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French motorcyclists more angry than ever

March 14, 2010

10,000 bikers on the Paris peripherique

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.

If one car = one bike, let's see the results!

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!

Did you say bikers, if not happy, had to take the metro like everyone else? Fine, let's do it!

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!

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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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39 Comments
  1. Ogri Grindstaff permalink

    French bikers are still The Daddys! They thoroughly deserve a standing ovation from this side of ‘La Manche’.

    Vive la FFMC – Vive la NTBPT ! L’union fait la force!

    • UK France Bikers permalink

      Thanks for your comment, Ogri. L’union fait la force, you are absolutely right! It’s important that bikers all over Europe join forces to fight against the politicians who discriminate them againt car drivers or else who impose a series of non-sense measures on them. One of the most effective tactics is to show the politicians in question the outcome of their measures or policies should they go ahead and impose them. That’s what the French have just done, they have proved to the Government that if bikes are treated like cars, they can congest like cars. And also, if bikers all start to take public transport, as this French Transport Secretary stupidly suggested, it won’t cope. It’s called demonstration by the absurd!

      Let’s not forget Westminster Councillor Susie Burbridge who said that to be environmentally friendly, motorbikers should use more public transport. How about hundreds of bikers descending on the London tube during rush hour, all together, like the French bikers have just done in the Paris metro? If we did this, it would teach Burbridge to think twice before opening her mouth!

  2. SPman permalink

    Bloody Brilliant!!!
    If only we could organise bikers like that down here (Australia & NZ)
    Bloody mindless bureaucrats – three cheers for the French for showing everyone how to do it!
    (did I say that……merde)

  3. Adam Sherriff permalink

    Excellent well done – if only our Rostbiffs could do the same – we would all be arrested of course

  4. Grahamm permalink

    Vive les French Bikers :-)

    What are the French Government thinking? (Probably they object to being stuck in their flash cars whilst bikers sail past them in traffic and decided “we’ll stop those buggers from doing that!”)

  5. Neil Watters permalink

    I take my beret off to the French bikers for this, it will be an insane law if it is enforced

  6. Congratulations to all who took part !!

    Please please tell us you are going to do it again next weekend too !

    Govt. expect these actions to be one off. They think that once it is done it is done

    Do it again this weekend and say you will do it regularly and they WILL take note !!!

    Massive thanks to all of you guys for showing the rest of us how to do it :-)

  7. Colin permalink

    Makes me want to move to France even more now! Nice one guys, keep up the good work

  8. Rudy Lacchin permalink

    Democracy in action! You French have certainly got protesting down to a fine art!

    Perhaps we on this side of la Manche can prevail upon our so-called lords and masters to legislate with a bit of common sense by galvanising ourselves into action in a similar way.

    Failing that, I don’t suppose you’d like to send Mme Guillotine over here for a short working holiday? >:)

  9. Sometimes the politicians need to be reminded that we (the public) pay the goverment to work for us and we don’t like having the p*ss taken out of us…..Well done to all the bikers involved…..

  10. Gary McKelvie permalink

    Way to go you guys !
    I wish we could organise bikers on this side of the channel to do this as well.
    Then maybe our goverment might just start to listen to us !

  11. Get in there lads! Great show of force and a real positive for bikers! I for one feel that this is the way we need to go here in Britain – showing the outcome of their insane proposals might shake them up a bit!

  12. Geoff Hume permalink

    Tres bien. Vive la revolution!

    that’s just about the extent of my French, but believe me 100% support from this UK biker.

    • Bhm permalink

      I’m with you lads what a stupid suggestion to ban filtering etc. Bikers need to stick together to try and stop this pap. As for us in the uk those that are close enough to the ferry should show there support as the eu prettymuch rules our government when it comes to motoring of any kind look at the new bike test ffs all due to changes passed down from eu.

  13. Vickie 007 permalink

    RIDE ON, my French biker brothers!
    Bikes are better for the ‘eco-system’. We should be rewarded, not punished with extra fines & fees!

  14. biglift permalink

    As a Dutch motorcyclist I sympathize with these protesting bikers…what moron in the French goverment invented this most stupid rule?

  15. Ian Ketterer permalink

    Great stuff fellow bikers. I am a South African biker and I wish you all well with your quest. Fortunately for us it is legal to filter or “lane split” in this country. It goes a long way in easing the congestion. Thousands of people are seeing the benefit of scooting to work,shops etc. Only thing here is we have some crazy taxi drivers who have no regard for the law.

  16. Brad permalink

    Good job to the French Bruddas. Bikes cannot be treated like cars.

