Le site Bellaciao: coloré, multiple, ou le meilleur cotoie fort heureusement le pire, mélangé, bizarre, picabien et dadaîste, explorant toutes sortes de registres et de régimes rhétoriques, drole et polémiqueur, surréaliste: rencontre d'un parapluie et d'une machine à coudre sur une table de dissection, têtes de Lénine sur le clavier d'un piano Steinway ou Bosendorfer...
FR
ES
Senal en Vivo
VIDEO
RADIO
FRIENDS SITES
with Bellaciao
Bellaciao hosted by
To rebel is right, to disobey is a duty, to act is necessary !
Bellaciao  mobile version   |   Home  |   About us   |   Donation  |   Links  |   Contact  |   Search
Protests Heat Up as France Feels the Chill of Change

by : France
Friday March 17, 2006 - 01:51

PARIS, March 16 - Once again, students are on the barricades in France, evoking comparisons to the uprising of May 1968. But this is not a revolt. It is not 1968 revisited.

JPEG - 95.8 kb

Certainly, students are taking to the streets and shutting down universities, and tear gas penetrated the heart of Paris. Today, hundreds of thousands of protesters, most of them students, filled the streets and marched in cities throughout France. With teachers, workers, labor union leaders, the jobless, even retirees beginning to join in, an even larger nationwide protest is planned for Saturday.

And the images of cheering students occupying the 17th-century Sorbonne, the birthplace of the 1968 revolt, last Friday night called forth memories of that exhilarating, romantic leftist youth movement 38 springs ago.

But the students’ goal this time is far more modest. They want the abolition of a new law, the First Employment Contract, which aims to increase hiring by allowing employers to fire new workers without cause in their first two years.

"We’re not back there in ’68," said Nadjet Boubakeur, a 26-year-old history major at a public university here and a leader of the student movement UNEF. "Our revolt is not to get more. It’s to keep what we have."

Nonetheless, the demonstrations coincide with a time when the French government seems to be in free fall. In the face of the unrest, President Jacques Chirac and his ministers have been reduced to pleading for dialogue. The government also seemed ineffectual during last fall’s riots, and was battered last May when French voters rejected the French Constitution.

In contrast to the fall riots, which were centered in immigrant-heavy, working-class suburbs, these protests are a mostly middle-class phenomenon that seems to be spreading.

In Paris today, demonstrators paralyzed traffic for hours as they marched toward government offices. In the upscale Seventh Arrondissement, a small group of masked protesters hurled rocks at anti-riot police officers from a small park in front of the chic Bon Marché department store, just a few blocks from the prime minister’s office.

In Rennes, police used tear gas against youths who set garbage cans on fire and vandalized cars. In Bordeaux, protesters disrupted rail traffic. In Nancy, youths threw stones at the police, injuring one officer. In Toulouse, the university was closed after clashes between students who wanted it shut and others who wanted it to stay open.

Large protests were also held in Marseille, Montpellier, Lyon, Lille, Clermont-Ferrand, Limoges, Angers, Nantes and Strasbourg.

It is a moment of street theater and fierce debate, with sweeping commentaries about watersheds and crossroads and references to the unrest that shook Paris in May 1968. That was a time of student dreams and of student revolt aimed at transforming an authoritarian, elitist system. It pushed 10 million workers to go on strike in France and came close to forcing Gen. Charles de Gaulle from power.

"Sixty-eight was a mass revolutionary movement to create a socialist society," said Henri Weber, now a member of the European Parliament, who was a Communist leader of the 1968 revolt and whose photo protesting in front of the Sorbonne even appeared in Paris Match. "We had an idealistic vision."

The current problem stems from a flawed educational system that churns out young people who lack the necessary skills to get jobs, combined with rigid labor laws that discourage job formation because they require hugely expensive benefits and job-security packages that make it nearly impossible for employers to fire anyone.

The headquarters of UNEF, the student organization, in a gritty section of northeast Paris reflects the disparate nature of the movement. The walls are lined with posters advocating causes like new schools, an end to the war in Iraq, a boycott of McDonald’s, a ban on smoking. The air is filled with smoke.

The motto on their fliers protesting the new labor law is hardly a call to action. "Against Precariousness," it reads.

But the students have succeeded in creating an open-ended standoff between the government and a large swath of the people in which both sides seem to be driven by fear.

The government seems to fear its people; the people seem to fear change.

France likes to think of itself as revolutionary. But it is run like a big corporation with a powerful president at the head. Any change in the distribution of power can set off a crisis. Parliament is seen as too weak to serve as a check to that power. Protests are one of the only ways to get the government’s attention.

