France and protests go back a long way.
Te most well-known are those that emerged orm the 1968 movements,which deeply changed the way the French youth has been educated. Te rst demandwas that men could access the girls dormitories in the University o Nanterre. Teconsequences were unexpected. And the movement grew, changed into a generalconrontation against the political and economical establishment, the protests got big-ger and bigger. Barricades were raised in Paris.Te result? Within 1969, a President had to quit, minimum wage was raised by 35%,general wages to 10%, a ourth week o paid leave was enacted and the universities’curriculum was deeply transormed. Society itsel was also deeply changed, and eventoday, people are dened by which side they were on when the barricades where up.Feminist movements got stronger, as the contraceptive pill appeared during the sameperiod, even though abortions were still considered illegal at that time in France (TeVeil law, in 1975, will make it legal and backed up by Social Security).But France isn’t just about big protests: It is also about small groups, ghting to keeptheir jobs or or illegal immigrants, or denounce the high prots o companies that lay o parts o their workorce.In 2011, 3655 protests occurred in Paris, considered to be “the capital o protests” inFrance. O those 10 protests that happen every day, very ew gather more that 5000people.Each and every demonstration is to reported to the Preecture de Police, who then dis-patches polices ocers accordingly. Plainclothes members o the DCRI (
Direction Cen-trale des Renseignements Généraux
, a French intelligence agency directly reporting tothe Ministry o Interior), keep a close eye on demonstrations o any size, oen mergingwith the protesters, and knowing some personally. Tey are usually considered by theunions to be part o the “game” and these ocers don’t even wear guns or handcus.“Protesting in France is a constitutional right, we have no right to either give out orreuse permission” comments Alain Gibelin, head o the
Direction de l’ordre public et de la circulation
, is the administration in charge o handling all trac relatedevents, including protests).But what is the state o this tradition, on spring 2012, a ew weeks beore the presiden-tial election? Tis project is a snapshot o this moment , showing that besides the classic“walking rom point A to point B” demonstration, dierent orms o contestation haveemerged.
24th March 2012,
Pour le droit à l’emploi pour toutes et tous!
Demonstration or the right to be employedFrom Place de la Bourse to Place de Stalingrad.Organized by SUD Solidaires, the protest gathered up people rommany dierent entities, such as construction workers, postmen, various actory workers, journalists, and unemployed individuals.« Enough ! Tat is what millions o working, unemployed andretired people say. Tis cry o revolt has to change itsel into ahope to undamentally change things. Lets take matters in ourown hands!So that we can all work, shorter hours, better and dierently! »