Factory workers have joined students for the first time in the current anti-government demonstrations in Paris.
Factory workers have joined students for the first time in the current anti-government demonstrations in Paris. For some time there has been a rift between the orthodox Communist and other left-wing workers' organisations, and the ultra-left students' movements in France. But on Monday, (9 April) thousands of workers, including a large contingent from the state-owned Renault car factory, joined university and lycee (high school) students on the streets of paris.
It was a comparatively small demonstration -- only 20,000 people compared with the 80,000 who had battled with police the previous week.
The workers joined students to bloater opposition to the recently returned Pompidou government, which has been coping with strong opposition from workers. The students belong to parties which emerged in the riots of May, 1968. Their main complaint at the moment is the abolition of exemption from military service.
The Spring scholastic term has now ended, but the students have said they will revive their protest movements next term -- "The third term will be a hot one" was the slogan on one pamphlet.
SYNOPSIS: Militant students took to the streets of Paris again on Monday. Their current grievance is the loss of exemption from military service.
They're calling for action similar to the disruption of May, 1968. For the first time in recent years, workers united with the students for the demonstration. There's been a rift between the enthusiastic left-wing students' groups, many which emerged in the riots of 1968, and the old-established workers movement. But on Monday many factories, notably the state-owned Renault plant, were represented.
The wave of demonstrations is expected to end now that spring holidays have started. But the students say they'll carry on complaining next term.