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October 22, 2010 Permalink

France on strike

Weeks of strikes, protests and demonstrations have brought much of France to a standstill as workers, students and others voice their strong opposition to a government proposal to raise the age for a minimum pension from 60 to 62. A quarter of the nation's gas stations were out of fuel, hundreds of flights were canceled, long lines formed at gas stations and train services in many regions were cut in half. Protesters blockaded Marseille's airport, Lady Gaga canceled concerts in Paris and rioting youths attacked police in Lyon. The unpopular bill is edging closer to becoming law as the French Senate is preparing to vote on it today. Collected here are recent images of the unrest around France. Update: Pension reform bill just now passed by French senate. (40 photos total)

A man holds a placard which reads "Listen to the public's rage" during a demonstration in front of the French Senate in Paris October 20, 2010. French trade unions kept up their resistance on Wednesday to an unpopular pension reform due for a final vote in the Senate this week. (REUTERS/Charles Platiau)
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1042 comments so far...

I have a friend there. I will ask him how it went.

Posted by Guillermo October 22, 10 12:31 PM

Absolutely dynamic! A good lesson for world leaders. I can't wait to see how this plays out. #2,20, 21, 30, 33

Posted by Megan October 22, 10 12:43 PM

Hope everything gets back to life soon.....

Posted by Amit October 22, 10 12:47 PM

The French people must understand that the decision to raise the age for minimum pension is necessarily. In the Netherlands they took the same decision, but they increase the minimum age from 65 to 66. You don't see us destroy other man's property.

Posted by K.G. October 22, 10 12:49 PM

I'm french, so please excuse my bad english,
I'm very impressed to see this picture on an american newspaper website.
I love your site ! thank's for all the magnificent pictures
Yvan, a french student

Posted by Yvan Verité October 22, 10 12:49 PM

In fact, 2 problems are covered in these pictures. Strike actions by people who will retire 2 years later and riotting by people who'll never retire.

Posted by Marc October 22, 10 12:53 PM

So much violence. Man's nature: Build and destroy.

Posted by Orenjs October 22, 10 12:55 PM

If they weren't dependent upon the government it wouldn't matter what the retirement age was. This is a result of socialism. I will retire when I've saved enough money to retire, not when I turn a certain age.

Posted by John October 22, 10 12:56 PM

Haha, the boys and girls in #17 (background) seem to be pretty involved in pension reforms.

Posted by leoos October 22, 10 01:02 PM

Ça va s'arranger ! Il y d'autres endroits bien tranquilles, en France

Posted by all October 22, 10 01:02 PM

I can't help thinking: what a bunch of whiners! Pensions are the best way to bankrupt any organization and raising the retirement age two years isn't THAT bad...

Posted by CJ October 22, 10 01:02 PM

Strike are very minors...only a few (1 million) are on strike.
99% of french people want this reform!!! (i'm french living in paris) but they don't go on strike.

Posted by romain October 22, 10 01:04 PM

I'm french.

@Megan, trust me this won't lead anywhere.
Protesting is good but it isn't enough. You must suggest solutions in order to actually make things better.
All those strikes are just preventing people from working normally and won't make a change in the government's decisions. Not everyone can afford being away from work for a week or so. Think of all the cleaning people/craftsmen/small shops owners or other workers who can't reach they working place or are deprived from their day-to-day working tools (gas for example). This is literally killing small businesses.

It is good to be able to and actually react to one's government's policy, but it's pointless if the only thing you can say is 'No'.
People should spend more time taking chances and suggesting new ideas, you can achieve so much more when you think about others first and not just your own self.
So many people throughout the world dedicate their whole lives to finding solutions to others' problems, those are the ones to be admired.

(I cannot emphasize my words more than this. The world is in serious need of fresh, new ideas.)

Posted by V October 22, 10 01:05 PM

Why do rioter always destroy their own neighborhoods and property? Hardly ever do they go the the places where the fat cats and politicians live to smash some windows. I can't stop thinking how angry the owner of the car in #20 must feel. These changes to the law will effect and affect him/her too.

Posted by David October 22, 10 01:05 PM

Just an excuse for the youth to be ruckus.

Posted by Ismael October 22, 10 01:06 PM

The generation of entitlement strikes again.

Posted by K.B. October 22, 10 01:07 PM

If they want to go broke and have trash piled up in the streets, let them. F*ck 'em.

Posted by Quelle Horreur! October 22, 10 01:07 PM

sometimes I'm really ashame to be french! Most people that are on strike right now are youth who are : 1 : not concerned by the reform (as they'll have to work older than 62 anyway considering they're doing long studies) and 2) most of them don't understand what is going on : they just don't want to go to school !

Posted by SyD October 22, 10 01:08 PM

I have no respect for anyone who has to destroy someone else's property to get their point across. How childish.

Posted by Colin October 22, 10 01:08 PM

Excellent photos here. Just wanted to propose a small correction for photo number 38, it's Nanterre (instead of Naterre) for the name of the university.

Posted by K.W. October 22, 10 01:09 PM

Those photos are genious & protests shouldn't be in France only

Posted by rx9 October 22, 10 01:10 PM

Cry me a river you entitled under-worked babies.

Posted by Zachary October 22, 10 01:10 PM

The youngs here are just manipulated :(
As the french retirement system is based on reddistribution, if this bill don't make it, guess who will pay way more "retirement contribution" without getting more later ? the youth
The only one that will win are the baby-boomer that did'nt pay enough for their own retirement.

Posted by sebastien October 22, 10 01:10 PM

The French very much dislike working - but if people live to be 100 years old, and don't finish their state-sponsored Master Degree until they are 25 years old, then the small amount of time in between when that person is productive is limited to 35 years - in which time they will have children, take parental leave, enjoy plentiful holiday time.

Posted by anon October 22, 10 01:13 PM

If only Americans could get this fired up over the impending Catfood Commission gutting of Social Security, or any issue apart from American Idol.

Posted by Andrew F. October 22, 10 01:13 PM

It's a good thing they weren't blowing bubbles too!

Posted by Sean Ben Noach October 22, 10 01:14 PM

I'll just add this : in France, there is a very high unemployement rate of the 50+ workers. This is a burden because they are sustained by the state and do not give money for pension while working.
So increasing the age for minimum pension is like saying : hey you will be unemployed 2 years more ok ?
Why don't they try to make it possible for 50+ workers to have a job ?

Posted by Georges October 22, 10 01:16 PM

Despite our french roots, you won't see these kind of pictures when the same decisions will occur in Quebec. We are cowards.

Posted by Olivier October 22, 10 01:16 PM

I live in a small town, and i made all of the events, their is no violence, but it's terrible when you live in Paris or in Lyon, and when you see violence between policeman and students.
But it's just, amazing pictures !

Posted by Camille October 22, 10 01:16 PM

The main question is: why should the age for retirement increase? Since 1950, the rentability (amount of money produced) of a worker was multiplied by 6. Why cannot some of this money be used to provide the whole society a better living?

Posted by Xavier October 22, 10 01:18 PM

agree with #19's good when you fight for your rights, but violence is unnecessary... I still have hope that people will realize that one day... until then we have pictures to remind us how desperate some people feel when it comes to acknowledging their rights...

Posted by Crea October 22, 10 01:18 PM

#20 - Hi Mom!

French girls are cute when they're all protestey.

Posted by meks October 22, 10 01:18 PM

The president did provocation and now he has what he wanted.

This revolt is again rich people again globalisation ! Sarkozy and his friend G20, international banks and all rich people

Normaly in a conflict we have negociation but for today : only force : France is not a democraty anymore. We just want to keep democraty.

Great photo !! congratulation it speak more than a long explaination about french are crazy or lazy or stupid thing I red somewhere from people of an other planet.

Posted by chris October 22, 10 01:19 PM

70% of the frenchs support strikes against the reform according to all polls... May be they are wrong but I don't think so (I have to say that I'm french too ;) ).

Posted by Julien October 22, 10 01:20 PM

France lacks riot police and riot rubber bullets. Live there and I'm pissed.

Posted by Ozh October 22, 10 01:20 PM

Crazy photos, but these lazy people need to get back to work. I mean use some common sense. In today's world we many of us may live beyond 100 with better understanding of health and better technology to fight disease. Extending a pension plan from 60 to 62 is no reason for the people of France to halt business and wreak havoc on their streets. What really struck me were the smirks on the university students faces as they chose to extend the closure of their school. This should be hailed as an utter embarrassment for the people of France.

Posted by Smark October 22, 10 01:20 PM

I would like to point a little mistake in one of the pictures. The puppet is from Ariane Mnouchkine's "Theatre du Soleil" and symbolizes the Justice. You can see Flags with nice citations like "Ce n'est pas dans un palais de peur que l'espoir entrera" (Eschyle) ( "It's not in a Palace of Fear that Hope will come")

Posted by Fol espoir October 22, 10 01:21 PM

I love the idea of power to the people and I wish that Americans would exercise our numbers in protest more often. I think citizens of the USA are too quick to forgive or forget.

But why violence? Why looting? Why destruction? It distracts from the point and makes all of the protester's point null and void.

Posted by Philadelphia October 22, 10 01:21 PM

"French workers protest..."

Using the term worker loosely are we... 35 hours a week that is less that 5% of the hours in a week. Months per year of vacation... quit at 60 with state pension afterward? Cant be fired unless they are give years of salary as severance? Why would a business hire anyone in this environment.

You reap what you sow.

Posted by nowayjose October 22, 10 01:22 PM

I'm french.
You have to know that the age for minimum pension for people who conduct trains is 50 years. Not 62.

The CGT (#1, #2) which represents only 3% of french workers, possess all trains, airports and ports in France. Each time something doesn't please them, they block the whole land.

Posted by F... October 22, 10 01:22 PM

France: too lazy too work, enough energy to riot.

Pierre my boy, pass the wine!

Gr8 pistures,

Croix Bonard Le Courelevier Le Peux

Posted by Say No To Work! October 22, 10 01:23 PM


In Argentina we went through this 10 years ago. Now we have a goverment that protects the rights of workers and pentionists. The world ALREADY has new ideas, the problem is that Europe do not want to look at what is happening in South America. And, worst, do not want to see that making the people pay for the mistakes of the rich is WRONG and will cause more trouble. You are making the same mistakes we made in the past decade. Learn from us!!

French people you are an example for all the european continent. Be strong and go on with your strike! Those stupid dutch, italians, spanish need to follow your lead to the victory of the workers!!!

Also... stop criminalizing immigrants and fix your damn economy!!!!!!

Posted by Sebastian Gonzalez October 22, 10 01:29 PM

French living far away from France, I wonder why people strike about this law, and not about the fascisms actions and declarations of the government??

Is not like hight scool students are a lot involved in retirement question ... :/

Feel like people don’t matter about the reals dangers in the French politic.

Posted by Gaël October 22, 10 01:29 PM

Picture 5 : the puppet isn't symbolizing the French Republic but the Justice (like the picture here : )

Posted by Julien October 22, 10 01:29 PM

I'm really bored by this small portion of french (~1 million on 64,7 millions) who stop other people to work and study.
I'm not again manifestation, but I'm firmly against "blocage" and destruction that always come with it. And we are loosing so much money right now... France look stupid and lazy to the rest of the world, I'm sure... but we are not all like this, I swear !

Posted by Bilouba October 22, 10 01:30 PM

The beauty of the French is they care. They revolt. In other countries, the public is lazy, supressed, controlled and dominated (USA, UK to name a couple).

Instead of being pushed over they stand up for their rights. Simply beautiful.

Posted by Will October 22, 10 01:31 PM

Thank you it's a really cool view of the week (but french girls are not all so beautiful).

Posted by Mathieuge October 22, 10 01:31 PM

Sorry, rest of the world, for not bending over when the big insurance companies tell us to work more because IT'S NECESSARY (I havent met yet a person who could explain me why those reforms are necessary but THEY ARE)

Sorry for not trusting the "There Is No Alternative" logic. Sorry for looking at facts: the Brits did all those reforms in the 80s, they did sacrifice their social system, their public workers, etc..for what result? They have more deficit than us, a lot more household debts and approx. the same level of public debt. So please, tell me, why would we do those reforms?

Sorry for not buying all those "but we live longer so we have to work longer". Deeply sorry that you don't know what the productivity gains are.

Sorry to use violence. "Violence is bad, boohoo" Fuck no, it's not. It's the only way to change the world and to defend your rights. We're not the Americans, who just defend their little private property and bend over when their rights are taken away. We're not that selfish.

Posted by nqd October 22, 10 01:33 PM

If they're all in the streets doing stuff, then where are all the people sitting around complaining and not working?

For the best pictures come to... Boston Big Picture!!!


Jean-Pierre-Henri-Pipi Antoinette

Posted by Haughty Expectations October 22, 10 01:36 PM

Once again we see the lazy Socialists at work. 62? They are striking to be able to retire at 62? How that country gets anything done simply amazes appears that leadership is once again retreating.

How about moving away from failed policies, unions and government supported welfare and taking care of yourself just once?

Posted by Chris October 22, 10 01:36 PM

@V: Many alternatives have been suggested. There has been no debate, no public discussions over the laws. That explains the riots.

Posted by quentin October 22, 10 01:36 PM

very nice pictures ! I'm french too and I'd like to explain something. There are two types of demonstrators:
- the first one are people who demonstrate peacefully against the pension reform ; though they're annoying 90% of the country (no train, no bus, no fuel, no teacher, garbage on the streets), most of them aren't violent...
- the second one are some young guys, mostly from suburbs. They don't give a damn about the reform, they're just here to mess with the police, throw rocks, destroy shops, burn cars and bully younger demonstrators... Those guys are just ruining everything... Some days ago, young high school girl in Chelles (near Paris) was hit by a stone thrown by one of those hooded guys... she lost an eye. Some other people just get up in the morning and see their car totally burnt.

Yeah... it sucks, doesn't it

Posted by Léon October 22, 10 01:37 PM

I don't think I will ever understand the French. There must be a less violent way for them to come to an agreement on this matter with the goverment. The damage that is being done to their cities right now looks like it will take at least 2 years to repair.

Is this the same 2 years that they are fighting for?

Posted by Melanie October 22, 10 01:40 PM

I'm a french student, I have 23 years old, I worked hard to get my diploma, I get my Master, I wrote two Master thesis, and next month, I will be without job.

The son of the president have 24 years old, he hadn't his diploma, he had no skill, no Bachelor... and he have a job now and great responsabilities.

French people help their bank during the "crash" and after the bank say "no" to help french people to build their country, to build their dream... and now Righ wing politics and banks told us "you have to work longer"... In French we are trying to say "Va te faire foutre, on lache rien" (traduction : "Go f**k yourself, we don't give up")... And one day I hope, western people will stand up for their right to have their own house, to build their enterprise, to have healthcare....

That's the spirit of France.... That's the spirit, so don't be surprised if there is young people who want destroy everything.

Plus, another factor of this violence, check the Top of Freedom of Speeches and Newspaper in France, we are 44 now !!!

(Sorry if my english is bad... )

Finally, don't worry, French people seems violent (especially the Police...) but no dead people, this is not Los Angeles 1992 or Urban Guerilla ;)

Posted by Nono October 22, 10 01:40 PM

During the Nazi occupation it cost France about $175 Million dollars a day. I wonder how much these idiots are costing France?

Posted by Steme October 22, 10 01:43 PM

Victor Hugo is rolling in his grave.

Posted by Matt S October 22, 10 01:44 PM

Just one thing to note and understand:

the people who brake everything are not the same that the ones who are on strike and asking for the governement to consider other solutions. Some guys just use this event to steal, brake, put cars on fire, etc.

Posted by beaware October 22, 10 01:44 PM

Hello I am French and I live in Lyon. Do not believe the other stupid who said "99% agrees with the reform" whereas 70% of the population (according to the last poll) agrees with the strikers.

What happened in Lyon is just unacceptable, today it was even a bigger mess when far right wing orientated people decided to go in the streets to fight with the strikers... hope it's gonna be better soon

Posted by chjqpovfjnqp October 22, 10 01:46 PM

Well Done Paris!
Keep on!

Posted by October 22, 10 01:48 PM

To further what I said in comment 52:

#21 is really sad. He obviously uses his cane to walk. But he is being attacked.

I can’t help but feel that the extent that these protest have grown to is ridiculously selfish on everybody’s part. How can they say they are fighting for human rights and social welfare while they burn the city and vote themselves out of school? The work that will be needed to repair everything lost will take 2 years in the least.

How can you expect your government to take care of you when you treat it like your worst enemy? I’m not saying I love the American government, but I’m also responsible for my own retirement so I can’t really see myself reacting like this if Obama told us we’d probably have to work until 67. Yeah I’d be pissed, but I’d just save harder while I was young so I could retire when I want to and apply for SS when I was eligible. Not burn cars and make out on asphalt.

I don’t think I’ll ever understand the French

Posted by Melanie October 22, 10 01:48 PM

And why couldn't people retire at the age of 60? Because this would cost a lot of money! Ok... Then why not tax the speculative profits as well as the work?

Posted by fruk October 22, 10 01:49 PM

Voilà, vive la France.
I live in France, I assure you, this is not "war" throughout the country :)

Posted by Kev October 22, 10 01:52 PM

Another French here...

Granted, the 60 to 62 years thing does seem a little step compared to other countries. But people over 50 are so much deconsidered in the workplace (actually employers will fire them to get cheaper, younger blood who might already know a thing or two about how difficult it is to get a first job, so they'll pretty deal with any kind of bad treatment they'll receive) that 2 more years to get to retirement will likely mean 2 more years of unemployement for some of them.
It's a bad thing money-wise and will hurt their esteem and their children's with possible social consequences. It's not a proper send-off and will hurt your pension amount in the end (calculated from your best 25 earning years.)

Let's work on a proper plan to allow people to find a job until they retire (including training) and then we could talk about other things.

The other big point to consider is : this politic decision was decided in such hurry... Do you know many governements good enough to sort this big issue in a few weeks only ? It took less than 3 months for Sarkozy to decide to raise the age for pension whereas a full review of the pensions systems took around 10 years to complete in Nordic Countries, where there has been a proper discussion between government, workers, unions....
His Little Excellency decided on his own (and actually declared before his election he won't change a thing on pensions age), let a controversial minister deal with the debate (Eric Woerth, neck-deep in scandals involving the l'Oreal owner, the richest person in the country) and this is where we stand.

People on strike are not paid and will not get their lost days back, don't worry. They fight for their idea(l) of our Republic and it's a good thing.

The situation with younger people is another thing, a generation distress (from ok to banlieues ghettos neighbourhoods) is showing, they don't believe in this type in politics but the peaceful ones still want to believe in this society.

Posted by JP October 22, 10 01:53 PM

Oh God, so much racism and prejudices against french people in these comments... "they're lazy", "they work 35 hours a week", "they have months of holidays", blah, blah, blah. Come back once you really now how the french system work instead of doing stupid redneck comments, okay?

Posted by Rhalph October 22, 10 01:54 PM

I'm an American. These pictures make me weep. In the U.S. we don't strike. We work harder and hope to win the lottery. We thank the rich for creating jobs. We believe we are all equal and that those who don't have high-paying jobs deserve the "sh*t jobs" they do have. This is a lesson. God bless the French. May we aspire one day to follow their example and say "no" to the neoliberalist a-holes who want to run the world.

Posted by Alec October 22, 10 01:57 PM

@Melanie, two years to repair? Are you joking? It's a couple of smashed windows, and cars. Most of the windows were replaced the next day, and the rest is paid by insurances anyway.

Posted by someone October 22, 10 01:57 PM

Hi I'm a french student, first of all, I'm glad to eventually figure out the the rest of the world writes about us. But I'd like to say that I think that even if that strike is justified (I didn't even start to work, and I'll already have to work two years more at least), I think there are many people that go down the streets just to mess with the police. I mean, on some photos we could think that they are defending an idea, but actually they are just there as hooligans. Last Tuesday I could read on a french blog the story that happened to the writer, his subway wagon was just assaulted by youths that seek violence. Of course the main part really is fighting against that reform.
Actually, it's necessary to work more if we want to keep our pension system, this law will be accepted anyway.
That was just to give you a french point of view on the whole strike, because you never know what it's like when you're abroad.
But to finish I'll admit that this post shows the whole situation very well. Good job !

Posted by Gauthier U October 22, 10 01:57 PM

Trop de social tue le social.
Il y aura toujours des parasites pour bouffer sur le dos des autres.
Dans les champs de patates quand ya des doryphores ...on sulfate.
A bon entendeur.

Posted by pasquier October 22, 10 01:58 PM

Hi! I'm a french high school student living in Normandy (North of France). My high school was closed because some of us blocked it. Some people were disrespectful during these demonstrations and I think that most of us should be so ashamed of having acting like that. And, the most important thing is that we know that a reforme is necessary, but this reform is so unfair, especially for women. I'm don't have an opinion on Nicolas Sarkozy's reform, but I think that his government is a mess. The thing is that people voted for him but he didn't told french people that he would raise de retirement age. Most of us feel betrayed. And we want the government to hear us, and to make a fair reform. I hope that it will end soon, because we (students) are all pissed off by what is happening. Sorry for my bad english anyway.

Posted by Marion October 22, 10 02:03 PM

I'm going to Paris next week and I'm little bit scared. Are you ok, French?

Posted by kajas October 22, 10 02:05 PM

It is true what #62 and others have said. The system is broke. The rich control the laws and everybodies pockets. Rasing the retirement age is just a delay tactic and will not fix the big picture. (no pun intended)

Protesting is an effective way too say "enough is enough". But stop burning things and hurting people.

Posted by Philadelphia October 22, 10 02:06 PM

Nice pictures, impressive (as always on this website). Good job.

I'm French too. I'm 31 years old. I'm worker. And i approve strikes
@all people puzzled by protestation : please try to imagine a world with a better quality of life for everyone, yes it's possible, it's not a money problem. And be sure it's possible to make business and have social right, it's not opposite.
The question is just : Can we share a bit all money from banks ?
Difference between rich people and poor people is too big.

By the way... about violence : Some videos proves that clash people destroying shops and cars are plainclothes police officers...
The goal of this is to justify repression later.
Yes it's sad.

Posted by P'tit Nico October 22, 10 02:07 PM

AGREE ON THE PRINCIPLE: We need to work longer and not be a burden for our children and future generations.
NOW, SOCIAL FACTS: Official statistics say unemployement rate in 55-64 years old is no less than ... 61,1%. Check out here (for those who understand French):
Seniors unemployement rate will just RAISE and that'll be the only outcome of this reform. This will require more money to pay unemployement benefits, this may induce an increase in contributions (taken from wages) for unemployement social funds, so why not directly increase contributions for pensions ? ...

Posted by Catherine October 22, 10 02:11 PM

Another Frenchie here and oui, j'aime les fraises!

Just wanted to ax a question: what's better: working or not working and relaxing and getting a little tipsy and eating nothing but the best food all day, sending what you don't like back to the kitchen and stumbling home to a fat government paycheck while waiting to take another vacation next week, condescendingly?

And Greece thought they had it good!

White Flags and La Croix,

Pip Fournier Le Deux

Posted by I DEMAND SOMETHING FOR NOTHING October 22, 10 02:15 PM

#18 would be a very beautiful and moving picture if they were protesting for something worth while.

Posted by Jonathan Frei October 22, 10 02:15 PM

Just take a closer look at the 40th picture. This is one of the many problems we have in France : the Senate is almost empty. This is one of the reasons why the french have to protest : senators who are suppose to debate about laws or reforms are not doing their job (except when there's a reform to change the system of their own pension which advantageous in comparaison to the "general" system : in this case, they voted against).

Posted by Mr Peer October 22, 10 02:17 PM

I'm french. And I think you don't really get why this is happening. Of course it's about not to work 'till you die, but it's also cause our government, and that's the same for all the Western countries, are always asking for more to the regular worker. But what about the banks? Why should we work longer whereas we gave billions to the banks, and whereas bonuses in Wall street and so on, have never been so high? Salaries are the same for decades, and cause of that our countries are going bankrupt.
I would really be ready to work longer if we had a fair system. Let's start to change this, and if it's not enough, people will agree a bit more to work longer. On my point of view, I don't get why you americans are not revolted with what's happening in your country, and all the mess this unregulated economic world did. When will you stand up to say "stop"?

And about the "lazy french" cliché, don't forget guys, we french have the highest productivity rate in the world.

To end, in order you get a bit more why we also want to say "enough" :
- The government want us to accept the reform, but 2 days ago they've voted NO to change their special system for Parliamentaries, to make it the same as for the people.
- Nicolas Sarkozy helped his brother to create a private pension funds with associating some economic agencies owned by the State (which means the money of the french people). This way, meanwhile the President is destroying our system, this changement will make his brother rich. Does that seem fair to you?

I could keep this way a long time, to express you why people are so angry around here.

Posted by Guillaume October 22, 10 02:18 PM

#64 is a nicely written far-right peace of propaganda.
Defining people as "parasites", compare them to the Colorado potato beetle, and wanting to get rid of them with chemicals. It's lovely, very sweet.

Would you get rid of them based on the color of their skin ? Their religion ? The part of the city they come from ? I'm curious.

Let's be cynical for a moment. France can not use 3 useful tools when it comes to prevent urban violences and unemployment of the lower social classes :
- there is gun control
- we have much less jail space (as about 1,6 % of the US workforce is an inmate)
- there is no conscription

so at some stage politicians will have to find a way to make us live all together.
The only population who gave Sarkozy much more votes than to his opponent is the over 65. People not concerned by pensions reform (since it has been cleverly decided a pensions amount decrease will not be a proper option to reform the system).

Posted by Jp October 22, 10 02:19 PM

@t the french who said

"Strike are very minors...only a few (1 million) are on strike.
99% of french people want this reform!!! (i'm french living in paris) but they don't go on strike.

Posted by romain October 22, 2010 01:04 PM"

This is like our government propaguanda. People on strike, and who had possibility to make it (another thing because we know that credit cards work against strikes mouvement) are a lot and represents the majority (69% after strikes and fuel blockage) of the opinions agaisnt this liberal reform.

There is a differences between medias ans reality. better to see the reality by your own eyes.
In these case, it 's always better to inform yourself, even to see this social movement, even to undestrand why this reform is stupid. Be citizens and Act !

Posted by samy October 22, 10 02:19 PM

I'm French, I live in Lyon and even if this blog's pictures are nicely done, the emphasis on the conflict between cops and protestants is really disgusting. "MORE DRAMA PLEASE".

Now for those finding interesting to focus only on some minor issues and leaving the REAL purpose of the strike behind, well look on youtube for some clips where you see real plainclothes cops STARTING riots. You have to know that "CRS" are like human species' worst kind. Thoses guys aren't serving the law or whatever, they just like to fight, especially students (big strong guys in their 50s who started working young, meh, less easy). I did go on strike quite a few times and each time, cops are engaging the fight only to make protestants look bad.

Another thing to know about this conflict. This strike isn't entirely caused by the pension reform. We have a government guilty of nepotism, corruption (check out our dear Eric Woerth's last story, quite awesome if you're cynical). When the government controls medias, is BFF with CEOs, doesn't give a damn about the population in the suburbs if it isn't for blaming everything on them, doing EVERYTHING to tear apart the country by turning minorities against each other... It's enough.

It isn't just a "woaw we REALLY don't want to work another couple years". I have to walk to go to work because of this strike... And I hope I'll have to do so until the government retires this stupid reform.

Last thing, the argument "others countries do it, it's normal" isn't one, really. Why don't you work for 2$ a day, like in a bunch of countries I won't name? Why do you allow free speech when China doesn't allow it? Yeah, I thought so.

In France we fight for our rights, so if you sheeps just bow your head everytime your government opens its mouth, well sucks to be you. Where's your herder? :)

Posted by Roger October 22, 10 02:22 PM

@romain #12 : 70% of French people are supporting strike, so you're wrong when you say 99% want the reform (I'm French too)

Posted by French Girl October 22, 10 02:24 PM

Thank you to Sebastian Gonzalez (39), Nono (50), JP (59).
I am with you (and with the people striking against this reform).
We are not sheep!

Posted by Malene October 22, 10 02:26 PM

Very nice shots !
Stef, France

Posted by October 22, 10 02:26 PM

It seems that most people wrinting comments do not READ or get some SERIOUS information about what's going one up there.

STRIKERS are NOT responsible for the destructions and riots, some OTHER PEOPLE JUST WANNA TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE SITUATION to face the police and steal burn etc. That's the point.

To all guys here stating "I will never understand the frenchies" : I agree, you won't ever because you LOOK AT THE SURFACE of things. JUST LIKE some french people think that americans are dumbasses. Frence has one of the highest productivity rate in the world.

Don't be what people expect you to be. Open your eyes.

Posted by Arnaud October 22, 10 02:27 PM

I'm French and I support the strikes.
Someone in the comments said "How can you imagine breaking things just to make a point?" What was the Iraq war except killing hundreds of thousands of people just to make a point (and an invalid point at that)?

How spending a thousand billion dollars on wars is normal and yet there's no money for Social Security or decent retirement plans?
How bailing out greed-crazed banks with hundreds of billions of dollars is normal and yet there's no money for Social Security and decent retirement plans?

You shouldn't ask yourself why these lazy crazy French go crazy over a tame reform (compared to the systematic trampling of the poor and middle class in other countries). You should ask yourself almost no one else does.

Posted by abolibibelot October 22, 10 02:30 PM

This sh***y reform is also very unfair on women. 62 will be the age you can retire but to get the full pension (=decent) you'll need to be 67 ! but women wo'll have stopped some years to raise kids will never be able to get a full pension. just plain unfair. and it's not just women (although that already means 1/2 the people)...

Posted by Lucie October 22, 10 02:31 PM

Les doryphores en France ce ne sont pas ceux qu'on croit... Les politiques ne cotisent à rien et vivent comme des rois, les patrons ne respectent plus le droit du travail et prennent le peuple pour des esclaves, leur proposant même de se délocaliser vers des pays du tiers monde avec les entreprises, les flics tapent sur des femmes et des enfants qui manifestent pacifiquement et laissent des voyoux commettre des exactions sous l'oeil bienveillant des journalistes qui bénéficient de niches fiscales plus qu'avantageuses, et des télés qui viennent de voir l'impôts sur les recettes publicitaires passer de 1,5% à 0,35%... Très belles photos qui auraient pu être prises à Cuba ou en Chine, tant elles sont le reflet d'un état fasciste...

Posted by toto cutugno October 22, 10 02:32 PM

What images indeed! They indeed show a strike at some place peaceful times, and total chaos at the other. Some pictures are rare in France. Congratulations still photographers!

Posted by Francky October 22, 10 02:33 PM

Yes, we are the most productive people in the world. It is not a 100% good thing.
We're quite efficient but it could also be because :
- We tend to do the same amount of work in 35 hours and we used to do it in 39 hours. Congratulations, let's not hope it will create more stress, more work accidents or more drama.
- We know there is some chance to get fired when we get older so we have to prove everybody we're hard-working people.
- It's not easy to get a full-time job contract so all unwanted part-time workers or temp will go the extra mile (true in all countries).

In other countries, people could be less productive but that could mean more people end up achieving the whole thing.

Posted by Jp October 22, 10 02:37 PM

At the moment, I am Ashamed of my country... Yet I love it... It s just because of those people who don't care about other Frenches (the great majority, the silent one) who are totally blocked... This is not the way to make a strike... indeed, finnally, we are all doing it... because we don't have anymore acces to transport, we don't have anymore fuel... so we can't go to work...
And the students (I am one)... Oh my god... they perhaps don't realise that in 40 years, the pension regime would have surely changed again... And if they want to have a job in 5 years (they pretend that it won't be possible because of older who are still working), they can... they just have to give themselves the way to reach to it...
No, France is not a good exemple...
Sorry for my poor english... but I am french... so proud to be french...

Posted by louis-marie October 22, 10 02:38 PM

You americans should read a little more and learn about other countries. You would say more smart things.
This fight is for democracy, not only pensions or retirement. Money, that's all you have in mind.
French people aren't lazy, they want to avoid a new kind of dictatorship, which short Nicolas the 1st is building. Laws aren't discussed any more here.
Do you remember "human rights" were born in France guys?

