I tell you, it's Venezuela. Ah, yes, everything that comes from Venezuela, that touches Venezuela. Therefore, I tell you, it's a question of origin; it's a question of territory. It's bitter, it has flavor. That's it, it has flavor. Something that you won't find in the big stores, for example, whose chocolates are made from cocoa beans from the Côte d'Ivoire, ones like that. It's a reputation which sets itself apart. It's a unique taste, it's out the ordinary and therefore, people seek it out.
This high level of quality stays within the artisans' circle.
It's the small regions, such as Chuao, there's not a lot, so the manufacturers cannot get away with buying these beans because they don't have enough of them. The manufacturers, they prefer the cocoa beans from the Côte d'Ivoire which are very neutral and don't have any taste, so to speak, and it's for that reason that we work with cocoa beans which have an unprecedented reputation.
For sure, the road is long but we're getting there.
And as far as the cocoa beans, we have a buyer who handles the beans because we're not going to go to South America every time, so it's handled by a buyer, and the beans arrive in Bordeaux. The buyer is in Bordeaux and is from Bordeaux. They have delivered to us... they have... they bring us the beans via a carrier who is on the outskirts of Lyon, and who comes in a small freight-forwarding truck to make the delivery. We receive deliveries about three times a year.
The cocoa beans are treated in several stages in order to produce the chocolaty substance that Noël calls the couverture; that is, the base for making different types of chocolates.
The cocoa beans are sifted in order to remove all the impurities, to remove the shells which are... which are broken, for example.
After the sifting comes the roasting. So, the roasting, it's very... it's roasted at about 160-170 degrees (320-338 F), for about 20 to 25 minutes because each type of bean is not the same size. Therefore, you can't say, "It will take so many minutes to roast this one, so many minutes to roast that one..." because it's never the same. There are big ones, small ones...
We do several types of couvertures. We raise the percentages of cocoa because the normal couverture, the one which is used the most, consists of 55% cocoa beans, 45% sugar, all right? After, we make a bitter couverture... a bitter couverture, so, we raise the amount of cocoa beans. The bitter couverture will be made of 65% beans and 35% sugar. Afterwards, we make a really bitter couverture, made of 75% beans. It's that one which has the most... which contains the most cocoa beans.
We're making an orange-flavored couverture. We add to it, therefore, oranges, which we ourselves have crystallized and after have dried, of course. We grind them in with the couverture.
We also do some more exotic combinations:
...spiced with cinnamon, for example. It's a spice, cinnamon.
Noël, not having seen the film Chocolat, which peaked our curiosity, was asked if the virtues of spiced chocolate, which are addressed in the film, are true in his opinion.
...aphrodisiac, yes, that's true, that's true... however, you'd have to eat quite a lot of it.
$Id: 2001_03_cul.htm 4 2010-02-03 20:03:32Z alistair $
|2001||3||soc||800||http://www.laguinguette.com/lejournal/2001/03soc||03/04/2010||.||catherine||Les Casseurs de Pub||
Advertising Breakers. 
We can witness at the moment in France, a hue and cry  against the appearance of advertising, on bill boards in the streets, on the television and at the cinema also.
Some associations view the day tentatively. The "Advertising Breakers" don't have substantial means, no, they don't have money, they, but... they have ideas and ideas which are beginning to circulate.
Michael Stettner, the founder:
We are united, we are not so numerous, we are three or four and we have created the review of the mental environment which we have called the "Advertising Breakers".
These three or four friends have united to publish a newspaper.
The first one, we made thirty thousand copies. We wanted it to be distributed in kiosks and when we had sold nearly eight thousand we had enough to pay the printer and we started with the second edition that we had to sell again... and finally that allowed us to envisage continuing.
The movement is small but it is not so isolated. As everyone knows, "strength through unity".