    Mahalo from Hawaii!

  17. BlinkBlink permalink

    Excellent demonstration by the absurd! Now they know how absurd banning lane filtering and other anti-biking stu*id laws could be. Nice one lads and keep it up.
    BlinkBlink
    Nigeria

  18. ZZR_UK permalink

    And, was there any result?
    Maybe a reply from somebody of the government?

  19. Vinnie permalink

    Finally some bikers with balls not to put up with government crap. Canadian poser riders would never consider doing such a thing as we’re too busy drinking our lattes at Starflucks.
    Well done French Bikers!!

    • SuperBob permalink

      You got it all wrong, Vinnie. First, Starbucks is in the USofA. We have Tim Horton’s.
      Second, we are not posers. Most of the people I know have been living the biker life since they were knee high to a grass hopper. That includes a few of my friends, e.g. Doctors, lawyers, Dentists, Corprate Excutives and common folk.

      As for the French Demo. Way to go guys. Keep up the good work.

      Superbob
      Canada

  20. Chris in Buffalo, NY permalink

    Great job by the French bikers in standing up to their government. People everywhere need to remember that the more we let government grow, the smaller the individual becomes. These bureaucrats, if given the opportunity will tell you what to eat, what to buy, when to pee and what mode of transportation you should use. We can’t let our governments dictate how we run our lives!

  21. Ryan permalink

    What an amazing turnout for a protest. I’m glad to hear that it might have had a desired impact on the government.

  22. stuart downie permalink

    If we tried this too much in the UK it wouldn’t be long before our leaders decided to use the anti-terrorism act against us. People moan about the French but they wont be pushed about by beaurocrats and know how to stick up for themselves when stupid laws come down from town halls or central government. More power to their elbow, we should all wish them well in their fight against this latest attack against motorcyclists.

  23. Eric Hitchcock permalink

    After 42 years of non-stop biking, save for last year fighting cancer (won the fight). I see at last the biking community has finally decided to fight back. Participation at the moment for me is a pipe dream. The French Bikers have shown that they will not be down trodden by draconian legislation, I take my helmet off to them. Not forgetting the actions of our own bikers in London against the parking charges by Westminster Council. Well done all of you, especially the organisers, however there are sadly a lot of Sunday riders who are oblivious of the impending legislation who need to be alerted. I’m sure they would be peeved at having to pay in a council run car park. Once again well done all of you!!!!

  24. Tokyo rider support you!! Awesome! All the best from the crew at http://www.gaijinriders.com

  25. Well done!! Thumbs up! Very good example of what can be done when people act together. Thank you! Lithuanian bikers in UK

  26. Sean permalink

    Awesome!
    Much respect from the U.S. !!

  27. Dr. Shock permalink

    Impressive solidarity by the French. Keep up the good fight, mon amis!
    Regards from Canada.

  28. Great job. I’ve always respected the French for the way they don’t get pushed around by silly laws.
    The rest of the world needs to stop the stupid cheap stereotypes about the French, and pay more attention to what they’ve got to show us. This is a fine example.

    Much, much respect.

  29. John Harper permalink

    I am totally behind the French bikers. On a purely practical point, my flat twin BMW is air cooled and has to keep moving in order to cool the engine!

    I also agree with an earlier comment in that the administration is elected to improve the system and serve the people! Not act out of belligerance and pomposity to make life harder. Motorbikes have been on the roads for a very long time and the hairs on the back of my neck are standing up right now just thinking about the plight of the French bikers!

  30. Omar Saracevic permalink

    Great job! French and UK riders have our support from Serbia!
    We do have same problems over here. Our police still not intend to stop as because filtering, but on other side, we don’t even care, no one is willing to stop anyway!

  31. Joseph permalink

    This is incredible. Bikers are the greenest users of motor vehicles out there. If anyone should have to pay higher taxes to park, it should be the automobile drivers. Bikes take up less space, use less fuel, and are a more efficient way to go because you’re not riding around with three or more empty seats in your car.

    The huge turnout, show of solidarity, and effective statement are all quite impressive and admirable. Well done and nice going!

    A biker in the USA.

  32. The French know how to deal with a goverment state, unfortunately we do not.

    It’s time we all took a stand in the UK.

    You have my full blessing to start this on our welsh motorcycle forum welshbikers.co.uk

  33. Russ permalink

    This is awesome.

    I’d be more than happy to take part in something like this here in the UK.

    Was this planned fine aimed at cyclists as well as motorcycle riders?

  34. keith farrell permalink

    nice one French bikers

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