Posted by Guillaume October 22, 10 02:44 PM

I think the nicest picture is #40 it might explain why there is so many people unhappy with politics lately.

the two chambers of the parliament are seen as a bunch of lazy big money paid people who forget who elected them and who they are working for. they are seen as far away for the real world. and look, here is a big law and the senate (high chamber) is empty, not only on the majority side but also on the opposition side. debates are inexistant there as it has been show last year with the theatrical shows that have been put for weeks in both chambers around laws about internet, author rights holders and so called piracy. the chambers were mostly empty, and the debate was left to declaration from opposition members only answered by the government approval or not of amendments to the law.
when one of the laws was voted against by more opposition parliamentarians the government and main party of the country cried and said that it happened in a grotesque way, with people playing hide and seek behind a curtain in order to trick majority leaders to think that the vote would be carried as planned by the few parliamentarians left. oh yeah, forgot to mention : the vote was scheduled at lunch time. all this has been seen as clear signal that most people at parlement just don't care about the task they have been elected to, it was also a nice show about the fact that they don't accept the people' will.
laws have been, written, arranged and bought by industrials, with parliamentarians clearly without much clues about what they are dealing with. clearly the "French Republic" is wondering about the last part of her name.

about the strikes : the problem is complex here, the reform is difficult to understand as nobody explains it (surely not the media), little is known and much is used by politics on each side to gain a bit more attention and power, looters are a minority, and more and more we are seeing clear abuse from the police with surrounded people crushed by a charge because they "didn't go away", plain cloth police people acting as triggers, and police having orders to let burn and break few things in hope to ease tension and avoid bigger trouble.
and after the recent money affairs in the government nobody understands why the government is handing money so easily in some case but not when the majority of the people need some, when small companies are crushed, and big ones are dismantled to only serve big names interests.

surely, France is seen as a strike country, yet the media is doing a damn good job to show all that and not other things.

Posted by al'atoire October 22, 10 02:45 PM

Thank you Arnaud (#84), at last a smart thing in these comments.

Posted by Guillaume October 22, 10 02:46 PM

Hey ! Don't believe that France is burning, most of strike actions are riot-free ! There are also peaceful strikes in Lyon, that concentrate most of demonstrators, while pictures of this city are only showing violence. Over-reprensatation of fighting scenes looks great on your screens, but it is mainly a useful to blind the public opinion : gains of productivity should be enough to finance pensions !

Posted by Julien October 22, 10 02:47 PM

I am a French student who just came back from the US where I studied one year in Cambridge, MA. I loved your country. :)

Yesterday I sent 100$ to the strikers at oil refinery, hope they will stand firm!

Posted by Guillaume October 22, 10 02:49 PM

the photos are great. maybe its just an estethic opinion but the cloth and colours are amazing in your european-demonstrations. they look like art-performers. that´s politic too.
excuse me for my english, i´m form argentina

Posted by paula October 22, 10 02:49 PM

I'm French and I've been told since I'm young that there will be no more money for us when we retire. So if by making every one working a little longer we have a chance of getting a pension then let's do it you lazy asses!
Most of the people who went on strike were students and it's ridiculous they are not even employed yet that they start complaining and making the life of the people who work a nightmare. The statistics are wrong most of the people in france are tired of the never ending strikes and there is more wrong than right who comes out of it. Strikers are selfish...

Posted by Pissedofffrench October 22, 10 02:50 PM

-- comment removed --

Posted by anonymous October 22, 10 02:53 PM

France is not on strike it's just 1% of the population who either are stupid, ignorant, who don't want to work, live in a another planet etc etc

michael from france

Posted by michael October 22, 10 02:54 PM

Arnaud - "Frence has one of the highest productivity rate in the world."

They're in the upper half for sure. They definitely beat out Congo, Afghanistan, Syria, Guatemala, etc...

Please do not complain.

Bo from the Bronx

Posted by France is a Tourist Trap October 22, 10 02:55 PM

To bring in some more context, the violence does not come from the people protesting and/or on strike. It comes from a very small minority of disaffected youth who use the context of the demonstrations to let their darker impulses run freely.

If you ask me, it's pretty surprising that the actual demonstrators do not use more violence, since Sarkozy is making ostentatious gifts to the rich parts of the population since its election, hundreds of millions euros are given as tax exemptions to the big french companies every year, a catastrophic crisis with extremely high unemployment rates is going on, and the government is adamantly refusing to negociate anything about this reform with unions who have been making offers for months.

For the rest, Xavier (#30) said it all : France is one of the 10 richest countries in the world, productivity has been rising steadily since 30 years and we are fed success stories of rich people as examples everyday since Sarkozy took power. Why not share a small part of that wealth with the general population ?

Posted by manur October 22, 10 02:59 PM

i am one man french and this reform is necessary only for the capitalism, the capitalism is died, we will do one revolution in the world against the capitalism savage

Posted by oorlynck October 22, 10 03:07 PM

France has one of the highest productivity in the world because they work less in a week... luckily, they should normally have the highest productivity in this case...
If you consider the TOTAL hours worked in a year, they work less than Americans, for instance.

France is just a country of people relying on the welfare system to survive, waiting for the government to help them and ASSIST them.

This is one of the drawback of their social system which is regarded as one of the most sophisticated in the industrialized world.

Posted by Anon October 22, 10 03:11 PM

I agree..

And when government forces come to break a strike occupation, strikers dont respond with force, they go pacificly on another place

Posted by samy October 22, 10 03:13 PM

6 demonstrations with 3 500 000 people in the french streets. There are the biggest demonstrations of the french history.
Everyday thousands of students cry their angry and the only response of the governement is to send riot police and shoot the student with flashball guns...

The only people who are wounded are demonstrator by the police. It's so sad.

Do US citizen agree to trade Président s.a.r.k..o...z.y against President Obama ?! :)

Posted by SamFR October 22, 10 03:19 PM

I'm french, and i think people who demonstrate, don't understand the reform. Only few people demonstrate in fact, youth because they don't want to study or they don't understand. In my college, nobody demonstrate. The strikes are due to the socialists and syndicates(CGT...). Socialists say that they won't change the minimum age of retirement, but they never say how they'll pay retired person.

Posted by Zortor October 22, 10 03:19 PM

- Life expectancy in good health (the only one intersting in order to go to work) in France: Women, 64, men 63, emplyee, 59, manager, 69.
So please, don't be stupid with a 100 years life expectancy, it means nothing.

- the french "reform" is the only one in Europe which raise the age and increases the subscriptions at the same time, so much for people being really happy in France, when in Europe, blah, blah...

- There is not a single word about unemployment (6 upon 10 people above 55 years old is unemployed, 1/4 youth too...) and despite government lies, the unemployment is rising every month. They had to cancel the release of official reports in order not to talk about it.

- France is doing about 1800 billions of euros every year, but only 70% for wages. Share holders who had 5% of the amount 25 years ago have now 25%.

- The "reform" is done in order to destroy the actual system (subscriptions, solidarity) for pension funds, the same that collapse every 10 years in wall Street or here in Paris, in order for bankers to get richers...Who is holding one of the companies trying to create such pension funds? Mr Guillaume sarkozy, brother of the president...

- Mr Sarkozy said, before being elected, that he won't touch the pension system. After beign elected, he repeated that since it wasn't an electoral promise, he wouldn't even try to change the system. Then, where is the legitimacy, the democracy, the respect of the people?

As for destructions, you should just try little search on internet, in order to see how police in plain clothes are destroying things in order to provoke violence and outrage...This is ridiculous...but true...

There is at least 2 millions people in the street every day there is a demonstration. Difficult to say that 99% of the french are for the reform, even though you count the babies, so stop saying ridiculous statements.

Are we socialists? I don't know, but when I see what happened with the banks a year ago, and that now, there still are people happy to carry on with such a system, dreaming in front of wealth and dying in poverty, i'm really sad...for them...

Posted by bert October 22, 10 03:27 PM

35 hour work week, 5 weeks vacation, and they riot over having to work past 60 for 2 more years in a country where the life expectancy is 82. What a bunch of whiners! Get back to work you lazy punks!

Posted by DB October 22, 10 03:28 PM

so proud to be a french women!! Forza!!
and doesn't matter if there is no more oil to go to work :)
I hope it will works!!

Posted by aurélie October 22, 10 03:28 PM

I guess the basic question about this reform is: "why should the gains in productivity profit to the workers?" The reform says it should not, and these guys disagree. Bunch of whiners: they work and they don't get nothing! They should just shut up and let the government have its way.

Posted by Alan Schmitt October 22, 10 03:29 PM

I'm french and the reaon why I didn't went on strike is because there's no real alternative proposed to fight this reform and most of people here don't know any of the terms in which this reform consist.
I hate fighting against ideas, even if they are really wrong and i think it is the case now. I would much more give a fight for brand new ideas. I'm the father of 3 kids and I don't apreciate the world that is gona come. I Will try to learn them to have ideas and to fight for them. Nice pics Big Pictures, as usual. Thanks

Posted by Esteldil October 22, 10 03:30 PM

The world does not understand that those strike are not only because of this reform... It's also about thing not going right, Sarkozy is just making money, and don't care about France. And everyone think at 62 we will have full money, but it's very wrong... it will be at 67...

All the official communication is manipulation!

Posted by Frenchman October 22, 10 03:31 PM

Good example of too much freedom run amok!
Are the French getting too lazy that they are unwilling to work an extra 2 years before retiring? Since they apparently live longer than most Europeans, I think it's reasonable to work an extra 2 years since their government will provide financial and medical for the rest of their life.
Honestly, I don't think the French know how good their life is compared to the rest of the world.
The French needs to Grow Up and understand that money doesn't grow on tress. Somebody has to fund social security and universal health care.

Posted by Jon October 22, 10 03:35 PM

As already stated, there are two kind of photos : The strike, and the minority of riots occuring alongside these kind of events.

To people stating that without socialism, you retire when you want when you've saved enough money : In our country, everybody gets a pension, even people who had their life broken and couldn't save anything. And we can of course also save money on our own, if we earn enough. That's called solidarity.

The debate is about wealth repartition. This governement is all about taking money from the poor and giving it to big companies and already wealthy people.
This (the non-violent protesters) is people fighting for the opposit, not only the retirement age which is only one symptom of the problem.

Posted by Farof October 22, 10 03:38 PM

@nqd : You're so fu**in' right.

Posted by Paul October 22, 10 03:40 PM

@14 "Why do rioter always destroy their own neighborhoods and property? "
Typical french way of life : rioter destroy the property and the strikers destoy the economy. Just avoid this country. Northern Europe countries are by far better on every aspect (landscape, economy, security, ...) than the poor france.

@84 : "Le plus haut taux de productivité au monde"... merci pour cet instant de pur bonheur... à pisser de rire.

Posted by James October 22, 10 03:40 PM

I don't understand the full situation, like probably most Americans and arguably most people anywhere. However, my reaction to this is that, for only the non-violent protests that are occurring, I applaud the French who are standing up for something in which they strongly believe. I cannot recall the last time young Americans really felt compelled by something to take any kind of action. So to the commenter that said that this is another case of entitlement (like we might see in American youth), I say that's another case of using that word improperly. I hope that they are just standing up for what they perceive are their rights. Once again I want to stress, for those who are doing it in a non-violent way, I applaud the action of the people who are trying to engage in a dialogue about this issue.

Posted by anon October 22, 10 03:46 PM

Anybody else have Les Mis songs running through their head now?

Posted by bob October 22, 10 03:48 PM

The easiest solution is to declare a state of emergency and arrest every protester that causes damage but it also seems to cause a lot of criticism from other governments

Posted by anomynous October 22, 10 03:49 PM

About university and high school students that shouldn't be involded in this as retirement is far away for them, that's missing the point.

The problem is not retirement age, it's employement. There is massive unemployement for 25- and 55+ people, keeping them 2 more years on the market means one of two things :
- two more years of unemployement
- two more years to wait for a youth to get a job

The retirement problem cannot be solved without fixing the employement problem, and youth protesting is a way of saying "we are comming, give tired people a rest and give us their job".

Posted by Farof October 22, 10 03:50 PM

The pension reform is a pretext, a spark, triggering a deep anger on French politics pitting against each other, violating the values of the French republic. Sarkozy and those who support him are a another France. Sarkozy was elected on a policy of fear, and business performance for profit. It was a mistake to vote for that guy. You do not reform a country and many destiny of life as a business. A country is not a business, it is a nation of people and values. Sure pension reform is necessary but there is another way to reform it. Majority of french support the strike and now, with "ce passage en force de la loi au Senat", i think it is going more explosive.

Posted by Zebrelion October 22, 10 03:50 PM

Let them retire whenever they want.

However, there will be no obligation on the part of anyone else to feed or clothe them...

Posted by Al October 22, 10 03:52 PM

beautiful pictures , thanks to share , a good representation of what we're living everyday in France !

Posted by Hervé Moine October 22, 10 03:52 PM

I'm French, those pictures are revitalizing.

You people from US (and all other western countries) should stand up and fight against the ones that take you everything : State, Banks, Fortune500 companies, etc...

Set your country on fire, it's the only way to get listen now !


Posted by thecorbeau October 22, 10 03:54 PM

Hello Boston. Beautiful pictures indeed

It's wrong to say that most of french people don't support the strike.
Different polls show that 70% of french people support the strike.
There are differents ways to make a reform. It's seems that french people dislike their gouvernment's choice.

Posted by fabrice v October 22, 10 03:58 PM

The French are fools, they think they can continue living with a socialist economy and NOT have to pay the consequences for all of their government paid services. Basic economics here the money has to come from somewhere….. however you feel about social services and economic policy there are certain facts that must be faced and the fact is France can NOT continue to be fiscally solvent if it doesn’t make some changes and the French people need to suck it up and accept the changes or suck it up and change their policies. I see no point in throwing a temper tantrum over it. As always wonderful photos very interesting

Posted by Katie R. October 22, 10 03:58 PM

sarkozy is a very small president.his god is bush and his politic.Get out of my clouds motherf*cker

Posted by frenchelector October 22, 10 04:02 PM

Long live the spirit of May 1968 (and 1789)! Man, can anyone imagine America's self-obsessed youth taking to the streets like this over something as far-removed from their immediate concerns as retirement ages and pension reform?! Kids here would only rise up if we shut off their Twitter and Facebook (but then how would they coordinate?). Jacque, Yvette and the rest of you kids over there--keep up the "good fight!" Your grandparents should be proud...

Posted by Jack Danton October 22, 10 04:05 PM

Hello, just a message from France to clarify, as has already been said, the riots have nothing to do with the strike.
The rioters are simply offenders, who use the strike as an "excuse" to fight against police and break everything.
Real protesters do not destroy the country!

Second, about the retirement age, it is currently 65 years in France.
You can retire from age 60, but with a lower pension.
Actually, the government intends to increase the full rate retirement age to 67 years, and the minimum age to 62 years.

About the support of the French, contrary to what someone stated above: according to various surveys, about 70% of French people support or participate in strikes.

Strikes are massive, because for many people it's time to show their opposition to the "Sarkozy system", not only about pension issue, but also about its policy in general, and about the corruption of many members of his government (President Sarkozy is increasingly unpopular, only 30% of the french still support him).

Thx for reading (I hope my english is not to bad)!

Posted by TFF October 22, 10 04:06 PM

"Je n'ai qu'une passion, celle de la lumière, au nom de l'humanité qui a tant souffert et qui a droit au bonheur.
Ma protestation enflammée n'est que le cri de mon âme.
Qu'on ose donc me traduire en cour d'assises et que l'enquête ait lieu au grand jour !
Veuillez agréer, Monsieur le Président, l'assurance de mon profond respect"
«La vérité est en marche et rien ne l’arrêtera.»

[ Emile Zola ] - Extrait de L'Affaire Dreyfus. La Vérité en marche


Posted by JacG October 22, 10 04:11 PM

#29: I'm in love!!!

Posted by Dave October 22, 10 04:13 PM

hi i'm a french student and this photos are amazing ( sorry for my english's level)

Strike like this one are current (frequent) i'm only 16 and i've known ten or more. French speciality.
Be in (the strike) is incredible,impressive, amazing, a huge procession of revolutionnaries, it's like nothing else. Imagine participate at a revolution, fight against police officiers, what a adrenaline thrust!

strike for all, strike for anything ,strike for nothing too. all reasons put french in the street. The pension reform is not bad, really necessary but it's my point of view.

Bonjour a tout les français qui me liront ! j ne m'attendais pas a voir des photos de notre petit pays sur ce site (que j'adore) aux coté des jeux du commonwealth et des photos d'iran. Je n'ai plus d'essence. aha


Posted by Plaj October 22, 10 04:15 PM

god the french are awesome. what would it take for people in the US to react similarly.

Posted by matt October 22, 10 04:15 PM

-- comment removed --

Posted by anonymous October 22, 10 04:22 PM

The wave of protestation is partly connected to the reform of retirement rules... I think that most of my co-protestators are screaming in the streets against the entire politic of Nicolas Sarkozy... He's our President since only 2 yrs and a half and it seems to us that we live under his reign since something like 1984. France's tired of its President's pathological frenzy... Harsh times.

Posted by French Absent October 22, 10 04:25 PM

I'm French, I'm 17 years old and I demonstrated as one of the leaders in Auxerre (89)

Of course there are young people who don't understand the reform, and sometimes the politic globally (in #20, it make them laugh), but I saw a lot of youths who were interested in the politic, who have a real political view, and this were not a minority.
Moreover, people express a globally rage (to quote the man in #1) to the government and their disagreement with the politic of the last 3,5 years.

As I'm concerned, I'm not feel so concerned by the reform, I'm 17, while 50 years, there probably will be others reform. But I don't agree with the government about how they made this reform. Without dialogue, the government ignored the protestations.
Then I would say to all people who think we are manipulated, it's false. When we are 17 or 16, we are able to have a personal politic view and convictions to go to demonstration on blocked or high school like I did. All the riots are not positive for the labor unions (la CGT, CFDT, Sud, all the names written on flags), they could be easier criticized by the opponent to the strikes.
Moreover I find necessary to reform the pension system, but I think we didn't choose the best way. To retire 2 years later in a part of the solution, but it shouldn't be the only and it's not the most fair. We should find other fair solutions and ways to fund the pensions.

Posted by Ulysse October 22, 10 04:30 PM

Sarkozy Littel man with Littel Brain...or that's better i told: does he have Brain?

Posted by Majid October 22, 10 04:31 PM

"Using the term worker loosely are we... 35 hours a week that is less that 5% of the hours in a week. Months per year of vacation..."

wtf are you talking about? even your math is way off:
24 x 7 = 168
35 / 168 = 0.2083 = 20.83% of the week being spent AT WORK.

please try to use actual logic to support an argument, you are wasting everyone's time.

Posted by trevor October 22, 10 04:31 PM

The same thing that is happening in France, is going to happen very soon in California and USA. by next year.

Posted by Luz E Rivera October 22, 10 04:32 PM


I'd check your math. 35 hours is not less than 5% of the total number of hours in a week, it is 20.8%. Perhaps you meant, "just over 1/5th of the total number of hours in a week"? The difference, of course, is vital.

Posted by jm October 22, 10 04:32 PM

Nice pictures as always, but it looks a little bit as if France was in a civil war. We're really far from it.

As to the reforms: I'm not usually chauvinistic, but I can't understand why, in a era that make a man's work more and more productive, it would be necessary that everybody works more. It seems necessary according to fiancial mechanism, but these mechanism are not a fact of nature, only a human construction.
I think most people would accept to a reform if they were sure it will serve them, or their children. They just don't believe it. Why? Because people are asked to work more but are not allowed to do so (big rate of unemployement among the youth and the seniors), because of few scandals involving billions of euros, because of a president who seems to listen to nothing but to his own vision of the truth. Good reasons to go mad (not to break anything, but to get really angry). Or good reasons to think, and to see that these reforms are not intented to insure everybody a better living.

And 55: Nazis? WTF???

Posted by Julie October 22, 10 04:33 PM

The Big Picture is great, but it really needs a "slide show" mode, where you view one picture at full-screen size at a time while other pictures load in the background.

Posted by Steven Noble October 22, 10 04:33 PM

Proud to be French !

Posted by jérôme October 22, 10 04:49 PM

( French student )

Demonstrators have never used violence! Only a minority of young idiot who has nothing to do with the event .....

France is a democratic country, which means that the people govern ... and people do not want this reform! (We fought for our rights, you do not take them back! )

Posted by Liberty October 22, 10 04:49 PM

The french paradox again ...

Posted by dédé October 22, 10 04:50 PM

They protest? Good for them! In the meantime, in the rest of the developed world, banks are bailed out with taxpayers' euros and dollars. Middle class' purchasing power is plummeting. Income inequality is becoming scandalous. Unemployment is skyrocketing. Bonuses and dividends of the financial élite, on the other hand, are going really well. But hey, those lazy socialist French, how do they dare not to work until death to save the economic system!

Posted by ekkia October 22, 10 05:00 PM

unpopular bill, please....A minority is just annoying others.
I'm french, and I'm sooo ashamed by this kind of things, It's not reality, it's just communists in the street, not representatives of others normal people.

Posted by jenny October 22, 10 05:02 PM


Posted by C D October 22, 10 05:10 PM

#1 - 5 weeks vacation, highest unemployment benefits in EU, one of the best healthcare system in the world, 35h/week work, and retirement age 60 (except special "regimes" train drivers and 1000 more) - this is France now.

I still don't understand how they will ever benefit from a pension if they don't work more ...maybe someone can explain?? or should I ask a highschool kid, that apparently, has a better understanding of all this, since he is 16, and has never worked!

What I read, mostly, is not a strike against retirement age, but more about the government, and the "Sarkoiisme". People have enough, and are showing it, but there is absolutely no point in blocking people who are actually trying to create and bring business in France, this will only make it worse. Yes sometimes it's hard but you need to work!

Maybe a thought could be, to prohibit strike to state workers, like in Germany, and guess what, it's also the only country in EU that is working properly, and 67 is the retirement age, and plenty of over 67 are still working, or find part-time work.

Posted by ladyFde October 22, 10 05:12 PM

France is only at the 44th rank for freedom of the press. Watch that, and you will understand why...

Posted by jerome October 22, 10 05:12 PM

There is between 1 and 3 Millions people in the streets, but they are supported by 70% of the french population.
Sarkozy is the worst president of the Vth republic. He tricked everyone, his promises are lies, he can not be trusted. His laws are unfair. None of his ideas ever worked. He is the president of the rich. There was no negotiations. His only answers; Send the police and anti riots forces against the french people. He planned all that. He is responsible for this mess. France is the country of human rights declaration. We wrote them many centuries ago while the country was in the same chaos. Watch us as we are writing a new page of our History.

Posted by Vince October 22, 10 05:14 PM


Posted by REVOLUTION October 22, 10 05:15 PM

haha these photoes only concerns Paris lyon and marseille, FRANCE is not only these 3 big cities please don't believe what you see ! in clermont ferrand everything is cool and calm.
but please let us "none manifestants" live our life !!!!!!!! i'm sick of having to walk 45 min only to go to work and i'm sick of high school kids blocking streets just because they don't want to go to class (this is their fist motivations i know been there don't that and now they're on brake time)

french : they go on strikes because the is no money in the country and they want a solution and fast,
they allso go on strike because the gouverment have found a solution but it means changing the usual habbits and we all know THE FRENCH DON'T LIKE CHANGE ! great

thanks to n°108 and n°97

Posted by deb deb October 22, 10 05:16 PM

Merci pour ces superbes photos.

Posted by Aigrefin October 22, 10 05:20 PM

Hi all, I'm a French student just coming back from the US of A. I'm living in the northeast suburbs, and I can tell you this pension bill is absolutely necessary. 10% of pensions are paid with public bonds issued on markets.

I am disgusted when I see students trying to blockade their universities, they are just jeopardizing their education, they do so because they don't even care, though they should be compelled, for each student in public university cost $13,000 a year, all paid on public funds (and they must give away only a couple of hundreds). First, they should get their degree and worrying about getting a work before even talking about retirement.

Next, I am a suburban and I can't afford no car, I must ride on public transportation. Train mechanics are not concerned by this pension bill. Their status is ruled by a law passed at the beginning of the XX° century which enables them to go on retirement at 55, or even 50, pension guaranteed by the state and paid on public taxation!! This also applies to computer engineers. And they can cumulate work and pension. And though they go on strike 20 times more than others and it's a hell for people to go to work.

I have seen far worse in the US, and I feel like French are spoiled. There is a general "Gov't owes me" attitudes which is overwhelming, and yet nobody wants to pay their taxes. There is a general hypocrisy and no solidarity. One generally puts forward that, since they start working at 18, they will pay more than average. It's exactly what our retirement system relies on, since it is a solidarity distribution system. If nobody wanna pay the bill, who will ?

I'm tired of all those french c*nts. You start getting why French are making business overseas.

Posted by Epsylon October 22, 10 05:22 PM

The French retirement age was 65 up until 1982 when it was changed to 60. No one seems to know that. Sixty two seems a reasonable compromise. I wonder what the French would think of our Social Security retirement age of 67?

Posted by Bob of Texas October 22, 10 05:27 PM

Very nice and artistic photos, indeed ! But they only show a little part of the reality: the spectacular one, which is good to sell tabloids. It is not yet a civil war ! There are about 300 demonstrations in France twice a week: small ones, gathering a few hundred people in small towns and huge ones with thousands of demonstrators in big cities, for a total amount of about 2 million demonstrators each time (1 million according to the government, 3 million according to the organisers). Most of them are really peaceful and quiet. But for the last few days, there have been some violent riots involving generally not more than a few dozens of young people in some places. The government expects these events to spread, so they can show their strength and inflexibility and they hope it makes this movement unpopular.
But, so far, it doesn't work: today again the polls showed again that 69% of the French approve the strike and demonstrations. Most people realise that this reform is unfair. The real problem is that our government is autistic and is really responsible for all this (as it is well explained in messages # 63 and 77).
Now, to those who think French people are just lazy: do you really think that your US system is the ideal one ? (considering the fact that 14% of the people in the USA, i.e 43.6 million, live under the poverty line - among them a lot of old people are forced to work beyond the age of 70 to have a decent living). Are we wrong to try to preserve our system if possible ?

Posted by dornegan October 22, 10 05:28 PM

You should fight for your rights too!!!
I can't be on strike because I would lose my work, and I'm happy that people yells for me in the street and wathever it's hard to go to work because there's no train between suburb and Paris.
Why do journalists show young men destroying shops?! Those aren't part of the march! They just come to have fun and steal!
Your journalists didn't tell you about what people does here to object the politicians and administration when they do "fascism action" (from the first comment). Nobody agrees! They marched too!

Come on: your banks are stealing your houses in US ! You must pay for your kids to go to University, for health insurance ! FIGHT! MARCH! For your home, for equality between poor and rich people!! We try to keep this in France, but our government want to turn things like in US. We don't want that! Forget clichés.

NB And WTF about nazis (about another comment)? Somebody compairs people with them?!!!Why! It's nonsens!!

Posted by Anne October 22, 10 05:33 PM

To all people who say, and think "the minority on strike is blocking the whole country and it's very very selfish" I would like to say: "Yes, it's a shame, I'm thinking that too. The difference for me is what MINORITY means. For me in this context, it means Sarkozy and his government. They are the minority blocking the whole country. Don't be angry after the guys on strike, you're attacking the problem in the wrong way."

Posted by Marion October 22, 10 05:36 PM

The French have balls!

Posted by CitizenPlusPlus October 22, 10 05:39 PM

You work less hours per day for less years than most of the worlds population. You should be grateful for this!

No children+Old population+Little working+Public Pensions= Debt

You have some options: work more, die sooner, have more children or give up the pension system.

Posted by João October 22, 10 05:39 PM

In Germany (neighbour to France) the pension age is 67 - and in France still 60? No wonder that the french economy is a complete mess...

But you know what: The French should keep on dreaming of their socialist paradise - so I as a German don't have to worry about the competitive of our own economy :-)

Too all the Frog-Eaters on the west side of the Rhine: Keep on wrecking your country. Go, go, go!

Posted by Herbert October 22, 10 05:42 PM

In Germany (neighbour to France) the pension age is 67 - and in France still 60? No wonder that the french economy is a complete mess...

But you know what: The French should keep on dreaming of their socialist paradise - so I as a German don't have to worry about the competitive of our own economy :-)

Too all the Frog-Eaters on the west side of the Rhine: Keep on wrecking your country. Go, go, go!

Posted by Herbert October 22, 10 05:43 PM

It has finally caught up with France! 35 hours is not a work week-it's just a fart. #103-That's not efficiency if nothing much is coming out of France nowadays. France needs entrepreneurial people not people who are relying on employers for their paychecks and retirement. And if they decide to be employees then it's time to put in some real work hours. Be glad that it's not as harsh as it is in the third world countries wherein a young kid may have done more work than most 35-hour week people do by 9:00 in the morning.

Posted by trekker October 22, 10 05:46 PM

Comment 60 "#21 is really sad. He obviously uses his cane to walk. But he is being attacked."
Lol: This cane is filled with concrete, very good weapon...

Posted by nico October 22, 10 05:49 PM

the government just has to sit with the syndicates and discuss about all this otherwise the country is gonna keep on being paralysed again. Anyway do not judge if you're not in the country, because you have no idea what's going on there, the retirement bill is important for our country, and unless the government put a job in the hands of every young person in the country, that bill is necessary.
But so far, the bill appears to be unfair, especially toward women and those who have difficult works, that's mainly why it has to be reviewed. The government communication toward that is pathetic, and French people don't understand that in order to keep the country walking and to keep on being competitive, we have to side to the other EU countries such as Spain, Germany, G-B, on
I am a 21year old french student, who decide to go work abroad because there, i'll have my chance as a skilled person, not being judged on the colour of my skin, my sex (F or M), or even being able to decide to work part time when i'll be 60, that is what i'll strike for.

I'm a foreign languages student/teacher

Posted by Emma October 22, 10 06:04 PM

All this mess is due to unfair government imposed decisions. People start to understand logic of liberalism and they really don't like it. Its just the beginning.

About strike, biggest conflict during the last two years was in US: 57days factory blocked in Boeing Seattle. I never seen such a conflict inFrance. Nothing about government, it was just about wage...

Posted by yannick October 22, 10 06:06 PM

@Bilouba and others "lessons teachers"

I'm French and i live in France (look at my english, you knows its right :-).

I preefer loose few euros now than give my house to bankers, and send my family live under a bridge, like other smart peoples do.

Posted by Dartagnons October 22, 10 06:11 PM

It's true that we are so lazy.
I'm french. A high school student. I had to go through demonstration to go to school this week. I was insulted. Hitten by people of my age, demonstrating for something they don't even understand. They're all manipulated...
I really can't get why two years would SO difficult to bear.
Sorry if my english isn't that good and if my words don't really make sense... I'm really angry, I had the worst weeks ever because of thoses strikes...

Posted by iPaupiette October 22, 10 06:14 PM

I didn't read all the comments, but there's an interesting debate in France about undercover cops infiltrating demonstrations. A video shows a man trying to prevent a hooded guy from smashing a bank window. The hooded guy's friends then come and take the man apart, while the hooded guy vanishes.

The video and explanations can be found here :

Famous investigation weekly "Le Canard enchaîné" said in an article last year that they had proof (photos) of policemen throwing stones on anti-riot forces to allow them to react violently. The guys had been photographed before the demo when they left police cars.

And please, if you think ths might be sci-fi, just have a look a this one, from canada :

Posted by Martin Granger October 22, 10 06:16 PM

As an American, I commend you France. American society is expert at letting government and corporate America roll over us. Blame it on the media or whoever - the fact remains. France, please continue to be an example of how people should stand up and demand justice. Ignore those who don't understand these are real issues and it's not merely a case of a "lazy workforce". They are the same ones who take whatever is given to them.

Posted by peter October 22, 10 06:19 PM

The French are spoilt. No question about it. An older culture..yes. A founding culture in terms of modern many ways yes. But I spoke to a Frenchman last year who earnestly thought that Americans are not only lazy, but ineffective workers.....who *had* to work 40 hours in a week to accomplish what the French workers are able to "accomplish" (a week's worth of work?) in only 35 hours per week. They are convinced of this. French propoganda undoubtedly. On average, they simply have a sense of entitlement. In reality, Americans are MUCH harder working folks. We have fewer vacations, shorter lunchtimes, and later retirement ages. They should try the USA for a few years...maybe they would strike less!