We work with two associations, two other associations with the same theme. There is RAP which is resistance against aggressive advertising, which fights principally against advertising in letter boxes, the advertising during cinema showings and others, and "Paysage de France" who themselves attempt to see to it that the law is respected in the... in the matter of putting up advertisements on boards, in the towns and the countryside, half of them in France are illegal. So, we see, they have succeeded in taking down a huge device some thirty metres high, of one of the very big distributors to French supermarkets and they applied to the administrative tribunal but they were obliged to dismantle the device which was illegal.
For them, the question is serious. The stake is of the order of life itself. It is as if advertising puts being human on the same shelf as merchandise, as if the names of the commercial products act as a substitute for our own thoughts. We cannot any more exchange our ideas with others. The ideas buy and sell themselves.
I think Citroen, you think Orangina etc. I think Renault and I find myself contrite, that is to say vexed, like watching a game of words, penaud, penault, Renault on the sign that has been prepared.
Advertising had an informative function at the beginning. It has lost that informative function. It only serves to cover one message consume more and you do not exist if you are not consuming. So advertisements have covered all that. They have, moreover, for that, taken over the press, literally taken over the modern means of communication which are the radio and television, even the public television. There isn't any more space for communication or information, except the advertising space... the advertisements are sized and we cannot integrate this space for information except to have the means to advertise. So we cannot any more communicate on the arts, on leisure activities, on education, on solidarity, all that is impossible to access because it must be lifted to the level of advertising. Partly there is no interest because we are in a system of a low intellectual level which seeks to drive the movements of the crowd and the almost thoughtless buying without reason except to consume more.
But the television?
Yes, finally, for the television, I would say that it is a bit different because we are not completely against all the television. One of our letters was to promote the week without television.
No, but you must effectively differentiate the tool, the television which allows, and notably for the people who are alone for example, or even in certain cases, which carries a vision on the world which we wouldn't otherwise have. You must see that, amongst the fact, that the time that people spend in front of the television is a completely captive time. And when we know that, at present on average we see numbers like three hours or four hours in front of the television, then we know that there isn't any communication, that is to say that we are literally hypnotised by the sweeping of the electrons and we would say no that is not possible because even if there are interesting things on the television... It's a way of controlling a population. It is a fact of society which is extremely damaging to thought.
The "Advertising Breakers" are calling for a demonstration of support by proposing for everyone a week without television from 22nd to 28th April 2001. To participate, it's simple: it's enough to unplug your television for the week. A week without television is an attempt to safeguard our very precious resource, our reasoning.
 Les Casseurs de Pub is a play on words. There is an expression "les casseurs de pierres" which is a French expression for stone breakers.
 Les boucliers are riot shields - levée de boucliers means a general outcry, or a hue and cry.
$Id: 2001_03_soc.htm 4 2010-02-03 20:03:32Z alistair $
|2001||4||act||680||http://www.laguinguette.com/lejournal/2001/04act||03/04/2010||.||alistair||Le proces de l'Ordre du Temple Solaire||
The trial of the Order of the Solar Temple
The famous orchestral musical director Michel Tabachnik is currently on trial in Grenoble.
World renowned musician Tabachnik is on trial for association with criminals in the context of a trial of the organizers of a sect, the Order of the Solar Temple (OST).
He is accused of having helped to create a climate of indoctrination which led to the deaths of at least 73 followers.
In the trial, the lawyer for the families of the victims explains the presumed role of Tabachnik in the business:
Tabachnik is effectively an intellectual. It is because he was a great intellectual and that he had knowledge, that the others had been credulous of him.
To recall the facts, we must go back to at least October 1994, the date on which 53 members of the sect committed suicide simultaneously in Switzerland and in Canada. A year later 16 other people, of whom 3 were children, had been found dead in France near Grenoble. Some had been killed by bullets, according to the findings of the postmortems; others would have really committed suicide.
At the time of the macabre discoveries, we learned of the nature of the sect, of the personality and of the role of the principal organizer, Jo Di Mambo. So this last person died in Switzerland in the course of the collective suicides.
