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ORIGINAL FRENCH ARTICLE: Près de 15000 lycéens dans la rue

by M.-N. B.

Nearly 15,000 High School Students in the Streets.

Translated Friday 9 May 2008, by Gene Zbikowski

The national day of protest staged by high school students on May 6.

Eight thousand? Ten thousand? Fifteen thousand? It’s always risky to put forward numbers on the evening after a national mobilization, but the high school students really did turn out yesterday for their first day of protest since the end of the staggered spring break in every region of France. In Paris, nearly 5,000 protesters marched from the place de la République to the place de la Nation in answer to a call issued by the National High School Student Union (UNL), according to the UNL. There were nearly 3,000 protesters in Toulouse, 1,000 in Grenoble, 1,800 in Rouen, 2,500 in Orléans, and nearly 300 in Toulon. In all, over thirty rallies were to be held yesterday, May 6. And only the UNL called for a demonstration in Paris — the Independent and Democratic High School Student Federation (FIDL) and the Communist Youth (JC) having decided, for their part, to hold general assemblies in the schools and sit-ins in front of public buildings.

The closing down of high schools also began again, with nine schools shut down in Paris starting in the the morning, and another seven in the Orléans metropolitan area. Will this type of protest continue? Certainly not in a massive and sustained way, when all three high school student organizations say they favor shutting down schools only on national days of protest.

Finally, few or no incidents were to be reported as a result of yesterday’s rallies, except for a few clashes between a handful of young people and the police in Grenoble, which resulted in eight arrests.

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