Posted by Larry Marcus October 22, 10 06:26 PM

-- comment removed --

Posted by anonymous October 22, 10 06:40 PM

Very nice and artistic photos, indeed ! But they only show a little part of the reality: the spectacular one, which is good to sell tabloids. It is not yet a civil war ! There are about 300 demonstrations in France twice a week: small ones, gathering a few hundred people in small towns and huge ones with thousands of demonstrators in big cities, for a total amount of about 2 million demonstrators each time (1 million according to the government, 3 million according to the organisers). Most of them are really peaceful and quiet. But for the last few days, there have been some violent riots involving generally not more than a few dozens of young people in some places. The government expects these events to spread, so they can show their strength and inflexibility and they hope it makes this movement unpopular.


Posted by DAVID October 22, 10 06:43 PM

Skipping the right-wing comments from the Norteamericanos.

Just wanted to say workers fighting back against this capitalist aggression is wonderful. The resistance in France is inspiring us on the British left - no longer just Greece, but France! Brilliant. Keep fighting, brothers and sisters!

Posted by Dennis Goycoolea October 22, 10 06:46 PM

In France, 60 (soon 62) is not the retirement age.
It is the age for a MINIMUM pension.

The age for the full pension is currently 65, and soon 67.

Posted by dab October 22, 10 06:46 PM

A really nice bunch of pictures about the strikes, demonstrations from both side view. J'aime !

Posted by Alain G October 22, 10 06:47 PM

French student here.
Unfaire and unadequate reform, fiscal discounts for the 2% richest that got fiscal hoopholes anyway... Sarkozy's just trying to add one line on his balance for re-election in 2012. Reforming for the sake of reforming, no matter if it's good or not. And that works, according to the number of idiots who think French retirement is something like legalized laziness. Mean age for retirement with full pension is 61.5, very close to European average...

(and to those who're worried about getting to France in holidays : it's NOT civil war here, apart from transports strikes and newsflash you won't even notice anything, let alone the risk of getting molotovs thrown at you in the street...)

Posted by Piotr October 22, 10 06:49 PM

Loved nos 18, 29, 33 & 40
18 & 29 for the young women - beautiful, hair well done and never too off fashion-wise. Just like the 'movies' show the women during protests of late 60s :)
33 for the steely look of determination in the protesting youth's eyes - confident, but not violent.
40, just because that's the most beautiful senate I've seen (from the inside) :D

As for politics, I support Sarkozy's policy but also the right of people to protest if they don't like them. What I don't like is when the protestors (or elements hiding between them) decide that looting and damaging property is an acceptable form of protest. That sucks. And it'd be a shame if being French meant considering that acceptable.

Btw, I'm an Indian living in UK.

Posted by raven October 22, 10 06:50 PM


Thank you for these photos, in France that gives us of the hope to see that the foreigners support our strikes for the democracy. If society is not convenient for us, ask we what we can make to change her. Are not afraid of re-questioning the system. Are not ashamed to want to be happy !!

Posted by Océane C October 22, 10 06:54 PM

These pictures and all the news items about the French strikers....they are annoying me so much.

Im from Holland myself, and in our country the pension age has recently be upmoved from 65 to 67. Were there any people on the streets to complain against this measure?

No. We know that there is obvously no other option available. In France, people always go out to strike if there is something that bothers them. Of course, this will help a lot. NOT. Please look at the things the way they are and accept them. By executing these strikes and riots, foreign people will start looking at France as an idiotic country with idotic people. I think that the French people do not want this to happen, since it is a beautiful country as I have been there myself several times.

So please, stop with these strikes and think about the fact that other western countries have far more worse pension ages....(67 here as I mentioned above).

Oh and btw, since when are French people able to speak English???

Posted by Tommy October 22, 10 06:55 PM

-- comment removed --

Posted by anonymous October 22, 10 07:05 PM

hello, I'm a student, I am French and I do care and I do understand why people are in the streets.

As in every other place many stupid people can be found, as like those "casseurs" that appear in the pictures, without culture nor respect.

But I'm moved by this. By the fact that some can understand that the financial system is going madly seek. My friends that graduated from university are mostly working in places like MacDonals, doing never-ending training courses or are not even able to find work. And they are near their thirties! I am 22 and I am seriously scared about what is going to happen to me: Are they going to fire my dad from hisjob? Would I be able to find work? Would I be able to live outside my parent's house? To pay a rent? To marry? To have children? To pay my children an education? And, would I ever retire before I'm dead?

Because now it's 62. But it will turn on to 67 for sure, this is how it is actually in Spain, and see how good it's going.

If you decide to keep people that should retire you will block the newcomers, and those newcomers are fully qualified. Ready to work, to make the heel of capitalism keep turning.

SO ok, we accept this proposal. If they fire you on your sixties, yes, you, who is going to take you on again? Nobody!! And if there are no students working to pay your old days?

If the government wants to approve this law it has to adapt many things before. But it won't do.

France has seen many strikes before. I don't consider the ones from the railroaders as just because they fight for their own privileges, which is far away from what people are asking now in the streets. And the government still keeps their retirement at 50 years? While we will at 62? Just because they ride trains? Come on!!! we're in the 21st century, this privileges shouldn't exist anymore!

It's a shame that all French people don't take this opportunity to stand up together in the streets, at least to ask for another resolution, something that could be more thought.

I think that having the oil blockade is a chance that French will never have again, so the cards are on the table, for the good or for the bad.

And remember, this is symbolic, they are fighting for every single person in this world that works for the politicians and wealthy entrepreneurs that are both keeping their fortunes in tax havens while you break your back to have some peace. And yes, these people are nothing more than humans as you and me, but they've got a nerve.

Posted by toy October 22, 10 07:06 PM

As it was already say before, the real retirement age for a lot of people is 65 (i.e.: the one you can get full retirement without completing the minimum of working years that is not reachable for a lot of people, when you was studing a lot of year for example).

With this reform, the new retirment age for this workers is now 67...

About the 35h, ok, at the end some french are working just 1/5 of a week, some time using public transport 1/10 of a week too, and some of workers are working much more than 35h (independent workers and most part of the executive, medical worker, commercials, that don't have minimum time and are working much more than 35h).

To finish, remember that you sleep around 1/3 of a week (and ... of your life!!!) so ... stop to sleep?

Posted by Jerome October 22, 10 07:10 PM

Nice shots as always, TBP.

It has already been stated several times, but let me stress it once again: the looters are few and far between. Yet they are all the media talk about, because they crave sensationalism and violence and also because a lot of the media are totally submitted to our current government who wants to make the whole movement look bad. Nearly all protesters disapprove of the looters.

Posted by Curieux October 22, 10 07:10 PM

Helle everybody,
I am the young man who was attacked by the police officers on the photograph 22. Indeed, I' was present at this demonstration owing to the fact that I went to my work. I am completely agree with the demonstrator. The police officier have attacked me but i had strictly done anything. At that day, i have a broken leg and a lot of and several blows of everywhere on me...

The police force for is struck, nothing moreover, demonstrators or not! It is beautiful France! Revolution is comming soon

Posted by Morgann October 22, 10 07:15 PM

Yeah stay home and don't protest and accept whatever decision your government take

My god some people are so submissive

Posted by Not a sheep October 22, 10 07:15 PM

Heurm, just a small things (yeah, i'm french too):

- Weekly working hours in France(officialy): 35h

I'm working since some years, and i never made 35h. I'm doing over than 42 hours by week. In many case, the 35h/w are not applied (35h is applied in the primary sector, principaly).
You thought that 42h/w isn't many enough ? Maybe, but French system isn't like the US system, we can't compare 2 differents things.

Do not say that French workers are lazy, a few categories are, not the French people.

France is a complex country, with his own history, origins, a specific(nice, but fragile) social system, and high politic implication.

We have holidays, which create the fantastic tourism activity and made it grows in France, which make of France one of the most visited country in the world.

And we have our mind, we love our way of life, and some of us are fighting for it, as others can look at the future, and problems that occurs for our country(The actual pension system was build more than 30 years ago, when the baby boom occurs and offers a high rate of working people. Today, the situation isn't the same.

This situation was build by a politic inactivy in many subjects during a lot of years, and a growing distrust against politics people.

Yes, we need reforms to prepare the future
No, France isn't a striking country.
Yes, we love our system
No, we are not lazy
No, degradation and violence aren't everywhere, but the medias speak about it in order to make sensational
No, there is 3 500 000 manifestants in the road. The syndicats says 3 500 000, police says 850 000. An independant spanish society, with video detection, count 800 000 persons (1.2% of French people)

Yes, France is, again and again, a beautiful and a secure country, come on and see it by yourself ! :)

Posted by stf October 22, 10 07:31 PM

Tell the French to come spend some time in America. Pretty soon pensions will be history. Will Americans fight, spit and claw like the French, or other European countries? Nope. Too docile and there is no gumption to truly rise up against the government and show impassioned discontent with various policies. Kudos to you France.

Posted by Sully October 22, 10 07:32 PM

All human rights come from fights. Nothing is given

Posted by ___ October 22, 10 07:33 PM

the main problem in France is the actual president. No listening, a LOT of scandals, many financials problems.

We don't go necessarily in retreat 60 but 65 with a full retreat. but now they force people to 62 (and 67 for full) but there are NO WAY for many people to do the whole years of works needed to have a good retreat

and _Every_ DAYS you can read and listen to so many scandals or politicians or well-borns french having advantage, taking money or whatever.

The middle-class in France is stagnating but a minority has everything easy : the politician class and families attached to them.

it's simply impossible to accept.

The retreat reform is just the last drop , just a reason to go havoc for so many things before

There are simply no point to give more. The country is not building the future, people has NO way to improve their family. it's over.

Young people are going in jobs later and later
and old people are pushed out younger and younger.

Can you understand ? the country is no more improving for its own citizens

but everyday you can see all the easiness for politicians and how the banks was given everything but NO investment in OUR country.

2011 will be violent. 2010 is nothing at all.

that comment :

"The pension reform is a pretext, a spark, triggering a deep anger on French politics pitting against each other, violating the values of the French republic. Sarkozy and those who support him are a another France. Sarkozy was elected on a policy of fear, and business performance for profit. It was a mistake to vote for that guy. You do not reform a country and many destiny of life as a business. A country is not a business, it is a nation of people and values. "

it is like that. A Deep Anger. Not every angry people is not manifesting. I don't have that leisure but my anger is really deep. I'm fed up.

Some other people are no more believing in left parties or the traditional right (the actual government). They will simply vote for the MORE extreme right party (the Front National), hoping to put out the corrupt right wing and in the same move add more hate and violence to foreigners people or "not enough" french people.

It's very dangerous.

You can also see in theses photos some young people, often from suburbs with NO loyalty, NO hope, NO understanding, NO future, NO jobs and they are only a pain. Politicians didn't understand how much so many young people are lost. and the actual government is happy to strive on it.

the president Sarkozy trivialized discrimination among french and religious division. The country will pay the price.

We pay for a long deep and massive systemic problems. Urbans one, No immigration policy, no help and money to INTEGRATE new entrants.
The leftish parties was too afraid to accept the reality, but since tens years, and in a more violent way from three years, the Right parties (UMP) is just happy to more and more dismount the country, to break and nothing is improving for simple citizens.

ho yes, they did a "tax shield", for a tiny percent of the most rich families, is costing 600 millions of euros to the country and they didn't invest back. The french industry is WORSE than ten years ago. No the government would like to remove the "tax on fortune" (3 billions of euro by year). But the very same winning all are _not_ investing in their own country. It's why it's so frightening.

Even the nuclear industry is now threatened, because of incredible failure and politician involvement.

The anger is deep, Young french people know for sure than they will live WORSE than their parents. It's absolute truth.

And in the SAME time they all can see how the son of the president is a failure of student but at only a mere twenty years everything is open to him. Everything. Put in a key role of the right wing party, he is the youngest ever. His daddy (the President) tried to nominated him to direct a public consortium managing billions of euros to build cities ("La Défense", near Paris, the most important business and industrial part around Paris). One of the key post to one day be an influent politician. It's exceptional, never we saw something so indecent and corrupt in live.

In the same time, politicians are acting like they can do EVERYTHING to steal the country, but in the same time TV and press everyday remind young people their very own future will be worst.

So yeah, they will be in the streets and older citizen will help to that.

You, foreigner, so naive, you only see "two years"... you are so naive.

Posted by oomu October 22, 10 07:43 PM

Vive la France en résistance !

Posted by Germaine October 22, 10 07:44 PM

was besseres zu erzählen?

Ich arbeite für 'ne deutsche Firma und die ist ab und zu auch stolz darauf, mit Franzosen zu arbeiten, weil sie mehr effizient als manche Deutschen sein können. Warum ? Weil sie manchmal nachdenken können. Es geht also nicht nur um Land und Nationalitäten. Fühlst du dich besser, wenn das BIP zunimmt während deine Lebensbedingungen schlimmer werden?

Pas très intelligent !

Posted by Ben October 22, 10 07:47 PM

For me "lazy" people might be those who don't protest, those who don't take their citizen's responsability...

The demonstration is a right and also a duty.

Posted by yes we can October 22, 10 07:50 PM

Thank you Alan for the excellent and informative big pictures once again.

I believe there are two sides to the story:

1. As an outside observer, I think the French public should have welcomed the pension reform. Without such sacrificing reforms, the French economy can not stay of much relevance in an increasingly competitive world where: China is overtaking rapidly, Germany is ever more efficient than France, UK government is massively cutting down on spending, Brazil and India are luring in the main investors and much of the rest of Western countries having pension age above 62.

Should such reforms and sweeping changes not be implemented, the future governments of France would not be able to pay the future retirees. That's because in future the regional and global competitors would likely have far more efficient economies in services, IT and manufacturing sections. Should that happen, the French governments would not have the required revenues to pay off the pensioners.

2. Having said that, the government would be ill-advised to push through the reforms without the backing of the majority of French people. People should always have the final say in politics and social changes. Scum politicians like Sarkozy or anyone else (not forgetting those in my home country) should not be allowed to dictate as they wish and rule with a dictatorial mindset.

Viva to those peaceful protesters everywhere. As an Iranian I think I can understand the rage of people and sympathise with their demands. No cult of a leader should have been allowed to fill in the political vacuum in the first place. Once such people are in, they can cause havoc and devastate social order.

Posted by Iranian October 22, 10 08:02 PM


Anybody can tell me the names of the 7 statues on the last pic.

Thanks :-)

Posted by Pim October 22, 10 08:29 PM

Hi, I am french, I live in Mexico City (american and latin spirit), I am 26 years old and I manage my own company. France has always been a complicated country with complicated people. I worked 2 years in Paris from 2006 to 2008: my conclusion is that the french system does not permit you to give the best of you can because of the youth in France!!! French people are hard worker (very efficient) but they will never ever accept to surpass themselves. I left Paris because of the high taxes, the impossibility to create my own company and the sadness of a country where the young people does not help each other. France has to be aware that the world is not the same as in the 50's. Young people in France should be happy to work 2 years more, so at least they will have a good retirement. I am currently managing my own electric bikes company in Mexico City, I don't know how many hours I am working and I don´t care. What I am sure is that Mexico is getting ahead, young people helps each other a lot to fight a very poor social system, THEY ARE NOT WAITING ANY CHANGE FROM THE GOVERNMENT, THEY ARE DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES AND FOR THE FUTURE GENERATION! France is a complete country with a strong culture, we have everything to get ahead: Transport (High Speed Train Technology, Renault-PSA), Energy (Nuclear), Food (Danone), Communication, Education (Famous school known all over the world), Sport (Le Tour de France), Tourism.......... PLEASE YOUNG FRENCH PEOPLE, DON'T WASTE IT! It's now time to leave the old generation in its old social fight to start building a modern system where you will be the one who manage. ¿Why young people does not fight to have the possibility to sell products (newspaper, sweets, food, water etc...) in the metro of Paris for instance? They are so many people begging!!! We are in 2010, there are so many things we can do! JUST BE DIFFERENT!

Posted by YOX October 22, 10 08:39 PM

To all US citizens that complain against French strike, I have to say this:

If tomorrow your government tells you that you all have to work for 18 hours a day, every day, no vacation, no pension and no benefits, I bet 99% of the US people would simply accept it. Because that's life...

Well remember this. There have been more than 40 years from the last time you mass-protested about ANYTHING.

Poor you... keep on working for your bosses and your bankers...

Posted by french October 22, 10 08:40 PM

#91, I am a Chinese and I do support you and your people with my respect.

Posted by Anonymous is better for Chinese October 22, 10 08:43 PM

We, French, we are fighting for a better society. And we don't want a retire system like the US and UK (private and by capitalization).
You, the US and English workers, you are the slaves of the banks and private companies. You don't even have a good health care system (this is not important?). The French want a better world, not you?

Posted by Jean October 22, 10 08:47 PM

#90 so fckin true ! i can't say it better

Ok, a lot of people are on strike. But that lot of people aint even 5% of France's population.
Being on strike is ok. Forbidding all other people to work, to LIVE, is NOT ok !
And i'm not even talking about those (more or less) youths coming from suburbs, who don't go to school, who hate "their" country, and only come to demonstrations to steal and destroy things up.

All of this is shameful. And i'm ashamed of my country (cuz yeah, i'm french). And of people involved in these riots.

This reform is unavoidable, we must deal with it, at least people who care about their future must.

Posted by Pioul October 22, 10 08:50 PM

Spoiled people in France. Work little, have lots of paid vacation time (plus a vacation bonus for money to spend on their vacation), retiring at 60. Come on people, work for once. 67 is a normal retirement age in a lot of countries where they never had it so good as in France. No sorry feelings from me here. Still at work at 69 and happy! No work pension in case you wonder. Old school, hard worker.

Posted by Derek M. October 22, 10 09:02 PM

1) a minority of young people or students are in the streets during strikes just for cheating and scrambling stores .
2) a majority of french people are driven by TF1( tv channels) and a gouvernemnt full of lies and contempt .
we never accepted that in france .
3) people in the streets more people who can't be in the streets but who are agree with the movment : it makes a majority .
4) 70% of french people doesn't want anymore sarkozy .
conclusion : he just have to go

Posted by clairvoyance October 22, 10 09:06 PM

Great great pictures!
I'm French and I support those strikes too. As a Parisian public transports user I'm directlty and daily affected by the disruptions. Nevertheless if I can easily imagine that I will work until my 62 or 65 years old, I can't tolerate that all the efforts I made during my hard-working life will be reduced to nothing. If I agree to reform the French retirement system, I don't agree by the "drastic" financial consequences on my retired life as is expected in the text of the current reform. Above all I'm very shocked by the big difference of wage between my boss and me. I'm lucky: I've got a job, I'm working as a manager in a small (350 employees) international Software Services company. I work hard (45-50 hours by week... 35 hours by week?! Who works 35 hours by week in France?! Oh yes, only people who win 750-1000 Euros by month perhaps!) to win 2930 Euros by month (4088 USD) when my manager wins 5000 Euros and my CEO wins... 50.000 Euros. 50.000 Euros?! 69770 USD by month?! Why that?! 15.000 or 20.000 Euros will be really enough! It's all the more surprising and shocking because this man works in another board of directors in Australia and wins 15.000 USD by month for this other job... How to justify this outrageous salary?! How to try to explain to my boss why I support the strikers, how I can't save up money for my retirement when I payed my taxes, my outgoings, the studies of my children?! This man can't understand our life! And... the worst thing of all... I'm far removed to be a destitute!
Now, you think that the French workers are lazy guys?! Please! Come here and see. You will judge on site. And when I read French people who say that they are ashamed to be French, I say: "Indeed, shame on you, guys! But you are forgiven, because you were ignorant!"

Posted by Thierry October 22, 10 09:21 PM

Great photos.

Also, just thought I'd point out the random didgeridoo in photo #31. Little odd.

Posted by David October 22, 10 09:25 PM

@ Iranian. Very good analysis of the social and political situation of my dear country.

Posted by Thierry October 22, 10 09:28 PM

These "rioters" are the cancer of our Nation.

France put the immigrated people into awful suburs and didn't wanted them to integrate the society. Now, their children grew up with drug dealing, crime and all the s* you see on these pictures. But they still be helpful for the government, even if they don't work at all and don't even want to stay at school (whatever they say in front of the camera, they don't even manage to stay on a chair at school for most of them, don't be fooled) because they put fire and blood into our streets, and guess what ? The Police has the order to NOT arrest them, because they are helpful to put a mess into the real strike. And then in the future, the honest people will fear to be beaten up by these thugs if he protests in the street.

I remember a student strike on 2005, these "youngs" came to beat up everyone, and the poor white student didn't receive any help from the Riot Police, they stayed still waiting ... We couldn't even talk about this in the media because we were called "racists" or "fascist" !!

Meanwhile, one of the most listened music in France is French rap, with its lyrics full of hate, racism, call for violence, etc ... Poor France, I am ashamed, terribly ashamed.

The French government wants to kill its own people. I can't wait for the day I will leave my country and work abroad.

Posted by Bibi October 22, 10 09:29 PM

@ Ben (191). Thank you so much! The post of Herbert (161) is really stupid.

Posted by Thierry October 22, 10 09:33 PM

1/ Get rid of Sarkozy.
2/ Get our money back from the banksters

Posted by link October 22, 10 09:49 PM

You go, France! Don't pay any attention to all the angry Americans. They're just mad because they'll still be sweeping the aisles at WalMart when they're 87 years old. Stupid Americans.

Posted by cgb October 22, 10 09:50 PM

Les Grands Législateurs : Michel de l'Hôpital, Turgot, Colbert, Portalis, Dagesseau, Molé et Malesherbes.

Posted by Sylvie October 22, 10 09:52 PM


Posted by argol October 22, 10 10:10 PM


Posted by 羽化仙 October 22, 10 10:23 PM

The punks in black clothing with face mask and hoods, wrecking property and looting, are becoming a really tiresome accessory to so many valid demonstrations. My suggestion: If the real demonstrators (the one with a cause) would beat them up and chase them away everytime they show up, this phenomena would soon disappear. However, I have to ask this:
What kind of a shitty government system does not allow the people to fight what they can't accept on a political level without the stupid striking and all? Democracy my bum.

Posted by Anna October 22, 10 10:29 PM

They seem pretty pissed. Man, they should try living in this country :(

Posted by James October 22, 10 10:31 PM

Pictures are amazing, beautiful!! Big thanks to the photographer!!

Posted by julien October 22, 10 10:48 PM

@Bibi(205): I am getting to understand more of the things happening in your country while reading your post. What I want to say is, please stay away from China if you want to go aboard and I am even more eager to leave China and live abroad as soon as I can.
You may read what is happening in my country every day from main news websites via google translate, amazing!

Posted by Anonymous is better for Chinese October 22, 10 11:01 PM

Les français sont les plus productifs au monde , on leur demande de faire à 2 le job de 3 , c'est donc normal de travailler moins longtemps si l'on est efficace.
Et par pitié , arrêtez de comparer la situation française avec d'autres pays sinon dans 2 ans on se retrouve avec les conditions de travail chinoises.
A force de regarder la merde , on se retrouve le nez dedans.

Posted by Montesquieu October 22, 10 11:06 PM


Posted by linda gamel October 22, 10 11:31 PM

So..what ever the beauties in 18 & 29 are for, count me in! As for the scenes of looting and car tipping...imagine that!

Posted by get to work! October 22, 10 11:47 PM

French girls are hot

Posted by Darky October 23, 10 12:44 AM


Posted by Bird October 23, 10 01:34 AM

Spoiled lazy brats. Here in America it is 65 and we took it like grown mature people for our country. Kick out all those foreigners I saw in the pictures. They are good not nothing but to strip your culture all away. It will be Islam France soon.

Posted by Robert Barrett October 23, 10 01:41 AM

Excellent pictures, as always "The Big Picture" stands up for its name :)

I would like to thank the TBP team not only for providing high quality photos of world news, but also for providing uncensored photos of such events.


As a 21 years old french law student living in France, here's my 2 cents on the subject :

1) About the "rioters" (most happened in Lyon this time) :

The workers are demonstrating against the very reform, while the high school students are demonstrating against the reform, and also against the way the President is ruling the country and preparing the job market for them.

And, like everytime there is big events (demonstration, christmas, etc), a part of the youth from the project "cités", who already know they won't have jobs (even if they get diplomas), all they'll get from the state are police "checking" their ID cards all the time and beating them, go in the street and trash the place.

Of course the people demonstrating don't like them at all because they cast a bad image of the strike, but they can't just beat them (they often move in large mobile group, and it's illegal and dangerous, only well-trained policemen can avoid death in melee fights), and even with a strong security service, they'll still trash the place a few blocks away from the demonstration.
And the cops can't arrest all of them, while covering the giant demonstration, so some cars get destroyed, some shops get stolen, and then the governement can bring the attention to these violent acts (and not the reform), as usual.

When things gets "hot" in terms of demonstrations, anyone who need to get his voice heard get in the street more easily. Youth from the projects "cités" included. And nowadays, such violent attacks happen more often.

2) About the reform :
The reform is NOT only just about "working 2 more years", there's a lot more things in this reform :
It also :
- reduces drastically the compensation you could get when you make kids (=> mothers are no longer incited to make children / they're usualy the ones leaving their full-time job to raise their kids, and with the couples not lasting very long nowadays, a woman having kids will take an even bigger retirement risk).
- DO NOT count as valid any semester if you made under 3000€ (= 4185 US dollars), so any students/mother with a part-time job, or someone with an insecure job (more and more people are in this case) are STILL paying their % to the retirement fund, but it doesn't count at all. Insecure and poor/low wages worker are the ones paying the reform.
- the reform doesn't contain any guarantees on the penibility factor, despite the fact a manager/executive will live (averages) to 82 years old, with incapacity coming at 69 years old, while a factory worker will live to 76 years old, with incapacity coming at 59.

=> the list goes on on hundreds of big and small changes, here and there, removing and reducing rights on all defenseless workers. It's not just "working 2 more years".

And, the best is... the reform is retroactive !

So yea, some people decided to get part-time job to raise their kids, to study (PhD ftw) 30 years ago in the 80', and are now screwed over by the reform of 2010 ! So f*cking nice, nope ?

The only thing these people can hope is an extremely good job for their children : an important part will go to pay the old retirement system and its enormous debt, another part will go for the retired parents (to let them live a decent retired life), then the rest will go for their children.

By the way, don't expect them to make the required 2,1 kids to keep the replacement fertility rate, it's either "keeping my standard of living" or "making kids", they won't be able to afford both.


Are we going bankruptcy with our retirement system if we don't reform it ? of course !

Does this reform will solve the problem ? not at all !

It's delaying the enormous problem we'll have to face few years later (these high school students might be the generation that's going to pay the most), simply by forcing the weaker and poorer workers to work longer, to get smaller retirement plans. Delaying the problem, until all these politicians are old enough to "retire", hehe.

Am I joking ? they just "bought" out some of the blocking workers with special agreements delaying the "reform" for them, to avoid major economic consequences (that would force them to do a REAL reform). The President is not here to improve the system, he's here to get some quick-money to keep the AAA rating for the state debt.

And while they're making the lower classes pay for that reform... Do the banks, the finance, the upper class will participate to that effort ?

Not at all, they're not even removing the law that reduced their contribution to the state budget. That's one of the main reasons why people are so pissed of at Sarkozy, he's blindly following his adoration of bling-bling even when the ship is taking water.

Despite the world economic crisis,
Despite the state debt,
Despite the population ageing (less and less working citizens per retired citizens),
Despite the poor getting poorer and the rich getting richer (even the official statistics show it)
Nicolas Sarkozy follows his program : reducing the taxes on the rich class and the banks, raising it for the middle-class while reducing the public services.

Statistics are clear : even before the crisis, the middle class is disappearing, transferring its population to the poor class, which is getting bigger and bigger, and an important part of it even fall below, into strong poverty (= the poverty that bring strong violence, drugs and gangs problem). Citizens rising to a higher class are getting rarer, young citizens no longer believe/hope they'll be able to get out from their social class, born poor stay poor, born rich stay rich, it's the unique rule now.


I personally know people from the poor class, the low middle class, high middle class, upper class, and none of them denied this transfer of wealth from the low/middle class to the upper class.

A good share of the students I speak with at the university are from the upper class and they're really enjoying that sudden increase of financial capacity. As usual "if we're rich, it's because we worked hard, we deserve it" (even if they never worked for that and got everything from the parents), "poor people should work if they want to get rich, but they're just lazy bums".

And sadly they're almost (99%) the only type of students going to the schools granting access to high-level rank in the administration and political key roles (deputies, ministers and president).

They're living in a different world. Really.

These demonstrations are trying to warn the upper class about this, to tell them they went too far away from the rest of society.

Posted by Pierre October 23, 10 01:57 AM

It is not a war !!!
We need to say what we want to say , it is our right !!!
Pictures are beautiful, but it is not only that.

Posted by IP October 23, 10 02:01 AM

HMM nevermind those Strikes my law will be accepted on tuesday....

Posted by N.SARKHOZY October 23, 10 02:06 AM

Please check that video, showing fake riot (in fact policemen) to have a picture of how the war of image is important.
Don't believe people talking about "silent majority" of people desapproving the strike. They are numerous, may be more than unhappy people, but please don't count sleeping heads (they are more and more).
Don't listen to people talking about working as the only solution left to save our world. Laws against which those people are standing are the same that put the whole world as in a jungle (reagan, thatcher, and we have our french one, now, Sarkozy).
Finally, keep in mind all the "advantages" we have are normal human right we fought for.

Posted by jacques October 23, 10 02:20 AM

President Nicolas Sarkozy is acting like former President Ronald Regan who would like to bust the unions, don't let it happens in France!

Stand up for your rights.

Posted by s.silapong October 23, 10 02:21 AM

just a change of two years and so much reaction?
what lazy people. they have everything still they don't want to work

Posted by reader October 23, 10 02:29 AM

I was just reading a rant about the US being the worst superpower of all time, one doomed for certain collapse. But as I see these pictures and read what is happening in the rest of Europe, it seems no place is immune from possible collapse.

Posted by Kevin October 23, 10 02:33 AM

@196 - PIM
"Hi, Anybody can tell me the names of the 7 statues on the last pic.
Thanks :-) "

Ce sont les statues de Turgot, d’Aguesseau, Michel de l’Hôpital, Colbert, Molé, Malesherbes et Portalis.

Posted by Un lecteur October 23, 10 02:39 AM

To be clear about the French pension system (which is not that well known even in France) :

Nowadays :
You have to work 40 years to receive your full pension which is based on your 25 best paid years. You can chose to retire at 60 if you didn't work 40 years, but your pension will be proportionately lighter. Only when you reach 65 will you receive your full pension.
So, for most of us who finished their studies in their early twenties and who will be unemployed at some time in our life, 65 is already the age of retirement.
So what are 2 more years ? Nothing much really but as somebody already pointed out, young people and 50+ years old workers already represent the bulk of unemployed people. So, adding these 2 years of necessary work is seen as pure cynicism.

I hope, it was clear.

Posted by herve October 23, 10 02:49 AM

all those guys in the streets should be thankful they have a democracy, as shaky as it is, they have a home, they have a freedom of speech. I, as a Romanian, when I was little I queued from midnight for the next day's daily rations of butter, of eggs or some chicken parts (not the good ones). so stop fooling around. the Tragedy is that thousands of good young people disappear because they get around with stupid/fake people that say: "look how socialist I am, how cool that is, all that weed we could smoke and all that Sartre we could read". try to make something good in your lives something before demolishing what others gave their life to build!
PS: #19 photo. how pathetic, how fake and lame...

Posted by Alex October 23, 10 03:08 AM

Nice pictures as always...
Just to make things clear to all non French around.
Yes, we work only 35 hours a week but we have one of the best "Job done per hour" rate in the world. Despite strikes, holidays and so on. So we work less but better according to studies.

