The mayor of Paris demands 100,000 euros
The mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoë, who is openly gay, is demanding 100,000 euros in damages from the organizers of the Manif pour Tous. Novopress reports:
Bertrand Delanoë is demanding 100,000 euros in damages for the trampled-upon lawn of the Champ-de-Mars during the Manif pour Tous last Sunday. A sum that the mayor intends to demand from the Interior Ministry before the week's end. This could then become the burden of the organizers. A vast Parisian outdoor space, the Champ-de-Mars was able to contain the successive waves of the million demonstrators who marched on January 13 in protest against the law on homosexual marriage and adoption.
A gigantic demonstration, without any incident, unlike the storming into the streets by the Left, or the violence committed by thugs during the Music Festival, or the high-school graduation gathering in 2008 at the same spot. The measure being taken by the Socialist mayor therefore appears to be political reprisals against his opponents, since the mayor had lent the Champ-de-Mars and offered a subsidy of 230,000 euros for a concert organized by SOS-Racism in July 2011 (…)
According to RMC (Radio Monte-Carlo), the organizers of the Manif are refusing to pay:
(…) The spokesman for the group that demonstrated, Frijide Barjot, stated on Wednesday that they did not have the means to pay. "I call on all citizens today to come and replant the Champ-de-Mars," she declared to the press. "If we must replant we will replant, but we just don't have 100,000 euros for the Champ-de-Mars. And above all, after the other rallies, such as Gay Pride no one ever demanded that they replant the lawns or pay a fine. Do you ask for money to clean the streets? No. If we must preserve the blades of grass on the Champ-de-Mars we must also preserve our future generations and not threaten their conception through the Taubira law," said Frijide Barjot.
However, in a communiqué, Delanoë has expressed his surprise at the controversy, saying that he had warned the prefecture and the organizers that "the lawns of the Champ-de-Mars are being redone during the winter months and would not survive such a crowd." According to the mayor, the lawns will be closed to the public until June, instead of March, due to the damage done on Sunday. And he recalled that he has sent bills such as this one before, after a concert by Johnny Hallyday and a demonstration by SOS-Racism in 2011. "My only concern has always been to preserve the Champ-de-Mars," writes Bertrand Delanoë, who points out that he turned down François Hollande a year ago when the candidate wanted to use the Champ-de-Mars for a meeting.