‘When I’m 64’ v. ‘Give Peace a Chance’

French Students Protest

My two daughters have barely managed to gain access to their school and college for two weeks now due to either the teachers being on strike or, more often, the students barricading the entrance to the building and not letting anybody in.  Two weeks of half-term holidays start on Monday!  A month with no schooling.

Whilst I don’t really want to comment on my adopted country’s politics, I can’t help wondering what happened to the good old days when students protested about things like the war in Vietnam.   When I was 16 or 17, I couldn’t even imagine what it would be like to be 30 years old, let alone at what age I was going to retire  and, even had I been able to,  I can’t imagine feeling strongly enough about it to burn down buildings and confront riot police as they are doing here.  Or is it just me?

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  1. #1 by Anna on October 22, 2010 - 10:56

    No it is not just you.
    Enough is enough eh.
    This is effecting the normal person in so many ways, and I don’t think the bigger picture is realized.

    Besides, we are just getting old.
    I would not go head to head with riot police. I will stay home with my cup of coffee instead.

  2. #2 by jodie on October 22, 2010 - 11:53

    I still have no idea whn I’ll retire -probably never ! and right now i don’t care – i’ll figure it out when I am old…

  3. #3 by Jacq on October 22, 2010 - 16:33

    We’re having the same here to, not knowing if the school bus will arrive. Petrol shortages. The village shop that so many of the elderly (ironic) rely on for basic supplies has been shut while the owner goes to protest. As an English expat said to me yesterday. Us English would say in response to the new retirement legislation. “Oh well I’ll just have to have one less sugar in my tea!” They are not as accepting with the government over here. Are they? Very militant! I’m not sure who is right but I think the protests are already starting too in the UK about the cut backs. Not a pleasant time.

  4. #4 by Meggy on October 22, 2010 - 19:01

    dang french, I am not for the new retirement age but the strike’s really are getting annoying, even if we get into school there are no teachers there to teach us, and they could use better phrases to put on their banners, ‘Jean Durroux is angry’ is what the teachers have draped accross the windows, oh how Sarko trembles in fear…

  5. #5 by ZentilleBestiole on November 16, 2010 - 01:58

    Dear Tialys,

    I’m a french woman living in south France as well (Nice exactly)… I know that for foreigners FRANCE means most of the time STRIKE , i do not want to tell what is wrong or what is rignt but you should know the political history of this country (complicated i know) : most of the olders in France have to live with less than 400€/month whenever they have work all life long… SARKOZY told us to work more to earn more (that was one of his famous sentence during his campaign) ok people are agree to work more but where are jobs?? it’s about 10 months i’m looking for a new one but …. only one contract part time for 630€/month.. i can’t live with 3 children with this amount. french people are fed up with politician and with SARKO… he is driving France bad and always telling new law just to make people remerber him…(but not in a good way)
    so just know that if people make strike just tell them why and then you will be aware …
    have a good night…


    • #6 by tialys on November 16, 2010 - 10:37

      Thank you for your comment Loìse. I understand your frustration and hope you find a job soon.

      I didn’t write this post to be political, only to comment on the fact that the students were heavily involved and , as I am the mother of two students I know that a lot of their friends weren’t really bothered about the changes in pensions, they just enjoyed the time off school and the opportunity to cause a bit of disruption which, of course, is natural at their age.

      For your information, the retirement age in the U.K. is 65 for men and rising and they are also gradually increasing the retirement age for women so it will eventually be the same. I believe the basic pension for a single person in the U.K. is £ 97.65 per week which, at the current rate of exchange is around 114.00 euros.

      Congratulations, by the way, on your recent special birthday! (I had a little look at your blog)

  6. #7 by ZentilleBestiole on November 16, 2010 - 10:46

    Hi Tialys, thanks for answering my comment, you should have only read it and not published it so… a big thank for that… sorry if my english is not very good 😉
    i know what you mean, here in France, some of students are on strike but do not know really why, they only enjoy the days off school… I know as well that in great britain it is not” pink” either, one of my brothers lives there for 15 years and always tells me that french are always complaining, but however if because of these people, nowadays we have all the advantages… i think about health security and some more…

    Thanks as well for whishing me my birthday and because you came and take a look at my poor blog ;O)

    Where do you live in south france? at east as me or west?

    Have a lovely “rainy” day


  7. #8 by tialys on November 16, 2010 - 11:06

    Ha! It’s raining here too. I am about 1 hour’s drive South West of Toulouse going toward Perpignan.

    Your English is very good! Probably better than my French!

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