Regarding the retirement. We pay all our working period not to banks or to funds but to the state to enjoy our retirement. Which means that we do not jeopardize our money in stocks. In return, the state give us back some cash during our retirement.
Today, a French worker can retire at 60 OR 42 years of work. Which means that you can retire at 60 only if you had started working at 18, which is less ans less the case as people usually study over 20.
Then, if you've started working later, you will be allowed to get a full retirement only if you've got past 65 year old.
The current reform is extending those 2 limits (60 and 65) by 2 years (to 62 and 67) but without changing the 42 years of work needed, stating that life extend and that more work is needed to pay the retirement.
A huge part of the French people feels that this is unfair, because people with low education (people who do not study start working earlier in their life) will have to work more before retirement, while people doing long study (and usually getting more money for their work) will still have to work the same time than today before retirement.

Everyone in France was ok to say something was needed to improve the way retirement is working, including syndicates, but the government choose to force the solution he is believing in instead of talking with everyone. Here is the price.

And yes, polls say that the majority of French people support the strikers, not the rioters. They're not the same.

Posted by Stax October 23, 10 03:30 AM

Seen from Switzerland these strikes makes us laugh.

France is the country of strikes, every 6 months half of the country is blocked by such events.

My guess is that French are a bit lazy peoples. Most of Europe already work after 62 years old and nobody did a such mess when the decision was taken.

Posted by John October 23, 10 03:35 AM

Vive la France ! Continuons comme ça !!!

Posted by frenchboy October 23, 10 03:49 AM

Look at what kind of french are writing here, we have something like 2 side, like in France.

1) a big part of people who have a lot of arguments, statistics and economics thinking against the reform, who have pertinent questions and no answer.
2) a few who agreed with this reform, and please, study their arguments who are not : "parasits", "irresponsibles", "strikes are so few", "ignorant"

So... where is the evidence ? Who is blinded ? Volontary or not blinded ?

All accept the idea of a reform, but first part will not accept a liberal reform where wealth only profits for a minority. Second part think that there is only one reform who's possible.

Posted by samy October 23, 10 03:49 AM

I'm french and I live next to Paris. I'm really sorry that pictures show to the whole world how stupid french people are..
To my mind, we don't have the choice not to agree with this reform.
Times have changed and I think That's normal to work oldier because of increasing life expectation, oldier age starting to work as other countries in Europe.
I think these pictures don't represent the reality at the moment in France as I go to work every day by train and metro and I had no problem.
Everybody's not agree with this strike!

Posted by Anonymous October 23, 10 03:54 AM

Hi, I'm french, i read this article.

We just speak of demonstraters, who are a minority of french. A lot of french like me don't care of this reform, just 2 years of work... Just Youths, train drivers (who demonstrate everytimes for nothing), striking workers in fuel depots do it in order to block our country.

This is incredibly, mean while, others french can't move, not a lot of train, not fuel... Just because some are opposed of the government, the others pay for it. This is a Big Joke...

Posted by Kimi October 23, 10 03:55 AM

Respect to the French again for their strong political will and tradition of protest.
But no respect at all for those who use the situation as an excuse for violent destruction.

Posted by GermanGeorg October 23, 10 03:56 AM

Haaa … The French young women !

Posted by John Wayne October 23, 10 03:59 AM

No solutions?
That's not true. We have some solutions but the government don't want to see them...
Look at that if you understand french...

Posted by skillnb October 23, 10 04:13 AM

Igual que los españoles que somos un pueblo lamentable
Like spanish, we are a sad people

¡Animo compañeros franceses!
Encourage French!

Posted by Mylordd October 23, 10 04:21 AM

Great pictures, as usual on this blog :-)

Here is a great article (in french) about the root cause of those events in France.

Posted by Ben October 23, 10 04:23 AM

Nice pictures. But so NOT representative ! Most of french people are aware of the necessity of the reform (can you afford to stop working at 60, you Americans ?)

Posted by Damien October 23, 10 04:44 AM

just facts :
with the new reform, you'll have to have worked for 42 years to get full pension.
the minimum age to get a pension will be 62 yo. meaning that if you want full pension, you'll have to work full-time from 20 yo to 62yo without facing unemployement.

at 67yo you'll have to go on retirement whatever you worked 42years or not.

a full pension (meaning after 42 years of work before you are 67yo) this is 75% of the average of your 20 best annual incomings.

as many young people do study until they are 23yo, as there is a 10% unemployement rate in the country, most of people under 40yo won't have the ability to work 42yo in a full-time job, so most of people won't get full pension anymore.

the minimum pension is 850EUR a month. (to get an idea of how wealthy you are with that, a 30 square-meter appartment in a poor suburb of paris, is rented 500EUR a month)

last thing : the COR (Conseil d'orientation sur les retraites - Retirement policy board) in its last report, said that 2/3 of the deficit of the retirement system was about to come from the financial crisis , and the raise of unemployment rate, as the retirement system is paid by the workers and their employers. More financial crisis, more unemployement, lower pensions.

wanna a subprime ?

Posted by blazDelParis October 23, 10 04:49 AM

good post to shore,tk's !!

Posted by yhsu October 23, 10 04:57 AM

I LOVE how so many stupid people say that french people are lazy because blah blah blah, and are too LAZY to read the comments above theirs that explain how much what they believe about France is so, so wrong. A**holes.

Posted by Rhalph October 23, 10 05:02 AM

@60 : you're probably wrong : he probably uses his crutch as a weapon.

Posted by yeah October 23, 10 05:14 AM

(i don't speak english well, sorry)

Hello, in the picture #22 the text "Riot police officers(...)" is not good, it's the french gendarmerie. That makes a difference because gendarmerie is a french army corp, not the police.

You could reconize gendarmes (litterally "people with weapon") with their grenade symbol on their helmet.

Posted by nope October 23, 10 05:15 AM

yes. i remember this,now we australians just do what we are told or sometimes THEY don't even tell and we do nothing.

Posted by michael lewis October 23, 10 05:18 AM

That's what you get when you piss off your fellow citizen. The problem here is that 70% are against sarkozy's pension reform. However, we french people aren't stupid and we understand the need of a new pension system in today's economic landscape. We just don't want that one, the governement doesn't want to hear, neither to negociate. It's like we're back in a monarchy again with a stupid *ss president that don't understand anything about its citizen, who cares his image much prentending to coppulate with a princess so was Marie-Antoinette.
Remember that president Sarkozy, monarchy did end with both of kings and queen's heads on a wooden stick, history is just a loop,
of course that wouldn't be really democratic nor republic-ish, but who cares, France's no longer the country of rights, at least until 2012 and the over-expected-by-the-entire-nation's next elections

Posted by Fayou October 23, 10 05:19 AM

last breaths of a dead country... pathetic

Posted by Jeph October 23, 10 05:22 AM

I'm French and I'll try to give some clues about what's happening right now in France.
*You might find this astonishing, but recent polls show 71% of the population support strikers and protests, even though only a minority is against any reform of the financing of pensions. Why is that?
* The social movement now expresses more than a protest against a bill to pass (even though this one is particularly unfair and perceived as so, by a large majority of the French), in a few weeks only, it has shifted in meaning. Indeed, it is now fed by a deep feeling of injustice. Some recent scandals have revealed how the power is dangerously close to the biggest fortunes of France. It has also shown how unfair our fiscal system has become: since the richest can be taxed at about 9% of their income and most of the middle class is taxed at more than 40% of their income ( this is of course due to a complex and particularly well suited tax exemption system. ) All this has nothing to do with "The French want to stay in a socialist type system and so on (this is not the case, by the way) ".

Thus, in my opinion, even though the bill has been past at the Senate, last night (and will be completely passed next Wednesday) , this social fight should have a huge political impact in France .

By the way, these pictures are awesome.

Posted by marie October 23, 10 05:34 AM

à notre cher Président : celui qui ne tire pas les leçons de 3000 ans vit seulement au jour le jour....

Posted by Robert Ordas October 23, 10 05:36 AM

Proud to be French !

Posted by frinuc October 23, 10 05:38 AM

Very nice photos
A large majority of French are against the strike, and
working quietly supporting these inconveniences
it's economic sabotage!!

Posted by Anonymous October 23, 10 05:41 AM

I'm French.

These demonstration are not only against the pension. There are against the global policy of the government. The pension is just "the last drop", the one that makes everything explode.
And to the people who say that the young should not demonstrate of understand nothing: remeḿber how started May 1968: it was for a dormitory matter.
And remember something else: when the French make a revolution, they win it!

Posted by Matteo October 23, 10 05:45 AM

Dear Americans,
Do you remember you police riots in Boston in 1919? do you remember why they strike? do you know you own history? or are you brainwash?????
they strike because they have a 84 hours work a week, one day off every 3 weeks, their wages had not increased since 1913 with a inflation of 76%, they paid their uniforms, etc...are you waiting something worst to strike yourself?
your ancestors fought for you to work less, and you boast that you work more and stuff and pay for your health, your education and find normal to be evicted from your house on credit??
you sold your soul to Wall Street and big business!
It's from your country also came Milton Freidman who initiated the process of privatization of public enterprises, tested in Chile and then repeated in all the states of South America and then be recognized as the single global economic system and totally reject the Keynesian system,which was to identify the conceptual tools necessary for the development of alternative economic policies...
Remember Brenton Woods agreements .... You were a great world power but we all see the damage today and you're the first to suffer. Do not give us lessons about our rejection of this system relates only to the rich and let the people out. All they want is low cost workers, hungry and above who are silent ..
Read back your history, you've got Great Man, but you did not listen to them...

Posted by lorreine.ash October 23, 10 05:45 AM

On picture 8 : "France's interior minister threatened Wednesday to send in paramilitary police to stop rioting on the fringes of protests."

What are you talking about ?
There is no such thing as "paramilitary police" in France, it doesn't exist.
Paramilitary forces are strictly forbidden in France.

Posted by French guy October 23, 10 05:56 AM

The revenge of French People Corporation will be spectacular in 2012 !

Posted by Anonymous October 23, 10 06:00 AM

Hi, I'm french.
Sorry for my poor english.
The photos are amazing.
Over the years, the shares of profits going to labor and capital went from 70-30 to 60-40, and soon 50-50. More money for financials, less for workers.
And now they want the french people to work more because there isn't enough money for pensions.
It would be fun if it was a joke.

Posted by Loïc October 23, 10 06:12 AM

Yeah..burn mo**er, burn! this is how you respond to neoliberalist, racist, ethnocentric, arrogant bullsh*it that comes from the top. people are sick of being exploited and used. respect to the french who show their government that they are mad as hell. that's what the world needs. you have got to get MAD. dont accept all the wrong developments, it is not necessary. they are just trying to exploit you to the fullest. until you say STOP. now is the time. revolution. maybe a french one again. thanks again for showing the pussy-minded rest of europe how this is done. viva la revolucion.

Posted by tss October 23, 10 06:13 AM

Why we the French are so much pissed off, is because the government doesn't listen to us for months, it's always proclaiming that there is no other choice, but it's not true, many other possibilities exist to finance the pensions (and when you read the alternative propositions, it seems far more effective and fair), but they pass in force an unfair reform, like always, to make to poor and middle class pay to results of the financial crise.

With Sarkozy, the more the years pass, and the less we feel like living in a Democracy. He and his government is a bunch of racist and banker's dogs.

Posted by Yoann October 23, 10 06:23 AM

For those who understand french, you can watch this video to understand arguments against this reform and why some people feel cheated :

Posted by L o ï c October 23, 10 06:23 AM

I am a young french (23) so really concerned about this problem.
Strikes brought a lot to French citizens in the past, but it had become so usual, so common to hear everyday on the radio "trains, metros and planes are canceled. Teachers are on strike...", that it lost all its efficency.
The strike is a right written in the consitution, and I think it is a very important right. Nevertheless, it is also written that the strike becomes illegal when it cuts out the liberties of people (liberty to work, to move). And what do you think they are doing? There is no oil anymore, and all the other ways are blocked by strikers.
I will not speak about all those violent people, for who I don't have any respect at all, and for who, in my opinion, there shouldn't be any Human Rights, as they are less than animals to me, because of such behaviours.
But even the action of non-violent people are absolutely useless. A small minority of "idiots" bothers the majority of others. Why do I say "idiots"? Because they are on the street shouting "No", simply "no", but not offering any solution to the comming problems, neither want to start a discussion. What they want is simply to desagree. And look at who is in the street : high school students... Do you think that teenager from 15 to 18 years old, without any working experience, are able to understand what is really happening? This is a good demonstration of the french mentality.
I personaly think that strike was an exelent right, and it became a bad habbit. There is a lot of much smarter ways to solve problems, and I must say it : I really start to be ashamed of my country. Luckily, we still have wine and cheese to be proud of...

Posted by Chris October 23, 10 06:31 AM


(Notre monde n'est pas à vendre)

Posted by Xavier October 23, 10 06:36 AM

I'm just a basic French office worker and let me give you some clues about the situation.

I'm only 31 and with the new law, i will need to work until 67 to get some decent money. Today my company asks 55+ people to retire. What does it mean ? Will I have to spend 12 years unemployed ? It can't work, it simply can't work. French government should have tried to solve the problem of the 55+ unemployment before trying to extend the retirement age.

I've seen some comments here about the 35 hours week. It's seems important to me to say that it doesn't apply for all. All the people of my office are what we call "cadre". We are supposed to do something like 40 hours a week, but there is absolutely no control. To be perfectly clear, lot of people around me do up to 14 hours a day + week ends. Paid for 40 hours/week. That's the reality of France.


Posted by David D. October 23, 10 06:49 AM

@ Yox
Je me permets de te répondre, à toi, en français : tu dis que "les français devraient être contents de pouvoir travailler deux ans de plus" ?
Je suis tout à fait d'accord avec toi ! Ils seraient même contents de travailler pour certains 2, 5 voir 7 ans de plus : c'est-à-dire, sans chômage régulier !

Comment peut-on penser une réforme des retraites sans d'abord penser à solutionner le chômage ? On parle d'exclusion des personnes âgées, et que cette réforme permettra donc de les maintenir dans le tissu social... Bullshit, comme on dit aux States : à partir de 50 ans, les gens ne trouvent plus de travail !
Le résultat prévisible, et prévu, de cette réforme, c'est que de moins en moins de gens vont pouvoir partir à la retraite avec 100% de leur pension, qui est déjà trop faible... Ha, non, pas pour tout le monde, on dirait :

Je ne suis personnellement pas contre la réforme, comme une majorité de français. Mais je suis contre les modalités de cette réforme injuste par la forme et injuste par le fond.


Posted by October 23, 10 06:56 AM

I applaud the french people who try to make through their demonstrations and strikes this rotten world a better place. The french president as the leader of the ultra reactionary Fith republic (an institution closest to a dictator in all western democratic systems sold his own people for the subtle but nevertheless facistic ideology of Neo-liberalism.

Posted by Rüdiger Tomczak October 23, 10 07:03 AM

=> 181. Tommy

" These pictures and all the news items about the French strikers....they are annoying me so much.
Im from Holland myself, and in our country the pension age has recently be upmoved from 65 to 67. Were there any people on the streets to complain against this measure?
No. We know that there is obvously no other option available. "

You were screwed senseless by being made believe that.
We are sorry for the loss of your political sense, but just stop trying to sell us a subscription to your resigned suckers club : that is annoying.

Posted by Sly October 23, 10 07:11 AM

May I ? I don't speak english very well, sorry (I'm French)

The problem is not the age of 62, but years of contribution : 41 in France with the reform. (In Germany for example, the legal pension age is 65, but they don't have to pay the contribution for 41 years, much less)
Students beging to work betwenn 25/28 years old. With that, the pension is at 66-69 years old. That's the point !

The Government telsl us that it's not a problem because of the age of death witch is about 70-72. (!!!!)
There are a lot of resolutions to lower debt and go out of crisis, finance pensions. But the president doesn't want to listen its. His government tells us that's the only solution. That's also the point, and a lie.

What are a president, a government, whose don't listen to their people ?

When we go out in streets, when we demonstrates for our opinions, what does it make? He answers that reform will be more express.
When we block refineries, what does it make? He sends the police to intervene!
Right of reprieve dates from 1864, and it is hard hindered since the beginning of the mandate of Nicolas Sarkozy.
We are taken simply for puppet shows out of France with him.

A word about pictures : they don't reflect reality. There's not so much clashes.

Posted by Ulti October 23, 10 07:13 AM

Stupid French....
It's kind of a tradition to light your own country on fire isn't it?

Posted by Nyte October 23, 10 07:22 AM

Amazing pictures !

Nicolas Sarkozy is our Bush. He just works for rich people.
He gaves Millards of euros for french banks after the financial crack in 2008 and french people have to pay for that. And now thoses banks make money with our money and i think a new crack will happen.
This govnerment is corrupt and medias don't speak about that.
Our parents fight for new rigths and this "little Napoléon" wants to declare the war to all french people.
American and french people are two different nations,have two different culture. I understand that some american people are angry us because we don't a neo liberal word. I just say we can't stand a predisent who just love money and people who have money. We can't stand a president who hate roms, who hate culture and lots of things that represente our nation

Thantks for those pictures that we never seen in french medias..

(Sorry for my english)

Posted by Rimbaud October 23, 10 07:23 AM

French are te most laziest people on the Earth. That's reaction of the lazy people.

Posted by Tvrdi October 23, 10 07:27 AM

Frenchs are not lazy, We just don’t want to work until we die, while big companies are making huge profits on our health.
You think we’re crazy, maybe you should change your way of thinking politics: politics should help people instead of working for the global capitalism.
We're working 35hours a week but we're the most productiv workers in europe.
We're going in retirement at 60 years but we're the europeans that pay the most for our future pensions.
We find billions for banks a year ago and now we don't have any money for pensions and health...!
Go to hell Nabot-leon (dwarf-leon aka Mr french president).

Posted by Arnaud October 23, 10 07:30 AM

hi all, I'm a french student. I think these strikes are necessary not only because of this proposal of retirement age raising, but because of the fact that the french government is taking us all our rights! Poorer and middle class don't really feel free! There are lots of injustices owing to we can see an increasing of life cost for a few years : there are more and more taxes and Sarko's government is protecting rich people despite of modest people! Thus, there is a big difference between both groups...
Government doesn't want to listen what most of people want to say, they do what they want, when they want and that's not fair! Strikes are a right but Sarko is obviously forgetting it!

Moreover "people from foreign countries", even if most of youths were born in France, don't really feel like french citizens. They feel like they are not considered as full french. For example, government talked about many stupid topics like "burqa", "national identity", "national security", terrorism risks"... to make forgetting people concrete problems.
This State is like a dictature, those politicians are thugs!

That's why I think there will be more and more riots in the future if government doesn't change his politic.


Posted by wahran October 23, 10 07:36 AM

Thank you american people who support the French Protestation...
I can see lots of comments here from french people that are so negative with their own country, ashamed of the trike and the mess...
But i have to remeber a fact to those French who always spit on the french people that still live in France : French work hard ! According to the ODCE statistic, France stil have the most important produtivity rate of the world... So we know what work is...
And i know some people who work in England but come to France when they have to face health problem... During this little time, they don't find the health system in France too much...
(sorry for my english)

Posted by BigTog October 23, 10 07:45 AM

I am french, and I started to work at 30 years old.
Why? I was a student until 25, then I was unemployed for 5 years (had some poor little jobs to pay the bills during this time, but no real jobs)

If I can stop working at 67, I will be lucky, I think i will ahve to stop around 71 or 72 to get a full pension.

Unfortunately, in France we fire you when you are around 55 years old...

That means I will not be able to work more than 25-30 years and will never get a full pension.

That's why people are are upset: Sarkozy says : "You will have to work longer" when there is no work right now for everyone.

Fix the unemployment and you will fix the retirement system.

Posted by Hardt October 23, 10 07:46 AM

France is amesome ! YES ! It's the only western country who is not just following like SHEEP!!!! this wouldn't happend in the US or england, because they don't have the strength !! or they're just not aware because they're sheep!! I'm proud of France, no matter what the reason is to protest, the fact is that the people have a right to say they word here! the street has a voice and it counts! Richs are getting more and more rich everyday, and poors are becoming more and more poor.......and some sheep bellieve that the crises is people's fault....!! GO FRAANCE KEEP GOING!!!!

Posted by LIBERTE October 23, 10 07:46 AM

I'm proud to be FRENCH ! We are nation of human's right. USA's got their own system which favors shareholders....we are not obliged to follow it like sheep....Let's go to revolution !

Posted by Clavsen October 23, 10 08:03 AM

This is ridiculous and laughable. In Germany, for example, people will have to work until 67 years old. And don't act like fools. The other EU countries will wait for their 65 years old to retire. And French people only work 35 hours a week. So they can shut the f**k up.
Thank you.

Posted by Clif October 23, 10 08:06 AM

Don't forget that this government doesn't care at all of the Democracy !!!!
This law concerning retirement age is not fair at all, rich and extra rich won't pay for this !!!

If all is delocated in Asia, people here won't have anymore job, so the government can vote all the laws it wants ot, it won't be efficient !

No, France is not striking for nothing !

Posted by dominique green October 23, 10 08:06 AM

Thank you for these superb pictures and thank you to show our fight.
We are fighting for you all, come with us, take to the streets, us friends

Posted by pierre October 23, 10 08:11 AM

Hey boston, that was the cool side of the protest.
Here is what's looks like a antidemocratic gouvernement trying to supress the humanity and the rights of french citizen, happens 2 days ago, center of Lyon :

Posted by PasDeBras October 23, 10 08:13 AM

You strikers are so f*cking stupid, you do not understand anything about this law and the NECESSITY for us to work more. If we don't increase the new retirment age to 67 (62) we will have american private pensions, and trust me, you will love it.

Posted by Creaas October 23, 10 08:19 AM

qu'est-ce que ça fait d'avoir 20 ans dans ce pays-musée qu'est la France ?
« ne touchez à rien » entendent les jeunes... leur belle énergie n'est pas la bienvenue dans la société française.

Posted by flolan October 23, 10 08:21 AM

First I'm french.
The true problem isn't only the retirement but the government, in effect during the lest month many case of coruption were found in french between the member of government and the wealthest french woman. France lost trust in his own government. And to worsen this situation the goverment annouce that the new age of retirment is 67 years old. And to conclude they are onlya few rioter during demonstration but the french tv ( whose ceo is a friend of sarkozy) only speaksof them, instead of speak of true problems.

Posted by Anthony October 23, 10 08:28 AM

people of France, you have all my support!!!!

Love from Seoul.

Posted by Seoul citizen October 23, 10 08:44 AM

You're jealous cause French people know better than you , remember how they chopped their king's head ? This is what pupils learn at school, well, it seems we learnt our lessons well !!!!!

government is best that governs least, what about this guys ? was Thoreau French ?

Freedom, equality, fraternity !!!!!

Posted by thetimestheyareachanging October 23, 10 08:48 AM

Proletariats of the World, Unite!!!!!!

Posted by agustino October 23, 10 08:48 AM

France isn't working as a Democracy anymore.
No choice.
Strike is the only way left for being heard from little jerking Sarkozy.

Posted by le Prolo du Biolo October 23, 10 09:00 AM

Totally agree with Farof. Unemployment for 25 - and 55+ is the real problem. I'm French, I'm 25 and I got two master's of law degrees and I still struggle in finding a job. My father is 53 and he already feels the pressure from his company to kick him out asap and replace him with a 35 single man. This reform is unfair and stupid as it makes people struggle even more and doesn't solve anything.

Posted by Rom October 23, 10 09:02 AM

Hi people here.

It's a real union guy speaking here. Would you please tell me something about the US deficit due to the Irak and Afgan War? Thx a lot. Next in order to try to have a constructive discussion together, why don't we talk about what progress is.

See you.

Posted by Axel October 23, 10 09:03 AM

Hi everybody, I'm french too and I'm very happy to see some US comments who try to understand us. We're not lazy, we're not crazy. Old generations used to fight for some rights that are ours, now.
The problem is not that we don't want to work more, we ask for a better repartition of work ! Our young people don't find any job, they stay in studies for so long but after, there's nothing for them.
And you ask to people who become old to keep on working while young don't have jobs !
To talk about what happen now in france, you have to know well our health system insurance (I work in it, so I know it, believe me).
It's all based on repartition system : we need work, we need jobs to have money to give for old people or sick people. But we've got a huge percentage of unemployment.
Our government is telling us right now that there's no choice but working more WHILE THERE'S NO JOB FOR THOSE WHO HAVE TO WORK AFTER US.
The real problem is the youth's work, in france, today.
You can disagree with what happen in france. I admit that it must be very strange, seen by our neighbors. But, WE ARE NOT LAZY. We fight for our right and for what we believe.
And very important : We hate too those who break everything ! We are angry too to see that they are giving a bad image of those strikes.
I went to marches, in my town (Toulon, close to Marseille), there's no violence. We're all together. Students are with us, very calm and very participative in the same way.
Thank you again for americans who dare to think differently than the others ...

Those pictures ares awesome.

You have to believe us when we say that our actual government lies to us.

Posted by A french reader October 23, 10 09:07 AM

Your pictures are a good representation of the reality here. You know youth is striking just because we need jobs and we don't have access to those jobs because of this reform. But, please, make a difference between the youths striking to defend their rights and the ones who came just to destroy everybody else's property.
We fought before to obtain all this social rights, we'll fight to keep them.
And to the ones who told that this reform was a consequence of our socialist system, how can you say that? Our ministers and our president are very well paid and too much paid. There's money in France, but they prefer to give this money to rich people.We have to raise their fees. Why poorer people should always pay for everybody? Stop all the advantages to the members of the government (free flat, cars ...) it would help to finance our future pensions !
All those strikes in France are a way to protest against this reform but it's also a way to say to the government that we don't want them to continue all this public system destruction and their anti-socialist policy.

Posted by Chloé October 23, 10 09:14 AM

An awesome pictorial of how the populous rises to correct the direction of its government. Truly touching and inspiring! This may very well be the U.S. within the next decade for different reasons....

Posted by Eric G October 23, 10 09:15 AM

The laziest, welfare-dependent nation on planet Earth.

Posted by Nigel Davies October 23, 10 09:22 AM

@ Sly (266)

I guess you must come from France? Otherwise you should not even say one word within this discussion.

And yes, ofcourse we can just let the pension age stay at how it is now. Let's do that!! In 10-20 years, our economy will be screwed up because nobody took any measures. That's exactly what we want!!

If more people in this world would think rational first instead of complaining about how bad their government is, I think it would be better for all...

Posted by Tommy October 23, 10 09:27 AM

No difference is done in the comments between youngs/students and the "casseurs", those who come to destroy shops and cars, steal and burn, without ideology nor relation with the riot (pictures 6, 8, 32). What kind of journalism is this ?

Posted by Arnaud October 23, 10 09:28 AM

It's a good start for the French people to counter the New World Order.
Peace and Unity

Posted by a cry in the night October 23, 10 09:37 AM

La France, un pays où le peuple ne veut pas se faire marcher dessus.

Posted by lulu October 23, 10 09:38 AM

For all the Americans on this board, I think the core concepts in the comparison of France and the US are discussed here:

The interview describes a fundamental difference in personality between the two sides in the debate. One is intolerant of disorder and will forfet freedom to gain public order. The other side is more tolerant of disorder if the goal of a better society can be achieved.

Posted by toosinbeymen October 23, 10 09:39 AM


Unfortunately rioting, anarchy, and violence is part of such uprisings. Whether the issues are right, wrong, or indifferent, the photos are what take us there; that is what I find touching and inspiring. Now, there can be photos that are out of context but I don't find any here; none are meant to depict who's right and who's wrong.

Posted by Eric October 23, 10 09:40 AM

I'm a french and i want to point out that the majority is not rolling by the streets, where professional strikers are. They are working, instead (or "trying" to work). That's why you dont see them and will never seem them having good time playing a "Che Guevarra character", like these betrayed youth ("betrayed" by their teachers and our politics, so stupid people, you can't even imagine). Idiots remain idiots, so do i consider these annual and repetitive strikes. If they would invest the same energy in making their life better (than in striking every month), everything would be better for everybody. Anyway ! To all foreigners asking themselves "What's going out in France ?", just realise one thing : PHOTO #12 ("Passengers wait for a train on a platform at the Gare du Nord railway station") : be sure that, if a "striker" would come there, there would be a fast fast lynch ;) No doubt. (sorry for poor english ; adapt and translate, plz)

Posted by Pierre October 23, 10 09:49 AM

#286 -> I think that all the people who say "France isn't under democracy anymore", "Sarkozy is a dictator" or all this kind of things have never known what is REALLY a dictatorship.

No, I do not like M. Sarkozy. But I think this is respectless for our ancestors to compare our comfortable situation to what was their.

Posted by another frenchman October 23, 10 09:58 AM

For all those people who think the French are lazy - perhaps you should look at the OECD's labour productivity stats before putting your prejudice and ignorance on show.

France has the 7th highest GDP per hour worked - only 3 places and 5% behind the US.

So with a 35 hour week and generous benefits, the French manage 95% of the productivity of American workers who work many more hours and have relatively few benefits.

So who are the stupid ones?

Posted by Paul October 23, 10 10:00 AM

These riots are not about the prospect of retirement age being pushed out 2 years. That decision will not affect these students for 50 years. France is all about Revolutions. They just want to get rid of Sarkozy.

Posted by Becks October 23, 10 10:08 AM

France is not playing around here; I admire the ferocity and adamant position of these people. I wish America would drop the complacency and stand up like this.

Posted by Loba617 October 23, 10 10:12 AM

Wow. Way to overreact.

Posted by Porckchop October 23, 10 10:14 AM

WOW... Le Beaujolais Nouveau est arrivé!

Posted by michael October 23, 10 10:23 AM

Во Франции забастовка - основное и фундаментальное право. Конечно же, мы попытались разговорить, чтобы объяснять государству наше мнение. В то же время, когда невозможно нам найти праведное решение или когда разногласия продолжаются... возникает мятеж. Нельзя забывать, что "революция невозможна без революционной ситуации" (ленин) ++

En France, la grève est un droit élémentaire et fondamental. Bien entendu, nous nous sommes efforcés de discuter afin d'expliquer au gouvernement notre opinion. En même temps, quand il est impossible de trouver une juste solution ou bien lorsque les différents se prolongent... apparaît l'émeute. Il ne faut pas oublier que "la révolution est impossible sans situation révolutionnaire" (Lénine) ++

Posted by Фёдор October 23, 10 10:26 AM

You wanted socialism, you got socialism. Nowhere has it worked. France looks like Greece.

Don't change the system. Keep spending money you don't have. Then what? Will you go back to the sou? Clam shells?

Perhaps you're ready to give up and become the Caliphate of Rydiah. The Communists have cut off your balls, now the Muzzies will cut off your heads.
While you overturn cars in the streets and kill your economy!

Posted by Cheshire Cat October 23, 10 10:28 AM

Great pics


Posted by Max October 23, 10 10:28 AM

I don't understand why the French doesn't move if Sarko deports foreigners but they strike when they have to work a few more year... come on people, where is the humanity in all this? Get your priorities straight. Greetings from a Belgian neighbor.

Posted by Peter October 23, 10 10:31 AM

I think France is based on an intellectual heritage which is very rich and that present generations are in a poverty of spirit, in a malaise in the digestion of its heritage. There is a very noticeable arrogance to justify this legacy by declaring simply "French" like a label. The form without content. Thoughts around the world are changing, they mutate.
Fear of change, intellectual immobility, a country does not preserve, as a work of art exhibited at the Louvre.
Do not miss the train, things happen also outside of France, take that into consideration. Thanks for pictures.

Posted by gza October 23, 10 10:33 AM


Posted by FRENCHEMENT October 23, 10 10:37 AM

Hello I'm french and I can say that today I'm proud !

France is still the country of 1789, 1830, 1848, 1871, 1936, 1945, 1968 and 1995 ! Take the power back!

