Echoes of ’68

One weekend of being nearly disconnected from the world and man oh man did alot happen in the world in the last 72 hours. I want to start with the one that has me most alarmed as trusty Portuguese TV news has been showing tons of footage from it: the student strikes at the Sorbonne.

First of all fuck the French government, especially Sarkozy since his signature of iron fisted police aggression is all over this one. Prime minister Villepin has also proven to be a complete coward who consistantly fails to represent people who never elected him in the first place. (the man has never run for public office!)

Perhaps I’m getting ahead of myself condemning leaders instead of explaining what has been going on, for those who weren’t informed. Basically France passed a new law that allows youth (under 26) to be hired for 2-year contracts during which companies will be completely free to fire them at any time without any explanation. Apparently the idea is to enourage companies to hire young people without fear of having to keep them. Students, naturally, do not like this idea, and as a response, have gone on strike. To which the government has responded with brute force in the form of scores of riot police busting skulls.

Now depending on where you live, you’re probably thinking – so what, lot’s of us young people get fired after 2 years, or even 1… that’s life. Indeed it is a reality I have seen in various countries. But for the government to actually pass a law sanctioning this practice – that’s basically spitting in the face of every student who’s working hard to get that degree and build a career. For that reason alone, I say build the barracades, close the Sorbonne and all the universities in France, DO NOT ALLOW BUSINESS AS USUAL.

Last time I checked the Sorbonne had been forcibly evacuated. I saw police beating up students, many of which were either running for their lives or trying to defend themselves by whatever means they could find (rocks, bottles, etc.) It reminds me of the stories some of my old professors at Willy P used to tell, from the student strikes in Paris, 1968. Those strikes began with the students and soon spread throughout the country… maybe that is what this government needs in order to remember who it works for.

Off I go to sing Les Mis songs in the shower.

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