April 5, 2006


Millions in France Protest Law, Leadership: Opposition to Labor Bill Widens Into Protest of Government Deemed Out of Touch (Molly Moore, April 5, 2006, Washington Post)

As many as 3 million people thronged the streets of cities across France -- equaling the huge protests of one week ago -- in what has grown from a protest against a single labor law to an outpouring of discontent with an aging leadership that a new generation feels does not represent its interests.

Even the violence that now routinely breaks out between crowds and riot police at the end of each march in Paris took on a government-vs.-the people tone Tuesday.

When heavily armored officers chased hooded youths who appear to show up just for the sport of mayhem, peaceful demonstrators booed. When flying bottles hit officers, the crowd erupted in cheers of approval. When police fired tear gas into the swarms of people, the youths, wearing hoods almost as a uniform, and peaceful people alike retreated, coughing and cursing the riot squads.

Tuesday's demonstrations and accompanying strikes that disrupted airplane and train schedules and shut down the Eiffel Tower for the second time in a week came despite a pledge by President Jacques Chirac to modify the new labor law.

The protestors ought to make Chirac tear up the law in that WWI train car that Hitler made the French surrender in.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 5, 2006 9:09 AM
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