Shock Resistance in Paris

Naomi wrote the following short statement on the climate actions in Paris today in defiance of the ban on public demonstrations, which included thousands of people linking arms to form a “human chain” along the 3 kilometer route of the cancelled big march. Police fired tear gas at a crowd of protestors near the Place de la République, arresting over 150 people.

What I saw today was Parisians ready to take back their city from fear. In multiple ways, people defied attempts to sweep away dissent and insisted on their right to protest, assemble, and disagree passionately with their governments. Even if one does not agree with every action that took place, this general atmosphere of defiance is something to celebrate. After all, government response to the climate crisis is wholly inadequate and puts us all in great danger. Obedience in the face of this failure would be tantamount to acquiescence.

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Photographs by Michael Premo and Isabelle Fardin.

Naomi Klein is an award-winning journalist, syndicated columnist and author of the international bestsellers This Changes Everything, The Shock Doctrine and No Logo. She writes a regular column for The Nation and The Guardian and is a contributing editor at Harper's.