"This is a moment of fear, anxiety and malaise in France that touches all ages and classes," said Anne Muxel, director of the research center at the Paris Institute for Political Studies, better known as Sciences Po. "The students are afraid that they have fewer opportunities than their parents. But their parents are also afraid of unemployment, of the future. The result is that society is politicized, but in a negative way."

According to a survey that will appear Friday in Le Parisien, 68 percent of those French polled want the jobs law to be rescinded; only 27 percent want it to go forward.

Today, as students stepped up their street protests, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, who has presidential ambitions but whose approval rating has plummeted in recent weeks, called himself "open to dialogue" to "improve" the employment plan under the constraints of the law.

The opposition Socialists have joined forces with those condemning the law, with François Hollande, the party head, dismissing Mr. de Villepin’s words as platitudes.

President Chirac is seen as a spent force, even by some in his inner circle.

"The protests are a symptom of a great malaise with no chance for change before the presidential election," said Alain Duhamel, a leading political commentator. "The majority of the French are passionate in their distrust of market forces and in their refusal to embrace flexibility. And the majority of the young are convinced that they will not live as well as their parents."

The students have vowed to continue their struggle until the government backs down.

Those marching voiced a variety of complaints about the new labor law. "This contract is like living beneath a guillotine," said Charlotte Billaud, 21, a political science student in the third year of her five-year program at the Sorbonne. "When you can be fired without reason, you do not dare criticize your boss or join a union."

In addition to members of the largest French unions, professors and retirees took part in the protests. "I teach students so they can have a future, but I am also here for myself," said Jean Albert, 55, a professor of dramatic arts at Nanterre University. "These employment terms are the first breach of the social contract protecting employees."

If there is a historical resonance, it is not with 1968 as much as with 1994, when the prime minister at the time, Édouard Balladur, clashed with students over a minimum wage law.

Then, like now, there were street demonstrations throughout France, tear gas, damage to property, injuries, accusations that the measure was discriminatory.

Politics played a role. Mr. Balladur, like Mr. de Villepin today, had his eyes on the presidency, and he chose to back down on the law. Weakened, he was eliminated in the first round of the 1995 election.

A cartoon of Mr. de Villepin this week in the left-leaning newspaper Libération showed him looking in the mirror and seeing the face of Mr. Balladur.

 video report

 http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/16/i...



Leave a comment
Print this article





Public Apology to Women of the World from The American Republic (Hypatia of Alex
Monday 31 - 15:21
by Willam Morgan
YES, THERE WILL BE ELECTION FRAUD, AND ON A GRAND SCALE
Sunday 23 - 18:32
by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Hillary Clinton will be first female President 2017
Monday 10 - 17:21
by Willam Morgan
Police Shootings: Law, Policy, and Accountability
Thursday 6 - 14:22
by William John Cox
AMERICA DESERVES BETTER, BUT EVEN MORE IMPORTANTLY, THE WORLD DESERVES BETTER
Thursday 29 - 18:02
by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Back to School for Fascist Dupont-Aignan
Thursday 15 - 11:32
by Nouveau Comité de Vigilance des Intellectuels Antifascistes
The Presidency: Character Matters
Friday 9 - 15:06
by William John Cox
WHY HILLARY IS THE PERFECT PERSON TO SECURE OBAMA’S LEGACY
Tuesday 30 - 18:08
by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Remake of Ben Hur in 2020 planned by new motion picture studio
Friday 26 - 15:50
by Wallace
THE CASE FOR DONALD TRUMP
Monday 22 - 19:32
by JOHN CHUCKMAN
THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES IS DEAD
Thursday 11 - 06:42
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
DONALD TRUMP AND THE GENIUS OF IDIOCY
Friday 5 - 00:47
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
FOOLING MOST OF THE PEOPLE MOST OF THE TIME IS WHAT AMERICAN POLITICS ARE ABOUT,
Friday 29 - 18:13
by JOHN CHUCKMAN
A message of your fellow striking workers from France
Tuesday 12 - 20:49
by Info’Com-CGT
The Right to Vote, Effectively
Friday 8 - 22:20
by William John Cox
Fourth of July Lies
Sunday 3 - 19:41
by June C. Terpstra
Who Should Make Political Policy, the People or the Politicians?
Friday 24 - 15:14
by William John Cox
Hollow Women of the Hegemon Part II: Atrocity Enabling Harpies
Tuesday 21 - 18:49
by Dr. June Terpstra
The American Republic Manifestum book is being made into a Movie
Saturday 11 - 15:54
by William Morgan
Write-in Voting and Political Protest
Wednesday 1 - 15:05
by William John Cox
Yves Bouvier art battle plays out in online and social media arena
Tuesday 31 - 21:12
by Dean Bagley
Damaged Candidate Clinton Can’t Call Out Trump
Friday 27 - 13:53
by Daniel Patrick Welch
PLEDGE OF THE NEW REPUBLICAN PARTY
Tuesday 24 - 21:53
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
LET TEXAS SECEDE
Thursday 19 - 00:53
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
LAS TRES ERRES A LA ENÉSIMA POTENCIA.-
Monday 16 - 15:35
by FREDDY SUBDIAGA
DEMAGOGIA POPULISTA...
Monday 16 - 15:26
by FREDDY SUBDIAGA
Oligarchs Won’t Let You Vote Their Wars Away
Wednesday 11 - 20:24
by Daniel Patrick Welch
AN AMERICAN ORIGINAL: JOHN KERRY - FROM HIS REMARKABLE RECENT COMMENCEMENT ADDR
Monday 9 - 20:40
by JOHN CHUCKMAN
Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton support the American Republic Manifestum
Monday 9 - 16:37
by William Morgan
Transformation: A Student-Led Mass Political Movement
Monday 25 - 19:28
by William John Cox
Algerian Feminists react to ’Hijab Day’ in Paris 2016
Monday 25 - 01:13
THE ILLUSION OF RIGHTS
Friday 22 - 18:45
by JOHN CHUCKMAN
US is real superpredator pretending to be victim
Monday 18 - 22:23
by Daniel Patrick Welch
Gaiacomm International has accidently created a fusion reaction/ignition.
Sunday 17 - 17:01
by William Morgan
Clinton’s Campaign Continues to Highlight Horrible Hillary
Saturday 9 - 00:57
by Daniel Patrick Welch
Armoiries racistes à Harvard : Plaidoyer pour la réflexion socio-historique
Thursday 7 - 18:56
by Samuel Beaudoin Guzzo
THANK YOU MISSISSIPPI FOR YOUR HATE
Wednesday 6 - 02:02
by David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
The PKK in Iraq: “We are ready to fight ISIS everywhere in the world”
Monday 4 - 14:33
by InfoAut
Clinton Crashes and Burns, Sanders Will Win (But hold off on the applause)
Friday 1 - 22:33
by Daniel Patrick Welch
Confirming Supreme Court Justices and Electing Presidents
Friday 1 - 20:59
by William John Cox

