It was a static demonstration, in front of City Hall, and the area directly in front of the building was full of the movement's characteristic blue, pink and white flags.
The atmosphere was rather 'bon enfant', and there were many families present. Here's one baby demonstrator, at the outer edge of the crowd. There were a number of other baby buggys too, most of which had babies in them, although a few others contained teddy bears or baby dolls.
Also on the sidelines were older people who obviously preferred the view from nearby steps to being caught in the crush below.
But these enterprising young ladies managed to get a good view as well as being close to the centre of the crowd. They are clinging to the railings of City Hall. Their first 'Bastille Moment'?
These people are signing an anti-gay marriage petition. As soon as I had taken this picture I was shouted at by a couple of very angry women who claimed that I was breaking anti-privacy laws. They demanded that I delete the photo, which I politely declined to do. After all, if people don't want other people to to take photos of
Here's a photo of people using their constitutional right to stand in front of City Hall and make a lot of noise. The building's walls remained mute and unbending however, that which quite aptly and symbolically illustrates the government's refusal to bow to pressure from the street.
This view is dominated by the proudly imposing façade of Lyon's Opera House. Note the arches.
Behind the arches, and in the Opera's outer foyer, the teenagers who use this space daily as a place to work their Hip-Hop moves to the music of their ghetto blasters chose to totally ignore what was happening on the other side of the arches and carry on with business as usual. Top marks to them! These kids are a part of Opera life and the Opera's staff appreciate their respect for passers by as well as the efforts they make to keep the volume at a reasonable level. They are a credit to this city.
This demonstration was attended by 1800 people according to police figures in local press reports this evening, and the participants were certainly enthusiastic, but their efforts could not hide the fact that the event had a rather forlorn 'last ditch effort' feel about it. After all, the last anti-gay marriage demonstration here, on November 17 last year, attracted well over 20,000 marchers. (this is my photo-illustrated record of it for anyone interested.)
But the fire and high emotions of that day will not be seen again, because the gay-mariage law proposal is now being formally debated in parliament, and the general consensus is that the law is almost certain to be voted as it stands, without any major amendments. And that possibility took yet another step towards becoming reality this morning when parliament approved the law's first - and by far the most important, as it enshrines the right to gay marriage - article by a crushing majority of 249 votes to 97.
The anti-gay marriage lobby's cause is now all but lost, and I doubt I'll need to go to any more of their demonstrations. Their will is still strong despite the rapidly dwindling numbers of demonstators, but the facts are even stronger.
Still, not to worry, this being France there's bound to be another demonstration in Lyon soon, on another issue, and I'll be there to cover it and post the results here.
Have an excellent weekend everyone.