Douce France

My native France has been on strike for more than a week to protest pension reform. Until now the French retire at 60 years old or even sooner for some. If the reform is voted, they would work until the age of 62.
I know, this is when many Americans consider starting a new business or returning to school.
But in France this reform is such a big deal that 70% support the strike. High school students are in the street. Universities are joining them. Half of air traffic is canceled at Orly and a third at Charles de Gaulle, the two Parisian airports. Many gas stations are out of gas since workers have blocked the refineries across France.
Despite the violence that has erupted between high school students and the police over the last few days, there is no plan to stop the movement. Au contraire, truckers are planning to join the protest and block access to major roads.
Today the unions have called to a national day of mobilization.
I’ve seen many strikes in France. I’ve even participated to a few protests against budget cuts when I was a student. This is a way of life in France and being in a protest a rite of passage, really. I actually remember much more the thrill of running and hiding from the police to avoid the tear gas that they threw at us than the outcome of the protest.
Maybe I’m not enough French anymore but I hope high school students are in the street for the same excitement. If this is for the age of retirement, I’m a little worried for them.
As for me I’m postponing a visit to my Douce France until better days.

%d bloggers like this: