in processions, young people amplify their mobilization

Ya, Anaïs and Arthur, 19, students, during the demonstration against the pension reform, in Paris, March 23, 2023.

Is this the start of a broader mobilization? In the processions, Thursday, March 23, many observers have noted a rejuvenation of the troops. Student and high school organizations have kept their accounts, which are difficult to verify: according to them, 500,000 young people demonstrated, including 150,000 in Paris.

The student union L’Alternative and Unef have counted a total of 80 universities and other higher education establishments blocked, occupied, or whose courses have been canceled to allow mobilization. According to The High School Voice, 400 high schools were blocked or partially blocked. The Ministry of National Education has counted “148 incidents” In ” a dozen of academies »covering blockages, attempted blockages and filtering dams.

Emmanuel Macron’s speech on March 22 left a bitter taste in the processions. “Not a single word about the young people! How is it possible to ignore us to such an extent when setting the priorities for the five-year term? », chokes Garance (who does not wish to give her name, like the other people mentioned by their first name), an archeology student at the University of Paris-I-Panthéon-Sorbonne. In the student population, resentment has existed since the health crisis, with the long closure of the universities. Added to the list of grievances are broken promises regarding reform of scholarship allocationwhich do not benefit a large proportion of students in difficulty, for lack of revision of the scales since 2013.

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For Pierre, a student at Paris-I, in “the ladder of contempt”a further stage has been reached with the repeated use of Article 49.3 since the beginning of the legislature, most recently on March 16, to impose pension reform on MPs. “If the government goes in force and does not respect the democratic expression of the French in the street, what political future do we reserve for the youth? »he asks, alluding to the extreme right, whose coming to power could be greatly facilitated, according to him, after what he considers to be a “institutional crisis”. “We don’t want to carry all of this on our shoulders, it’s too much, when we already know how much climate change will upset our future”breathes Garance.

“We will have to reckon with high school students”

“The government must hear us! »proclaim the young demonstrators, side-by-side in the Parisian procession. “Even the Lycée Henri-IV is there! », jokes a student in a literary preparatory cl at the prestigious Parisian high school. ” The same one that Emmanuel Macron did! »

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