France Straight a's in Street Politics

After days of riots, angry students force Chirac to capitulate

A curious mix of triumph and dirge marked the demonstration, but there was good reason for the paradox. Bearing a black banner and badges proclaiming PLUS JAMAIS CA (Never Again), some 125,000 students, parents and union members marched through the boulevards of Paris last week in memory of Malik Oussekine, a 22-year-old student who had been killed several days earlier in a violent clash with police. Though the overall tone of the procession was somber and defiant, at one point a celebratory cry rang out: "We have won!"

Indeed they had. Appearing on nationwide television, French Premier Jacques Chirac had announced...

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