les manifs
March 23, 2006 11:29 PM   Subscribe

The evolution of the French students' CPE protests in photos.
posted by pwedza (20 comments total)
Seems the French have a history of spring uprisings ?? nice photos.
posted by hortense at 2:04 AM on March 24, 2006

The Times have a blog from their Paris correspondent which is illuminating. It seems nevertheless that the Anglo-Saxon press are generally hostile while the Francophone press, I'm told, are generally supportive.
posted by grahamwell at 2:51 AM on March 24, 2006

thanks for the link, lots of striking photos in there, well worth taking the time to go through all the galleries
posted by funambulist at 3:06 AM on March 24, 2006

They're going to teach
the world to sing...
posted by acrobat at 3:15 AM on March 24, 2006

Uh oh, it's getting ugly...
posted by twsf at 4:31 AM on March 24, 2006

28% unemployment for their age group and these spoiled brats riot over a bill that would drastically improve their job outlook.

Entitled little shits.
posted by Mick at 6:03 AM on March 24, 2006


That's the worst thing in the world. The only thing you're entitled to is death by starvation in the freezing cold!
posted by delmoi at 6:47 AM on March 24, 2006

Seriously though, what's wrong with feeling entitled? I've never once heard a good reason for a person, as a member of society, should not be entitled to certain things. I've even heard Katrina evacuees derided as 'entitled' for expecting to be rescued by the government. It's bullshit.
posted by delmoi at 6:53 AM on March 24, 2006

Seriously though, what's wrong with feeling entitled?

That depends on what you feel entitled to. If you feel entitled to fair pay and labor conditions, or emergency services from your government then there's nothing wrong with feeling entitled. If you feel entitled to a job without having to actually work for it simply because you want a pay check, then there is something wrong. That said, the protesters in this case have a point. This new law is extremely unfair, especially to workers just out of college.
posted by unreason at 7:08 AM on March 24, 2006

> I've never once heard a good reason for a person, as a member of society,
> should not be entitled to certain things.

You mean, other than that some slave has to provide these things for the entitled ones?

posted by jfuller at 7:21 AM on March 24, 2006

I can't really comment on this situation in France because I don't know enough about it.

But we've had similar problems in Italy where laws about this kind of new contracts have been passed and they still attract a lot of criticism, and regardless of the debate on the laws and the different ideological perspectives especially at the extreme (on the one hand the right wing government who passed those laws talks about them like they're the best thing after sliced bread and anyone who criticises them is resistant to the joys of progress, cos they are a fantastic blessing and a magic wand that is going to solve all economic problems, problems which don't exist anyway because the right wing has done a fantastic job with the economy...; on the other, you have the communists - the actual communist parties, at the far left of the left coalition - who have a really outdated outlook on these issues and blame the new laws themselves as responsible for all problems and expect other laws to fix everything; in the middle, you have the moderate left who is trying to make everyone forget they were the first to pave the way for those contracts...), the actual reality is a lot of companies are indeed using these contracts very liberally (often stretching those laws) to exploit young people (but not only) with ridiculous conditions and a ridiculous pay and the promise of a more permanent job which rarely materialises, because hiring someone with a precarious contract is more convenient for the company, they pay less taxes, etc. Defenders point out more job have been created; opponents point out they're mostly shitty precarious low paid jobs that devalue school qualifications, make it very hard for young people to build a future and shift all the benefits to companies rather than employees. For countries used to a heavy role of unions in negotiations this is even more of an issue.

I distrust ideological extremes, but I also distrust the unwillingness to look at the context where the issues are being discussed.

As for sudents protesting... both in France and Italy there's a history of this kind of student protests that carries a certain mythological factor with it, so there is also a certain automatic reaction there; then you get violent episodes so it's even easier to dismiss all protesters as a bunch of spoilt brats who just want to relive the glory days of '68.

But the problem does exist and it's not just students that voiced criticism.
posted by funambulist at 7:32 AM on March 24, 2006

oh, and not all students and graduates are the children of privileged middle classes either, so let's be careful with that strawman too.
posted by funambulist at 7:36 AM on March 24, 2006

Guaranteed jobs are asinine.

The downfall of western civilization. France leads again.
posted by HTuttle at 7:59 AM on March 24, 2006

I'm glad someone posted about it. My town is one which is leading the movement: the University of Rennes 2 has been blocked/closed for a month and a half now, students are sacrificing their studies for something that they consider to be a against a common good. They will very likely have to pass exams in july or september instead of june for that.

more than 60 Universities are closed and or disturbed, not to count many high schools. French youth is frightenned by the new directives, and i believe very understandably so.

It's quite amazing to see so many people protesting for something they see as unfair: I do not know it it's the good old 'spirit of revolution's legacy, but it makes me proud that people are leading collective action to make their voices heard, especially sinve more than 60 percent of the french population considers the reform to be a bad one.

We as students fight for what we consider right, and for our future. It worked in 95 when Juppé had to withdraw reforms after massive protests took place all over the country. Why not this time?

We'll see next tuesday, as unions called for a general strike throughout the country.
posted by Sijeka at 8:52 AM on March 24, 2006

twfs - do you have a link that indicates this is a case of student unrest. If not, please don't troll.
French youth feels very insecure. The job market is bad and this new proposed law makes it as easy to fire as to hire. People in USA probably dont understand this. In Europe it is the norm to have a contract which guarantees the right to employment and not to be fired at a whim.
The proposed French law gives no stability to first time workers, which is against the ethos of the French employment system. As usual the politicians have mucked it up by posturing. This is not the elistist youth - it is all of them. France is still reeling from the riots of december.
The malaise is deep. Also, reflecting the street protests of the sixties the French Unions are now onboard with the students.
Good luck Sijeka.
posted by adamvasco at 9:08 AM on March 24, 2006

Thanks Adam - being in an institute of political studies +cough+ conservative and usually elitist +cough+ I don't fear for my exams (they will take place as usual, we only had a cpiuple of weeks or so of 'greve'), but i feel for my friends who are 'leading the troups' at the Uni if Rennes 2, and will have to pay a high price if the CPE is not taken back by the gvt.

I wouldn't understimate the power of fear if I was Villepin. I consider his lack of flexibility to be a suicidal move. He'll fall, and soon. There already are frictions between different personas within his own political party, so what gives?
posted by Sijeka at 9:14 AM on March 24, 2006

This new law is extremely unfair, especially to workers just out of college.

Not to mention that it can be seen as anticonstitutional (because discriminating in nature, since the reform is applicable for young workers of less than 26 years old only - so what about the older people who find themselves on the dole?), but the Constitutional Council will be the judge of that.
posted by Sijeka at 9:20 AM on March 24, 2006

You mean, other than that some slave has to provide these things for the entitled ones?

LOL. Seriously though, if it's it's "slavery" to require anything from anyone, then sign me up. This is nothing more then an attempt to short-circuit rational argument by absurd framing.

And just why do these people feel that they are entitled to be free?
posted by delmoi at 9:39 AM on March 24, 2006

> People in USA probably dont understand this

at least those who don't even make an effort to understand those differences.
posted by funambulist at 9:53 AM on March 24, 2006

delmoi, your questions are meaningless. You might as well turn the argument on its head. Why do you feel entitled? What makes you think that you deserve the best of everything regardless of what you do?
posted by unreason at 9:55 AM on March 24, 2006

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