Posted by Guillaume October 23, 10 10:38 AM

@clif #283: "This is ridiculous and laughable. In Germany, for example, people will have to work until 67 years old. And don't act like fools. The other EU countries will wait for their 65 years old to retire. And French people only work 35 hours a week. So they can shut the f**k up.
Thank you."
Germany is protectionist and has kept all its industries. With the arrival of East Germany has not had the choice for sure! it is strong but it does not help anyone in europe ... because there is no common polic, why?????because Germany just not interested in!
Greece has been sold to Chinese
iceland sold to Russian
Ireland is the credit has
Portugal and Spain are poor
ahahah! vive l'Europe!
how do you think people who have nothing to revolt ...??????????
we have a just a little bit but not for long time anymore, so yes we fight before dying....
thanks for Americains which support our ideas, others european else do not even know what they say ..... ;-)

Posted by lorreine.ash October 23, 10 10:51 AM

La France : un pays en voie de sous-développement où les citoyens préfèrent se croiser les bras et attendent que l'Etat les entretienne.
La France : le pays où les horaires de travail sont les plus courts du monde.
La France : le pays où le nombre de jours de vacances est le plus important du monde
La France : le pays où l'âge de la pension est le plus bas du monde
La France : un coq tonitruant sur son tas de fumier ...

Posted by Autodidacte October 23, 10 10:51 AM

There's a key solution that has not been exposed in the debate - to me the one and only long-term solution for retirement pensions : to fix a minimum / maximum level, probably around 1,500 / 2500 € /mth for all. that means suppress the actual and old fashion distribution system we chose at the late 40's. Many countries at that time decided to avoid this system because they knew they couldn't predict the ratio workers / retired would stay balanced over generations. Despite this uncertainty we opted for this system and now those about to retire are pushing over the time the reform (it has been lasting for2 decades now, the system is made not to be reformable by essence) - and laughingly youths and olders protest together despite the opposite interests they represents.

One only way to sort out this issue : no longer a distribution system between two generations, bt a tax that directly finances ceiled pensions - who can pretend in a solidary system that when he earned an average 4000 € salary over years, got two houses, raise liquidities, he needs a 2500 € pension paid by the young workers of this country ?

Nice photos by the way - too much anger from the people of France who kept their calm during the financial crisis and realised they where screwed by the time being

I used to be a young french right winger, but now this is enough

New order

Posted by Wanou October 23, 10 10:58 AM

This is no war, we only want to be heard by those who are intended to rule the country. Instead of that, they mock us, but France has never been a country where people obey without thinking. The street will have the last word, we won't let the corrupted ones steal us again and again.
They know their reform is only made to break the fair system still in place to make an unfair one which will only favor people who have lots of money.

Wake up France, cut some heads !

Posted by SarkoCharklo October 23, 10 11:15 AM

pour sauver la vraie démocratie :


« Quand le gouvernement viole les droits du peuple, l’insurrection est, pour le peuple et pour chaque portion du peuple, le plus sacré des droits et le plus indispensable des devoirs ». (article 35 de la déclaration des droits de l'Homme et du citoyen de 1793)

Posted by Sylvère-Romain LABIS October 23, 10 11:22 AM

don't worry be happy

c'est mieux en réél

que de belles prises de vues pour faire peur

mais ce n'est pas mai 1968

Posted by Alain October 23, 10 11:30 AM

Pic #19 is so typically French, or in other words, romantic.

Vive la France!

Posted by Anonymous October 23, 10 11:34 AM

Cela se passe en France ....!

Posted by Daniel Andriuzzi October 23, 10 11:37 AM

Europe has no other option but to raise the retirement age with an aging population and ever increasing competition from countries with lower wages. The problem is that in most European countries there is no legal protection against age-discrimination in employment and the labor markets are too rigid. So raising the retirement age without creating better opportunities for a productive life when you are older is utter cynicism. Plus keeping people productive longer would help to maintain the standard of living. We are not even talking about raising the standard of living in Europe anymore...

Posted by mjh October 23, 10 11:43 AM

in germany: 67
france: maybe 62

mimimimimimimimim france!

Posted by chefaktion October 23, 10 11:43 AM

Proud to be French !!! Vive nous et à bas les réformes anti-prolo !

Posted by Jordane October 23, 10 11:51 AM

Hi, i 'm french and I thank all those who support our fight against the capitalization dysregulated that impoverishes, through the planet, day after day, the people who give their travails manuals and intellectuals just in favor of some sharks of the finance.

We do not want this American dream ===>

Posted by Jean Jolly October 23, 10 11:54 AM

Thanks for all who expressed their support - hoping that even in their contries, people will find back their pride and rise against the power.

To those who want to contribute, this site allow to send money to striking workers who block their factory.

Don't forget, this is, above all, a battle for soul. If we lose now, we will never rise again.For all free people, this is time for react or die.

Posted by Olivier October 23, 10 12:12 PM

This isn't about pension reform it's about class struggle. The
French remember and understand the roots of their republic.
All struggle is class struggle. Americans are too self absorbed
and ignorant to understand, so when austerity bites here in the
US between 2011 and 2014 they won't know who to blame and it
will be too late.. Western economies have crashed because of
the unbridled greed and arrogance of the banking elite. The
French object to "austerity" which is just the banks ramming
enormous debt down their throats and expecting them to pay
for it. The French people are saying "Non!" Unfortunately the
Americans are so stupid they will probably blame Osama Bin
Laden, the dead guy...

Posted by Fred54 October 23, 10 12:13 PM

Vive la France, une démocratie baffouée, un peuple désabusé,
un gouvernement désavoué et pourtant ces élus du peuple continuent aveuglément à obéir à ces dérives libérales. Le chacun pour soi contre l'intérêt solidarité se perd !!!

Posted by Legabel October 23, 10 12:14 PM

Thanks for the beautiful photos. We never let them pass over us...!
A young french teacher on strike.

Posted by Laurie October 23, 10 12:23 PM

I am French, live in Paris, has not turned on any TV set in ages, nor bought any French newspaper or magazine. I had not seen any images of the strikes and demos. Good photos, as always on The Big Picture. However, nothing more than the usual strikes and demos that are recurrent in this country. I was scared of the potential disruptions that demos would caused when I was growing up in Toulouse in the early 70's. I am no longer scared and, frankly, it does not look scary. I think that the pensions reform is necessary. Having said that, I am getting really exhausted of the difficulties of everyday life, waiting in line at the gas stations, not being able to travel to Lille or having to wait long for a packed metro or bus...

Posted by flam October 23, 10 12:31 PM

long live the french people!

Posted by jun rivera October 23, 10 12:32 PM

@ Autodidacte.

Tu écris :

"La France : un pays en voie de sous-développement où les citoyens préfèrent se croiser les bras et attendent que l'Etat les entretienne."

Oui, comme Lily Bettencourt qui n'a jamais travaillé de sa vie mais qui est la femme la plus riche de France... va comprendre Charles ?

"La France : le pays où les horaires de travail sont les plus courts du monde.
La France : le pays où le nombre de jours de vacances est le plus important du monde
La France : le pays où l'âge de la pension est le plus bas du monde"

Faux et archi-faux, l'Allemagne base sa retraite sur 35 annuités et ils ont travaillé 125 heures en moins, en 2009, que la moyenne française.

"La France : un coq tonitruant sur son tas de fumier"

Tu dis ça parce que tu es né avec une cuillère en argent dans le bec dans une famille de fumiers, ce qui ne t'empêche pas d'être tonitruant... voire même truand sur les bords. Tony je ne sais pas en revanche !

Posted by Jean Jolly October 23, 10 12:34 PM

We don't need the key.
We'll break in.

Posted by José October 23, 10 12:40 PM

"There is no such thing as "paramilitary police" in France, it doesn't exist."

Gendarmerie is the archetype of a paramilitary organization. Like the Italian Carabinieri and the Spanish Guarda civil, all based on the Gendarmerie.

Posted by BGE October 23, 10 12:47 PM

To all people - majoritay french people - who are shouting all their hate on french workers. Those who always tell france is an horrible country, bla bla bla..
France has more millionaire than any of european countries. France know how to make money, despite what you can hear from French government.
French workers know that, they know they work a lot (yes a lot) for a few rich people. The know they have to change the system, they also know they don't want to pay more when their wages are decreasing regularly for about twenty years. They want the rich people to pay with them, with them.

For all these things, and many more, they are on strike.
French people are not government's carpets, as we can observe in other countries. What makes angry a lot, what makes envious the others.

Posted by Reg October 23, 10 12:50 PM

First of all, i'm proud to be French and Lazy. When i can achieve the same result in 1 hours, instead of 2 or 3, (France in the top of hourly productivity in the world) i want to have the free time for fun. Stay more hours at work with low productivity to pretend to be serious is a shame.

About the retirement pensions , some facts:
While Nicolas Sarkozy wants to lower the pensions so much that everyone will need an additional private pension, you might be interested to know that Guillaume Sarkosy (brother of Nicolas Sarkozy) has been nominated at the head of Médéric, biggest french corporation to provide private pension. Especially since it has been deeply funded by public money on Nicola's initiative.
The financial documents that present Médéric, claim that will be a juicy business as few exist for decades...
Funny enough there is a TV add campaign for Médéric as french people march in the streets.
So there is no money for pension ??? and that's the only solution ???
Nice try Nicolas.
As Warren Buffet said, "There is a class war, we the richest, are running it, and we are winning it."

Posted by Anonymous October 23, 10 12:51 PM

Theses pictures are terrific !

Posted by namroe October 23, 10 12:53 PM

-- comment removed --

Posted by anonymous October 23, 10 12:58 PM

-- comment removed --

Posted by anonymous October 23, 10 01:03 PM

Shame on us....

Posted by x October 23, 10 01:05 PM

Marvelous pictures. As beautiful as the revolt. Bravo.
I'm proud to be french and I'm proud to participate in these demonstrations. It's really amazing that some guys are laughing at this. At least, french citizens are able to say NO when they don't agree, when changes are not for them but for banks or insurance companies. The reform will decrease the amount of pensions. So a lot of people will be obliged to compensate with private insurances, of course they will be obliged to pay for that. And do you know who is ready on the market with a new company ? Guillaume Sarkozy, president's brother. So keep on laughing, we don't care, it's your business. I suggest others "funny" topics for you : unemployed people, wars, talibans, HIV, starvation ... We'll keep on standing up for our rights.

Posted by Yves October 23, 10 01:11 PM

Photos 8-16-20-33...C'est des français ça ?!!!

Posted by Anonymous October 23, 10 01:11 PM

For the benefit of French people reading this.
I'm French, I finished uni in 92, I sent 100 CVs in France, I had 2 interview, no offer.
I sent 2 CVs in the UK, I got 1 offer.
18 years and 3 jobs later I'm still in the UK, I earn €130,000 a year, my company has sent me travelling literally all over the world.
And since you ask, yes, I come from a poor family.
I set aside 10% salary for my pension, I have to pay for my medical insurance, but hey, I can hardly complain.
When I see the Fascists from CGT, it makes me vomit, these are guys who 70 years ago would have proudly worn a swastika on their sleeves.
France, wake up, yielding more powers to union and Segolene will only result in less jobs, less money, less enterprise, less future for its youth.

Posted by pil October 23, 10 01:14 PM

Le problème n'est pas le recul de l'âge de la retraite : le problème c'est que le chômage des jeunes va augmenter.

Je regrette de ne pas être né en 1950 : les 30 glorieuses, du pétrole à la demande et la retraite à 55 ans, c'est injuste....

Posted by français cassé October 23, 10 01:20 PM

Hey everyone,

Just to tell my fillings about what's happening in my country (I'm french)... I think we could have a great country, but because of a minority, our country is actually on a catastrophic path. Moreover, this little minority, who thinks only to their personal privileges are totally selfish, because they don't even care what the majority thinks and it gives a crual image of France around the world!!! Every country in Europe has already established this reform but as usual, some kids (and always the same) enjoy the prevailing climate of war accompanying strikes, and as usual, the 95% french rest are not mediated. Why... because they don't do enough noise?

I'm a 20 years old student, and let me tell you that, what's happening here is only the choice of a few irresponsible people who care about old privileges which are no longer valid. It does really affect strongly our daily because we have to support lots of revews form foreigners who hallucinates when they see such violence in the country of "Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity".

To give a little example, railroad workers are not even concerned by the extension of retirement, but they strike a "preventive" in case they would eventually be affected. But, since when do people make "preventive" strikes for things they aren't concerned with?? And because of few people the hole country pay the price by being blocked in a country supposed to be developped... no more trains, bus, etc. Well, we (the 95% french population) are in a very bad position and I hope that foreigners do not believe or missunderstand all the things papers say about us being spoiled childs.

Posted by Benoit October 23, 10 01:27 PM

Je vais écrire en français : ne vous trompez pas, nous ne sommes pas des fainéants comme je viens de le lire. Et si nous sommes dans la rue c'est que cette réforme des retraites vient après la marche vers la destruction du service public et de beaucoup d'injustices. On donne de l'argent aux banquiers, aux plus riches, on supprime les services publics, on méprise les petites gens. Vous ne comprenez pas que nous soyons dans la rue ? Je ne suis pas étonnée, j'ai vu, à Boston des gens très âgés sans le sous, perclus de douleurs, travaillant encore. Vous êtes heureux de ça ? Pas moi. Je suis fière du peuple dans la rue qui se dresse face à Sarkozy et je souhaite que mes amis américains arrêtent de nous critiquer sans savoir. Nous souhaitons vieillir dignes . Bravo pour les splendides photos.

Posted by Beline October 23, 10 01:35 PM

France is dying from ideology. Strikers are blind. They don't understant the economic situation of the country. They don't learn Greek lesson.

Posted by Pragmatism man October 23, 10 01:38 PM

The French will get no sympathy from the Brits who have to wait until they are 65 before they receive their old age pension and their government are thinking of putting that up by a couple of years. Folk are living longer now and the French need to wake up and stop whinging.-60 to 62 by 2018 they don't know how much better off they are.!

Posted by Tony Gibson October 23, 10 01:51 PM

Sarkozy is a kind of "Ugly Daddy" saying "no, we can't do this or this any longer", with a lot of determination, THIS is the real revolution in France. There's a kind of "Obelix spirit" (famous french hero from a comic book) or "Gavroche spirit" (from Victor Hugo). We don't want to obey.

Posted by flolan October 23, 10 01:57 PM

"last breaths of a dead country... pathetic"
I'm french, and i'm so agree with that...

Posted by Olive October 23, 10 02:03 PM

Ce que vous voyez là ne représente pas la France: ce sont les grévistes de profession :
- Cheminots (SNCF) de Sud rail ou de la CGT : 56000 euros/an pour 18 heures /semaine
- traminots de la RATP (metro) 50 000 euros /an pour 15 heures/semaine
- Dockers du port de Marseille : 48 00 euros/mois pour 15 heures effectives de travail

Les pillards sont le lumpenproletariat des banlieues : ils sont issus des anciennes colonies francaises: ils sont laissés pour compte car il n'y en a rien à tirer!...
Les etudiants et les lyceens que vous voyez ne sont pas les meilleurs! Les meilleurs sont dans des lycées où on travaille, pour preparer les concours de Polytechnique, de Normale superieure et autres écoles de l'élite...

Voila la France de gauche... Nous, ici en Bretagne , on travaille dur, on vit bien et on est comme vous!...

Padrig de Lorient en Bretagne

Posted by Padrig October 23, 10 02:09 PM

It is a shame that there are some people who are blind not to see that the french and greek people are the brevest in Europe. They try in defending their rights to make a better world out of a total rotten Europe where the governments already sold their people to the interests of capitalism.
There will be a time when we all will be grateful to the striking and protesting people of France and Greece.
And it is a shame that there are still people who don´t want to see that the world order of Neoliberalism is the subtle facism.
Everyone who has a mind and a heart can not do else than sympathize with the people in France or Greece.
The people in France and Greece opened a new era of a fight for a real independence.

Posted by Rüdiger Tomczak October 23, 10 02:11 PM

I don't really know who's right (and I don't know if someone is right !) but it's sure that say stereotype as "French are te most laziest people on the Earth" is just stupid.
it's a big debate but people who are on strike or who demonstrate can't be considered as lazy people.

(sorry for my english)

Posted by Sophie October 23, 10 02:12 PM

Lady Gaga cancelled 2 concerts, What a tragedy !!!!! Its the end of the world !!!

Posted by Javier Rocha October 23, 10 02:13 PM

Necessities to reform, really ? En ce qui concerne la "nécessité de la réforme", et la lutte pour conserver des droits sociaux, la Grèce est un "crash test" (How will react the people?). D'autres pays sont plus intéressants : Caïman, Luxembourg, Oman, Marshal Islands, Jersey, Bahamas, Switzerland...their wealth, where does it come from ? de ceux qui ont décidé de ne pas participer à un effort collectif, après s'être enrichi grâce à l'effort collectif (qui a construit des écoles, des routes, des centrales nucléaires, formé des médecins, des ingénieurs ?) . On ne les appelle pas pays épargnants.

Autre chose : au courageux anonyme qui se demande si 8 16 20 et 33 sont des photos "de France", je renverrais aux leçons d'histoire, à quelques cartes de géographie, et focus sur économie ultra marine, enrichissement de l'Europe à partir du XV° siècle.

Posted by MaLu Costesèque October 23, 10 02:14 PM

ça vous plait, ça, hein les gars, vous en jutez dans vos frocs

Tenez , prenez ça :

La Marseillaise
Premier couplet
Allons enfants de la Patrie,
Le jour de gloire est arrivé !
Contre nous de la tyrannie,
L'étendard sanglant est levé, (bis)
Entendez-vous dans les campagnes
Mugir ces féroces soldats ?
Ils viennent jusque dans vos bras
Égorger vos fils, vos compagnes !

Refrain :
Aux armes, citoyens
Formez vos bataillons
Marchons, marchons !
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons !

Aux armes, citoyens
Formez vos bataillons
Marchons, marchons !
Qu'un sang impur
Abreuve nos sillons !

Couplet 2
Que veut cette horde d'esclaves,
De traîtres, de rois conjurés ?
Pour qui ces ignobles entraves,
Ces fers dès longtemps préparés ? (bis)
Français, pour nous, ah ! quel outrage !
Quels transports il doit exciter !
C'est nous qu'on ose méditer
De rendre à l'antique esclavage !

Couplet 3
Quoi ! des cohortes étrangères
Feraient la loi dans nos foyers !
Quoi ! ces phalanges mercenaires
Terrasseraient nos fiers guerriers ! (bis)
Grand Dieu ! par des mains enchaînées
Nos fronts sous le joug se ploieraient
De vils despotes deviendraient
Les maîtres de nos destinées !

Couplet 4
Tremblez, tyrans et vous perfides
L'opprobre de tous les partis,
Tremblez ! vos projets parricides
Vont enfin recevoir leurs prix ! (bis)
Tout est soldat pour vous combattre,
S'ils tombent, nos jeunes héros,
La terre en produit de nouveaux,
Contre vous tout prêts à se battre !

Couplet 5
Français, en guerriers magnanimes,
Portez ou retenez vos coups !
Épargnez ces tristes victimes,
À regret s'armant contre nous. (bis)
Mais ces despotes sanguinaires,
Mais ces complices de Bouillé,
Tous ces tigres qui, sans pitié,
Déchirent le sein de leur mère !

Couplet 6
Amour sacré de la Patrie,
Conduis, soutiens nos bras vengeurs
Liberté, Liberté chérie,
Combats avec tes défenseurs ! (bis)
Sous nos drapeaux que la victoire
Accoure à tes mâles accents,
Que tes ennemis expirants
Voient ton triomphe et notre gloire !

Couplet 7
(dit couplet des enfants)
Nous entrerons dans la carrière
Quand nos aînés n'y seront plus,
Nous y trouverons leur poussière
Et la trace de leurs vertus (bis)
Bien moins jaloux de leur survivre
Que de partager leur cercueil,
Nous aurons le sublime orgueil
De les venger ou de les suivre


Posted by bonhomme ordinaire October 23, 10 02:18 PM

Good on you France.
From The United States

Posted by Frankfert October 23, 10 02:19 PM

Se battre pour ses acquis, je peux comprendre, mais pas comme ça !

En Suisse, nous travaillons :

42-45 heures par semaine
4 semaines de vacances par an, le minimum officiel
64 ans, l'âge de la retraite pour les femmes
65 ans pour les hommes.

Nous n'avons pas le droit de grève.

Notre gouvernement parle actuellement de reculer l'âge de la retraite à 66 et 67 ans ...

Cherchez l'erreur !

Alors ... je me marre doucement ....

PS Je ne suis ni banquier,ni producteur de chocolat, mais un simple employé de la Poste

Posted by Peter October 23, 10 02:19 PM

French are lazy.... we are dirty also no? we speak loud? No, that is for italian people.
In that case American people are fat and they feel themselves as the center of the world and Germans eat sausages. Please stop stereotypes!!!! that's so easy to comment an event when you're not living in that country! And for the other French who critize the country and the strikes, you must know perfectly that what happens today is the result of 3 years of frustration.It's more than this law. All what have been done for years to improve social rights had been destroyed by our dear president. He cheated and lost our trust. That's enough! I don't care not having my train to go to work or being stopped by strikes. I admire those who are fighting for us.
(sorry for my bad english)

Posted by pauline October 23, 10 02:22 PM

What you see protesting is not French people, it is slaves.

There is foreigners and marxists, coward people against financial groups, wich are collaborating to foreign global policies.

The global operation is to submerge France with an immigration mostly composed of low intellectual quotients, and extra-European people to destroy national identities.

Once European populations disapeared, this will allow financial groups to realise what every international groups would dream of : replace people as they wish to by others to work or leave.

If us, French people would truly protest, and the day will come by demographics an obligation, as all Europe, continental war is coming.

By the way, watch out for the US situation with Mexicans. Maybe you will understand, that in future, american communities will come to an end.

Posted by the truth October 23, 10 02:23 PM

If you want a social welfare state with lots of benefits and government servives, you have to pay for it. This means you can not work 35 hour weeks and retire at a nice comfy age of 62. Either work longer weeks or work longer over the lifetime. You have to create wealth in order to tax it and enjoy it as services.

Congratulations to the French senate for having a backbone in the face of these protests.

Posted by nasochkas October 23, 10 02:26 PM

images #8 #20 #21...
pov' petits banlieusards qui se sentent toujours «discriminés injustement »...
Jamel quand est-ce que tu fais un sketch sur eux, il y a de quoi quand même.

Posted by flolan October 23, 10 02:27 PM

I'm a young French student in prep school and I'm totally against those pitiful leftist riots (yes riots, immigrants go and burn cars, they rob stores, anarchists take advantage of that too, Paris or Marseille are already damn dirty due to extreme leftism and globalization, there's no need to add another layer). Not only it is ruining the reputation of our country (we're already known for being lazy and always demonstrate, and I can tell you most of people are against those demonstrations. Who are they? Some 15 million leftists, anarchists and immigrants, that's not even 1/4 of the French population) but it is also an economical suicide to be against the reform. (We're on the top of countries with the lowest retirement age)
Of course I struggle against Sarkozy's idiotic smogging policies to fool us for the 2012 elections but it doesn't impeach that on this point he's right.
Any reasonable person who understands the economic situation of France and generally of Europe would accept to put the retirement age higher.
After all, we're living longer, no government could afford to give about 20 years of welfare, France is with no doubt the first welfare state of the world, we have the sécu (which has a huge debt), family welfare (allocs) and so on.
Those riots are obviously due to the generation of May 68, a crazy generation that is destroying our country for 40 years and going on, they think they can have everything without working. We are losing the values of working and of personal satisfaction. (and to say that the education level is already very very low in France... Without adding that teachers urge their pupils to go to the demos)
France is falling on the stubborness of this brainless and brainwashed minority. (minority but strong...)

Posted by RNE October 23, 10 02:29 PM

In France we prefer die rather than becoming the Wall street slaves. We have still a Democracy not like you in USA. Democracy means Peoples have the power and freedom. In USA only the rich, big firms and banks have the power, and all Politics are their puppets. We dont want it happens in France and we will fighting to the death.
"Better to live 1 day as a lion than 100 years as a sheep". Italian proverb.

Posted by Anonymous October 23, 10 02:30 PM

First of all, these photographs are awesome, beautiful !
I'm french, let me tell you that not every french citizen agree with these strikes. The fact is that France is not able enough to accept changings in its social system to keep it balanced and stable. French people also think that their government sacrifice their retirements as they have injected billions of euros and dollard to save the financial system. It's a part of the truth, but the other part of the truth that governments don't say is that they are the first responsible themselves of this unbalanced system as they have the power to make the laws. They actually lowered too much the securities of the financial system, bringing spectulation, and put everybody, State like individuals, in the dept. One of the reason why they did this was too keep the illusion that we can move the industries to Asia and continue to get money with credits, which is a big illusion. The people without any particular skills have only one hope : getting social help from the state as far as the low qualified jobs have moved.
I want to finish by saying that there are many France, like you can see on the photos, the people who strike and the people who are involved in what you can more call riots are not the same, see what I mean ... It's becoming a major problem in France.

Posted by Fenzy-frenchy October 23, 10 02:32 PM

Hi everybody,
In all these pictures one is shocking: the number of people in the assemly. The assembly is almost empty. Is that what we call 'representative democracy'?

Ha yes! They don't mind about their retirement as people in the senate got a life pension after their mandate. Moreover they have their business aside (often they are private lawyer, like Mr Sarkozy) that makes much more money.

So yes people are right to fight when they disagree about law voted by people that do not represent them.

All major changes have come from protests (independance of countries, social reform, women emancipation, black equality etc.).

Maybe it's time a new change...

Posted by Nicolas S October 23, 10 02:33 PM

Nice lies by Marie as first post.
The problem is that France is a country that is now full of liars and hypocrits (I know this as I am French myself).
Leftist newspapers will say that according to a poll 70% of France supports the strikes.
Rightist newspaperswill say that according to a poll 70% of France does not support the strike.
Two political sides mounting the Europeans of France against each other. The truth is, a civil war was stopped back in 68, not the state vs some other group no, but two Frances against one another, it seems it has only been delayed.
@Pragmatism man
Please do not associate all these strikers with most of the working French people, who are supporting the collapsing economy at the tip of their arms, while feeding the other half.

Posted by Guillaume October 23, 10 02:48 PM

le poisson mort suit le courant...

Posted by PIC October 23, 10 02:51 PM

Most french people don't know the real figure of economy and don't see evidence of necessity. Politics here for years had never told about charges, deficit, profit etc... or only very recently with Sarkosy, and people are imaging what suits to them. The thing is that we (Sorry I mean my children and later my grand children) have 2 thousand billions euros to reimburse, and 35% of the working population is state employers ( 7 millions). all the people who strikes are coming from them.
This year our budget Sate misses 150 billions euros...All develloped countries are working up to 65 or 67, because we live longer, old people cost very expensive because of medical cares, but we, french, are may be more intelligent, because we think that money grows in the fields...dont try to find them on rich people, they are no more living in France, the country were taxes are the most important from OCDE and were the social subventions are the most important also. This figure are very easy to find they come from official sites of OCDE, European Community or Offical government budget.

Posted by Leprince-Ringuet October 23, 10 03:02 PM

i am from the u.s. (currently living in arkansas) and i am jealous that french society is this socially active and politically aware. i only wish this country was as equally interested in bettering the lives of the general population rather than bloating the pockets of the super rich.

ecoutez la colere du peuple!

Posted by mcs401 October 23, 10 03:08 PM

-- comment removed --

Posted by anonymous October 23, 10 03:09 PM

@ Pragmatism man.

You are not pragmatic, you caches behind an ideology of the always more to meet your needs selfish without thinking that the Earth n is not infinite.

Posted by Jean Jolly October 23, 10 03:11 PM

I am german,and i can totally understand this. In germany people are simply to brainwashed to even realize that these laws are nothing but retirement cuts. Just like in france our goverment is corrupt and its trying (sadly successfully) to privatize all our sozial systems. Democracy is sadly only a shallow cover for pure capitalism and we are willingless drones. Frensh people are awesome for demonstrating against this. I only can look up to them und wish that more people would see and act upon the obvious. Vive la france !

Posted by Nameless Drone October 23, 10 03:16 PM

Most French people disapprove of the law changing the retirement age from 60 to 62 for those who have completed 40 years of work, and from 65 to 67 for the others, for full pension benefits, but people can stop working as of age 62 for less benefits. These conditions are similar to those in most industrialized countries (the U.S, Germany ...) and even the socialist party can't propose to do any better, if elected in 2012. These measures are common sense, although alternatives as to the funding of pensions exist. But don't be fooled by the beautiful quality of the pictures, nor the captions. People are not voicing an opinion on the measures, they are expressing feelings of injustice: a greater divide between social classes, a government which ignores this divide and revels in luxury, protecting the very rich, lack of jobs after many years of studies for students, and yet longer working years for the sixtyish, decreasing funding in Education and Culture, unemployment because of globalization and so on. The financial crisis has some reverse effects, and people now say, but not clearly enough, what they think of this 'crisis', to the ones who did not act soon enough to prevent it.

Posted by Joce T France October 23, 10 03:18 PM

Anonymous said :
"First of all, i'm proud to be French and Lazy. When i can achieve the same result in 1 hours, instead of 2 or 3, (France in the top of hourly productivity in the world) i want to have the free time for fun. Stay more hours at work with low productivity to pretend to be serious is a shame."

The problem is that per year productivity is bad.

I prefer work more a year with less per hour productivity and have better conditions of work.

I worked in various medium sized companies. They are almost understaffed because of cost of work. They don't have money to hire. Then workers are exhausted, victims of stress. They are not happy at work.

I don't know the situation of workers in North America but the reputation of french laziness is false. Statistics don't reflect reality of work life.
It's true they are privilegied workers. But French who worked for non public companies are not privilegied.
Our country is a corporatist country. To much selfishness despite claims of solidarity.

Posted by Pragmatism man October 23, 10 03:20 PM

Mouahaha... I read some comments of people who say this reform is the only way possible because of the economic crisis.

You people are like red fishes who didn't even remember that this crisis came initially from finance who wanted to make more and more money on real economy. Do they produce something? Is it justice that they were not punished but HELPED altough they continue the same!!! BUSINESS IS NOT BUSINESS even if you prefer think that because it's simplier! World is what are doing from it, and nothing is impossible.

And you're like sheep too... You continue to believe in media that are owned by big lobbies, and you keep confident with politics that never do what they say, and are regularly convicted of corruption... May I have to repeat that President Sarkozy said numerous times that he'll never report the retirement age?... Never! And he's been elected and he does the exact opposite! Never!! Is this word clear for everyone? Is there no value for things said in your country?

We must tax profits and speculation, and regulate or close stock markets that became casinos, completely disconnected from reality... The best way to understand that is to observe that Wall Street (and other markets in the world) continue to grow altough your economy is about do die... We must redistribute money that is detained by only a minority of people, and use it for social actions, that's the only way possible to fix the situation, and that's the way we'll go, even if you don't like it. That's our way of life!

Néo-liberalism is dead, and we don't want to finish like USA. We'll win this battle like we won 35h a week, like we won paid holidays, and that's not a problem if you prefer continue to be a slave for the hedge funds in your country, but please let us fight for our rights as we want, and take care of yourself, we'll take care of us. We're proud of us, we're responsible citizens and we have one of the best productivity in the world... but we're not dumb slaves who accept everything just because politicians say that's the better solution to fix the eternal crisis!

And we're not the only ones to think this way in the world, maybe we'll be first country to resist, as we were in the past, but I'm sure the others will forgive us... maybe people from Greece, Ireland, English, etc will wake up... I hope. And I hope you'll open your eyes on reality too.

Posted by getchoo October 23, 10 03:23 PM

Way to man up France. You have to face reality. The next thing to fall will be your health system. It is not nor has never paid for itself. Somebody has to pay!

Posted by glostagal October 23, 10 03:33 PM

@François # 345 est un connard

which could be translated as :

@François #345 is a asshole

vive les peuples !

