Americans in Paris stage 'inaugural anti-ball'

21st January 2005, Comments 0 comments

PARIS, Jan 21 (AFP) - Clad in true Democrat blue and with Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy gazing from the wall, Americans in Paris who do not like the present incumbent on Thursday held their own "inaugural anti-ball."

PARIS, Jan 21 (AFP) - Clad in true Democrat blue and with Franklin D. Roosevelt and John F. Kennedy gazing from the wall, Americans in Paris who do not like the present incumbent on Thursday held their own "inaugural anti-ball."

The protest festivities were organised in a bar near the Paris Opera by OVU - Overseas Voters Unite.

"We want to have a voice out of Paris, it's an international, cosmopolitan, cultural centre, it has always been historically a place where expatriates came to express themselves," said Clara Pascal, domiciled in Paris for 15 years.

"We have to voice our dissent, there are so many issues where we feel Bush is lacking understanding, we feel we need to have a voice," she said.

Andrea Marsh handed out blue ribbons at the Xtremes Bar with American folk music playing in the background, and protested at what she said was the misplaced use of more than USD 40 million (EUR 30 million) for inaugural festivities back in Washington DC.

"Kids are dying in Iraq and there are tsunamis going on," she said.

The revellers alternately howled disapproval at television screen images of the president taking the oath of office, and shrieked approval at shots of anti-Bush demonstrators.

Said Ian Grosser, an American researcher at the French national research centre CNRS who has lived in France for 39 years: "I can't stand him. It's going to get worse with everything domestically and internationally. But I'm still optimistic about the country."

Iraq was worse than Vietnam, he said: "It's immoral to go to war in Iraq."

Constance Borde, president of some 2,500 registered American Democrats in France, said the Paris whoop-up was a cry of indignation.

"This is not just being bad losers," she said.

"The country has been taken so far astray from the America we believe America should be that we have to react against it."

One American francophile celebrated his country of choice, recalling distastefully the wave of anti-French feeling in the US over French opposition to the invasion of Iraq:

"We need to vent our feelings about these very conservative people that live in the Midwest, who had freedom fries instead of french fries.

"Here so many of the Democrats are married to French people, or they choose to live here because they like French people.

"Nobody here is against the French."

© AFP

Subject: French News

0 Comments To This Article