French motorcyclists more angry than ever
Last month, we published a post where we said that thousands of motorcyclists were expected to demonstrate all over France in protest at a recent Government announcement to fine any bikers caught filtering through the traffic. Well, the demonstrations took place yesterday, 13th March 2010. More than 60 cities and towns saw their roads blocked by thousands of angry bikers who said NON to the French authorities who keep treating motorbikes, scooters and mopeds like cars.
The French Government have recently announced their intention to take draconian measures against bikers who overtake cars and filter in between them in traffic jams by issuing expensive fines. They expect every bike to stay in lane, like cars, behind each other, and not go any faster than them. How stupid is that? Paris, for instance, but also Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux and Toulouse are already very congested cities due to the high number of cars in circulation, and the Government is keen to add more pressure on the roads by forcing Powered Two Wheelers (PTW) to behave like cars.
They treat us like cars, we will behave like cars!
La Fédération Française des Motards en Colère (FFMC – the French Federation of Angry Bikers) urged all motorcyclists on the other side of the Channel to protest and, as a result, France saw a total of 40,000 motorcyclists gathered on the roads yesterday, with 10,000 of them in Paris alone. Parisian motorcyclists joined the FFMC at 2pm at Château de Vincennes, on the outskirts of Paris. There were already 5,000 bikers at 1.30pm, another 2,200 joined between 1.30pm and 2pm and the rest joined during the demonstration.
Angry bikers took over the whole périphérique (the express road running around the centre of Paris), each occupying the space of one car in each lane. Within minutes, an enormous traffic jam was created by these 10,000 motorcyclists, thus gridlocking the whole of Paris on a busy Saturday afternoon, when Parisians go out to do their shopping and visit friends and relatives. The result was absolutely spectacular, car drivers were stuck in traffic until late in the evening by the time all the traffic jams cleared.
Let’s cause massive disruption in the metro!
For anyone who decided to leave their car at home and take the metro instead, unfortunately that didn’t help. In response to a statement made by the French Transport Secretary, Jean-Marc Belotti, who said “If they [bikers] are not happy, they can take the metro like everyone else”, protestors took over the Paris underground network. While some bikers continued to block the roads and cause standstill overground, others went down the underground en masse and occupied an entire train, thus bringing the entire line to a complete stop. We let you imagine the outcome if thousands of motorcyclists left their bike at home and commuted by tube. This is valid in London too, if Westminster City Council continue to stealth tax bikers to park, thus increase the cost of motorcycling. Next time, Mr Belotti will think twice before opening his mouth!
UK France Bikers are very proud indeed of the FFMC and their actions to protect the rights of motorcyclists in France. The FFMC is a real example to follow for everyone. It is now time that public authorities, wherever they are in the world, realise that they’re not above everyone else. To the contrary, they are there to serve the people who elected them.
They inconvenience us, we will inconvenience them! Power to the people!
Please join and support the campaign to stop Westminster Council from stealth taxing motorcyclists to park before their scheme spreads all over the UK and the rest of Europe. For further details, visit http://www.notobikeparkingtax.com/
Rejoignez le groupe de manifestants contre le stationnement payant des motocyclistes a Westminster avant que cela ne se propage dans le reste du Royaume-Uni et l’Union Europeenne. Pour plus d’informations, consultez http://www.notobikeparkingtax.com/
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