These strikes are not just about retirement, French people are fed up with earning just enough money to pay for the oil they need to drive to work... when they are lucky enough to have a job. This is modern slavery, and they are trying to make us believe that everthing's Ok in France, this is not the case, M. Chirac's old age pension is 30.000 euros (monthly of course)...I cannot afford to buy a house...and I probably have to forget about it considered the wages me and my husband are offered vs cost of living, it would take only 4 months of Chirac's old age pension to buy the house I a consequence, I think I am going to refrain consuming even more, I don't need their crap to feel I'm someone,

I think those who are happy with the system as it is do not earn more than 'SMIC'

Posted by thetimestheyareachanging October 23, 10 03:33 PM

I am so ashamed to be french...
I cannot stand seeing how stupid my people is, this reform is absolutely necessary. Many of the rioters we see in these pictures don't even understand why they are protesting, they just like creating massive chaos (a few days ago I saw one of these dumb high school students holding a sign "no to the pension"... I don't think he quite got the point of the protests).
I a glad I escaped from this country of half arsed parasites. France is going down but not only because of the politicians, because of the people of france who is acting like a spoiled kid who doesn't want to go to school even though it is necessary.

Aux "français" participant à ce mouvement: HONTE À VOUS!

Posted by xxx October 23, 10 03:54 PM

Jean Jolly said :

"You are not pragmatic, you caches behind an ideology of the always more to meet your needs selfish without thinking that the Earth n is not infinite."

You prefer statu quo who maintain a high level unemployment rate.

When Earth will no longer could supply our needs, we will not maintain our standard of living, free economy or not. French or not. Furthermore, history of Soviet Union demonstrate that planified economy don't preserve Earth resources.

Posted by Pragmatism man October 23, 10 03:58 PM

I think those who are happy with the system as it is DO earn more than 'SMIC' , i mean

Posted by REVolé October 23, 10 04:03 PM

I am so ashamed to be french...
I cannot stand seeing how stupid my people is, this reform is absolutely necessary. Many of the rioters we see in these pictures don't even understand why they are protesting, they just like creating massive chaos (a few days ago I saw one of these dumb high school students holding a sign "no to the pension"... I don't think he quite got the point of the protests).
I a glad I escaped from this country of half arsed parasites. France is going down but not only because of the politicians, because of the people of france who is acting like a spoiled kid who doesn't want to go to school even though it is necessary.

Aux "français" participant à ce mouvement: HONTE À VOUS!

(et aussi raz le cul des banlieusards qui foutent la merde alors que la retraite ne les concerne pas vu qu'ils ne bossent pas. Il est vraiment temps de sortir le "karcher", une belle promesse qui n'a jamais été tenue.)

Posted by xxx October 23, 10 04:08 PM

When the Germans have to bail these guys out in a couple decades, they should ask for Alsace-Lorraine as part of the re-payment deal.

Posted by One of those "stupid Americaines" October 23, 10 04:13 PM

getchoo said :

"We'll win this battle like we won 35h a week, like we won paid holidays, and that's not a problem if you prefer continue to be a slave for the hedge funds in your country".

Do you think we are free ? France debt is 1500 billions euros.
We are slave of financial markets too.

Posted by anonymous October 23, 10 04:18 PM

As an American, I can only wish that my own people were as active as the French in protesting the treason of their own government, a government which clearly does not represent the people. We have the same problem here in the USA, where a criminal cabal has ruled over us for more than 100 years, and still we deny the truth in front of our own eyes.

Vive la France! Vive la liberté!

Posted by Chicodoodoo October 23, 10 04:24 PM

Et moi, je m'adresse aux français qui s'apitoient sur le fait que le Monde puisse avoir une mauvaise opinion de nous, surtout xxx.
Honte à toi, crois-moi ! De quoi as-tu peur, du jugement ?... Tu dois avoir eu une enfance chargée, mon pauvre ...
De mon côté, mes parents m'ont toujours dit "si tes copains sautent d'un pont, tu vas les suivre ??".
On m'a toujours appris à réfléchir par moi-même, peu importe ce que peut penser ou faire une majorité pas toujours intelligente (pour rappel, des millions de personnes ont suivi aveuglement et convaincus de leur bon droit, un connard nommé Hitler).
J'en ai rien à foutre des allemands et leur 67 ans ou des américains qui bossent comme des tarés pour ne pas finir pauvres dans les rues (leur système a vachement marché, n'est-ce pas ?... Ils sont combien, rappelez-moi à avoir perdu leur maison, il y a 2 ans ???). Quant aux anglais, je n'en parlerai même pas ... Mais c'est vrai !!! Sommes-nous bêtes !!! Pourquoi ne pas adopter le système du Bengladesh ????Mmmhh ??? C'est pas mal au bengladesh, non ???
Sérieusement, à tous ceux qui comparent le système français aux autres systèmes européens ou autres, je leur ris au nez. Chacun ses batailles, les gars ... Nous, on a quelque chose de bien en France, on y croit et on veut le garder.

Posted by Message to french people who talk against their country October 23, 10 04:25 PM

beautiful pictures but poor analysis!!
One has to differenciate the protestors (ie: the majority of the French 75% according to IFOP independent polls) from the looters that many journalists calls 'youth' either for lack of professionalism or in order to support the government's propaganda (France, looks more and more like China for that matter).

As for those who don't understand that there is no problem in the financing of the pension system, take a calculator and see for yourself looking at your payslips: the only reason why France national debt has skyrocketed lies in two words, Nicolas Sarkozy... there again, see for yourself figures are talking

Posted by sylvain lavergne October 23, 10 04:34 PM

God I love this country, my country ! :-) At last, somewhere on this planet, the people have a say.

Posted by Pierre October 23, 10 04:39 PM

I am french, living in france and I can say that France become a facist'country since sarkozy is president !!!

Posted by okras October 23, 10 04:43 PM

J'ai simplement honte de voir à quel point les francais peuvent être branleurs. On fait une crise pour 2 ans de boulot en plus mais si on ne le fait pas maintenant on devra ajouter bien plus que 2 ans. Ce qui me dégoute par dessus tout c'est ces abrutis qui manifestent sans comprendre pourquoi (qui suivent leurs copains qui sautent du pont). Ca devient d'un ridicule affligeant toutes ces greves.
C'est justement parce que je pense par moi même et que je réalise que bien que ce soit pénible cette réforme est nécessaire que je m'oppose aux manifestants.
Je trouve particulièrement dégueulasses parents qui ne veulent pas de cette réforme: leurs enfants devront bosser jusqu à la tombe. L'argent ca ne tombe pas du ciel, il faut bosser pour avoir de quoi payer une pension à nos retraités.

Maintenant oui, je serais pour que les richesses soient mieux distribuées bien que je ne sois pas malheureux. CA c'est une nécessité.
Mais qu'on nous les joue révolutionnaires pour cette réforme c'est simplement ridicule d'autant plus qu'une grande partie de ces manifestants ne sont que là pour casser et piller ou simplement parce qu'ils ne veulent pas aller en cours (il n'y a qu'à voir la photo des lycéens en train de se marrer et des banlieusards en train de retourner une voiture... Ils n'ont pas l'air fachés, ils ont juste l'air de s'amuser).

On est déjà ceux qui bossent le moins du monde développé, à un moment ils faut savoir aussi générer de l'argent et pas seulement le pomper à l'état..

Posted by xxx October 23, 10 04:47 PM

Nigel Davies said "The laziest, welfare-dependent nation on planet Earth."

Wow, now that's a stereotype.

Posted by Frenchy October 23, 10 04:52 PM

cette civilisation part en couille ....

Posted by bidon October 23, 10 05:06 PM

I don't really know if the French are lazy or not, but I know I have more respect for lazy people than for gutless suckers like Americans who put up with their government and corporations screwing them over with barely a peep of protest.

Posted by j r October 23, 10 05:08 PM

Finally. a revolution. We need to end capitalism now..
Vive la revolution d'Octobre 2010!
A la lanterne les riches!

Posted by FAN October 23, 10 05:28 PM

on peut choisir de regarder la France en se disant "quelle bande de branleurs chez nous on travail plus et on se plaint pas", et on peut choisir de prendre son destin entre ses mains et lutter pour un avenir meilleur, ce n'est pas vouloir moins de temps de travail, c'est vouloir plus de temps pour vivre.

Posted by loui October 23, 10 05:33 PM

discutions de comptoir au boston globe...rien de nouveau.
le libéraux et parfois raciste s'expriment...certains ne peuvent pas comprendre c'est pas dans leur culture...
d'autres font référence à lénine, espère le grand soir...sans vraiment ce rendre compte qu'il y a seulement 3,5 millions de personnes dans la rue.
je rappelle que le droit au travail fait parti de la constitution de 1789, que certains organismes suisses (je ne me rappelle plus lesquels) viennent d'affirmer que la France et le premier pays d'Europe pour le nombre de millionnaire, que les salariés français sont parmi les plus rentables (voir plus haut).
On a les moyens de vivre mieux partout dans le monde, c'est des choix politiques, comme par exemple le principe de bouclier fiscal.

J'ai vraiment honte de certains commentaires de français sur ce site, ne respectant pas des principes humains élémentaires. j'ai pas choisis mon lieu de naissance ni mon appartenance culturelle mais je ne fais pas partie de la même famille que ces personnes là. (les fascistes en particulier)

dans les discutions précédentes il y aurait tant de choses à reprendre...comme dans un troqué, le matin avant d'aller au taf, ou manifester.
un mot pour la fin napokosy is not my president

Posted by françois de marseille October 23, 10 05:36 PM

Having just come back from France, I can tell you that Paris did not come to a standstill as you report. Yes, there were protests and lines at gas stations, but I was able to have a lovely day in a beautiful city. The French do have some reason to object to the new law, especially women who will be penalized severely for taking time off to have and raise children.

Posted by Francophile1 October 23, 10 05:45 PM

Wake Up ! Stand Up !

Fight for your rights !

Posted by phase3 October 23, 10 05:49 PM


in germany: 67
france: maybe 62

mimimimimimimimim france!

-> Hi, i went in france, and i just have to say that if i well understand, you must work 45 years (65 nao, 67 with new law) to have a decent retirement.

And germany isn't a good example, cause in germany system, they count our years of sup studying .in france no.

So in france to have a real retirement : age when you begin to work + 42-45 years.
They start high studying at 18 yrs old, imagine for a surgeon (29-30 yrs start working) : 70 yrs-75yrs.

I LIEK 70-75 yrs old surgeon, OH YEA!

Posted by Jerich October 23, 10 05:54 PM

Allez les français, nous sommes avec vous! Tenez bon, vous gagnerez! Vous avez raison de ne pas vous mettre à genoux! Continuez! La majorité des gens de cette Europe populaire vous soutient.

Posted by Alin October 23, 10 06:02 PM

Saying 'Shame at you' from a French person to people who strongly engage themselves to the strike for their future is totally unrespectful, coming from someone who very probably never put himself in the other ones' shoes, in some precarious situation, as for the actual government.
I'm very proud of my country, France! for our freedom of speech, nobody can take us this because it has been anchored for ages, it is a part of us, we have our word to say. I just hope every country could have it. Cheers to everyone who understand us.

Posted by Sylvie October 23, 10 06:06 PM

I think (and I react to several comments I just read) that the protests are more against a government who ignores blindly all his citizens, who also took a serious right turn with scandalous law against Roms and so on.
The situation is more complex that it seems: French protest against the 62years old retirement age but in the last few months other reforms have also been voted touching education for instance! The retirement is just " the oil on the fire " who triggered those protest!!
I am French and for 39h worked per week and 62 retirement age, however I will never be for an unfair education system and a government borderline racist!
French people know how to protest and have the courage to stand up for their rights/belief even if it could seem shocking for sometimes" over politically correct" Americans! Come on it is just a cultural difference! So Let's be tolerant/understanding and as usual everybody will calm down and people will go back to work!! And maybe they will have won some of the changes they were fighting for. (or not who cares they got a point, they do not like Sarko!! And scream it!)
I notice by the way that the person who took the pictures did not make the difference between rioter and high school student claiming!! Please do not mistake! They are not the same people!!

Posted by Anaïs October 23, 10 06:08 PM

Pour les quelques aigrefins racistes de 4 sous qui dénigrent ici les casseurs issus pour beaucoup des cités, qu'ils se fassent à l'idée que ceux-ci n'ont pas à demander la permission d'être là. Les stigmatiser ne sert à rien, ils font partie de cet ensemble qu'il nous revient de prendre en main, ce que nous faisons.

Posted by philippe October 23, 10 06:14 PM

Ces photos mettent en évidence la substitution de population largement engagée dans les villes françaises -En effet d'ici quinze ans les élements issus de l'immigration extra européenne seront en majorité .Les citoyens allogénes , en minorité , auront le droit de se taire.

Posted by judex October 23, 10 06:17 PM

Banks are getting richer, politicians are getting more and more corrupted and we, the poor middle class are welcome to work more in order to make them even richer. Come on guys, don't you see that people are on the streets not because of the pension reform but because of a much bigger picture ?

Posted by me October 23, 10 06:27 PM

French and ready for revolution. Privileges French people have fought in 1789, have just changed of hands. There's still a minority holding everything, while the rest of "common" people are excluded and work as slaves. I'm lucky to have a good job, but I'm not blind. I can see what's happening in this country. French people has to awake now, it's urgent. Democracy is no longer a true word for France. Do we have to accept everything like sheep. Can anybody stop and start to meditate about the stupid world system where we all live ? When the economic crash happened, banks have lost our money (for some of us the money of an entire life). What governements made after this ? They saved banks with billions. Who paid this billions : us ! With our taxes. Isn't that faboulous ??? We have lost our money two times ! ANd in France at the end of 2009, French banks announced enormous benefits! As we say in France: "on marche sur la tête" !!!! I don't know today what will happen next week, but I won't let governement spoil my rights, and my children ones. Past generations have fought for that. Lives have been lost for those rights.
Proud of being a French combative women. (sorry for my English)

Posted by zaza October 23, 10 06:30 PM

Je suis française et je m'insurge de ce mouvement. Non pas dans le fond car je suis étudiante mais sur le fait que la plupart des grévistes sont des MINEURS qui ne savent pas ce que c'est de bosser, ni même de voter car ils n'en n'ont pas l'age. Ils payent leur paquets de clopes avec l'argent de leurs parents. Je ne veux pas non plus travailler jusqu'a 65 ans mais casser le patrimoine français et bloquer l'économie française ne changeras rien. De plus, ces personnes, qu'elles soient françaises ou étrangères et qui dévalorisent ce droit de grève, droit de l'homme et du citoyen restez chez vous et travaillez. A cette heure, j'ai honte d'être française et j'espère que la cituation changeras rapidement. Peace and love!!!

Posted by Estelle October 23, 10 06:31 PM

I see some people are saying that it is against financial markets, so is it really a protest against financial markets and hedge funds or against 2 additional years of work?

Maybe you shall consider the following. Everything comes with a cost. There is nothing free or never had been. Ever. So if you want short working week, long holidays, early retirement and many social benefits France is well known for someone has to fund it.

We had seen how systems based on the idea ‘from everyone according to their abilities and for everyone according to their needs’ failed miserably. There is no country in history that had been successful following such mindset. Maybe because you just need a few expecting more and giving less to make it utter failure, and if you have at least some experience with humankind you would know that there are way more than just a few such types.

You cannot just take money from ‘the rich’ and believe it will cover all the expenses of robust social system. You do have to expect everyone to make an effort. To what extent is the valid question. Yet we see that majority of those people are only making effort in destroying property of others and burning everything in their way.

Besides I you do really seem to have promising youths in France. Wearing hoods, masks, Adidas and Nike clothes, stealing from shops and burning all in their wake. Shrug. Here such gear is mostly worn on daily basis by uneducated and narrow minded thugs.

Posted by FD October 23, 10 06:34 PM

Ce que les photos nous montrent aussi ce sont des attaques injustifiées de la police et la montée d'un état répressif au possible face à un mouvement social d'ampleur qui témoigne de l'envie des français de ne pas se plier au sacro saint schéma libéral mondial adopté par pas mal de nos voisins qui nous critiquent...
Et pour répondre à certains, je déplore que ces superbes photos soient le terrains de commentaires racistes!! Je ferrais remarquer à toutes ces personnes que ces jeunes gens sont français et sont nés en France...délit de faciès???? racisme primaire???

Posted by mafalda31 October 23, 10 06:40 PM

Hi, I'm a french student and I want to clear some points. I'm not here to make a debate on this website, especially with an average english language. Just so foreign people know :

The pension reform is good, and most of French people think that, even the strikers. The big problem is a few articles of the reform. Before the reform, the pension was calculate with your years of work : 40 years. The reform want to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62. Here is the problem : if a person is 60 and has 40 years of work, he can't retire. He will have to wait until 62, and work two years "for free". Here is the problem. I totally agree with the new age, (and I think that it will be change when I will stop working, approximately in 2058, I'm 21 and I will work in 4 or 5 years), but not for people who already have worked for 40 years and are 60.

SO stop saying French people are lazy, the pension reform is good but some points have to change ! People who began to work at 17 should retire at 57 and not 62 ! It's sensitive..

Besides, Sarkozy didn't make a debate with all the Unions (CGT, CFDT, CGC...) which is totally unfair, as previous presidents always talked with unions before a reform like that.

I hope foreign people don't think we are lazy. Strikers are fighting for a pension reform which is unfair in some points. But France needs a pension reform, as all countries around the world. It makes sense : we live longer, we have to work longer ! It's just the calculation which is unfair.

Last thing, these people are fighting because they will have to work until 62 years old. But a student like me, who is 21, and will start working at 25-26 years old, when will I retire ? How will I find a job if 60's year old people are still working ?

Posted by Mylène October 23, 10 06:41 PM

« Quand le gouvernement viole les droits du peuple, l’insurrection est, pour le peuple et pour chaque portion du peuple, le plus sacré des droits et le plus indispensable des devoirs ». (article 35 de la déclaration des droits de l'Homme et du citoyen de 1793)

French are not stupid, if they do it, there is a reason, it is writing that french work 35h/week but how many people have to work more and more (« Travailler plus pour gagner plus » N. Sarkozy) to live better ? 20% of the population is poor and 33% considerate themselves poor. Youths and seniors are the most touched by unemployment, raising age of retirement wants to say "works until the end of your life"

Posted by RevEvolution October 23, 10 06:45 PM

A 23 years old French guy who has decided to cross over the English Channel to start off his career abroad.

As somebody wrote below, times are changing. Unfortunately, a certain financial crisis initiated by the US came down the road and here is the price to pay. Whether you like or not, Europe was (and still) depending on the US economy.

IMHO, French workers should stop kidding themselves and believing in a welfare state. We may have the best social shield, healthcare and pension system (according to Wikipedia, I didn't make this assertion!). Maybe. But the government simply cannot put this up any more.

What makes me giggle and drives me crazy at the same time is the relationship people keep with these so-called social rights we ALL have in France. Sacred rights, we should renamed them. Of course, when I was a kid, I enjoyed going to school, being healed and studying, all of them for free. But never, hell never, I took them for "granted", something I MUST have, because I was born with. Which is something 95% of the population does. I have been to the university both in France and in the UK and lemme tell you something : it's night and day. If us, French, we carry on with this scheme, we are going to smash off straight in the wall ahead of us. You can't have the best system without taking a penny out of your wallet. It is simply not possible and does not exist in the world we live in.

I haven't read it in a lot of comments but.. what if instead of crying about the changes in our system, some of us would have hunched themselves to see a bit further outside our boundaries what's popping ? All the European states are broke and in the red. Just look at how Greece, Spain, France itself and even the UK are in a bad shape after the storm that tumbled down on them due to the crisis. All these states have bailed out the banks when the financial crisis occurred and time has come to cash the money back! There's a huge lack of it and you could easily guess that the first thing a state does when facing hard times is to cut off where the expenses are the most important. No need to study hard to figure this out. The pensions system is one of this bottomless well. And it's a knotty maze to puzzle out. I dare all of the protestants against the reform to find a way out of this issue (I don't pretend I got one). We may have the best healthcare system but we also have one of the biggest social deficit in the EU dug by the latter throughout the past years (a forecast of 30 billion euros for 2010). There's always a flip-side of a coin, you can't get away by taking only the good parts.

Eventually, my opinion is that this reform is NEEDED if we want our economy to get revitalized and better. My only regret is the way the government is passing it over without asking the main actors to take part of it: the people. Also, they should have given a different treatment depending on the type of work somebody exercises. What they did is to put everybody in the same basket and I strongly don't agree with that cause it's woefully unfair. A white-collar sat 35 hours a week on his comfy desk chair should by all means work longer than a plumber who bends underneath dozen of sinks on a daily basis. The pain is obviously not the same. They will both come up at the age 60 with a different health shape.

Posted by charlieroot October 23, 10 06:55 PM

@XXX, post395: si tu penses par toi même et que tu as compris le problème démographique qui justifie cette augmentation de l'age de départ tu devrais savoir qu'il est en partie du au baby boom qui se transforme actuellement en papy boom, et qui un jour se transformera en death boom, c'est à dire beaucoup moins de retraites à payer d'un coup...donc ne t'en fais pas pour tes enfants si les politiques suivent leur logique, l'age de départ devrait re-diminuer!

Ta vision des manifestation n'est pas non plus très réaliste...ce n'est pas une grande partie qui est la pour casser, ou pour s'amuser... Il faut savoir que les casseurs représentent une minorité du mouvement étudiant et lycéen, qui est lui même une minorité du mouvement global...D'ailleurs même sarkozy reconnait qu'il ne faut pas assimiler les casseurs au manifestant, sans aller jusqu'a dire qu'ils "millitent" pour le gouvernement comme le sous-entend Melanchon, ils desservent plus le mouvement que ce qu'ils ne le valorisent.

Posted by YYY October 23, 10 07:20 PM

First, I'd like to specify that I am french, which allows you to downplay what I'm gonna write now (after all, a french can’t really understand that a country that boasts itself of having 20% of its working population over 65 judges his arguments pointless or stupid).
I just want to make some details clearer: 1) in France, before the reform, retirement age was 60, but the number of years spent working to get retirement was 40 and is now 41, way more than in Germany (35) or Spain! 2) what French people refuse above all is the “retirement capitalization financing”, a system that stumbled during the economic crisis in the US and the UK, leading old people, which lost within a second their retirement funds (40 years of capitalization), happily having no choice but to go back to work. 3) I’ll just spare you of the “redistribution of GDP” problem, letting you know that if the same rate as in 80’s went to the capital vs work, every country would have plenty of money to fund retirement pensions.
I was reading an american news paper yesterday, which tried to make people believe that France was in Civil War... less hilarious though, the journalist pointed out that french people where ridiculous starting a strike in a globalized world where “chinese people don't even know what the word retirement means”. I almost choked : did this american journalist meant what he wrote ?? Does he has the slightest idea why France, and each and every european and non-european country has begun to push back retirement age, cut off social expenses, put pressure on people that THEIR policies leaved unemployed ?? Let me tell you, YOU who seem to scornfully look down on french people’s reaction as if having the number 1 economy in the world could cancel your poverty rate and your pathetic social inequalities; let me tell you that it is because our countries desperately try not to lose competitive ground on China or India, those "first in class" countries where all goes as if Human Rights had never EXISTED !
I'm usually not proud to be french, especially regarding our soccer team. But I can swear, in front of the God american people always refers to, that each guy out there that thinks it’s amusing and ridiculous to try to keep our social rights is a freaking amnesic, who forgot that in France there once was a Revolution which directly gave life to universal human rights, and that the ideology you call “realism” isn't so different, in its structure, than socialism or even worst, communism your people avoided like the plague: proof is you believe it’s NOT an ideology !!!
Fortunately for you, Mr Obama succeeded in postponing the time you'll be bound to keep on loosing rights to live up to your sacrosanct economic competition. So for (your) god sake, if you don’t understand us, go on your way as it is your right, but please, don’t stop and judge us – we’re not even closer to your level of absurdity. PS: if a shareholder read those lines, I would change the last ones by: “go on your way, you’ve never been closer to the total domination of our world”. Cheers mates. Bonsoir.

Posted by Realism is an ideology. October 23, 10 07:42 PM

I'm french, 38 years old, working since the age of 22 in private companies, with no unemployment at all (lucky?). My father, mother, and sister are civil workers, and like me don't support those strikes. I know I'll have a good chance of living longer than my parents and grandparents. I have only I daughter, and I don't want to have only 3 choices for a good retirement time: either making more children, or leaving my own daughter with more financial pressure, or switching to a capitalization system. So I accept the only left solution: work longer. And I find that normal.
Hopefully, I love my job. I admit that some jobs are impossible to do at 60+ years old, especially physical ones. But that's not the majority at all. And a system first needs to be set for the majority, and then adapted for some minorities. So, I don't support those strikes. Like the vast majority of my co-workers and family.
Some of these pictures don't show strikers, but "breakers". People who only want to fight and destroy, not protest. Strike, in our law system, is the right to not work in a sign of protest, it has nothing to do with blocking an entire population, or destroying private or public properties. Students cannot legally be strikers, as this is defined by work laws, and students are not workers. So everything they do is strictly illegal.
I'm happy to be french, a country where people have civil rights, but these days, I'm ashamed of all these abusers.

Posted by Erwann October 23, 10 07:45 PM

I should also add that according to the latest polls 70% of the french people agrees with the protesting against the reform. Those who oppose the strikers are people who wouldn't protest even if nazis entered their homes and send their families to concentration camps.

Posted by supporting france October 23, 10 08:00 PM

I don't know about anyone else but if i was going to high school there id would soo be doing that whole riot stuff, looks like good old fun.

Posted by Anonymous October 23, 10 08:02 PM

Onwards with the struggle of the working class!

Posted by gabriela October 23, 10 08:19 PM

France = California
US = Texas

be the judge

Posted by Robert Pera October 23, 10 08:20 PM

Wow, what a delightful amount of racism going on over here from a bunch of self-indulging xenophobes.

Has it occurred to those saying it's the "immigrants" who are breaking and burning everything that these people are actually naturalized French of a different ethnic background than Caucasian? Just a thought.

Imagine what these same people would say if civil war broke out in the states: " it's the Africans and Mexicans who have taken up arms"...

God damn, please save us from the bigots, they know not what they say.

Posted by Pete October 23, 10 08:42 PM

First let me congrats our Americans friends for their support, and the Boston BigPicture for effectively putting big and nice pictures. The strikes are quite popular amongst us, even if our lives are somewhat hampered by the movement. It is important to note that the french who supports the strikes comes from the whole political spectrum, those who can't protest support the strikers, and those who support the government are marginalized are they represent a tiny fraction. When the 2008 crisis arose government was able to "unlock" billions of euros to save the banking system, at this time getting money was not a problem, but for the retirement we are told that the problem is insoluble, so let's say our retirement age is "Too Big To Fail" and it would be a problem of the past.

Posted by Fred October 23, 10 08:50 PM

xxx >>>

Repoussé l'age de départ a la retraite ne sert a rien, ça n'a presque aucune influence sur le financement. Faudrait ptêtre que les gens arrêtent de penser qu'il n'y a pas le choix. C'est des conneries ça, qu'on vous rabâche sans arrêt et qu'on finit par accepter.

La preuve ? bon nombre de pays ou le "départ" est plus éloigné qu'en France n'ont pas pour autant un système par répartition au point et se dirige tous de plus en plus vers la retraite par capitalisation. Retraite par capitalisation qui dépend énormément et beaucoup plus que la la santé de l'économie et des finances.

Notre système de retraite par répartition impose également une bonne santé de l'économie MAIS SURTOUT un tôt de chômage bas, ce n'est pas en repoussant de 2 ans l'age de départ que ça fera relancé l'économie et combattra le chômage. Or notre système ne fait pas dormir l'argent pour plus tard, il est au contraire bien plus stable qu'on l'imagine et baser sur une consommation immédiate du travail des actifs et non de la santé de la bourse.

Pendant se temps là plus un seul mot dans les médias sur la fermeture d'entreprise, sur le tôt de chômage...etc rien nada.

Puis bon c'est exaspérant de voir qu'il continue a faire croire que ce mouvement ce n'est que par rapport aux retraites, qu'ils continuent a parlé uniquement des "chiffres des manifestations" ou des "casseurs" alors que c'est un raz le bol général envers une classe dirigeante d'incapable spécialisé uniquement en communication, durant depuis des années et même avant la crise qui est la cause de tout ça.

Je rappel qu'il y a 1 an de ça on a sauvé nos banques a coup de milliard et de milliard, je rappel que la fortune totale des 500 plus gros patrimoines français a augmenté de 25% en un an pour atteindre 250 milliards (190 auparavant) et que le trou des retraites dans tout ça n'est "que" de 30 milliards.

Crise ou pas, de l'argent y'en a, des systèmes de financements "autres" qu'en se serrant la pince et qu'en acceptant tout, y'en a.

Arrêter de penser le contraire.

Puis évidement qu'il faut des riches et des pauvres, évidemment qu'il ne faut pas tout taxer aux plus grandes fortunes, seulement ya un moment l'écart est devenu tel entre le haut du haut du panier et "nous" que les gens demandent juste une chose, non pas d'être riche ou que tout le monde ait le même train de vie, non, juste que ça soit UN PEU plus égal et juste, et rien que ce "un peu" permettrait de financer les doigts dans le nez nos retraites.

Pour le régime général, le report à soixante-deux ans apporterait 5,7 milliards sur un besoin total de 46 milliards en 2050

Pendant ce temps, rien que le bouclier fiscal de 2007 (ou 2008 je sais plus) c'est 10 milliards donné aux plus riches sans que ça ait la moindre incidence: le tôt des capitaux exilés a l'étranger a même augmenté, il n'y a pas eu plus d'investissement...etc

Alors oui moi aussi j'ai envi de tuer les gens parce-qu'ils dépensent l'équivalent d'un plein d'essence...pour trouver de l'essence. Moi aussi j'ai envi de tuer la génération babyliss ipod qui beuglent des slogans à la con et qui ensuite rentre chez eux pour foutre les vidéos/photo sur facebook (la révolution vu par cette génération de pd sans la moindre cervelle).

Mais bordel c'est pas une raison pour perdre de vue qu'on est dirigé par des incapables et que des visions et des choix différents existent, sont proposés même et que NON, repoussé l'age de départ en retraite a 62 ans n'est pas une obligation et OUI ça ne servirait pratiquement a rien.

Mais comme d'hab tout ceci n'est qu'une guerre d'image et un fonctionnement en binôme à base de pour/contre largement entretenue par les médias, les politiciens et la connerie des gens.

Bref ne pas comprendre que ces manifestations ce n'est pas que par rapport a cette mesure...faut être aveugle, réforme qui plus est inutile car ça ne financera qu'une toute petite part.


Posted by spi October 23, 10 08:51 PM

I'm afraid they can protest all they like but the age of the welfare state is drawing to a close around the globe. I'm all for telling governments to stuff it but this fuss over a slight increase in retirement age? Really? I have to assume there is more to the issue or that is really a little sad.

Is it me or do all French cops look like guys who are trying wayyyyyy too hard to look tough? On the other hand, French women look lovely as always.

All that said, great pics.

Posted by Rydal October 23, 10 08:58 PM

The comments coming from Americans and Englishmen are incredibly complacent. I, for once, wouldn't like to live in England (yet I was born there). England fully embraced liberalism and yet its economy is doing pretty badly. In fact it's doing less well than France's in most departments. Closing its own industries to base the economy on finance is definitely not a good long term solution. China is doing the exact opposite, and Germany is still doing well, because it didn't follow that stupid ideological path. Our western countries are facing the same problem, i.e a state that's on the verge of being bankrupt. England and the US have decided that they needed to save the state by making people poorer. But they've done basically nothing against their failing financial industry, and in all countries, the riches are getting richer while the rest of the popuation is paying the heavy price for the errors of the financial industry.This is the case in France as well as in England and in the US, especially with bling bling president Sarkozy, who systematically sides with the super riches. Yet in all countries and at all times, when the middle class is getting poorer, the economy is worsening.

Some younger or short memory Americans of this messageboard have forgotten that their country was in many ways a far more socialist country in the sixties than France is today, and yet, it was a much better time for their economy than it is now. The US economy was soaring at a period when the super riches where super heavily taxed (more than 70%). The welfare state was 60% bigger in the seventies than today, yet the seventies were arguably a much better period for the US economy than post 2010. Why is that ? Because the average american was richer. The French people have a tradition of rioting. They don't accept what the Englishmen are accepting, i.e drastic measures that make them pay for the errors of others. We'll see in the next 10 years what comes out of this, but it looks to me that taking measures that slowly but surely destroy the middle class is not the good long term solution. The french people have rioted many times in the past against unfair measures, and it has hardly affected its economy. Rather, the french lifestyle is still regarded as one of the best in the world. I have no doubts that in ten years from now, it will still be regarded as one of the best in the world.

