Diary Of A Teenage Striker

France is being convulsed by strikes over the controversial law which would increase the retirement age for workers from age 60 to age 62. Naturally, this is an important issues for secondary school students who will reach the age of 60 about 2075. Eva Zukerman, age 17, at the Lycee Edouard Branly in Paris kept a diary about how youth were reacting to the new law.

October 14

“Today, 60 students from two nearby schools massed in front of my school, shouting, dancing, and throwing stones. They pushed against the glass door, breaking a window and shoving a female teacher, while yelling the names of their schools. Finally, they rushed towards a courtyard used by younger pupils –who were terrified by the mob, sobbing with fear. As I watched kids my own age, who I didn’t know, trash my school, I wondered what this had to do with retirement reform.”

October 18

“After three days of siege, three students at my lycee tried to organize a proper blockade. Out of 960 students, 77% voted “yes” (for a blockade).

October 19

(her school was blockaded)

“At 11:00 a.m. 200 people who we didn’t know arrived and hurled bottles and cans at the policemen” (the police responded with gas)”All of a sudden, everyone was running to escape the gas… then a school bus carrying nine and ten year olds appeared. The rioters pitched rocks at the windows.”

You get the picture. A group of children protesting against something that might occur 50 years from now. As one who protested during the sixties against racism and the Vietnam war, this is simply a group of young hooligans using violence to brighten up their day.

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