The day started normal, coffee and some oatmeal, watching some news. My school was closed from the foreboding warnings of manifestations; apparently the previous manifestation in 2005 caused enough damage to take the warning seriously and stop the courses for the day.
Brian and I watched images flicked on television of riots, burning cars- and the ticker under the news; "URGENCE: Incedencie à Place Bellecour en Lyon"
Holy Crap. Instantly we got dressed and wandered outside- this was around 12:40pm mind you- and nothing much was happening. The rioters were surrounding the police, pelting them with rocks.
|Right outside our door, 12:45pm...|
Not very good quality, but the black smoke in the picture represents a car burning down the street.
I went home, marched upstairs and locked my doors.
Around 4:30 pm, Brian returned home and was very excited. He told me there was some "Crazy shit" going on outside, and that "Rue Victor Hugo was absolutely massacred". I threw on my shoes, my jacket and ran out the door with him. We managed to snap these photos of the damage...
A lot of broken glass and cell phone cameras. It was like walking into a war zone. It only got worse when we returned to Place Bellecour to film some of the action... as the Police started gathering we realized it's because they planned to 'Gas Bomb' the entire square, which meant that they were going to pelt everything in sight with gas to get everyone out of the square. We were in the square and yes, we got gassed. What does it feel like? It feels like someone took jalapeno peppers and made it into dust and blew it all over my face. My eyes teared up, my throat burned, I couldn't breath... we ran.
We decided then it was time to head home... but the street we were on was blocked by the Police..
No one could pass. We had to walk around the block towards the Quai to get to home.. and then we saw this outside of our door...
|Yes, that's a trashcan in the fountain...|
|Leftover Gas Pellet... see the scorch marks?|
|Standing on Rue des Marronniers- incredibly it's locked up.. empty..|
Today is a new day.. but what a clean up the city of Lyon is gonna have to do. I've been hearing it was one of the worst riots in a long time- all we can do is wait. Gas is running out around France due to the gas workers on strike, SNCF is running part time, same. Public transport is unreliable. Schools are closing.
It's truly an incredible time to live in France.. and I don't regret it one bit. I'll keep you posted if anything new happens, until then, here's the video I made showing the events of October 19, 2010 in Lyon.
Video of October 19 2010 in Lyon