Liberty, I cry your name
I haven't had classes the past two days because of the school being blockaded.... so might as well blog!
Topic of protest: working hours
Yesterday morning when I got to school there were dumpsters, chains, you name it covering all access points to the building. All school signs were covered by slogans of the protest. It was still early so not many students were there yet, but I heard the number got to around 300. The students sat on the piles with their food supplies while teachers watched from the corner. I left with some of my friends to go downtown and we even saw the lunch ladies all having coffee together. The reason the blockade continued to today was because the students were well organized and no violence occurred. Through Facebook, the student leaders posted rules (no violence, no drinking, etc.) and the short list of who would be allowed through the blockade. It's interesting to think of what the results would be if something similar were attempted in the states.
As for the larger protest in the city, there's nothing I can really say for certain. There was one post on the Facebook page:
"Je tiens à préciser que c'est après midi quand les manifestants ont bloqué le périphérique de Caen les policiers en ont profité pour lancer dans la foule des gaz lacrymogènes étouffant littéralement les étudiants pourtant pacifiques. Cette attaque à ainsi permis au policiers d'interpeller bon nombre d'étudiants dispersés. Comme vous le savez le blocus continu demain alors on attend qu'un maximum de lycéens ici à Victor Hugo se mobilisent et soit tenace pour ne pas plier face au gouvernement."
that describes that teargas was used to disperse students. This is the only mention of this that I have heard of, but the news later that night did show larger demonstrations in other parts of the country. At one point, I did see a march of workers with signs, but I was not anywhere close.
That's about all there is on that. My region is now officially on spring break! I've started packing, I switch host families tomorrow, and I leave for EuroTour Monday morning! I don't have a full itinerary but the cities are:
Paris, Strasbourg, Munich, Prague, Vienna, Venise, Milan, Geneve , and Charmonix