Union manifestation

The Confédération Générale du Travail (CGT), the largest trade Union in France, organizes demonstrations all over France. On Tuesday the 5th of November it was Roanne’s turn and the preparations started on the Monday – among other things a lot of stalls were installed. This one drew our attention because of the make, being Trigano. Down memory lane for a moment now. Late in the eighties of the last century our family of four rented a furnished(!) tent in France, Canet Plage. The brand name of this tent was, indeed, André Trigano. One night one of us, returning from the shower building, stepped inside the tent next to ours without noticing his mistake. (Yes, we can reveal it was the senior ‘him’ of the four of us.) It was pitch dark outside and the rest of the family deep asleep. ‘Mmm, a bit of a mess’ the clever ‘houseman’ thought after entering what he considered his temporary home and started to tidy up and reorganize the place. All the ‘hire-tents’ had the same layout and furniture, obviously. It took him a considerable time before he realized that his activities were taking place in someone else’s tent… Lucky him, his neighbours were out for the night. They will have wondered why everything looked well organized when they returned home. The houseman’s wife ridiculed him. Only mildly.

This is the way the French make sure the tent isn’t blown away. It works.

Of course the expected crowd will need toilet-facilities too. The lavatory attendant has already started her job and will continue to do so the entire next day. A hell of a job. Admirable!

The toilets self evidently need water. And lots of it too. So the organizers solved this problem by connecting their system onto the system of the port. Just like that. Well, the bike of ‘le capitain du port’ is visible, as he already is arranging for a compensation.

And here we see the result. A gauge is installed and the port authorities will be duly compensated. Earlier we were asked by ‘le capitain’ not to waste water and close the taps thoroughly to avoid misuse by passers-by . We always close the tap by using a pair of pliers. It seldomly happens that a passer-by has a pair of pliers at hand to open a tap…

There they came, all the participants. From all over France. And the weather, nice on Monday and again nice after Tuesday, was horrible on Tuesday…

Among other stuff this trolley contained sound reproducing equipment. The owner had the energy to operate his sound system the entire day – except when some band performed in the big stand. It was really wonderful that he transported the thing from home and back – wherever that was. And his investment was not all that high, a trolley is ‘for sale’ for € 1,00 or sometimes even for € 0,50. Or isn’t it?

Not a lot of comment on this picture. It gives our followers a pretty good idea about how it looked like last Tuesday. Lots of rain and a friendly atmosphere, both maintained throughout the day.

The participants came from everywhere, this one from Seine et Marne. That’s the region where we had our mooring during last winter – at Moret-sur-Loing.

An overall view of the scene, with our harbour visible in the background. The sound from the huge loudspeakers was audible throughout the day, helped to maintain its level of decibels by the conducting mass of water.

All flags, all orange-red. And an elderly lady, sitting on a stone, watching it all go by from underneath her not 100% matching umbrella. The bottles of wine are at hand – as they should in this country.

Wake up! Organize yourself! (In English rather: Join us!) The slogans were to be seen everywhere.

Next to the general issues at hand there are five union members from Roanne in trouble – as we understood because of ‘leftish’ activities, including using graffiti. The exact point appeared to be too complicated to understand for your (male) reporter, who’s skills relating the French language are still on level 4 to 5 out of 10. Just for the record, their names are Cristel, Christian, Didier, Gérald and Jean-Paul.

Another example of the people from Roanne (‘Roannais’) fighting for their fellow citizens. In this case the word ‘égalité’ from the well known Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité from the French Revolution is replaced by ‘solidarité’. A bunch of visitors has sought shelter underneath the bridge. Sissies!

Why is it that the presence of the Parti Communiste Français (PCF) is not at all surprising in France? They are, comparatively speaking, still alive and kicking in this country.

L’Humanité is the weekly (‘hebdo’) periodical of the PCF.

Self-evidently this kind of manifestations are doomed to fail without the best beer in the world. Heineken that is. It was the only detected sign of our home country during this manifestation. Apart from ourselves obviously.


There they al go, homeward bound after a long day of traveling, rain, speeches and music. The 'music-trolley' is audible as well as visible during the entire video.

The river to end with now. Today, Sunday the 10th of November the level is a bit higher than last week. It has even been higher during the week, notably on the Wednesday after a day of rain. Best wishes to you all!!