Democracy – Friday Fictioneers

Friday Fictioneers is hosted by the wonderful Rochelle, the undisputed master of what I call Sound Bite Fiction.
She sets the weekly challenge, and the standard.
And the prompt photo, which this week is provided courtesy of Roger
Bultot.
The idea, as always, is to write a story of around 100 words based on this picture, below.

© Roger Bultot


Click here to hear the writer read his words:

Democracy

On July 14th France celebrates its national day.
Barriers surround the Champs-Élysées.
Across the country, in every town, there are similar defences, manned by armed security forces.
Nice 2016 looms large.
Does anyone believe that the War on Terror is being won?
In the French capital something even worse takes place.
Those responsible for our protection have an additional task.
They prevent entry to anyone whose clothes are predominantly yellow.
The Gilets Jaunes are still stubbornly supported here.
But this is clearly state abuse of power, censoring their own citizens’ rights.
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité.
Boos and whistles greet Monsieur Macron.

About ceayr

A Scot who has discovered Paradise in a small town he calls Medville on the Côte d'Azur, C.E. Ayr has spent a large part of his life in the West of Scotland and a large part elsewhere. His first job was selling programmes at his local football club and he has since tried 73 other career paths, the longest being in IT, with varying degrees of success. He is somewhat nomadic, fairly irresponsible and, according to his darling daughter, a bit random.
This entry was posted in Sound Bite Fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

47 Responses to Democracy – Friday Fictioneers

  1. Laurie Bell says:

    Governments fail the people more and more these days, becoming fat and lazy and rich like the royalty of old. And when people hurt…

    Like

  2. The pendulum swings again. Just when you think the state of affairs is evening out. A good story well written, C.E. —- Suzanne

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      The pendulum is swinging further to the extreme right than ever before, I think, Suzanne. As I mention elsewhere, the excuse ‘for your security’ is being used by too many governments to impose restrictions on individual liberty.

      Like

  3. Ah, history, don’tcha just love it. There are no answers.

    Like

  4. Dale says:

    It is truly a sad state of affairs when government does everything to shut freedom of speech and rights of the people. Sadly this does not only happen in France.
    Well done, Sir.

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      A universal problem, I agree, as our governments move further and further to the right, using ‘your security’ as an excuse for eroding our rights and freedoms.
      Thank you for your comment, Dale

      Like

  5. gahlearner says:

    It’s a very fine line between keeping order and brutalizing protesters. Even following orders gives people a choice to follow with thought and consideration, or to use it as an excuse for brutality and power games. At least in a democracy. (I’m also referring to your comment on my entry this week). It’s far from a black and white situation.

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      Lines can be blurred, I agree, but the removal of basic human rights is, as far as I’m concerned, very black and white. It is not for any government to dictate what people can and cannot wear, and peaceful protest is fundamental to a healthy democracy.

      Liked by 1 person

      • gahlearner says:

        I agree with the protests, but not with the symbol. My government forbids to wear swastikas or other Nazi symbols, and I stand behind that. Symbols are strong.

        Like

        • ceayr says:

          I am somewhat confused now, Gabriele, there are no swastikas or any other Nazi symbols involved here. The only identifier is the colour yellow, which comes from the yellow safety vests (gilets jaunes) that all motorists in France are required by law to carry in their cars. This is not a right wing movement, quite the reverse, this is a populist of the people for the people protest.

          Liked by 1 person

          • gahlearner says:

            My remark was more of a general nature, not directly related to the yellow jackets. I agree with the right for peaceful protest, as a human right, that is what I meant. But I also understand if certain symbols are banned. Like the swastika in my country. I doubt that the yellow jackets are a strong enough symbol for such measures (yet) especially since they combine so many different demands and tendencies. I’d not call them a peaceful movement though, after all the arson and destruction, call for police to kill themselves, and antisemitism, especially in the beginning. According to our media, both, the far left and the far right are involved. Still, all of this doesn’t justify the over-the-board violent response by the authrities. So my agreeing with you about the human right issues hasn’t changed but I still claim that this is far from a black-and-white situation.