home | webmaster



Follow-up of the site's activity
RSS Bellaciao En


rss FR / rss IT / rss ES



Bellaciao hosted by DRI

Organize, agitate, educate, must be our war cry. Susan B. Anthony
Facebook Twitter Google+
DAZIBAO
I, European citizen, won’t let refugees be rejected in my name
Thursday 10 March
©Olivier Jobard/Myop I, European citizen, won’t let refugees be rejected in my name THE RIGHT TO ASYLUM IS A RIGHT In the phrase « right to asylum », every word matters. Under the law, every person who is persecuted because of his or her political opinions or because of his or her identity, every person that is endangered by violence, war or misery has a RIGHT to seek asylum in another country The aim of this petition is to collect (...)
read more...
Neo-Nazis and far-right protesters in Ukraine 3 live-stream
Friday 24 January
2 comments
The far-right in Ukraine are acting as the vanguard of a protest movement that is being reported as pro-democracy. The situation on the ground is not as simple as pro-EU and trade versus pro-Putin and Russian hegemony in the region. When US Senator John McCain dined with Ukraine’s opposition leaders in December, he shared a table and later a stage with the leader of the extreme far-right Svoboda party Oleh Tyahnybok. This is Oleh Tyahnybok, he has claimed a "Moscow-Jewish mafia" (...)
read more...
Hugo Chavez is dead (video live)
Wednesday 6 March
by : Collective BELLACIAO
1 comment
President Hugo Chavez companeros venezueliano died after a long battle with cancer.
read more...
International initiative to stop the war in Syria Yes to democracy, no to foreign intervention!
Thursday 13 December
Your support here: http://www.peaceinsyria.org/support.php We, the undersigned, who are part of an international civil society increasingly worried about the awful bloodshed of the Syrian people, are supporting a political initiative based on the results of a fact-finding mission which some of our colleagues undertook to Beirut and Damascus in September 2012. This initiative consists in calling for a delegation of highranking personalities and public figures to go to Syria in order to (...)
read more...
THE KU KLUX KLAN ONCE AGAIN CONTROLS INDIANA
Monday 12 November
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
7 comments
At first glance, the results of America’s 2012 election appear to be a triumph for social, racial, and economic justice and progress in the United States: California voters passed a proposition requiring the rich to shoulder their fair share of the tax burden; Two states, Colorado and Washington, legalized the recreational use of marijuana, while Massachusetts approved the use of marijuana for medical purposes; Washington and two other states, Maine and Maryland, legalized same-sex (...)
read more...
I’VE DECIDED TO "WASTE" MY VOTE
Sunday 28 October
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
In a 2004 episode of Comedy Central’s animated series South Park, an election was held to determine whether the new mascot for the town’s elementary school would be a “giant douche” or a “turd sandwich.” Confronted with these two equally unpalatable choices, one child, Stan Marsh, refused to vote at all, which resulted in his ostracization and subsequent banishment from the town. Although this satirical vulgarity was intended as a commentary on the two (...)
read more...
HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART IV
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART II PART III If there is one major inconsistency in life, it is that young people who know little more than family, friends and school are suddenly, at the age of eighteen, supposed to decide what they want to do for the rest of their lives. Unfortunately, because of their limited life experiences, the illusions they have about certain occupations do not always comport to the realities. I discovered this the first time I went to college. About a year into my studies, I (...)
read more...
HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART III
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART II PART IV Disillusioned with the machinations of so-called “traditional” colleges, I became an adjunct instructor at several “for-profit” colleges. Thanks largely to the power and pervasiveness of the Internet, “for-profit” colleges (hereinafter for-profits) have become a growing phenomenon in America. They have also been the subject of much political debate and the focus of a Frontline special entitled College Inc. Unlike traditional (...)
