Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Remembering those who died in Paris

022Following the death of almost 130 people as the result of terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday 13 November 2015, flowers are being placed outside the French Embassy in Knightsbridge and the French Consulate, in Cromwell Road, South Kensington, both in London.

Both places were visited on the afternoon of Sunday 15 November.  What was surprising perhaps was how few flowers had been left at both.  There were probably less than a 100 bouquets – nearly all shop-bought – at both sites, though a steady stream of people (it seemed mainly men) were adding to the flowers already at the Embassy.

013At the Embassy there were in addition to individuals and couples two distinct groups – one of black-dressed, dreadlocked, presumably anarchist, types,the other rather more smartly dressed.  The former group did not seem to know what to do, though some of their number occasionally went forward and looked at the flowers.  The other group formed a semi-military line of four and placed their flowers while being filmed by one of their colleagues.  This group seemed to represent a right-wing organisation, and after they had left one of the flower tributes had a card reading ‘Generosity repaid by Murder, London National Front.’  A bunch of flowers left at the Consulate bore the uncompromising message: ‘Is you are all cowards, cowards, cowards, shit cowards, Viva la France’.

Thus not all of the flowers  were contributed by people wanting to express sympathy for the people of Paris; a few of the bouquets were left to express rage or stir up Islamophobia.

Images:  upper, French Consulate; lower, French Embassy.

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