Posted by Nicolas J. October 23, 10 09:02 PM

LE PEN VITE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Didier October 23, 10 09:05 PM

its time to fight against the oppressor........and fight for our right......lets unite peoples of the world fight imperialism.............

Posted by dhan October 23, 10 09:10 PM

The French people are defending the rights of humanity on the barricades against the oppressive forces of capital. Viva La France

Posted by Gary Rumor October 23, 10 09:10 PM

I'm 29, I've been working "for real" since I was 25-26, and since I studied many years, it actually means that to get my full pension I'll need to work *at least* until 65 years old.

Right now, I'm a post-doc doing research in a US university.

Retirement at 60 was set up so that workers who started very early (14-18 years old), and who have a lower life expectancy (compared to, say, me, even with my cholesterol levels ! :-) ) could get some decent retirement pension after 40+ years of work.

For everyone else, full pension means retiring *after* 60.

Posted by Stéphane October 23, 10 09:20 PM

I couldn't tell that I'm proud to be french. I'm not proud because it's not the country of human rights anymore. The government persecutes roms just because they own to another community. I'm very angry when I read some posts directly inspirated from the ideas of Jean Marie Le Pen (leader of extrem right in France) about foreign people who live in the suburbs. I live in suburbs, because I don't have enough money to live in Paris, and believe me, french suburbs are true ghettos where immigrated are imprisonned.
However, I'm happy to be french, because in my country, people don't die just near hospital because they have no money, because our system is based on solidarity. And if french people are against the reform (almost 75%), it's because the debt in France is due to governments and bankers. There was a Baby Boom in the 50s, and a lot of jobs were created after "Mai 68". Nowadays, all these people are retired and government cancelled the jobs. The result is that retired people increase and youth has no work... If people work until 62 or 67, there will be more people who won't have jobs. Then what will the government decide? Not to give money to these people, like in the 30's?
No! There is money in these country, like in Bettencourt's pockets for example! And they earn a lot of money thanks to franch people work! Now, they have to give it back!
We know that most of countries don't make this choice and prefer to make people pay the failure of capitalism. But we don't accept! We won't pay for their crisis!

Posted by Coquelicot October 23, 10 09:22 PM

@395 xxx

>> On est déjà ceux qui bossent le moins du monde développé
Visiblement, ta principale source d'information est le bistro du quartier et les idées reçues. C'est complètement faux, on le sait depuis que l'OCDE fait des statistiques. En nombre d'heures, les Français travaillent plus que les Allemands.Ils ont plus de congés mais leurs journées sont plus longues, et leur productivité est plus élevée.

>> Je trouve particulièrement dégueulasses parents qui ne veulent pas de cette réforme: leurs enfants devront bosser jusqu à la tombe. L'argent ca ne tombe pas du ciel, il faut bosser pour avoir de quoi payer une pension à nos retraités.

Tu te dis fier de penser par toi-même, mais tu raisonnes comme une casserole. La génération de tes parents est plus riche que la tienne. C'est donc elle qui devrait payer pour sa propre retraite. Au lieu de ça, tu trouves la situation "dégueulasse" mais dans le même temps, tu dis qu'il faut travailler plus pour payer leur retraite. Le vraie problème est que le système par répartition n'est plus viable. Quand à Sarkozy, il épargne systématiquement les riches pour faire payer le reste de la population. Si les réformes étaient égalitaires, elles passeraient mieux. Ce sentiment d'injustice, c'est la différence principale entre les propositions de la gauche (qui ne nie pas l'étendue du problème) et celles de la droite.

Posted by Nicolas J. October 23, 10 09:37 PM

I just would like to try explaining some cultural differences between here (I am posting from France) and the US.
First, many americans do not understand why people here fight for the right to retire at the age of 60. You should know that we all pay for this right all our life, and a good part of our salary goes to the social security system. Its a part of our salary based on the idea of a solidarity between people and generations. What is at stake here is a form of society built by our parents. This model is geopardized upon the false reason that there will be more old people in the future and it would be normal to work longer if we live longer. More and more people do dot believe anymore in these reasons. It is against the normal course of history and every experts agree to the fact that the GDP should nearly double within the next 40 years. It is only a question of how we should share this wealth. Also, the average "hope of living in good health" (espérance de vie en bonne santé) in France is 63 for men and 64 for women and it is a strong belief here that retirement is not only for broken people.
Second, the unemployment rate is very high here and forcing people to work 2 more years without creating more jobs can only lead the young people to more precarity and unemploment. This explain why young people here are at the front of this movement.
Third, the natality problem in Europe does not affect France, we are close to the renewing threshhold concerning birth rate. Retiring costs more, for now, essentialy because of the crisis and the loss of jobs. We are also affected by the baby boomers but these problems are conjunctural and not structural. Nothing that this country, among the 5 richest in the world, could not handle.
And finally, people do not understand why it was so easy to find 360 billions € to save the banks, and soooo difficult to find a few more to save this system. The crisis openned the eyes of many people about the illness of financial speculation and traders activities. Many here believe that the main reason of this "contre-reforme" is to reassure financial markets so that France could keep its AAA note from the notation agencies.
So, for all these reasons, protest marches take place everywhere every week. the protesters in the streets are not only the usual protesters, not only the students, but millions of people, the silent majority, who decided they coul'd not stand it anymore, people who thought that politic was not for them, until politic took care of them. Not so many people are on strike because it is much more difficult now to be on strike, but 71% agree with the protest movement, and even more than 60% agree that the protest should continues even after the law had been voted. People organize themselves to help strikers, solidarity funds are collected everywhere and the country is at a threshold where it could be paralized for a long moment.
In Sarkozia, the government rules without its people...
No disrespect here, I just wanted to point how we feel from this side of the ocean; and sorry for the poor english.

Posted by Yannick October 23, 10 11:28 PM

France: shaming the ideal of Liberal Democracy since 1789. Way to go, France!

Posted by TinSoldier October 23, 10 11:31 PM

did the first domino just fall in france? fight the new world order thugs and racketeers, only when they're gone we will live in harmony. Peace and love to all. Viva la france!

Posted by figaro October 23, 10 11:40 PM

Excellent photos. Nice to see masses protest for things that actually have a direct impact on them, as opposed to the lame versions of "protests" we see from the Tea Party types here in the US.

The French sure no how to put on a good protest. #18 looks like a high school production of Les Mis.

Posted by PJRiowa October 23, 10 11:43 PM

I applaud the French for standing up to government leaders who try to impose changes that will not affect and their own pensions. (or if they do affect them, the leaders' pensions are so large they won't feel it!)

So unlike North Americans who can be steamrolled over much more significant issues...

Posted by Leni October 24, 10 12:11 AM

XXX said: "L'argent ca ne tombe pas du ciel, il faut bosser pour avoir de quoi payer une pension à nos retraités." (Money does not fall down from heaven, we have to work to pay the pensions of retired people).
Apparently, a lot of capitalists disagree with this cause they find normal to make 20% of benefits in one year, just with a lot of money put in the wallstreet system. If rich people manage their money, they can live really confortably without working at all.
So if we would live in a socialist system, I would also say "l'argent ne tombe pas du ciel", but in a neoliberal system, the money falls down from heaven and can also disapear in a second. 2 Years ago, after working like fools, americans have seen their economy collapse while in France, things were better. But Sarkozy wants to change french system in the direction of the american system.
Before to ask me to work until I die, stop privileges of rich people, make them pay for the money the don't deserve (family money), make the people who earn 1 000 000 euros per year pay 700 000 euros to the state. (300 000 euros per year is enough no?) and taxe heritage cause if french workers are lazy people, what about sons of rich people who live like kings and never work?
You think that sarkozy takes decisions for the good futur of french people? He just takes advantage of his position to give work and money to his family and friends. His brother will take advantage of the retirement reform because he manages a private retirement pension system. His "lazy" son can even get his degree but his father put him at a high politic position. And then he wants the france of the merit?!
We hate Sarkozy, we don't want the american neoliberalism, and these strikes are not only about this reform but it's because we are fed up with all the reforms that destroy France for 3 years!!!!!
There is a lot of money in France, a lot of rich people, but Sarkozy permits them to continue to steal money from workers and people! THEY have to pay for OUR retirement and WE don't want to work longer for THEM!

Posted by Fist of riot October 24, 10 12:16 AM

@22 ... that is a one bad-ass COP

Posted by riccomambo October 24, 10 12:44 AM

I would pay money to join these demonstrations . . AS A RIOT POLICEMAN.
How stupid can an entire nation be?? Sarko is the best thing that ever happened to you.
Your whole economic system is unsustainable. Your solution is to try to penalise and tax your most successful and productive people. If they are smart, they will simply leave.
Is this what all your revolutions come to? A glorious battle for a social benefits? Is an army of poets to be deployed to compose epics about health coverage, and progressive tax codes?
You were better off under Vichy!!

Posted by Dasooch October 24, 10 12:54 AM

Vive La France!!!
Animos compañeros!!!
Greetings from Spain. You're doing the right thing, fight for your rights, world population is asleep.

Posted by Carlos October 24, 10 01:43 AM

"Vive la France".

As a German I must say, I'm deeply ashamed that our people swallow one toad after another. The French people have pride. The Germans are US occupied serfs.

Posted by gmathol October 24, 10 02:06 AM

et si on manifestait contre le bouclier fiscal plutôt?

Posted by lucie1313 October 24, 10 02:14 AM

viva la france.
you have the balls the british could only dream of.

Posted by su huntley October 24, 10 02:41 AM

I don't want to rub it in to the pro-demonstrator, anti-neoliberals here, but you've lost - indeed, you just are pathetic losers. Demonstrate all you want, we have the CRS with us and they are the real voice of the people. We'll just hit your stupid heads with big batons and keep reforming just as we want - this time and many more times in the future. So long, suckers.

Posted by fgdilly October 24, 10 02:45 AM

pretty french ladies... :)

Posted by Ohad October 24, 10 02:51 AM

Les autres pays le font pourquoi pas nous? parce qu'on enmerde le capitaliste mondial en France, mise a part quelleques mouton du patronat mais qu'ils aillent bossé jusqu'a 75 ans moi non.

Posted by ANTIFA@didierlefaf430 October 24, 10 03:11 AM

IMO, it's more of globalization than a single event of La France Gauche or pension reform. It's about what France can offer in the value chain of a global resource allocation; about how jeunes francais can compete with rising middle-class, college-educated peers in BRIC (Brazil / Russia / India / China) and other emerging countries like Singapore / South Africa / Austrilia. Blue-collar class jobs have been shifted to developing countries and now it's the white-collar jobs' turn.

Look at the neighbour next door, Germany. Their economy is in much better shape. German work on average even less hours than French do. German truly find a good position (and lucrative too!) in the globalization by providing their technology and engineering excellence to the world. They benefit from the rising of BRIC.

Posted by Benjamin.C October 24, 10 03:16 AM

Keep on Fighting French People!!!

Posted by Steve October 24, 10 03:54 AM

This is so admirable from French people. Feel the power and don't let yourself loose like other countries in the world, which won't stand for their own rights and so easily accept being victimized and exploited by their governments and the current rotten economic/financial system. We French people in no case have to undergo this, whatever the irrelevant underlying reasons are. See, the president doubles his salary, upgrades his already-fancy private jet, gets luxurious vacation, manipulates the media and promotes his relatives to high-ranked jobs. Are you kidding.. Following his unsuccessful policies, he doesn't have to put onus on the people, unbelievable.

You can simply take notice of the way it goes in the USA and how there is a scandalizing social gap that people seem to be content with. We refuse this for just SO many reasons (...). And if some people from other countries find it ridiculous - which itself is ridiculous - maybe it's because they'll never get what we achieved by now. Vive la France!

Posted by Jilla5 October 24, 10 03:54 AM

Que de gesticulations ! De quoi avez-vous peur... De devoir partager votre gâteau ? La grève est un DROIT acquis dans le sang, le sang de nos aïeux ! Alors, un peu de respect ! Depuis l'avènement au pouvoir de Mr Sarkozy, qui contribue le plus à l'effort pour redresser une France soit disant malade ? Qui reçoit des gratifications ? Qui gouverne nos nations aujourd'hui... Je vous laisse chercher. Et je vous rappelle qu'une tête ne sert pas qu'à se coiffer !

Posted by Daniel de Fécamp October 24, 10 04:01 AM

grève générale !

Posted by Anonymous October 24, 10 04:10 AM

The French like to protest, they like to riot and they like to make lots and lots of noise. All the whilst fondly imagining that they are practicing their national right to self-expression in the interests of democracy. The sad fact is that the vast majority of "youths" in these photos are simple thugs, often from the suburbs of Paris, who have made it their habit to descend upon the city in times of unrest and cause mayhem. And as for the "workers", well the real workers were, like me, standing in lines on underground platforms waiting for non-existent trains, not wreaking havoc above on the streets.

The unions behind the strikes represent indeed a small, violent, fascist part of the population who seems to think that it is their right to impose their view on the rest of the country, to prevent the rest of the country from going to work and from earning their much-needed salaries. If these people had any real convictions, any real courage, they would directly attack the politicians they accuse, and not target the average man in the streets, leaving mayhem, filth and wreckage in their wake.

The few French comments on this page, in favour of the strikes--and written in French of course--are typical of the kind of person who writes them. They are badly written, with spelling mistakes and poor grammar, and show little experience of life abroad or anywhere other than in their small, indoctrinated little worlds. You can ignore them altogether. If there were any genuine, sincere and honest strikers, then they went back to work when they say the wreckage being caused and the simple disregard for the other workers all around them.

Posted by hostage-to-france October 24, 10 04:25 AM

As for comments concerning differences between the French and the British or the Germans: do not be fooled into thinking that the French demonstrate out of a sincere concern for the interests of democracy. Quite simply, "la manif'" is the national sport. If you had seen the blatant disregard--"m'en foutisme" the French would call it--for anybody and everybody not involved in the strikes, you would understand that this was not a democratic movement. And as for the way the 5000 odd exhibitors at the international SIAL convention were treated--or indeed any other foreigner arriving (or, rather trying to arrive) in Paris at the time--then you would take back your words. I actually have some sympathy with the notion that the French public has been betrayed by its government. Of course it has. We all have in Europe. But they should try targeting the politicians themselves, and not simply holding the general population hostage. The unions and the strikers are selfish, unruly, dirty and violent. They have brought the country to its knees and will no doubt not even have the good grace to clean it up afterwards.

The French have to learn to control the unions and the strikes because, quite simply, they are turning France into a laughing-stock.

Posted by hostage-to-france October 24, 10 04:40 AM

The senate has passed the law, and that is in the economic order of things, but people are not just questioning their retirement age, they are also questioning the funding of pensions : it's time to find the money elsewhere than out of the workers'pay. Re-read what Nicolas J posted under number 429. He explains pretty well how western economies are failing . Sarkozy is finally looking into taxing capital and reducing the number of tax niches, among other measures, and this resembles socialist proposals. If he acts properly, he might be re elected in 2012!

Posted by Joce Trudeau France October 24, 10 04:40 AM

I am Franco-German, not concerned at all by the problem (I am a priviledged EU postholder) but for once I support the movement.

In Germany my Grandma worked till 67. THIS IS NOT WHAT I WANT FOR ME AND MY CHILDREN !
The economical crisis is not my problem. I am a downshifter anyway.

We should all retire earlier even than 60. We deserve that, we ARE NOT SLAVES and when I read all the right wing-orientated comments I feel sick and sorry.

So what if the other countries work till over 65, SO WHAT ??
You would all be happy to leave earlier if you could ! Don't be hypocrits !
I've lived abroad many years and I still do, in countries where people die while they are still working...That's not pulling a country towards the top.

We have only one life and mine is not dedicated to slavery.

Posted by Stakhanov October 24, 10 05:00 AM

"447 viva la france.
you have the balls the british could only dream of.
Posted by su huntley"
Are these the same British who kept France from being called Germany not too many years ago? It is thanks to British balls that France can enjoy such freedom.
Viva Liberty

Be nice if a country didnt self destruct with looting, fighting, destruction etc in the name of change.

Posted by Marcell October 24, 10 05:05 AM

Great pics !
I'm glad to see that there are still a lot of people protesting against reforms they think to be unfair.

For the others, think about what is striking and going outside to protest in front of the cameras (and other 'great' things as you can see on the pictures) rather than typing comments behind its screen (even if it's a touch screen).

Posted by a priori October 24, 10 05:11 AM

Of course who is able to write in English defends government and the reform. All others are poor public employees who only argue with ignorance and riots against working people. If France still reacts like this in the next 10 years, we leave the top 5 ranking to the top 10 one !

Posted by Xavier A October 24, 10 05:33 AM

Pourquoi est il impossible pour la plupart des gens de penser qu'il est indispensable de sauver les acquis sociaux (ici, les 60 ans) et en même temps de reconnaître que les conséquences de l'immigration seront, dans 20 ou 30 ans catastrophiques pour la France (à cause d'un ressentiment viscéral que nourrissent la plupart des enfants des immigrés sub et supra sahariens envers les français "de souche"). Hommes de gauche, ne vous laissez pas aveugler par un universalisme peu réfléchi.
Hommes de droite, n'oubliez pas que ces acquis sociaux sont aussi pour vous. Signé: un mec qui bosse depuis 20 ans dans des banlieues "difficiles" et qui en connaît la réalité.

Posted by Romain October 24, 10 05:46 AM

Hi everybody, just to point out a small mistake on the photo n° 5. the big white puppet does not symbolize the French republic ; it is the Justice attacked by the crows (I know for sure, I was there !)
The puppet has been made and it is carried through the demonstration by the comedians of the troupe Théâtre du Soleil and by their director Ariane Mnouchkine.
The troupe is the only representant of French public theatre to show public and official solidarity to the demonstrators.
And again, the focus is on the one basic value to be defended : Justice.
Thanks for the beautiful pictures and sorry for my English !

Posted by Elena from Paris October 24, 10 05:50 AM

I am French and I work for US company in France. My US colleagues are crazy when they learn that we have weeks of 35 legal hours, 5 weeks of legal holidays + 2 or 3 weeks holidays for compensation with 35h law, so yes you read well we have about 7 to 8 weeks holidays in France.
So when you compare a worklife of a us guy vs a french is crazy, moreover frenchies are against the new law with retirement age at 62 instead of 60, funny isn'it ?

Posted by ohmygod October 24, 10 05:59 AM

c'est vraiment grave ce que je lis là.... les français qui ont honte de leur pays et qui veulent absolument se faire enculer pour être comme les autres, "nan nan moi je suis pas comme ceux qui font la grève j'suis pas une feignasse je suis pour la réforme" ça me fait peur tout ce que l'on peut faire gober à des personnes qui n'ont pas confiance en eux, soit t'es un fainéant de français et tu fais la grève soit t'es quelqu'un de bien et tu votes sarko parce que toi t'as pas peur du boulot hein!
je pense que les trois quarts de ceux qui tapent sur le grèvistes ne sont tous simplement jamais allés dans une manifestation (sans doute par peur....)
pourquoi se soucient-ils tant de l'image que la France renvoie? Mais vas t'exporter vas-y ! fais comme le mec qu'est parti vendre son cul en angleterre pour se faire un max de fric vas-y qu'est ce que t'attends? L'image que la France l'image des Etats-Unis, de l'Angleterre, de l'Espagne, de l'Italie, de la Grèce ... qu'est ce qu'elles renvoient? pour rien au monde je n'irai vivre là-bas! et la France est en train de devenir comme ces nations libéralisées à mort! les américains ne font pas la grève eux, les anglais non plus...Moins feignasse?? Moins CONSCIENTS!!!
tous ceux qui sont contre le mouvement sont des capitalistes qui aimeraient simplement que la France crée plus de richesses, plus d'entreprises, plus, plus... Mais est-ce que vous avez pensé une seconde que tout le monde n'est pas comme ça?? pour certaines personnes (beaucoup) l'argent n'est pas la VIE!!! j'adore je ne sais plus qui qui dit "c'est une poignée de personne égoïste qui mène le mouvement" la BLAGUE!!
En tout cas tous ces commentaires m'ont bien dégoutée de mon pays ça c'est clair

Posted by lou October 24, 10 06:04 AM

Le commentaire numéro 357 est immonde... comment peut-on laisser passer des commentaires comme ça? ça me dégoûte, hé mec tu vis dans un monde manichéen , mauvais gauche , bon droite, THINK! j'ai bien l'impression que toi non plus tu ne fais pas parti des "meilleurs" loin de là...

Posted by pat October 24, 10 06:10 AM

Pushed back the age of retirement is useless, it has almost no influence on funding. Maybe it should stop people thinking that there is no choice. This is bullsh*t, that you constantly rehashing and we finally agreed.

Proof? many countries or the "start" is more distant than in France did not mean a pay point and goes all more and more towards the pension. Funded pension that depends on a lot and a lot more than ours ... the health of the economy and finance.

Our system of PAYG also imposes a healthy economy but also an early low unemployment, it is not pushing the age of 2 years starting it will revived the economy and fight unemployment. But our system does not sleep for more money later, rather it is more stable than imagined and based on immediate consumption of active labor and not the health of the stock market.

During time there more than one word in the media about the closure, on the earlier of unemployment ... etc. nothing nada.

And well it's exasperating to see that he continues to believe that this movement is only in relation to pensions, they still spoke only of "numbers of events" or "thugs" after c ' is fed up to a general ruling class unable specializes only in communication, during many years and even before the crisis that is causing all this.

I recall that there is a year that we saved our banks with billions and billions, I recall that the total assets of the 500 largest French heritage has increased 25% year on year to $ 250 billion (190 previously ) and that the pension hole in all this is "only" $ 30 billion.

Crisis or not, money has y'en, funding systems "other" than shaking clip and that by accepting everything, y 'a.

Stop to think otherwise.

Then of course he must be rich and poor, of course, that not everything should be taxing the richest people, just a moment ago the gap has become so high between the top of the basket and "we" that people just ask one thing, not to be rich or that everyone has the same lifestyle, not just that it is a little more equal and just, and nothing but this "little" would fund the fingers nose our pensions.

For the general scheme, the delay to seventy-two years would provide 5.7 billion on a total requirement of 46 billion by 2050

Meanwhile, nothing the tax shield of 2007 (or 2008 I remember) is $ 10 billion given to the wealthy without it having any effect: the capital early exiles abroad has even increased, n 'There was no further investment ... etc.

So yes I too want to kill people because they spend-the equivalent of a tank of gas ... to find gasoline. I also want to kill the ipod generation who babyliss bellowing slogans at the con and who then returned home to f*ck videos / photos on facebook (the revolution as seen by this generation of pd with no brains).

But hell is not a reason to lose sight that is run by incompetents and that visions and different choices exist, and are even proposed that NO, pushed the age of retirement is 62 years old n ' is not a requirement and YES it does serve virtually nothing.

But as usual all this is a war of images and running in tandem base for / against largely fueled by the media, politicians and the stupidity of people.

Writ does not understand that these events not only in relation to this measure must be blind ..., more reform is unnecessary because it will finance only a small part.

Posted by saroski October 24, 10 06:12 AM

Comme un sacré relent de mai 68; il était temps;

compte tenu de l'arrogance du pouvoir (en fait un individu qui a su
détourner à son avantage les lacunes de la constitution gauliste
pour devenir un monarque absolu) et son obstination à favoriser les riches
et au delà courber l'échine devant les marchés au détriment de la majorité du peuple (classes pauvres et moyennes ), nous nous demandions depuis 2-3 ans quand et comment ça allait éclater;
Mai 68 s'est déclenché pour beaucoup moins que ça, au départ un simple
incident à la faculté de Nanterre; ici c'est beaucoup plus grave, car les griefs contre le pouvoir n'ont cessé de s'accumuler en seulement deux ans.

Posted by Jean Paul SABATHE October 24, 10 06:20 AM

J’habite en France et je crois que les gens en on marre du président Sarkozy .La liste est un peu longue ces derniers mois : Retraites, Affaire Woerth-Bettencourt et financement de l’UMP, Expulsions des Roms, atteintes aux droits de la presse (la France est classée 44ème dans le monde par RSF c’est quand même un comble), loi HADOPI, bouclier fiscal, vaccination contre une grippe imaginaire. Trop c’est trop…
Les français ont très bien compris qu’ils payent pour quelque chose dont ils ne sont pas responsables.
La France est aussi victimes d’un phénomène commun à beaucoup de pays occidentaux. La concentration des richesses dans les mains de très peu de gens, la disparition des classes moyennes et l’explosion du nombre de pauvres.
Concernant le commentaire 349 dire que la CGT ce sont des fascistes c’est très mal connaître le rôle des syndicats depuis le début de la crise en 2008.

Posted by vince October 24, 10 06:23 AM

A vous qui jugez les événements de France depuis l'étranger.
Vous avez, sans doute, un régime social moins interessant que le nôtre et votre sens très particulier de l'équité vous pousse à espérer que ce soit le nôtre qui régresse alors que vous pourriez vous battre pour que le vôtre s'améliore. C'est souvent le cas des petites gens. Ce n'est pas le fait de n'avoir rien qui les gênent mais de voir que le voisin à juste un petit peu plus qu'eux. Battez-vous contre ceux qui vous exploitent et cessez donc de tirer à boulets rouges contre ceux qui vous ressemblent. Ou alors dites clairement, dans vos posts,que vous appartenez à la classe opprimante.

Posted by caramelia October 24, 10 06:32 AM

I can't say I'm proud of being french, not when Sarko's our president (the best thing that ever happened to France ? Let me laugh. Do you live here to say stuff like that ? Sarko is the president of rich people, and that's it. He doesn't care about the people. And he's not even hiding it)
But I'm proud of this movment.

"We live longer = we work longer" is a lie. We don't live longer IN A GOOD HEALTH. Right now, men can hope to live in a good health until 62, women until 63. Workers ? Until 59 !!!!!
In Europe, the actual average age of retirement is between 58 and 62. Let me laugh, people saying that in Germany people work until 67, because that's a big lie.

Besides, how can the parliament tell the people that they will have to work longer, for a salary of misery, to then earn a retirement pension of misery, when the members of the parliaments have some much advantages ?
When, after working 5 years, they have the same retirement pension that a french worker after working 40 years ? When they can cumulate retirement pensions ? When they can cumulate retirement pensions with a salary, up to like... 20 000 euros per month ?! (and this is not exaggerated)
Needless to say, the reform doesn't apply to THEIR retirement pensions.

This government is taking its people for fools, and it's always the same people who have to do the sacrifices.
Let's try to have a fair society, for a change.

70% people in France are tired of this president who turned our country into a racist one, with scandalous laws on immigration, who is only favoring rich people, and who even refuses to hold a dialogue when a majority doesn't want his reform. Not a simple dialogue ! That's not democracy !

And I'm not even speaking of the CRS and their violent ways to handle demonstrators...

Well, I've said too much and yet, there's still so much to be said.
I thank everyone here who has encouraged the movment, it's good to know that we are not alone.
And I apologize for my english, of course :)

Posted by Marie October 24, 10 06:33 AM

Ces manifestants ne représentent pas la France qui travaille! Ils ne sont jamais contents alors que ce sont ceux qui ont le plus de privilèges. La majorité des francais est pour la réforme et travaille dur pour joindre les deux bouts. Réformer le pays est absolument nécessaire et seuls ces cheminots et autres fénéants de la CGT sont égoistes et ne pensent pas aux générations futures.

Posted by Paul October 24, 10 06:34 AM

Another detail :
During his election campaign, Sarko promised not to change the retirement at 60.
Yeah yeah, politics lie (I didn't vote for him, so I don't feel deceived, but what about the 53% who voted for his program ?) and economic crisis, we know about that.

But to me, it seems like when you do something you promised not to to the peolple who elected you... you hold a dialogue.
Otherwise, it's not democracy.

Posted by Marie October 24, 10 06:44 AM

Please, everyone, do not consider this as the real face of France. As it was already said, those people feed on conflicts, strikes and protestations. And the so-called "youths" (I'm 25) shown here are nothing but looters who really don't care about retirement age, and only seize the occasion to go outside for fighting, stiking, and loot shops... When i see this, i am ashamed of being French, and i don't want other countries to rely on those photos of my country in order to know what french people are thinking. The law is now voted, and except from a very few cases, it IS a GOOD thing. I'll have to work at least 2 years longer (that is, if i still have the will to work in such a country), and i tend to be lazy, but nevermind, it as to be done. Our president is a special one, he doesn't make good choices every time, but for this one, he got my support.

Posted by Eloi October 24, 10 06:46 AM

people should be able to decide on their own whether or not they even want to retire at that age.
i think we should be given the oportunity to freely retire from the age of 60 on,
for there are workers that have enough energy left to work longer and are not willing to retire at a certain age
and there are others, who simply aren't able to work any longer.

Posted by adrian October 24, 10 06:50 AM

Ici en France, 75% des gens sont pour la grève!
A bas le capitalisme! Travailleurs français, travailleurs américains, unité!

Posted by stack October 24, 10 07:03 AM

Hi there,

Photos are amazing and beautiful. Thanks!
Concerning the pension reform, I doubt that other countries can or may compare their situations to ours.
UK French workers DO come back to France to get their teeth done, 'cause they can not AFFORD dentist fees in UK. WHEREAS in France, the Sécurité Social does. Solidarity helps here.
French politicians will get MINIMUM € 15 000 a month of pension... How much will be mine? € 1 000? Poor me and poor French workers...
All countries have their own rules people are ok to live with.
As American youth in the 70's against 'Nam, our youth is ready to fight against what they feel as a major and painful reform for them.
As a matter of fact, today's politicians will be DEAD in 50 years, when today's youth will enter their retirement...
Maybe those who are concerned shall decided for their own future, uh?

Posted by Sam October 24, 10 07:21 AM

"La france, tu l'aimes ou tu la quittes" : c'est la réponse à donner à tous les antigrèvistes et racistes qui s'expriment sur ce forum et qui ne voient pas que ce mouvement est populaire, soutenu par presque 3/4 de la population, que les grèvistes font parties de tous les secteurs professionnels, que contrairement aux mensonges de la droite ne sont pas payés et vont se serrer la ceinture pour le progrès social dont tout le monde va bénéficier (comme les congés payés, etc... dont les gros fachos profitent alors qu'ils auraient comme leurs ancètres politiques crachés sur les grévistes du front populaire).
La question c'est celle du partage des richesses : 160 milliards pour sauver les banques qui ont déclenché la crise, des milliards d'exonérations de cotisations sociales et d'impôts pour les boites qui par ailleurs licencient, et on veut nous faire croire qu'il y a pas de fric pour payer nos retraites...

Posted by S. October 24, 10 07:24 AM

Ces images sont celle d'un échec. Celui du bon sens, de l'intérêt commun, de la perte de repères. Non, laisser des ados renverser des voitures, avec un large sourire, ce n'est pas un progrès sociale. Ne pas leur donner la chance de la dignité, c'est moche.
Cela rend triste de voir les pulsions prendre pareillement le dessus sur le débat, sur la parole.
Cul de sac cette violence, d'autres moyens existent; ceux-là nous rendent fier de qui nous sommes.
Que vive le courage de cette voie-là.

Posted by Calude October 24, 10 07:29 AM

Funny - or should I say scary - how people don't seem to realize that our current global economic system tricks us into believing that we need to work more and more for less and less. I certainly don't advocate any return to some communist idea but rather a call for people's COMMON SENSE. Sadly enough, this common sense got lost on the way to private enterprise and selfish profit-making. What the French strike is about is not what you see on the surface - a mere fight against a law that is bound to be implemented anyway - but a rather more global expression of people's anger at being left aside. I am PROUD of this movement, despite the looters and such, but I am also really SAD that the world sees this movement as a movement of lazy people in a socially-privileged society. I'm also PROUD of still having some time to myself to weigh the pros and cons of our current global system and not be blindly driven by my job/career as my only goal in life, which is a very short-sighted view of what LIFE is about. A Frenchman.

