Four right-wing youth organisations co-operated in a joint demonstration in the streets of Paris on Tuesday, (3 April) only to clash with left-wing demonstrators later in the evening.
GV Students carry flags and banners through streets, singing (2 shots)
GV Students enter square
GV Students in square shouting slogans and carrying anti-left banners
SV Banner and students shouting slogans (4 shots)
SV Demonstrators moving off
LV & SVs Students with flag running down street, through other streets, (some carrying cudgels) (3 sots)
Initials BB/1625 RW/AW/BB/1637
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Background: Four right-wing youth organisations co-operated in a joint demonstration in the streets of Paris on Tuesday, (3 April) only to clash with left-wing demonstrators later in the evening.
The right wing groups were l'Union lyceenne nationalist, le Groupe union defense, le soutien d'Ordre nouveau and le Front national. Their slogan was "We are preparing a new May '1968. Stop left-wing agitation". (May 1968 was the occasion when Paris erupted in student riots, mirroring general unrest.)
The right-wing demonstrators marched through the streets, singing political songs and chanting slogans. Later in the evening well-prepared groups of left-wing students took to the streets to retaliate. Some wore protective helmets and many carried wooden clubs. They attacked the right-wing demonstrators, and violent clashes ensued.
There are some complex factors in the present unrest among young French people. Unlike the student "revolutions" which have shaken many countries in recent years, the present French disturbances frequently involve pupils below university level -- those attending "lycees." These 16-18-years-old are following old-style courses which were not affected by recent reforms. Some psychologists say they are manifesting a resistance to rigidities of the lycee system at a moment of adolescence when they discover the quickly-changing technological society around them.
Another factor suggested is the excitement of the recent elections, and the youngsters have seen their older brother protesting at the fact they are likely to be conscripted into the army but are not eligible to vote. Conscription under the "Debre Law" which was approved by most political parties has become another rallying cry for rebellious youngsters.