As you can imagine, the French attitude to politics takes some getting used to, and this week I have been exposed to some particularly fine examples of “activism”. Basically, the students of Paul Valéry university are, once again, not happy with something or other; from what I’ve gathered it’s to do with austerity and the fact that, as the uni is several million euros in debt, they may have to close part of it. The students have valiantly responded by making all the wrong peoples’ lives hell.
Basically (and there’s no way to phrase this without it sounding MORONIC), they have put tables and chairs in front of all the doors in the uni. This means that it is of course completely impossible for a class of 50 people to somehow get inside by, say, moving the chairs and walking through the door. The uni is therefore very much closed until some time next week, despite the *sarcastic cough* dedicated efforts of teachers and students alike to continue with classes. Their failure to do so is understandable, given that the barricades rival those of the revolution itself.
|As you can see, anyone wanting to get past this stonker
of a blockade would have their work cut out.
|To be fair, some of them were more imaginative. Which kind of explains why so many of the university’s chairs are broken.|
|Although some were just disturbing. I always feel that sinister effigies turn a good protest sour.|
After closing down the entire uni in a bid to prevent the closure of part of the uni (Well done, France) a couple of hundred students then proceeded to demonstrate on the tram lines, forming a slow-moving, noisy mob of people fronted by a giant sign saying (I paraphrase) “Let’s stop austerity and all that other bad stuff, we can totally do that by telling people that austerity and other bad things are bad, right?!” Meanwhile, the police sat usefully around on motorbikes doing absolutely nothing, as exasperated citizens (including me) waited in vain for the trams to start again, before giving up and walking home.
Anyway, the upshot of all this is that I have had a sum total of two days work this week, something I have to admit I’m not exactly gutted about. In fact, I have actually used my free time for the good of humanity in an unprecedentedly productive few days; I’ve signed up for three separate volunteering programmes and am planning to give blood tomorrow. I really do have a lot of spare time at the moment…
|INSPIRATIONAL STUFF RIGHT HERE.
Will you join in our crusade? Who will be strong and stand with me?
Somewhere beyond the barricade is there a world you long to see?
By the way: I was going to post about something different but I thought the REALLY IMPORTANT PROTESTS should take top priority, given how REALLY IMPORTANT they are. However, this means I might actually do a record 2 posts in a week – keep your eyes peeled. I promise the next one will be marginally less vitriolic and off-the-cuff. Maybe.