The beliefs of the sects are somewhat obscure. They are about saving the world and having consciousness transit to another planet. It is apparently a mixture of esoteric beliefs coming from ancient Egypt. Tabachnik was the president of the management office of a lucrative business, the Golden Way Foundation, created to collect money from naive followers. Tabachnik also wrote complicated esoteric essays. According to the prosecution, the combination of the guru Jo Di Mambro and the theoretician Tabachnik worked well.
It was an additional weight in Jo Di Mambro's manipulation having Tabachnik.
In the trial, Tabachnik takes his time to explain his vision of the world. some find that they stretch out the facts. However Maitre Jean-Marie Vilmar, asked about this point, thanks that it is necessary.
This morning the people present were really part of the trial, but at the same time, it is true, they had something of a training course in esoterism, because it is necessary. It is necessary to have this course on esoterism to understand the hermitism of the essays of Michel Tabachnik and finally to take in this court room, step by step, the same path that the followers took over a decade, to understand the teaching and to understand that this teaching leads to death, to voluntary death, to death provoked.
In fact, Tabachnik supports his theory on a principle called The Arches. It is there that the danger lies, at the base:
The Arches have several meanings. The second meaning, covert, hidden, that he used to explain to the followers, it is a dark meaning, it is a mortifying meaning, morbid. It leads a cult to death. Michel Tabachnik has admitted this morning that his God, his only God, is the devil. He said it whilst he admitted that the primordial fire to which he makes reference incessantly, equally called the Arch from the name of his book, this primordial fire, he admitted it, is the devil. So it is an order with an initiation rite, the OST is a sect with an initiation rite which is devilish. But you must have ten years of indoctrination to get to this belief and to end up in the flames of the hell of the transits.
Michel Tabachnik based his defense on his own belief on what he was teaching. You could ask yourself if he is sincere on this point, or if it is just a calculation on his part.
Michel Tabachnik gives the appearance, wants to give the appearance of someone who is credible, of someone who was manipulated by Di Mambro. I do not believe that for a moment. In the course of the hearing this morning, the only moment when I felt a form of sincerity from Michel Tabachnik was when he talked of music, and there, I have nothing to say. On all the rest, on his role in the sect, his presence everywhere in the sect, everywhere, he was lying. He is a master of lying, and what's more he lies badly.
It is a long trial, expected to last at least three weeks.
PS Tabachnik has been finally cleared of the most serious charges.
$Id: 2001_04_act.htm 4 2010-02-03 20:03:32Z alistair $
|2001||4||cul||860||http://www.laguinguette.com/lejournal/2001/04cult||03/04/2010||.||catherine||Une nouvelle politique culturelle pour les villes||
A New Cultural Policy for the Towns.
Culture with a big C, is a huge question. At the time of the electoral campaign with the municipal elections in sight, Daniel Cohn Bendit, a member of the European Parliament, having dual nationality of French and German, recently explained himself in a public meeting.
We remember Daniel Cohn Bendit who became famous in May '68 as head of a left wing student movement at the Sorbonne in Paris. We called him then, Danny the Red. It is really he who has reappeared on the political scene, as a representative of the green party, the ecologists, to offer his vision of culture for the towns. Dani, as he is familiarly called, supports Gerard Collomb, the socialist candidate in Lyon.
There are some new cultural expressions which disturb, the graffiti on the walls... The graffiti on the walls, for me, is a cultural take over by some of the youth of their town, that is to say that some youth want to proclaim "we exist", "we exist", in the towns where we have always forgotten to give them, to leave them space, to allow them, perhaps even, to own a place. So, as we see this need for cultural expression at all levels, perhaps we will speak later, as well, about immigration, to talk also about the different cultural sensitivities, which have different origins, we understand that today, a citizen can only identify with his town, will only identify himself and be recognisable in this town if the town recognises his cultural needs at all levels. Then, obviously, there are cultural needs, I would not say of the elite, but let's say of the traditional values which express themselves through opera, which express themselves through well known theatres through well known directors etc., that's another level.
