|Place de la Bastille / Paris|
Photo by OneBrownGirl
The back story: Former president of the Ivory Coast Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down from power early this year so that the newly elected president Alassane Ouattara could step in. On April 11, 2011, the Ivory Coast’s ex-President Gbagbo [was] ‘arrested in Abidjan’ by French forces leading Ouattara troups, but after much bloodshed. The French have a military base in the Ivory Coast, a country that is a former French colonial possession. Now. Here's what I gleaned from running outside to see what the protest was all about:
The Ivorian Popular Front (Front populaire ivoirien in French), a political party founded in 1982 by then-history professor Laurent Gbagbo (and a party expelled from Socialist International because of the Ivory Coast conflict) is mad at France (which of course includes President Sarkozy and the French army, gendarmes, etc. and also explains why some of the women I saw were shouting at the police). According to the sign pictured "Right now the French Army and L'ONUCI are the police in the streets of Abidjan and the people are being mistreated. Wattera [sic] is disengaged." I guess we know what side the protestors are on.