dimanche 26 mars 2006

Gangs in Kensigton... or just Dave who lost his shoes?

While walking around Liverpool, I was suprise to see shoes dangling from electrical wires.
I remember asking Dave if he knew about it, and he answered :"Oh you found my shoes ? I couldn't remember where I had put them".



And I have just read an article explaining that in New York, shoes on electric wires is a way of defining the territories of American gangs.

A little like a border post... plus the odor.

lundi 20 mars 2006

Les casseurs or the problem of demonstrations...




Here are some pics of the "Place de la Sorbonne" which is the "Sorbonne square" in front of the Uni, but they have put this "wall" all around the student quarter. This walls are mainly due to the 'casseurs' unfortunately. Only students are allowed eventually to get in after showing your student ID, but we must be "escorted" by one of those guys below, and explain why we need to get in.

On the wall (have no idea how they were able to write on it, as I think -or I thought- that the police was always in front of it), it is written: Police everywhere, Justice nowhere.

Sorry for the poor quality of these pics but I was in a hurry, and i took them while I was walking.

samedi 18 mars 2006

Sortie ensoleillée ou vice cachée?

Stuck at home on a bright sun-shining beautiful Saturday because I must write an essay on a dreadful little tiny contract clause in 1996 .




jeudi 16 mars 2006

Demonstrations and Counter Demonstrations ou plus de CRS que d'étudiants dans le Quartier Latin...

Just a short message and a pic to show what is happening in the street behind my Uni...
It's been two-three weeks now that the students' movement against the law I wrote about has taken a particularly important dimension...
After the occupation of the University of the Sorbonne last Friday, there is security and armed police all over the area.
Unfortunately, I haven't been able to take pics of the (massive) demonstrations taking place in Paris everyday, and particularly today....
And now these demonstrations include demonstrations against the law which usually are in favour of the occupation of the universities AND demonstrations protesting against the occupation of the Universities (in order to have classes again, which are called "counter demonstrations").
;)

vendredi 10 mars 2006

"Grèves étudiantes"... A little bit of French politics...


As every friday during this second semester, I was supposed to have two tutorials.
But then, at the end of my first tutorial, the door suddenly opened and a man urged us to get out of the University as they were evacuating the building. Once all out, the big main door was unusually shut behind us.
Out of the building, we only get the information that classes due to take place in the evening are cancelled.
Police cars are heading towards the Sorbonne university.

In France right now there is a political problem between some young people and the Government. The Parliament has enacted a law (Equal opportunities law) which allows companies to employ young people below 26 years old through a work contract (Contrat Première Embauche = CPE = First Employement Contract) which gives them the right for a period of two years to fire those young people without having to justify themselves, and without having to make contributions to social benefits. It is a law which is intented to encourage companies to hire young people.
Some French were opposed to the law because of what it contained. But things got even more out of hands, when the Prime Minister Villepin decided to suppress parliamentary debate by using the article 49-3 of the Constitution, which permits the Government to bypass the National assembly.

Here are a few links I found in English related to the controversial law :
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4689498.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4781880.stm
http://www.wsws.org/articles/2006/feb2006/fran-f10.shtml

mercredi 8 mars 2006

A la campagne... living a dangerous life...

Just spent a few days in the French countryside, eating traditional French food and just catching up with family I haven't seen since I left for Liverpool. Fortunately, we haven't been affected by the bird flu, but the authorities have just asked to keep chickens in a closed safe place.
Miam. Would my stomach be considered an official safe place ? ;)

On TV, they keep saying that if you cook the chicken before eating it, then it's safe. But who would eat raw chichen anyway ("chicken tartar")?

Anyway, here is a picture of some of my good friends there...