Welcome to Sarkoland
On May 6th, about 5000 people gathered at Bastille for the results of the 2nd round of the presidential elections. At 8pm, the official estimates confirmed what most already knew from the Internet or SMS: Sarkozy had won, with more than 53% of the votes. Sadness gave way to anger and ultimately to violence, fuelled by some radical leftist groups and anarchists. This is the story of that night.

Similar incidents occurred in other French cities such as Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Montpellier, Bordeaux, Lille, Rennes and Nantes. 730 vehicles have been burnt across the country and 592 people apprehended. 28 police officers have been hurt. In Paris, fellow photographer Philippe Leroyer has been hurt by a stone in Bastille but he's now doing ok.

Please note however that tens of thousand of people joyfully celebrated the election of Sarkozy on the place de la Concorde. Therefore, this should by no way represent the whole story, I just couldn't be at both places at once !

On the 2 following days, more clashes erupted in Bastille and other places as youth gathered to confront the police. Similar incidents occurred in other French cities.

PS: the title "Welcome to Sarkoland" is a direct reference to an article in Libération entitled "Bienvenue à Sarkoland", which has been used repeatedly by the BBC afterwards.

All shots taken with a 17-55mm (25-82 equivalent).
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