            Like

  6. 4963andypop says:

    Interesting to read this from the comfort of another red-white-and-blue country mad to display the power of the state over symbols, as if the destruction of symbols could suppress the ideas that underlie them. Our president was supposedly inspired by one of Macron’s Bastille Day parades to park a tank or two to the vicinity of this year’s 4th of July (independence Day) parade. Unheard of!

    Like

  7. pennygadd51 says:

    Applause for a powerful piece of writing, CE.
    We need, somehow, a way of preserving and promulgating liberal values in the face of oppression. Teachers will be in the front line, I suspect, with writers close behind. The trouble is that democracy – while being the least-worst system of government – no longer seems adequate to cope with the modern world. But what could replace it?

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      Thank you so much, Penny.
      In my view the problem with our democracies is that they have all, perhaps inevitably, been corrupted by, and are now controlled by, the world-wide oligarchy of the mega-rich.
      Time for the revolution?

      Like

  8. The world seems to be in a state of protest right now, but fighting for ‘freedoms’ is our obligation as citizens. (At least in my opinion). It’s certainly part of life here in Hong Kong. I found myself in the middle of things the other day and let me tell you pepper spray is not comfortable to the eyes. I like your second to the last line!

    Liked by 1 person

    • ceayr says:

      Thank you, Brenda, we are very much in agreement here.
      I find it unutterably sad that probably the greatest national motto is being so abused.
      And, Brenda, please stay safe.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. draliman says:

    Sad but becoming a fact of life everywhere.

    Like

  10. plaridel says:

    one could only wonder where the world is heading. are we really ready to drain the swamp?

    Like

  11. Abhijit Ray says:

    War on terror is an ideological war. Difficult to win. Not possible to win the mind either. It is kill or be killed. Sorry state.

    Like

  12. The world is going mad, its contagious, yellow is an ace colour, to curtail it is bananas which ironically are yellow

    Like

  13. It seems the whole world has gone crazy. You captured that in your story.

    Like

  14. Gouy corine says:

    Tu n’aurais pas des origines françaises ??? 🇫🇷

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Tannille says:

    The world has gone nuts. How many people have the yellows killed? Blown up? Yeah their the real enemy of the people…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Iain Kelly says:

    Such a wonderful country, such a complex history and social mix. The ongoing battle between the State and the people shows no sign of abating, though I think Monsieur Macron may not survive beyond the next election.

    Liked by 1 person

    • ceayr says:

      It is a great country, Iain, but somehow here, as in a couple of major anglophone nations, the government is moving to the right.
      Propaganda is a powerful tool.
      And the president is merely the mouthpiece of his financier masters, cf Boris and the hedge funds.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. emmylgant says:

    When the sitting government orders the police force to remove all traces of yellow and arrest its carrier/wearer on the Champs Elysees or vicinity, one can reasonably wonder about its mental health and its fundamental understanding of the Declaration of Human Rights.
    And so it was that, July 14th this year, cops knifed yellow balloons, demanded removal of yellow T-shirts, pins, and whatever. Absurd. ‘Strategic neutralization’ included pre-emptive arrests.
    After the parade the LBD-40 and gas grenades came out again to clear the Champs Elysees.

    Welcome to the Free Democratic Republic inspired by 1984, Fahrenheit 451 and A Brave New World,

    Like

    • ceayr says:

      As you know, Em, human rights are less important to our leaders than control.
      The events in Paris are ‘insupportable’ and yet ignored by what we used to call the ‘Free Press’.
      But, of course, the same money controls the press, our governments and, increasingly, the minutiae of our daily lives.
      Thank you for your contribution, Em, much appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Colline says:

    You are saying so much with this – had to read the piece a few times. Well done.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. michael says:

    It seems that power corrupts, yellow for ever

    Like

  20. neilmacdon says:

    I love the observation that Bastille Day is celebrated with barriers

    Liked by 2 people

  21. Dear CE.

    Chaos runs rampant…sadly everywhere. Well written.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    Like

Leave your Sound Bite here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.