France: Crash Course in Politics

Students loudly challenge the Socialist government

In Lyons they burned tires. In Montpellier they solemnly bore empty coffins through the streets. And in Paris last week, more than 2,000 high-spirited students marched down the Champs-Elysées, shattering traffic lights with rocks. As the mob charged toward the National Assembly, black-uniformed riot police armed with plastic shields, bullet-less carbines and tear gas panicked and began forcing the demonstrators back with truncheons. Undeterred, 8,000 medical students later staged a sit-in while others blocked traffic, tore up construction material and smashed a police bus. With such...

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