Musicians perform during the wrestling charity gala in Ivry Sur Seine, south of Paris, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018.

With revolutionary slogans and a message of support for the unemployed, this was no ordinary wrestling event. Muscles bulging, hair flying, the wrestlers put on quite a show Ñ with losers tossed out of the ring in the grand finale. But the aim of the catch wrestling gala in the communist-run Paris suburb of Ivry-sur-Seine wasnÕt to make a profit or showcase celebrities. Instead, it was celebrating the anniversary of a charity group called the Association for Employment, Information and Solidarity with the Unemployed and At-Risk Workers. Saxophonists marched in wearing headgear and capes, just like wrestling heroes. In a mass fight, one team simultaneously hoisted opponents onto their beefy shoulders and tossed them down. The groupÕs two women drew cheers in a one-on-one fight. In the corridors of the municipal sports hall, the wrestlers stretched their legs or recovered from a punishing match. At the end, excited children clustered around the ring, seeking autographs. Those attending included people from all walks of life, many talking about the injustice of FranceÕs decades of high unemployment.
Entry was free for kids and just 8 euros ($10) for the rest, and the 1,200-capacity hall was full. Funds go to the nonprofit association. (Text by Angela Charlton)