My experience with the gilets jaunes

So I was making my way home on Saturday at about 18:00 from near the Place de la Bourse. There was no public transport in the city centre because of the threatened "Act 4" from the naughty scamps of the gilets jaunes, so off I set to walk to the station where I knew I could get a tram back home. It meant walking along the quays. All would be fine because the rioters like smashing banks and classy shops and there's nothing like that where I would be walking.

Some friends needed to get back to Pessac. I urged them to come with me to the station where they could get a train, but they insisted on walking diagonally across the city centre to Saint Nicolas where they could get a tram to Pessac.

All was calm, all was bright, until I got to the bottom of Cours Victor Hugo, just by the Porte de Bourgogne by the Pont de Pierre. I knew that Cours Victor Hugo was sometimes a flash-point, but suddenly I saw a line of CRS riot police across the nearside of the road, all armed with gas guns and facing up Victor Hugo (away from me).

As I continued to walk there came a stampede of rioters down the far side of the road, just where I needed to walk.

It seemed that the riot police were trying to get them out of the city centre and over the Pont de Pierre where they would disperse, but that meant that their path and mine crossed somewhat inconveniently.

I edged slowly onwards, trying to time my passage with a gap in the stampede. As I went a chap leapt into a nearby flower bed carrying a chair which he proceeded to throw ineffectually in the vague direction of Cours Victor Hugo, thankfully away from me. I resisted the temptation to ask him what he thought he had achieved by this act, interesting though this discussion would be. He ran across my path and I continued in the most inconspicuous manner that I could assume. Others were doing the same.

Once safely out of the path of the rioters I breathed a sigh of relief and reached the station and the awaiting tram with no further incident. I got to the station in about 20 minutes, I suppose.

Meanwhile my friends heading for Saint Nicolas found their passage blocked every second road by tear gas. After about an hour and a half of pointless roaming they went to the station and got a train.

Other friends walked up the far side of the city centre, found buses and got home without any trouble.


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