I previously wrote on the forthcoming NATO summit in Strasbourg and Baden Baden. Self referentially I am writing something different about the same thing but using the same headline, hey, like Baden Baden, the headline’s so good I wrote it twice. For younger people not up with their 1970’s hits the reference is to Gerard Kenny’s hit New York, New York so good they named it twice:
In just a week NATO will be meeting in Strasbourg and it has been getting regular, read daily, coverage in the local media. Some stories have made it into the national media. Now, my previous posting, from 8th March, contained a photo of a banner with the legend, “PACE, no to NATO”. The national media recently had a story about the banner in the photo above and to the right, on the balcony of a known Communist Party activist in Strasbourg, who had a visit from the Police asking him to remove the banner. It is above a restaurant opposite one of the major in town shopping centres. Until the item on the television I didn’t know it was there. I would not have taken the picture and posted it here. I think a police own goal, opponents of NATO 1 forces of the state 0. Talking of which, today’s free paper had a round-up of the restrictions to be in place next week during the summit.(Details also here on the Strasbourg Council site.) Then again, the local paper has details of an appeal to the local judicial tribunal against the restrictions and the actions of the police in visiting people displaying flags asking them to take them down.
To show the lengths the rumours etc. have got to, a student today told me that in Baden Baden, also so good they named it twice which is probably why Barry O is staying there for the summit, everyone has been told they not only have to have their windows closed but shutters have to be closed too. Many people are or have gone away and no-one is willing to have any English lessons during the period.
What isn’t a rumour as I’ve seen it myself, and have pictured it on the left, is that the rubbish bins around the city have been sealed. There are two areas cordoned off from the public for the summit which people require passes to access their homes, places of work etc. There is the total ‘ring of death’ around the Cathedral and Palais Rohan, the latter where it is rumoured the heads of government will be having their meals, with a nice view out over the River Ill – all the roads opposite are also blocked. Then there is the lesser ‘ring of steel’ around an area of half the Grand Ile. The picture above is taken from one of my workplaces which is inside the ‘ring of steel’ of a bin opposite it which isn’t. You can see it has been sealed at the top with a temporary see through waste sack attached. This is a week before the event.
Anyway, people wondering about the headline, it is inspired by this song, enjoy Fred and Ginger on roller skates: