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Published by Gabriel Gauffre

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Published by: Gabriel Gauffre on Apr 19, 2012
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Gabriel Gaure
L’art de manifester en France
The art of protesting in France
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 generalconrontation 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 universitiescurriculum was deeply transormed. Society itsel was also deeply changed, and eventoday, people are dened 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 prots o companies that lay o parts o their workorce.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 Preecture de Police, who then dis-patches polices ocers 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, oen mergingwith the protesters, and knowing some personally. Tey are usually considered by theunions to be part o the “game” and these ocers don’t even wear guns or handcus.“Protesting in France is a constitutional right, we have no right to either give out orreuse permission” comments Alain Gibelin, head o the
Direction de l’ordre public et de la circulation
, is the administration in charge o handling all trac relatedevents, including protests).But what is the state o this tradition, on spring 2012, a ew weeks beore 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, dierent 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 dierent 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 dierently! »

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