NewEpoch Media

FRANCE - Student Strikes

December 25, 2018

The uprising of the students in France should be a warning to the state, bright like a high visibility vest.

Since the beginning of last week the students of France have been in struggles with the state repression. They are protesting against the state and it's system of education, and especially the planned reform. The new „law for orientation and accomplishment of the students“ (la loi orientation et réussite des étudiants, ORE) will – amongst other things – make graduate exams harder and implement acceptance tests for Universities (called Parcoursup). Also they are protesting the cut in the national university service (SNU). But since the protests of the students have been inspired very much by the „gilets jaunes“, the movement that protests the social injustices in France with yellow high visibility vests, they have taken up a lot of their demands as well, like for better cost of living.

All over France, the students did not "only" strike, but actively occupied their schools. They got up early in the night to block the entrances with trashcans. They sprayed slogans on the walls that said „No money no education!“, „No selection [at universities], no Parcousup, no to the cutting-back of 2 600 apprenticeship positions!“ and also „no more Bourgeoisie!“.

The Students are protesting since Monday. Since then the universities of Tolbiac, Creteil, Nantes and the Parisian Sorbonne were shut down or briefly occupied. There were barricades, burning trashcans and even cars, like with the “giles jaunes”. Especially against the students of the lycees the police used excessive force, like „LBD-Balls“ (a kind of rubber bullet, close to the „flash ball“).


The first climax of the protest was Thursday of last week. Thousands of Students in 300 schools all over France participated in active strikes, 80 schools were blocked, 700 students were temporarily taken into custody. In the surrounding of Paris around one hundred schools and universities participated. Some parts of the Parisian university Sorbonne were closed, the university of Nantes also was occupied. In a school in the surroundings of Paris around 146 People were taken captive. Some videos of the police rounding up a lot of students with their weapons kept on draw circulated of that city. In these videos the students were forced to kneel in lines with their hands on their head. The video is from the lycée Saint-Exupéry in the small community of Mantes-la-Jolie, close to Paris. Around 146 Students were taken into custody there. Around 70 police forces were deployed in Mantes-la-Jolie. They justified their behavior by saying that some of the students turned to violence. The level of education in Mantes-la-Jolie is very low, in comparison to the rest of the district. The students of the lycée Saint-Éxupery have proven that this is not the fault of their lack in motivation. In solidarity, people are now protesting with their hands on their heads.


Since on Monday, in the television admission concerning the protests, macron didn’t address any of the demands of the student protests, they continued. Around 100 schools were disturbed again on Monday, 40 were blocked and the students are not planning on stopping unless their demands are met. On the 11th of December, the action continued in a „black Tuesday“. 450 lycees were disturbed, 60 of them occupied. There has been a demonstration in solidarity with the students who are still in police custody. Instead of answering to the protests, the government by the way has a different way of addressing the topic: The Minister of education, Frederique Vidal, has spoken on Monday morning of a „manipulation“, mediated by the „ultra-left“ and „some other delegated of the French disobedient“. That the constant worsening of social situation in France has led the oppressed masses of France to a justified struggle is not even a possibility.

 

But not only in France, also in the colonies the people are protesting. In connection with the protests in the imperialist country the people and especially the students of la Reunion have taken to the streets, and the demonstrations have only increased. First, on Monday, on the French island in the Indian ocean, close to Madagascar, there have been strikes against the educational reform as a whole, but also against the social situation. 40% are living under the poverty level. The strikes in Tampon and Bel Air Sainte-Suzanne held on all day. On Tuesday, they continued in Bois d’Olives in Saint-Pierre. Because the protests got so intense, the state has issued a curfew at nighttime. In the côte d’Ivoire, there also have been big protests by students of the secondary schools of Dabalaka on Monday. Students of many schools marched in Solidarity to the police station. The reason was the assassination of one of their classmates.

 

The connection of these movements, that has already begun, shows that there is already some consciousness that the enemy of French workers, the French imperialism is the same as the one of the people of la reunion and the côte d’Ivoire. That is why the connected struggle is necessary and justified. The students have shown that they believe in their own strength and resisted all tendencies to drag the movement towards fascism or opposition parties, nor did they let the repression silence them. They have begun to learn to struggle in their own way. It shows that especially the young people are a very strong force in the struggle against Fascism and Imperialism and for the Revolution!

 

For immediate liberation of all the arrested students and protesters!

Support the Struggle of the people of la reunion and the côte d’Ivoire!

Fight Fascism and Imperialism!

Long live International Solidarity!

 

Share on Facebook
Share on Twitter
Please reload