Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Monday, March 1, 2010

24h sans nous

I'll write more about my weekend dans le Noorrddd tomorrow, but today I want to bring up "le 1er mars - La journée sans immigrés", or "March 1st - The day without immigrants", with the idea being that for 24 hours, all immigrants would stop buying and working to show the impact that they really have on the French economy. March 1st was chosen because it was the day that the "immigration choisie" (controlled immigration) law took effect back in 2005. Similar events will also be held in Spain, Italy and Greece.

I haven't quite decided if I'm going to participate today or not, but I do think the idea is interesting - and well-timed, given all the national debates going around about "What it means to be French". I also think it's easy for most of us to forget how tough it can be for immigrants in France. We all complain about having to go to the préfecture, dealing with red tape, etc, but given our nationalities, we actually have it quite easy when compared to many other foreigners.

If you want to learn more about the event, you can click here for the main website.



Blogger Animesh said...

I remember something like this in LA. There were huge rallies. All the cleaning staff at USC came in earlier than usual, did their work, and then left for the rally.

Let's see how this one goes. Will keep an eye on the news.

March 1, 2010 at 12:01 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

I'm not sure I agree with this in theory. ALL countries have immigrants and everyone in every country has difficult stuff to deal with. A 24 hour protest wont change anything and sometimes you just have to suck it up and say "if I choose to live in another country, I choose to deal with all the positive and negatives". I went to work today because I have professional responsibilities to maintaine, immigrant or not. France didnt ask me to come here and work, so I'm not going to take the day off just because I'm an immigrant!

March 1, 2010 at 3:38 PM  
Blogger Megan said...

Gee, you mean people would have to proofread their own emails in English at my work?!

March 1, 2010 at 9:00 PM  
Blogger Starman said...

@Crystal - I don't think you really understand what is being suggested. If you were one of the minorities living on the outskirts of the city, you would be all too anxious to join in with a bit of solidarity.

March 1, 2010 at 10:56 PM  
Blogger au soleil levant said...

There are certainly many problems with the way immigrants are treated in France, in particular the attitudes towards non-white immigrants, and it's a problem that absolutely needs to be dealt with. I wonder though if taking 24 hours off of work and shopping is the most effective way to protest these problems. If the stereotype of immigrants from Africa and the Middle East is that they come to France to suck social services out of the state and don't work, doesn't taking a day off of work just give the FN a reason to say "see what we mean?" A more effective campaign might be TV commercials highlighting the many, many immigrants who work hard and contribute to society, or motivated, educated people who can't get work based on their names or how they look. Force the French to reexamine their stereotypes and prejudices in the face of direct contadictions.

March 2, 2010 at 5:01 AM  
Blogger MISS YURI said...

it sounds like a rad idea to me. working immigrants 'cotisent' and when they buy things they pay the TVA like everyone does. if you want to show the government that immigrants have been a boost for the French economy and contributing members of society what better way than through their euros?

March 2, 2010 at 7:57 AM  

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