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Notre Dame donations enflame protests

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 4/20/19, 11:24 am

French yellow vest protesters marched through Paris on Saturday to demand economic reforms to help the working poor as the government prepares to rebuild the fire-ravaged Notre Dame Cathedral. The $1 billion in donations that has poured in to restore the iconic Paris landmark, which sustained heavy damage in a fire Monday, has angered many French people who struggle to make ends meet. Some protesters set small fires and threw rocks at police, who responded with tear gas in the Place de la Republique. Outside of that neighborhood, the march remained mostly peaceful. The Paris police headquarters said authorities detained 126 people by early afternoon and carried out spot checks of more than 11,000 people trying to enter the capital for Saturday's protests.

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Lynde Langdon

Lynde is a WORLD Digital’s managing editor and reports on popular and fine arts. She lives in Wichita, Kan., with her husband and two daughters. Follow Lynde on Twitter @lmlangdon.

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  •  Greg Mangrum's picture
    Greg Mangrum
    Posted: Sun, 04/21/2019 12:51 pm

    I do not agree with settings fires and throwing rocks, most protesters were peaceful, however; they have a legitimate beef: huge donations are pledged for the rebuilding of Notre Dame, not a bad thing in and of itself, but the working poor, the forgotten men and women, get nothing. Why is that? An inanimate object gets more attention than living, breathing, struggling human beings. It ain’t right.

  • MikeD
    Posted: Mon, 04/22/2019 01:59 pm

    Somehow the picture of a billion dollars worth of donations just pouring into the cathedral and the walls and spire just magically appearing by themselves without going to any actual human hands seems does seem a little perverse. Maybe if the protesters were working instead of burning, they would be able to participate in the world's largesse.

  •  JenniMiki70's picture
    Posted: Tue, 04/23/2019 11:58 am

    I see your point, Greg, but are they wanting jobs or a hand-out from the government?  Furthermore, if private people choose to donate to restore a beautiful, historical building instead of giving money to people who have set fires in their communities (or worse, other communities), that's their money, and their choice.  I never have a problem with giving someone much needed help, but when someone walks up to me and demands that I give them money, I always ignore them or flat-out say no.

    When wealthy members of my family go on trips to places I'd love to see, I decide not to be resentful, but live through their pictures and stories and hope that one day, I'll be able to do what they do.  That's why I see the reaction of the Yellow Vests as simply jealous, impetuous children who are breaking the 10th commandment, coveting what is not theirs.  The Notre Dame money is simply not theirs to have.

  • OldMike
    Posted: Mon, 04/22/2019 03:32 pm

    Absolutely correct. All of that rebuilding work will be performed by humans, earning wages, supporting families, spending their wages in their communities.     It’s not like that donated money will be flushed down the sewer to disappear forever from France’s economy.