The People Arise

Yesterday was the kind of day where you see how a small community can pull together.

We have a nursery school in our village, which is run by an “association,” meaning that it is not entirely public, nor is it entirely private. It is paid for by a variety of sources that include grants, etc.

I’m not here to judge how it is run, although my guess is that the administrative end of things was not well set up, which is most likely the root cause of the problem that it is currently facing. That problem is a financial one.

The nursery school, or “creche,” has fallen into a political black hole and is threatened with closure because they do not have enough money to keep it going. Many of the mothers who use it work, and if it closes they will have no one to watch their children and therefore may have to quit their jobs. It’s not a good situation.

So, the village and the surrounding communities which also use the creche mobilized. 200 people marched in the streets of the village and held a rally in front of the office of the Communauté des Communes, which is the equivalent of a county government as opposed to a village or regional government (confusing, I know).

At first, the doors of the Communauté des Communes remained closed, but eventually a spokesman came out to speak to the people. Granted, he was only there to try and lay the blame at the feet of the Mayor and the City Council, as is often the case with disputes here. Our mayor is not part of the “in” crowd and is independent to the point of having members of different political parties all working together on the City Council. This does not go down well with the local political “machine” and means that often there are disputes that affect the village in a negative way.

Whether the protest will do any good or not, I don’t know. Certainly there was a fair amount of publicity, and since next year is the county election, I would hope that there will be some effort on behalf of the “powers that be” to get something done.

Many of us on the march don’t have children, but we came together as a group to save the jobs of the teachers and a place for the kids to be cared for in safety.

Frankly, I was proud to participate. A community needs to put aside individual differences for a cause that affects the greater good, and there were many from across the political spectrum out in the streets yesterday.

It’s a lesson that should be followed by others.

Ciao for now.


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