FQRD June 94:
March for Life

The first March for Life (La Marche pour la Vie) took place on Sunday 29th June across Paris - from East (Bercy) to West (Champ de mars, Eiffel Tower) through the left bank. The first of its kind, it was conceived by AIDES, one of the major French AIDS support organizations. The idea was backed by the Mairie de Paris (the Paris city council), which jointly organized the march - which followed in AIDES' footsteps, some would say.

The tournout approximated 12,000. Commitments to donation are still being estimated but would range 1.6-2 million French Francs. Enterprises, municipal corporations, ministries, lycées (secondary schools), L/G/B groups, sport associations, support organizations and thousands of volunteers joined their effort and gathered up in a diverse but congenial crowd. The march reached its peak as it stopped under the Eiffel Tower. 10,000 bamboo sticks were handed out and they were beated in keeping pace and rhythm with the leading tomtoms. A somewhat weird idea that aroused our tribal and primitive instincts. Our incantations nearly worked since it started drizzling.

Only Act Up stood out, as usual. The coalition to unleash power refused to participate, partly in fear of being found won over by the political parties, which are much active in the run up to the European and presidential elections. AIDES and Act Up have always fought with different styles and complementary actions and results.

You are welcome to join in next year.

See also Illico, juillet 94, p. 7.

Wim

Copyright Gais et Lesbiennes Branchs, (C) 1995
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