As I mentioned before, I am here in Lyon to study la science politique. This past weekend I had the opportunity to visit a political meeting in Lyon. Now is the season for the French presidentielle which finalizes in the beginning of May, giving the French a new president for the next five years. The major candidates include: Jean-Luc Melenchon (the Front de Gauche candidate), Benoit Hamon (the Parti Socialiste candidate), Emmanuel Macron (an independent candidate who created his own political movement En Marche!), Francois Fillon (les Republicains candidate), and Marine Le Pen (le Front National candidate).
Last Saturday, Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen both came to Lyon for political meetings, addressing large crowds in a high risk presidential campaign. I decided to go to Emmanuel Macron’s event at the Gerland Stadium in the south of Lyon. He was once a ministre of the current Parti Socialiste administration of Francois Hollande, but has since created his own independent movement, drawing large crowds of young students and those who believe in a movement for the left and right to work together. I waited two hours of security lines for this meeting, only to be told that the stadium was full. But, no worries! I got to see him on a large screen outside the stadium. Before entering the stadium, Macron addressed the crowd outside. He told us that the event gathered over 16,000 people. It was amazing to be apart of such a large group, in a movement to get the French to work independent of party politics.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed my time at the meeting, standing in the freezing cold without a cold was not too enjoyable. I stayed for about an hour and a half and then decided to bike home.
When I came home, I found out my host father got through the press entrance and got to go in the stadium! Mais, c’est la vie.