How were the 2006 labour protests seen in France and abroad?
On 9 December 1905, a law was passed in France separating the church and the state. However, today in the United States of America, the President takes an oath on the Bible to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution against all enemies both foreign and domestic. To the French, it may sound inconceivable to see President Jacques Chirac basing his speech on Bible verses. So what do Americans think when Mr Sarkozy, a free-market defender, quotes Jean Jaurès, the founder of the communist paper L'Humanité? Actually, each country has its own way of thinking, even if they have similar cultures.
[...] This emphasizes the issue between repression and education. This topic is at the top of the agenda at the moment, the French Socialists are focusing their speeches on education, that is to say, the solution to suburban civil unrest is education. On the other hand, those to the Right advocate repression above all; this is necessary to avoid other civil unrests. Such an event has called the French social structure into question, so that the youths have asked for the repealing of the First Job Contract. [...]
[...] Will the French accept that protests are not the solution to their problems anymore? Through these articles from international press, our French opinion could be extended to a worldwide one. We could thus compare their reactions with ours; indeed such riots would have frightened us. Yet, information is often made to be attractive so that a minor event could turn out to be a major one because of the press pressure. The media objectivity is at stake today because of its extension to the internet. [...]
[...] So it is up to them to change it in a fairer way. (583 words) France must stop its recurrent resistance to change The USA rarely has the strikes and street protests that France is almost as famous for as its cheeses.This quote stresses that France gets used to strikes and resistance to change, everybody is aware that France needs reform but how to do it is another problem 21 A necessity to reform Politics of Make-Believe”, “French protests, again”, “French take to the streets to preserve their economic fantasy”, etc . [...]
[...] France has to accept the drawbacks of globalisation at the risk of losing its economic standing Demonstrations quite difficult to be taken seriously All foreigners agree on this point: strikes are part of the French culture; French strikes are so recurrent that the strikers themselves do not know sometimes why they are protesting. Yet, during the 2005 civil unrests, the whole world was able to figure out what “concrete” demonstrations were. Such contrast discredited the 2006 labour protests, especially for an Anglo-American audience, which rather backed the youth labour law. Even French intellectuals such as the vice president of the Avignon University considered it a rebellion by the petite bourgeoisie. Moreover, the description of a French standard protester confirms the lack of seriousness of these demonstrations. [...]
[...] Yet, I experienced what anger and helplessness really meant. During these demonstrations, there were two kinds of students, the ones who strongly believed in the all-equal system and the ones who just did not care and just wanted to be violent. I am separating both but there are some similarities between them. First of all, democracy is something starange for us, indeed: why do they consult everybody to press their own argument? Is preventing people from going to school the best way to be credible? [...]