About the French riots

A recent decision to make labor laws more flexible in France in order to help cut down unemployment has been received by student protests. I don't think student protests are unusual in France. I'm not even sure violent protests are that unusual in France. And yet.. these protests don't make the news as much as the previous "Arab protests" did.

I was trying to find out why, when I came across this interesting quote:

This is the broader social context within which the riots of last fall and of this spring have taken place, and ironically de Villepin's new labor law is meant to reduce youth unemployment by making it easier for employers to hire them. But the students have understandably focused rather on the way the law does this by making it easier to fire them. In their protest marches, they call themselves "the Kleenex generation" -- used once and discarded.

So it is interesting that there has not been more violence, and that most marches until late this week were calm and orderly. It seems that other groups are now infiltrating the demonstrations for their own purposes.

Cars were set alight and windscreens and shop windows smashed in the Invalides district of Paris Thursday when small groups of militants, said not to be students by the student organizers of the march, turned aside from the march to wreak havoc.

Some were from small left-wing revolutionary and anarchist groups, and others were young Arabs and blacks from the housing estates that unleashed a month of serious rioting across France last fall. Wearing hoods to avoid identification by police cameras, the young immigrants plundered the student marchers, stealing cell phones, purses and personal music systems.

Source: United Press International (English)

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