Outside of the Hôtel de Ville (city hall) in Paris on a rainy February day there were a number of crowd-control barricades all lined up for no apparent reason. Nothing special was going on — no protest marches, no strikes (that day, anyway), no visiting dignitaries. Maybe the event had already passed? Or were the flics (French police) just preparing for something about to happen? Or were the barricades always there, no matter what was going on?
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