Then there is a second level which is a multitude, a multitude of cultural initiatives which need a place. They also need subsidies but the subsidies for me are secondary. They need space, not centralised places where they can express themselves, where they can try to win over the public, so they must be places with some warmth where the public want to go to meet different cultural expressions, cultural initiatives and try to compare them for themselves.
And then there is one other thing that mustn't be forgotten, that the traditional left has, for culture, often forgotten, and that is culture as the avant-garde expression, of challenge, of society. We mustn't think only of a culture market, but we must think also of a culture which provokes, which disturbs which even hurts, through these interludes culture dares to pose some problems that in political speeches we speak of politely, necessarily politely, of problems one doesn't... that we rarely broach. And so, there is for the democracy of a town, something fundamental to try also to find places which give back to culture its rightful position, its potential, its contentious potential, not that which gives it however, to be badly thought of, but which permits contentious values to express themselves. So, to generalise now, the role of a town is to set up structures for different cultural expressions, where the citizens agree to adopt for themselves a particular culture, which expresses itself strongly and effectively. And, that is to say, in practice, we have to make a choice many times more difficult. Yes it's necessary to have the famous cultural institutions, but the cultural budget hasn't... cannot be restricted to that. On the other hand, we need initiatives. But be careful, there again, let's not kill cultural initiatives with a plague of subsidies so that in the end we do not know any more why we subsidise something. That's to say that the most important, as I have just said, of the subsidies, are the places, where a... a culture, of cultures which can take off and win over the public.
And then to finish, don't throw in the sponge in face of a cultural expression which is disturbing, be it the young and their graffiti, or be it avant-garde culture, ugly, aggressive, but which advances discussion in society.
Admittedly all of that is quite straight forward, indeed acceptable. Yes, that was reckoning without some loud mouths who came to be kill joys at this meeting. A boat, which had just run aground on the Mediterranean coast filled with clandestine Kurdish immigrants from Iraq, poses another question of cultural integration in France. The people without papers have some champions who know how to make themselves heard. Listen:
We have today some boatloads of passengers who come from anywhere and no-one knows where they are going. So, really, truly, you speak of citizenship, where is the citizenship in such a statement, where is the citizenship in such disregard for people, where is the citizenship for the people who, in Lyon, live without rights, and M Collomb, you have absolutely given us the run around, because we were there in front of your office, you said that you were going to deal with the conditions of the people. You have done nothing. You have sent us for a walk. You have taken us for imbeciles and you have taken the people without papers for imbeciles.
Sort out the people without papers.
I am here. I am staying here. I will not go away.
$Id: 2001_04_cul.htm 4 2010-02-03 20:03:32Z alistair $
We call them the without-papers. What are the papers which they do not have? Permits to stay which allows them to give them both the right to reside and to work.
Seven without-papers have been on hunger strike in Lyon since 26 February. There are seven of them, two women and five men, illegal immigrants in France not having a valid visitor's visa. There are three Algerians, two Moroccans, a Tunisian and a Chilean woman. All of these people have one thing in common; they have been living for a long time in France, then for different reasons they returned to their own country. Now they would like to remain in France, but the government refuses to legitimise their situation. To attract public attention they have chosen to go on hunger strike.
Tania, explain to us your own case:
I come from Chile you see...
I was born in France, I left at the age of eleven, and I returned a while ago, a year ago now.
According to the law, as I left more than five years, I do not have the right to live here.
I received a refusal from the local authority and they gave me a month's notice to leave French territory and if not I would be deported.
If we are on hunger strike, it is simply to improve our future and then to be able to have papers at last and then to live normally as everyone in France.
They have some people to support them. Stéphane Berger is one of them. He explains why he takes their side. We met him several days ago.
