I do not recall whether the Metro ride was free or not. As I recall, in
that day of the strong dollar, it would have cost me the equivalent of
ten cents. But it may have been free...I just don't remember. I do
remember the cop turning me back to the square as I attempted to walk
home. I suppose that if I'd waited another hour or so they would have
opened the streets to usual traffic.
That was the year of the Israeli incursion into Lebanon, and Arab
terrorists were blowing up Jewish institutions all over France; the
police presence was heavy at that time, with cops carrying submachine
guns a common sight all over the city. Fear of more actions may have
contributed to the policy decision to close off the square, which is the
French equivalent of Independence Hall and Concord combined--although as
far as I know there were no Jewish institutions in the area, and the
Mitterand government was not particularly friendly to Israel. (At least
they didn't have Homeland-Security style ads everywhere....)
Bijan Soleymani wrote:
> Richard Risemberg <rickrise@...> writes:
>>In '82 I went to the Bastille Day parade at, of course, Place de la
>>Bastil in Paris. About one million people attended, the flics permitted
>>no cars to enter, and then, after it was over, the cops directed
>>everyone to the Metro stations that surround the square. I figured to
>>beat the lines and started to walk out, but a hat informed me that there
>>was no walking out either--everyone to the trains!
> That's very odd... No walking? Was the metro ride free? If not how could
> they force you to pay to leave a public place to get home? Let alone why...
"I believe that every right implies a responsibility; every opportunity,
an obligation; every possession, a duty."
John D. Rockefeller, Jr.