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Cops clash with students over jobs plan in France
PARIS -- Police loosed water cannons and tear gas on rioting students and activists who rampaged through a McDonald's and attacked storefronts in the capital Saturday, as demonstrations against a plan to relax job protections spread in a widening arc across France. The protests, which drew about 500,000 in some 160 cities across the country, were the biggest show yet of escalating anger that is testing the strength of the conservative *snicker* government before elections next year.

McDonald's melee
In Paris, seven officers and 17 protesters were injured in two melees at the close of the march, at the Place de la Nation in eastern Paris and the Sorbonne University. Police said they arrested 156 people in the French capital. Four cars were set afire, police said, and a McDonald's restaurant was attacked along with storefronts. Tensions escalated late Saturday as about 500 yoots moved on to the Sorbonne, trying to break through blockades erected after police stormed the Paris landmark a week ago to dislodge occupying students. The university has become a symbol of the protest. Police turned water cannons on the protesters at the Sorbonne and were seen throwing youths to the ground, hitting them and dragging them into vans.
Remember: the Sorbonne students are the 'best and brightest' in France. They're the one who are virtually guaranteed jobs and an upper-middle class life.
''Liberate the Sorbonne!'' some protesters shouted. ''Police everywhere, justice nowhere.''
I saw a few reports from last week's festivities at the Sorbonne that the original organizers intended everything to stay peaceful, but that (unsurprisingly) some of the anarchist/let's break stuff and blame The Man types infiltrated and made a real mess of things, even destroying a (small) part of the school's rare books collection.
The anarchist crowd being large and, um, unusually well organized ...

Gap torched in Paris
In an apparent effort to set fire to a police van serving as a blockade, protesters instead torched the entrance of a nearby Gap, engulfing the small porch in flames. With commerce snarled in some cities, people asked whether Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin who is a man would stand firm *snicker* on implementing the change he says is needed to encourage hiring. The usually outspoken leader was silent Saturday.
Hey does it feel to walk in Dubya's shoes for a kilometer or two? You *know* what you're doing will cause pain. But you also know that it *must* be done.
Protest organizers urged President Jacques Chirac on Saturday to prevent the law from taking effect as expected in April. The group issued an ultimatum, saying it expects an answer by Monday, when leaders will decide whether to continue protests that have paralyzed at least 16 universities and dominated political discourse for weeks. ''We give them two days to see if they understand the message we've sent,'' said Rene Jouan of the CFDT union. Critics say the contract abolishes labor protections crucial *snicker* to the social fabric.

''Aren't we the future of France?'' asked Aurelie Silan, a 20-year-old student who joined a river of protesters in Paris.
Sure, Aurelie, if you wanna call that a future.
Sure you are, you silly git. Now smile and ask me if I'd like fries with that.
You're the bestest and brightest, Aurelie.
Can't imagine why employers wouldn't want to hire this rabble!
Posted by:ryuge

#3  Aurelie my boy, this type of arrangement is entirely out of date. I fear today it is only in American government that such privilege can be found. I recommend you apply on-line for a French language position at CIA or DIA. You'll miss the superb quisine of Paris however, both cafeterias suck!
Posted by: Besoeker   2006-03-19 19:28  

#2  ''Aren't we the future of France?'' asked Aurelie Silan, a 20-year-old student who joined a river of protesters in Paris.

Sorry, Aurelie. You're thinking of the banlieues.
Posted by: Nimble Spemble   2006-03-19 11:07  

#1  Jobs for Life, dammit. Cradle to grave guaranteed income. No work, all play. Can't fire me!

"Eh, Jean-Pierre. Tu vas au mani?"

"Eh bien, Michel. Mais si on prend un cafe en avant. Puis, on verra. C'est pas les annees soixantes, hien?"
Posted by: Thinemp Whimble2412   2006-03-19 10:52