Because there are seven people who are... who have very strong links with France or who have been here for a very long time or who have close family ties with people who live here already, and so, there is, as I see it, a legitimacy... their legitimacy to want to live here... well, legitimately, well that is beyond discussion... whilst, well, the town hall or the French state is refusing them.... refusing their papers on administrative pretexts without studying their real situation, there you are.
They have accommodation in a room of the ecumenical building. On the floor, the mattresses are rolled out. The strikers remain lying all day long. They are weak. They only drink water and tea. After so many days of deprivation they are suffering cruelly, no doubt about it.
Yesterday, things we3re not going very well, I had to pass almost all the day in bed because I had very very strong muscular pains, and then well, well afterwards I took a pill for the pain and then today, things are going a bit better. I was able to sleep at least four, five hours straight and that enabled me to recover a bit on the physical level.
Despite that, they are not envisaging giving up.
No, not at all, because in Chile I experienced things much worse than a hunger strike in France. So it is a choice which I have made. I never got used to Chile, I do not see why I must return to that country since it is not mine, it is the country of my parents but it is not mine, my country is France and so that is why I want to sty here and I am going to do everything to stay here even if it is necessary to go on hunger strike and then it will be necessary to deal with the consequences because, well, it is logical, I am going to do it. I do not want to go to Chile any more, personally, to live there at least.
Mourad is a man from Tunisia; he lived in France until the death of his brother. Then he went back to Tunisia. But he did not get used to things over there, life was difficult. Maïssa is a woman from Algeria. She has lived in France since the age of three. In Algeria her father wanted to force her to marry. All of the strikers have decided to stay together, to the end.
When we decided to go on hunger strike we said we were going to the end, and the end, it is not we who are going to decide that, it is the regional governor and the minister who are going to decide what end we are going to... where we are going to finish. As for us, we are ready for anything.
For the moment, the local authority is only offering them a temporary permit for a year. They have turned it down.
So, the worst... I don't know. But let's say that it is true that now, it is 38 days, today is the 38th day of the hunger strike, so the more the days pass, the more their state of health deteriorates, then, effectively, well everyone is hoping that there will be a solution found before something serious happens, there it is.
The last elections which brought the left to power have not changed anything much.
Well there are effectively some people elected who have made steps, but for the moment that has not initiated anything much, we must say.
When we asked Tania how she feels about the settlement by different countries in the east of Europe of the Kurds recently arrived in mass, clandestinely on a boat, she has no anger, no jealousy, on the contrary:
Well, I am happy for them because there were a lot of them who arrived clandestinely, not massively, and they do not have the same chance. I am very happy for them and I think that they are going to stay, for one year, and then in a year they are not going to have papers any more... and if they want to return to their country one day, and they may well do that, but then the French government may not lock them out because they are still threatened in their own country and they have the right to live peacefully in whatever part of the country as everyone.
Additional note: The without-papers of Lyon who were on hunger strike got satisfaction on 15th April. Their situation is going to be legitimised. So they have been able to put an end to their strike.
$Id: 2001_04_soc.htm 4 2010-02-03 20:03:32Z alistair $
|2001||6||act||530||http://www.laguinguette.com/lejournal/2001/06act||03/04/2010||.||catherine||Le nouvel axe du TGV||
The new TGV route
Lyon Part-Dieu, this is Lyon Part-Dieu, check you have not left anything in the train, connection for Oyonnax, leaving at 14:11, platform B.
The imminent introduction of the new part of the TGV line, the high speed train, is great news for everyone.
On 7th June, Jacques Chirac inaugurated the Mediterranean TGV. From now on it will only take 3 hours to go from Paris to Marseilles. It will only take 1 hour 40 minutes to go from Lyon to Marseilles, which is a distance of 250 kilometres.
The TGV travels at 300 kilometres per hour. Until now there was only the Lyon to Paris line, the line from Paris to London, the line from Paris to Brussels and the Atlantic TGV in the westerly direction. Effectively now the routes of London to Marseilles and Brussels to Marseilles are uninterrupted.
