Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Les manifs continuent

Another manifestation just marched by my house this morning:

After the mani I wrote about in October opposition to retirement reform continued to be sustained ahead of the Senate's vote on the bill. The students continued to blockade the school, only letting prépas students in to attend classes. This continued for the next week. I therefore spent most of October sitting in the teachers' lounge to make sure I would get paid not not be marked as "on strike." I taught my prep school classes and the odd class when lycéens who did not want the school barricaded managed to find their way in. The students do not have the right to blockade the school, but no one took any action to break it up; that would be flying in the face of more than 200 years of history and likely have caused an incident.

Here is the video I shot of the student blockade on October 12th

The student blockade let up for the last two or three days before Toussaint holidays, but attendance was poor.

I had planned to go to Belgium over Toussaint holidays and was nervous about trains being perturbed, especially as there was another day of protest scheduled for the day after I was leaving. Fortunately, I left earlier than I needed to and everything ended up being fine. My roommates were not so lucky.

The retirement reform bill passed at the end of October, but that has not deterred the resolve of all. Another mani was held November 6 and, as mentioned, one took place today. The one I saw this morning seemed less well attended than that of October 12th, but they were just as determined to force government to bend to the will of the people.

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