Category: "Peculiarities"


11:36:05 pmCategories: Politics, Peculiarities

The strange nature of politics in France - Protesting, part 2

One thing that struck me during the November riots was the high level of understanding they were shown in the French public debate. It seemed to me that quite a few who participated in the public discourse quickly interpreted the burning of state institutions, private cars and local companies in the banlieues as – not acceptable, but, yes understandable – expressions with some sort of political meaning. A friend of mine familiar with politics in Germany asked me if no one had demanded the demission of the Interior Minister, as it is he who is responsible for law and order. And in a German context, according to her, three weeks of youths rioting all over the country would have been an obvious sign that he didn’t do his job properly…

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03:38:31 amCategories: Places, Spaces, Politics, Peculiarities

Contrat premiere embauche - Protesting à la français

Initially, I hadn’t planned to go to the major demonstration against the CPE ("contract 'first employment'") as it only tangentially touches the focus of my fieldwork (tangentially, as the CPE – Contrat Première Embauche – is part of Prime minister Villepin’s plan for égalité des chances: youth unemployment is high in France and even higher in the Zones sensible which is in need of the equal opportunities). But as the echoes of the chanted slogans reached all the way to my flat – situated at least 20 minutes away from the standard demo route Place de la République/Bastille/Place de la Nation – and I saw the diverted traffic as I leaned out of the window, I realised that the scale of the event made it worth defying the heavy rain and head for Nation.

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