For the users it is an appreciable gain. The advantage of the changes to the trains is that you can leave from the centre of one large town and arrive in the centre of another large town. There is not the loss of time that is sometimes the case for one airport or the other.
If you are not going to the centre of a large town but to a small town close by, you will have all the facilities to get you there.
So other new things are the services which have been put in place around Lyon. And so there is a system of regional express trains which are in place and each will have a connection with each Mediterranean TGV.
Everyone will get something out of it.
There are two types of customers. You have business people. So for them it will be very important because to put Paris and Marseilles three hours from each other is the equivalent of a return journey in a morning, or one day, one could say, Paris to Marseilles, and a morning, sure, Lyon to Marseilles. So a business man can easily accept a meeting in the morning at 8:30 and leave again by noon. So that is going to change his work, and that is going to bring together cheaply the two regions of Lyon and Marseilles.
What matters to the customers is that there is going to be, um, well the Mediterranean, that's attractive, notably we know for retired people who often have a holiday home by the Mediterranean, or for the people who simply go on holiday to the beach in the sun.
Recommendations for the enthusiasts for fish soup on summer evenings, near the old port. Great weekends are in prospect.
These trains as well as going fast are comfortable, air conditioned, and sound proofed. They operate frequently during the day. They are a good bargain, much cheaper than the aeroplane, a bit dearer than ordinary trains.
We think we will still have an increase in the number of people who use the TGV; an increase which may amount to more that six million travellers, that is the equivalent for us of about 30%, the objective is at least 30%.
Platform D, the TGV numbers 620 and 694 for Paris, Gare de Lyon, are leaving, watch out for the automatic closing door. Be careful of the moving train.
$Id: 2001_06_act.htm 4 2010-02-03 20:03:32Z alistair $
|2001||6||cul||440||http://www.laguinguette.com/lejournal/2001/06cult||03/04/2010||.||alan||Un musee pour la paix||
A museum for peace
The opposite of peace, it is not war, it is violence affirms Jacques Belin, who is the director general of the large museum of the Second World War at Caen.
What we want is to convince each visitor, and beyond the visitors, everyone, that the peace of the world is in his hands and the responsibilities of these conflicts, it is certainly a collective responsibility, but that the collective responsibility is the addition of the individual behaviours.
Located in the heart of Normandy, Caen is the high point of the Normandy landings. To recall the memories or to discover and understand the importance of this event of the summer of 1944, it is essential to visit the memorial, as monsieur Berlin explains it to us.
The memorial of Caen is a large modern museum which wants to attract the attention of all on the fragility of peace, the liberties and rights of man.
It acts as an exhibition space.
In the memorial such as it is today, we have normally of cause objects, but we also have many films, many posters and many photographs.
And in this space, an effort is made to relive as much as possible these past events.
We think that to interest the general public and in particular the young with the history and the philosophic reflection, it is necessary to have a very very strong scenographic production.
We present a film of the landings, which has been essentially made up from film archive images that are projected on to two managed screens, where the visitor is at the centre of the action. The visitor can live these events from two sides at once.
Moreover, an extension of the museum is being built. Indeed, a museum for peace must show the horrors of war and also study the conditions of peace in the world. It is a curious manner to strengthen the role of the museum. It is still a place of memory and with, moreover, a function of anticipation for the future.
The new building will permit visitors to understand not only the 20th. century but also to reflect well on what are the stakes at the start of the 21st. century.
If you are not sure of your French, do not be worried, all is envisaged.
So it is an international site and today only 65% of the visitors are French, therefore 35% of the visitors are foreign and everything is done in German, English and French, all should be understandable.
And that is not all, the film stages and teaching facilities are also available throughout the year. These stages are designed for teachers of history, journalists, photo archivists and scientists.
$Id: 2001_06_cul.htm 4 2010-02-03 20:03:32Z alistair $