Dorchester Students Invited Themselves to the French Consulate for a Protest

They're angry about a French foreign ministry website that warns tourists not to visit Dorchester.


En Flag image by Sylvain Naudin on Flickr

French language students at Dorchester’s Codman Academy took a field trip to the French consulate to do what any real student of French culture ought to: protest.

They’re reacting to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, which advises citizens visiting Boston to avoid walking around in Dorchester, Mattapan, and Roxbury. “I’ve lived there a long time,” Gzharia Lynch, a senior at Codman Academy, told WBUR. “Any neighborhood is scary when you’re walking at night. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go see what’s real.”

And so, her classmates, her professeur, and erstwhile mayoral candidate and Dorchester native Bill Walczak turned up unannounced at the French consul general’s office in Boston to read him a letter in French asking his nation to reconsider their advice.

The consul general was apparently out, so they had a tête-à-tête with his deputy, ” who looked unnerved” and did not take any questions, the Boston Globe reports. Really, he should have seen this coming. The same Ministry of Foreign Affairs website that warns people not to go to Dorchester also advises them to refrain from loudly discussing crime rates in America due to “the sensitivity of American public opinion.” Also, he can’t be a stranger to student protests. This is the French we’re talking about here. If there’s one tired joke we love to make about the French, it’s that they have a terrible military history. But if there’s another tired joke to be made, its that they love a good protest. So just surrender, already, guys and change your website.