read more...
HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART II
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART I PART III PART IV Several years ago, a young lady came into the college where I was teaching to inquire about a full-time instructor’s position in the sociology department. She was advised that only adjunct positions were available. Her response was, “No thanks. Once an adjunct, always an adjunct.” Her words still echo in my mind. Even as colleges and universities raise their tuition costs, they are relying more and more on adjunct instructors. Adjuncts are (...)
read more...
HIGHER EDUCATION IN AMERICA: DREAM OR NIGHTMARE? PART I
Friday 28 September
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
PART II PART III PART IV When The Bill of Rights was added to the United States Constitution over two hundred years ago, Americans were blessed with many rights considered to be “fundamental.” One conspicuously missing, however, was the right to an education. This was not surprising given the tenor of the times. America was primarily an agrarian culture, and education, especially higher education, was viewed as a privilege reserved for the children of the rich and (...)
read more...
ONE SOLITARY LIFE, PART TWO
Monday 30 July
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
3 comments
If there is one universal question that haunts all human beings at some point in their lives, it is, “Why do we die?” Death, after all, is the great illogic. It ultimately claims all, the rich and the poor, the mighty and the small, the good and the evil. Death also has the capability to make most human pursuits—such as the quest for wealth, fame and power—vacuous and fleeting. Given this reality, I have often wondered why so many people are still willing to (...)
read more...
HOW MUCH CORRUPTION CAN DEMOCRACY ENDURE?
Thursday 28 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
6 comments
How much corruption can a “democracy” endure before it ceases to be a democracy? If five venal, mendacious, duplicitous, amoral, biased and (dare I say it) satanic Supreme Court “justices”—John Roberts, Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Anthony Kennedy—have their way, America will soon find out. In several previous articles for Pravda.Ru, I have consistently warned how the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision is one of the (...)
read more...
DEMOCRACY IN THE HANDS OF IDIOTS, PART TWO
Tuesday 12 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
1 comment
Imagine, if you will, that the United States government passes a law banning advertisers from sponsoring commercials on Rush Limbaugh’s radio show or Rupert Murdoch’s Fox (Faux) “News” Network. On one hand, there would be two decided advantages to this ban: The National IQ would undoubtedly increase several percentage points, and manipulative pseudo-journalists would no longer be able to appeal to the basest instincts in human nature for ratings and profit while (...)
read more...
DEMOCRACY IN THE HANDS OF IDIOTS
Thursday 7 June
by : David R. Hoffman, Pravda.Ru Legal Editor
4 comments
LIVE, from the State that brought you Senator Joseph McCarthy, Wisconsin voters now proudly present, fresh from his recall election victory, Governor Scott Walker! At first glance, it is almost unfathomable that anyone with a modicum of intelligence would have voted to retain Scott Walker as Wisconsin’s governor. This, after all, is a man who openly declared he is trying to destroy the rights of workers through a “divide and conquer” strategy; who received 61% of the (...)
read more...
PEOPLE WITHOUT SOULS
Tuesday 13 March
by : David R. Hoffman, Legal Editor of Pravda.Ru
2 comments
A question I’ve frequently been asked since I began writing for Pravda.Ru in 2003 is, “Why did you become disillusioned with the practice of law?” This question is understandable, particularly since, in most people’s minds, being an attorney is synonymous with wealth and political power. I’ve always been reluctant to answer this question for fear it will discourage conscientious and ethical people from pursuing careers in the legal profession—a (...)
read more...