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Tens of thousands of students and workers marched in Paris and other French cities today in what was expected to be the biggest show of anger yet at a jobs plan that has led to violence in the streets and threatens to weaken the government.
For the second time in three days, students – this time joined by unions and employees – were using marches to press the conservative government to withdraw the measure, which could take effect in April.
“We are not disposable. We deserve better,” said Aurelie Silan, a 20-year-old student who joined the massive protest in the French capital. She held aloft a banner mocking Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin – just one sign of the mounting pressure he faces.
“Aren’t we the future of France?” Silan asked.
In Toulouse in south-western France, between 21,000 and 33,000 people marched against the jobs plan to cries of “No to a government that makes students (and) workers fodder for employers.” In Lyon, in the south-east, police put the number of de
large protests around this issue have actually been taking place nearly daily for the last few weeks. Radicalization of the younger segments of the French population seems to be growing. The interesting thing about the growth of these actions is who is participating. The protest months ago involving predominantly poor Muslim youth really laid the ground work. Now, we see the more middle class joining the radicalization for this issue... and it's backed by the pre-established labor movements who have some experience in organizing in these situations. So, these actions have the potential to grow quite a bit more.
State side, it's probably a bit difficult for the young people in the US to relate to this type of law and the wider social change it brings. Our jobs are already pretty disposable as it is... and a large segment of our youth (the sub 25 y.o. crowd) participate in a lot of unskilled labor. With the exception of the small percentage of these jobs that are actually unionized, it's pretty generally accepted that your employment is completely discretionary and can be terminated with little reason (or at least it's know that it is pretty easy to come up with a reason for why somebody is being fired). France has a clearer example of how things are going to change... over here erosion of workers rights has been ongoing for a long time and we have been slowly numbed into complacency (and not just in this area).
Anyway, point being... I think it's difficult for Americans to understand the French youth fighting to keep a right that we pretty much have lived without for a long time. That, and I’m sure the cable news networks are doing a wonderful job explaining the situation.
My cats breath smells like cat food.
how about a related article? i love a good debate where i can be the devil (R)......devils advocate i mean