As demonstrations spread in France over the government’s university reforms and some students joined ranks with striking rail-workers, there is increased talk of whether France is heading for a repeat of ‘May 68’?
“May 68. They are commemorating, we are starting again”, reads a slogan recently tagged onto the statue at the iconic Place de la République square in central Paris, which is so often the hub where protesters and strikers gather.
The graffiti is not just wanton vandalism and could be a word of warning to the French government.
Nearly 50 years ago in May 1968, student protests over the education system flared up into nationwide confrontation and turned into one of the greatest upheaval in modern day France.
“Protesting and contesting are always a potential political option for youth people, and that’s a good thing for the vitality of our democracy,”
This week, student demonstrations over new tighter university admissions rules appeared to be headed in the same direction, as several hundred students in the universities of Lyon, Lille, Strasbourg and Bordeaux joined ranks with France’s railworkers as they staged a second day of strikes. [ . . . ]