Posted by common sense October 24, 10 07:42 AM

"you have the balls the british could only dream of."
;-) I like it!

I'm glad to see that some people are with us.
We're fighting for what we believe in, it's not just for "fun".


Posted by Liha October 24, 10 08:10 AM

This is only the beginning...

Posted by Captain Squeegee October 24, 10 08:12 AM

I am an Amerikan, I love to see the courage of the French people in the streets. Vive La Revolution. Pardon my poor French, once again, I am an Amerikan. It seems to me that your Parliament is in hiding. Probably not from the people but from the banksters. If you really want to free you children from slavery, hunt down the House of Rothschild and off with their heads. Visit the Chateau Laffite Rothschild and burn it to the ground. Chop off the heads of the snakes and your troubles will start to go away.Sarkozy is a Mossad spy. Vive La France, Vive La Revolution.

Posted by Miguel Grande October 24, 10 08:34 AM

I am so surprised and even afraid about what I read about France here.
Thanks anyway for the pictures showing the anger of a whole nation. Study history before writing such stupidities. I used to be an entrepreneur, the youngest of the area, create my enterprise at 20, employed several people. Almost died of working a hundred hours a week. Went to uni after 17 years of such a crazy life, got diplomas in high degrees. Got a job as a teacher in a prestigious language school. Still work 50 or 70 hours a week to do a good job for my students. Paid only 35 hours.
Most of the informations here are wrong.
ok, we officially work 35 hrs a week but the real figure is 38 hrs a week in average.
Look the figures of the BIT in Geneva, which is not a 'gauchist' organization, France has the 3rd productivity in the world. That means a worker produces as much in 35hrs than another in 42 hrs or more.
The unemployment rate of the 50s and over is 25% so how can you ask people of this age to work longer if there is no job for them ?
A little though for my grandmas who had paid vacation for the first time in their lives when they were over 40s.
A little though for my father in law who died at 63 because his boss sent him and his colleagues to death making them work in a factory with 'amiante'.

Watch the video of 2007 in which Nicolas sarkozy swears that in ANY CASE he will change the age of legal retirement. That he was not elected for that...

Forgive my poor English and just think that the French word for labor, "travail" comes from the latin 'tripalium' which means 'torture'.

Those who know about social history of the past centuries will understand me.

And thanks God : CRS are not the voice of the people. They are to protect the Nation againt those who take advantage of demonstrations to provoke and try to discredit.

Posted by farnette October 24, 10 08:54 AM

Spy (427) a tout à fait raison et bien des économistes de renom ne disent pas autre chose. Quand on a besoin de financement, il faut aller chercher l'argent là où il est, c'est-à dire entre autre bouclier fiscal qui permettrait de financer nos retraites et même bien au delà. C'est une question de volonté politique et non une question économique !

Posted by Monique Ballard October 24, 10 08:58 AM

Il est incroyable de constater que ce sont les commentaires des français qui participent ici à la désinformation la plus totale et entretiennent par la même la vision étriquée vue de l'étranger.

Posted by zmorlock October 24, 10 08:59 AM

economic illiterate mob

Posted by Cuddly Maverick October 24, 10 09:10 AM

A tous les français et francophones qui croient encore que cette réforme est nécessaire et juste, voici un petit cours de pédagogie qui prouve que ce n'est qu'un vol pur et simple du capital et des banksters sur le peuple, c'est le retour à l'esclavage... il n'y a pas d'autres mots :


Posted by Jean Jolly October 24, 10 09:14 AM

Bouffons du riche ! Et prouvons au monde que le billet vert n'a comme valeur que le papier toilette dont il est fabriqué. Si les américains devaient payer leur dette - il suffirait pour cela que le dollar ne soit plus une valeur étalon - il leur faudrait 60 ans, sans manger, sans s'habiller, sans se loger ! Alors pour éviter le désastre, les US nous font payer à leur place en commençant par les pays pauvres - via le FMI - puis la Grèce, l'Espagne, l'Irlande et bientôt la France. La France, le gros morceau ! Seulement il y a Nous ! Nous les français irréductibles qui ne nous ferons pas bouffer par les oligarchies libérales, qu'elles soient de France ou d'Amérique.
Un jour viendra où le prêteur principal de l'Amérique, la Chine, va lui réclamer des comptes.

"N'affronte pas ton ennemi, assieds-toi au bord de la rivière et attends de voir son cadavre passer."
Proverbe chinois

Posted by Jolly jumper October 24, 10 09:16 AM

Oui oui, on est paresseux, crades et gueulards, on vieillit mieux que les autres et on travaille moins.


En même temps on a le droit de grève, et on ne se laisse pas marcher sur les pieds. En tout cas on essaie. D'ailleurs, les autres pays devraient essayer, ça fait beaucoup de bien.

Maintenant j'aimerais qu'on arrête de parler de cette réforme en termes d'âge de retraite: "aaah, bien sur, au XXIème siècle avoir 60, 62, ou 64 ans ça change finalement pas grand chose"... et pourtant si. Ma mère est prof, elle a commencé à travailler à 30 ans, elle en a 50 aujourd'hui, et elle ne se voit absolument pas enseigner jusqu'à plus de 70 ans. Non seulement parce qu'elle n'aura peut-être plus envie d'enseigner, mais aussi parce qu'elle pense que les élèves n'auront pas nécessairement envie d'écouter une vieille peau. Personnellement, je la trouve très lucide.

Est-ce que cette réforme tient compte des personnes qui ont commencé à travailler tard? Et qu'est-ce que ça veut dire, "tard", finalement? Ma mère n'a pas chômé pendant toutes ces années, elle a juste enchaîné les années d'études. Tout le monde n'entre pas à l'usine à 15 ans. Aha! Gros scoop! Il y a des gens qui passent leur bac, vont à l'université, en prépa, font des écoles, des stages, bref, qui peuvent rester 10 ans sans travailler. Et oui, ça EXISTE. Et c'est même une pratique courante.

Pensez aux années de cotisations. Arrêtez de comparer aux autres pays. Les Suisses ne se plaignent pas? Tant mieux pour eux. Les Anglais survivent à pire? Grand bien leur fasse. La France gueule? Elle a raison de gueuler.

Et mon dieu, messieurs les français, la SNCF et la RATP en grève ça fait chier tout le monde, les grévistes aussi (et oui, on ne vit pas dans la rue, sous nos banderoles, on rentre généralement chez nous après les manifs), mais sachez que vous pouvez obtenir un petit mot d'excuse auprès des conducteurs ou des guichets pour présenter à vos patrons. Comme ça vous ne serez pas punis. Rassurés? C'est vrai que c'est le drame du siècle.
(En même temps, un train en période de grève, ça revient au même qu'un métro aux heures de pointe).

Posted by A. October 24, 10 09:18 AM

La France, le nombril du monde par Teutatès "Toutatis"!!!!

La mondialisation est fille du marxisme et non du capitalisme.
C'est partager les richesses au niveau mondial avec un peu de revenu à chacun et non de conserver les richesses au niveau national avec beaucoup pour soi et très peu pour les autres.
C'est avoir une Nomenklatura mondiale immensément riche à milliards capable de mettre un pays en faillite et non une Nomenklatura nationale riche à millions seulement capable de mettre une ville en faillite.
C'est l'appauvrissement des pays riches et l'enrichissement des pays émergent selon la loi du niveau des liquides et des liquidités.
Quant aux pays pauvres, ils seront encore plus pauvres car, des réservoirs qui se mettent à niveau, ils n'ont que les fuites s'ils sont chanceux, que la vapeur s'ils le sont moins et seulement l'odeur s'ils ne le sont pas du tout.

Cette pensée communautaire appelée communisme qui tend à mettre presque tout en commun n'est pas prête de faire ses preuves dans un univers où unicellulaires, plantes, bêtes y compris Homo Sapiens ne sont régis que par la loi de la nature: "manger ou être mangé".
Même le Vatican l'Etat se réclamant le plus chrétien de tous, avec à sa tête le Pape, n'ouvre pas ses portes aux plus démunis, Roms ou pas.
Au loin les pauvres sur l'Etat terrestre le plus riche au monde au m² car le royaume des cieux* est à eux! Faites comme je dis et non comme je fais est devenu une devise bien vaticane, chrétienne et universelle.

Mais, l'univers n'est pas du tout communiste puisque Newton a démontré les lois de la pesanteur et Albert Einstein a démontré l'existence de la relativité restreinte et générale.
Comme nous ne sommes que des poussières d'étoiles, l'Homo Sapiens est régi par ses mêmes lois de la première cellule à la dernière.

Les corps célestes les plus massifs attirent en leur périphérie puis en leur centre les corps moins lourds qu'eux jusqu'à aller au trou noir qui "avale" aussi les photons des rays de lumière.
Les planètes tournent autour de leur étoile, comme les ouvriers tournent autour de leur usine.
Les étoiles tournent autour du centre de leur galaxie comme les usines tournent autour de leur siége social.
Les galaxies tournent autour du centre de l'amas de galaxies comme les sièges sociaux tournent autour de la multinationale.
Les amas de galaxies tournent autour du centre de notre univers comme les multinationales tournent autour de la holding financière
Notre univers doit aussi tourner avec d'autres univers autour du Grand Univers "Grand Manitou" comme les Holding financières tournent autour de la Confiance (le grand argentier-La bourse).

Comment alors s'étonner d'entendre des têtes pensantes dire des évidences comme: "l'argent va à l'argent" et encore être plus étonné que ses derniers demandent que ce modus operandi, seul créateur de richesse, soit rayé de notre civilisation dont presque tous semblent oublier qu'elle est la conséquence de la concentration de la richesse successive des empires Egyptiens, Perses, Chinois, Grecs, Romains, Napoléonien et Britannique ?

Notre monde mondialisé d'aujourd'hui semble être un mélange d'obscurantisme, d'obscurantisme religieux, d'utopie et surtout de très grande bêtise.
l'argent va directement à l'argent sans passer par la case "Homme" et sans récolter la notion de partage.

Le sens premier du mot économie n'est plus puisqu'il se dit qu'une économie est déficitaire comme une croissance est négative.
Rien donc d'étonnant à ce que dans ce monde les repères se perdent et que l'Homme ait des difficultés à s'orienter dans un désert de sable où les dunes se déplacent comme les vagues de l'océan.
Notre civilisation argentique est la civilisation de l'hyper stress et de la peur, car l'argent n'a de l'effet que si l'esprit lui donne de la valeur.
Il en est de même de notre civilisation chrétienne qui n'existe seulement par la peur de l'enfer et la croyance au Saint Esprit.

Tout se compliquant à l'extrême, plus la connaissance répond aux questions plus elles se voit devoir à répondre à encore plus de questions.
Devant cet infini dilemme beaucoup, y compris nos gouvernants, ont fini par prendre comme devise: "Après moi le déluge!"
Cette lâche solutions de simplicité ruinent les économies des Etats et de la planète Terre et mène l'espèces humaine au bord de l'extinction.
L'année 2010 a vu l'Homme consommer 1,5 planètes Terre et en l'an 2020, 2 planètes Terre ne suffiront pas à son appétit gargantuesque, pantagruélique, cyclopéen, géant, hypertrophié, éléphantesque, exagéré, monumental; tous les superlatifs ne suffiront pas.

Dans le concert mondial, le combat pour la retraites françaises à 60 ans et la conservation des acquits sociaux sont des combat d'arrière garde qui font rire à tout rompre les journalistes et économistes communistes chinois.
La jeunesse française devrait plutôt se battre pour que la mondialisation actuellement livrée à l’avidité des plus puissants obéisse à une réglementation internationale qui aujourd'hui lui fait grand défaut.

Si cette jeunesse française continue de regarder son nombril, celui-ci va grossir comme ceux des affamés puisque la dette de la nation France grossit de manière exponentielle pour ressembler, en pourcentage du PIB, à celle de pays en voie de développement car toutes ses richesses ne suffiront même pas à payer l'intérêt de la dette nationale

Il serait bien temps d'arrêter de se prendre pour Astérix et Obelix aussi bien que pour Don Quichotte.
La potion magique n'est qu'un analgésique puissant et les ailes des moulins à vent le chant des sirènes.

*La France fille aînée de l'Eglise seule ambassade de Dieu sur Terre.

Posted by Earl DESESQUELLES October 24, 10 09:31 AM

Could you please guys stop insulting us ? "stupid French", "you guys are so lazy" and so on. What is your point ? Most of you guys probably don't know much about either our culture (you know, when it's not only about food and wine) and our political system + current events. Just filtered by the press like here : it looks so much more violent that it actually is.
It goes much further than just protesting about a reform. We are so tired of the way our government acts. Sarkozy claims everywhere that he is not a man of thinking, he is a man of action : Right ! But acting without preliminary reflection is not really a responsible way to govern a country. Then 71% of the French support the strike because we can no longer take governmental arrogance. They look down on the very people they are supposed to represent. No debate was undertaken before the law arrived to the Parliament, and guess what, at one point they decided the parliamentary debates should be stopped because it is too long : Which actually meant already that they would be things to discuss in that law and maybe modified.

And to the accusation of laziness : If you have never organized or followed any strike from the inside, you have no idea what it is : all the strikers sacrifice their salary when they go striking (and now, the most active ones must have not much salary left at the end of the month) ; and to block a place takes a lot of energy. Plus arguing all the time about why you are in the protest, keeping informed about the ups and downs of the current events, informing the others around you, organizing debate...
I am no longer as much involved in these kinds of events as I used to, but I'll always respect the guys who sacrifice themselves for a cause that goes further than their own comfort (let's remind each other state workers do strike more but private workers who simply cannot strike or protest but would like to are glad guys strike for them too.)

Posted by Hello October 24, 10 09:32 AM

XXX, ce pays, la France, où les gens ne veulent pas travailler et ne font que pomper l'argent de l'état, réussit tout de même à être la 5ème puissance économique mondiale. Et le travailleur français, sinistre flemmard, est le champion du monde de la productivité. Si si, meilleur que le Japonais, l'Allemand, l'Etats-Unien ... Révise un peu tes notions d'économie, évite de régurgiter les discours pré-mâchés destinés à embobiner le bas peuple. Heureusement, celui-ci est entrain de montrer qu'il n'est ni stupide ni servile. La crédulité n'a qu'un temps...

Posted by Manu October 24, 10 09:33 AM


Posted by FROM WORLD October 24, 10 09:33 AM

I am a french woman from Marseille in south of France.

I want to thank, with my whole heart, each person who is proud of our fight in FRANCE, and especially the foreigners who can not do the same in their own country...

Personnaly, I will always be in the street for them too, and for everybody, like our ancients did it in 1936 and 1945 !

(Sorry for my english, I am writing as I feel it).


Posted by FlofromMARSEILLE October 24, 10 09:35 AM

French people are demonstrating because they're fed up with all the bullsh*ts made by Sarkozy, not only because of the retirement age's new law.

French people still have the possibility to dream to a better future for their childrens and It's a big luck.
It's not the case in many countries where people are just blind, watching too much TV and believing that politics will do good for you, people just accept everything... because it 's mathematic.

French people still believe that there is another way, ad that's why they re demonstrating.

French people are fed up to break their spine to help the new dynasty of powerfull people control them more and more easily.

French people don't want to pay for the mistakes of the financial world.

French people want more justice, and more power to the people.

French people still have a dream and all the planet would have been hopefull to see this... because maybe one day, everybody would be thankful towards these lazy frenchs.

Everybody have to gain something in this game.
Build a better future for the poors is also build a better one for the richs. Think about it.

A french millionnaire

Posted by nko October 24, 10 09:35 AM

It starts with a government asking you to work 2 years more, and it ends with banks asking you to leave your house.

French people are agree with working more, but they don't want to be the only ones to pay the bill.

Posted by pensions_are_a_pretext October 24, 10 09:37 AM

regardez comme ils sont beaux , les cheminots de la SNCF , les gars qui ramassent 4000 € de retraite dès 50 ans (au fait , ils font grève pour quoi , leur régime spécial ne sera pas réformé avant 2018) et les gosses d' enseignants à 18 heures par semaine qui ont le temps de retaper un appartement tous les ans !!!!
c' est la grève des nantis !!!!
c' est la réforme la plus sensée de ces dernières années et qui est faite pour éviter que le système n' explose , et c' est ceux qui sont les plus favorisés qui défilent !!!
bravo la France !!!

Posted by patogaz October 24, 10 09:44 AM

Faire la grève c'est bien joli, mais proposer des solutions c'est encore mieux.

Posted by Rachid October 24, 10 09:51 AM

The Czechs were right to represent France with a notice board 'ON STRIKE' in their Entropa sculpture exhibited at European Council Headquarters in Brussels
(it last 1’:21’’)
It must be said that the work was very sarcastic: France is shown struck out with a banner "On Strike" (EN GREVE in French), the Netherlands is submerged by water (from which emerge five minarets) and a "rainbow flag "held by a group of priests, is planted on Poland. Eight days later, by censoring the toilet in the Turkish representative of Bulgaria, Prague has launched a happening ahead.

Posted by Briscard October 24, 10 09:54 AM


"At last, somewhere on this planet, the people have a say." [1]

Posted by An Iranian October 24, 10 10:04 AM

I am very proud to see this pictures (and even prouder because i am in one of them haha). But I am srsly disapointed by the comments.
American people saying that we are lazy people, this is just a big laught, considering the fact that they believe to be the one democratic country in the world and they can't even accept to have social insurance. But French people saying that people striking are a minority of lazy violent train workers, that everybody want the reform, that is just the worst lie spread ever.
You should be ashamed. And maybe you should less think about yourself and more about the community well-being. Look around you, we are a nation, not a sum of individualities. Stop thinking about the fact that you won't be able to go to vacations because there's no more oil in filling station.

Posted by Marie October 24, 10 10:07 AM

Ce qui est scandaleux dans cette réforme:
-Encore et toujours ces régimes spéciaux qui font honte à la france
-Les banques encore et toujours au pouvoir, et les plus riches, qui ne sont meme pas mis à contribution, honteux!
Sinon, cette réforme est tout de meme né ce n'est que deux ans, sinon non, ne travaillons pas jusqu'à 70ans. Et ceux qui lisent l'actualité de la France à l'étranger, soyez pas jaloux qu'on soit plus sociaux.

Posted by Strasbourgeois October 24, 10 10:12 AM

I'm 30 y.o. french dude living in Paris.

All i can tell is that our "governement" has just the name of it : these people are for long now totally OUT of reality, incredibly far from the State and the Citizens they're supposed to be at service of, even all oppositely considering the Nation and its People are serving them & the laws and rules as just obstacles to their immediate benefits -or those of the elite society they're dangerousely close of in a democratic reasonnable point of view.

So they use all the tricks and cheats they can : secret and/or illegal financial sources, press and media control/survey/intimidation, privilegious status/means/cumulations/retirements never tuned down, public lies/manipulation/repression and biaised communication, external humanistic pretentions (O.N.U., G8/20) while breaking all social aspect inside France itself (this reform's not the only one), more and more racist/political verbal slip-up from eminent political leaders ...

I'll stop here but the list's long. These aspects are among the explanations for a whole month of global stike wich retirement reform have been the detonator of. But moreover, they're the signs showing that democray's threatened in such ultra-liberal world we live in.

Posted by six_toyens October 24, 10 10:32 AM

regardez comme ils sont beaux , les cheminots de la SNCF , les gars qui ramassent 4000 € de retraite dès 50 ans (au fait , ils font grève pour quoi , leur régime spécial ne sera pas réformé avant 2018) et les gosses d' enseignants à 18 heures par semaine qui ont le temps de retaper un appartement tous les ans !!!!
c' est la grève des nantis !!!!
c' est la réforme la plus sensée de ces dernières années et qui est faite pour éviter que le système n' explose , et c' est ceux qui sont les plus favorisés qui défilent !!!
bravo la France !!!

Posted by patogaz October 24, 10 10:37 AM

ça fait du bien de voir qu'il y a finalement peu de gens sur ces messages qui se sont fait abuser par la désinformation sarkoziste - mais peut être devrais-je dire sharko, le requin qui bouffe les non-riches - mais c'est aussi triste de voir, pour quelques autres naïfs, qu'elle a bien fonctionné.
Pourtant on peut facilement se renseigner via internet et croiser les infos pour les vérifier....
gêne et râle, y'a que comme ça que la démocratie est respectée dans ce pays où le gouvernement nous ignore. Allons lui demander des comptes ! Après tout on les a élus (enfin moi non mais il y en avait 53% tt de même), on peut (et on doit) les dé-élire !

Posted by pierre October 24, 10 10:42 AM

Moi je préfère travailler jusqu'à 62ans si au bout du compte, j'obtiens une retraite décente. A l'heure actuelle nous touchons des épluchures de cacahouettes. Alors pour tous ceux qui ralent et bien je fais parti de ceux qui sont pour cette réforme. De plus je trouve honteux que l'on empêche ceux qui se lèvent de bonne heure pour aller travailler. Sarko, sort ton Karcher et mets-nous de l'ordre dans ce ****** de Pays !

Posted by Lavaret October 24, 10 10:44 AM

Allez travailler a l'usine de 18 a 62 ans et vous pourrez venir critiquer
a ce que je sache c'est les ouvriers qui font tourner les entreprise...

Posted by Vincent October 24, 10 10:46 AM

La sarkoze...c'est le nom de la maladie qui vous vient quand votre esprit est rempli du contenu des chiottes capitalistes...
On est pas la pour bosser pour les riches. On est la pour comprendre et decide de notre futur.
Le remede contre la sarkoze c'est la revolte populaire et la greve generale.
Power to the people!
Mort au capitalisme!

Posted by Leroy Boit October 24, 10 10:53 AM

Et pendant que les mêmes ******* encore le boxon dans le pays, à savoir les syndicats et les étudiants, c'est encore une fois la classe moyenne, silencieuse et qui bosse, qui va éponger l'ardoise avec ses impôts.

Posted by Badi October 24, 10 11:00 AM

Here's an idea for the French. Save for your own retirement so you don't need the government's support. It's a lot cheaper than paying more than half your income in taxes and gives you a sense of self worth.

Posted by ColeslawPatriot October 24, 10 11:06 AM

Moi je dis, la retraite à 77 ans! Sans problème!

....mais seulement si on interdit les OGM, on taxe les milliardaires et abolit les marchands-escrocs, on bannit les émissions de télé stupides, on privilégie l'enseignement à tout age, le droit au logement pour tous avec un minimum de m², travail honnête et salaires honnêtes, la fin du marketing et de la surconsommation, finit les voitures en ville et pleins de parcs, des voyages, un travail flexible pour tous, un état bienveillant et une vrai politique citoyenne en accord avec notre époque...

Posted by gza October 24, 10 11:25 AM

A big merci beaucoup to the French people from this Yank. If only Americans would follow your example instead of bending over for the bankers and saying, "Thank you, can I have one more?" Vive la France!

Posted by qualtrough October 24, 10 12:05 PM

they all will come back to their tiny appurtenants after 2-3 weeks.. wait and see. its part of French life :-)

Posted by Eric Calabros October 24, 10 12:10 PM

Les propos réactionnaires des partisans de Sarkozy sont de la même veine que les jugements binaires sans nuances des extrémistes républicains Américains... Raisonnement simpliste, idéologie égoïste sans fondement... Avec en plus le zèle des courtisans obséquieux...

The reactionnary comments of Sarkozy's partisans are the same kind as the binary judgments, without nuances of the American republican extremists... Simplistic Reasoning, unfounded selfish ideology... With it more, diligent haste of courtier

Posted by henridelatour October 24, 10 12:12 PM

"Ce que vous voyez là ne représente pas la France: ce sont les grévistes de profession :
- Cheminots (SNCF) de Sud rail ou de la CGT : 56000 euros/an pour 18 heures /semaine
- traminots de la RATP (metro) 50 000 euros /an pour 15 heures/semaine
- Dockers du port de Marseille : 48 00 euros/mois pour 15 heures effectives de travail"

Très juste !

Ses régimes spéciaux bénéficient de plus d'un système de retraites très privilégié :
- Privé : Calcul des retraites en fonction des 25 dernières années de cotisation
- Privé et régimes spéciaux : Calcul des retraites en fonction des 6 meilleurs mois de cotisation !!

Voilà une scandaleuse injustice qui ne dérange évidemment pas la gauche ...

Posted by TeddyK October 24, 10 12:51 PM

464 le problème n'est pas l'immigration mais la globalisation. C'est la mondialisation. Aucun parti politique ne propose quelque chose pour protéger. Je suis devenu protectionist car demain on aura le niveau de vie des africain. Demain ont aura la protection social des indiens. A part le front national il n'y a aucun parti qui parle de cela. Je suis anti front national. Les extrèmes gauches ! la révolution lol !!

Réveillez vous la globalisation est en marche ! C'est contre cela que nous devons nous battre. Sarko n'est qu'un employé du FMI, G20, de L'EU et autres organismes.

Posted by kris October 24, 10 12:53 PM

The strikers are right.

Over the last decades, productivity has risen massively in Europe. This was not translated into better income for the workers. Furthermore, the welfare state that has been conquered the hard way, not offered, is being dismantled and becomes a shadow of its own self.

Nothing is inescapable. Take the money where it is.

To those who really want to die working in their 60s or later - please do. But don't impose your sickness on others.

(This from a non-French who will be in Paris soon and looking forward to see it for himself)

Posted by subtruth October 24, 10 01:01 PM


Posted by BUENAVENTURA DURRUTI October 24, 10 01:05 PM

French people are proud of their nation and history : révolution from 1789, commune de paris from 1871, popular front from 1936, may 1968....nowadays we're wrinting another glorious page : we will save our retirement pension scheme and this illegitime president Sarkozy will be sacked such as Louis XVI, Charles X and Louis-Philippe !!

Our pension scheme was built in 1945 by Charles de Gaulle and his communist minister Ambroise Croizat, definetely, we shall keep it.

Strikes don't affect only France : Greece, Spain, Portugal..all european people hate liberalism.

Probably, within a few months, Sarkozy will apply for political asylium in the USA.

Vivent les travailleurs français, vive le grand peuple de France !

Posted by Jacques Duclos October 24, 10 01:21 PM

Pity the French didn't 'rage' with the same passion when Nazi Germany were marching through their land.

Posted by TrueBrit October 24, 10 01:35 PM

I believe the reason alot of North American people are having a difficult time accepting the protests is because it is a cultural norm for us to work until no longer capable.

I, being from Canada, know not a single person who has retired at 60. Even if a person may decide to quit their career at this time, they will usualy find some secondary source of work to keep them busy. I believe the North American view of retirement is that you "sit around all day and do nothing". Many are afraid to retire and quit working because they feel they'll have nothing to do with their lives.

Personaly, I think the negative effect this mentality causes is extremely obvious. Young people can no longer get jobs, are forced to live with their parents for a longer period of time, and struggle to become independant because all job oppertunities are filled by people who should have passed down their title to the next generation already.

Posted by aera October 24, 10 01:36 PM

I guess that american people find it is tough to understand what is going on in France as I find tough to understand what is going on in the US. However what I know is that either in France or in the US, people want changes to happen but not changes we see today.

Posted by Anatine Shan October 24, 10 01:36 PM

I'm french working in a american company i don't make strike but i'm for it! I know we must have a reform but I think in this reform Sarkosy is like a dictator, he doesn't want to listen the french people.... I think the strikes are also against him now and agaisnt the way he govern our country...

Posted by Claire October 24, 10 01:40 PM

La France vit tellement sur ces acquis qu'elle pense encore être la cinquième puissance mondiale.

France is so living in the past that she still think to be in the top 5 biggest GDP

Encore quelques grèves et ce pays ne sera même plus dans les 10 premiers

Some more big strikes and she will quit the top ten before the nowdays young demonstrators will reach retirement age.

Top 10 GDP Countries 2000-2050

This table shows the top 10 countries by GDP (Gross Domestic Product) expressed in billions of US$, for the years 2000, 2010, 2020, 2030, 2040 and 2050, listed by projected 2050 rank.
SOURCE: Goldman Sachs

2050 Rank Country Name 2000 GDP 2010 GDP 2020 GDP 2030 GDP 2040 GDP 2050 GDP
1 CHN China 1078 2998 7070 14312 26439 44453
* EU European Union * 9395 12965 16861 21075 28323 35288
2 USA United States 9825 13271 16415 20833 27229 35165
3 IND India 469 929 2104 4935 12367 27803
4 JPN Japan 4176 4601 5221 5810 6039 6673
5 BRA Brazil 762 668 1333 2189 3740 6074
6 RUS Russia 391 847 1741 2980 4467 5870
7 UK United Kingdom 1437 1876 2285 2649 3201 3782
8 GER Germany 1875 2212 2524 2697 3147 3603
9 FRA France 1311 1622 1930 2267 2668 3148
10 ITA Italy 1078 1337 1553 1671 1788 2061

Posted by Earl DESESQUELLES October 24, 10 02:16 PM

France would still have one of the earliest retirement ages in the western world at 62. Working until you're 62 doesn't seem that bad. Studies show that retiring early increases the chance of Alzheimer's and dementia. I think we should all be prepared to work a few years longer.

Posted by Alex October 24, 10 02:26 PM

"Tous en greve" - indeed, well every uprising has to have a begining. Well, more to come...

Posted by Perivail Benway October 24, 10 02:39 PM

I don't understand why the French don't want to work just 2 years more. I think a good retirement age in this century would be 70. Everyone is living longer and people start to work between 20 and 30. That means, one would study 20 years, work 30 years and get retirement for 30 years - 60% of life not working, thats just not possible!

Posted by Alex October 24, 10 02:47 PM

@523 What did you smoke, if it was the same passion level there would already be insurgents everywhere right now killing people from the government.

And for the fact we won't be in the 5th most powerful countries was well known even before any reforms. India, China, Brazil and some others countries are rising.

Posted by TrueFrench October 24, 10 03:09 PM

Je suis français.
Je suis fier de mon peuple ! Il s’est enfin réveillé, exaspéré par 3 ans de vexations.
Vous ne devriez pas confondre les manifestants avec les voyous qui mettent feu! C'est deux choses différentes!
J’ai travaillé 75 à 80 heures par semaines, beaucoup plus que ces petits prétentieux du parti Sarkozyen ! Je suis à la retraite depuis 4 mois. J'ai enrichi beaucoup de patrons. J'ai le droit de parler

Selon le comité pour le développement dirigé par Jacques Attali, la réforme est :
- Nécessaire,
- Injuste,
- Insuffisant!

Mais Sarkozy a décidé de faire attention seulement à la notion "nécessaire"...
Il aurait dû juste négocier au lieu d’imposer !


I am French.
I am proud of French people ! It finally woke up, deteriorated by 3 years of humiliations.
You should not confuse the demonstrators with hooligans who set fire ! That's two different things !
I worked all my life 75 to 80 hours for a week ! I am retired for 4 months ! Much more than these conceited youngs of Sarkozyen’s Party ! I enriched many bosses. I have the duty to speak

According to the committee for development managed by Jacques Attali, the reform is:
- necessary,
- inequitable,
- insufficient !

But Sarkozy decided to take care only " necessary "...


He would just have to negotiate instead of imposing !


Posted by henridelatour October 24, 10 03:26 PM

This is not because the free market, is because there are not a free market. Instead there are a merchantilism economy. Liberty is what occident needs.

Posted by CharlyO October 24, 10 03:58 PM

Do you fools really believe this is just about the age of retirement? It's about "austerity for us, more Grey Poupon for the financial elite" (you remember them, the a**holes who got us into this mess in the first place). It's also a mistake to believe that this is just about France or any one country. You'll be seeing this in the States before too long, and I don't mean Tea Party wusses holding out their little bags for the cameras, I mean full-blown insurrection. Do they really expect tens of millions to just walk off to the tent cities after having lost everything to the bankers?

The only thing that surprises about the pictures from France is that we don't see the guillotine showing up as symbolism. After all, that was France's great innovation in the field of class warfare. May they soon come back into vogue, and be fed much in anger.

Posted by Skeeve October 24, 10 04:08 PM

Gentlemen, as a french student I feel deeply ashamed by such a behavior in my country. It's messed up, wasted... a bunch of morons without clever arguments to bring to the table are fucking the whole country up.
I would emigrate if I could, trust me. That's a real pity.

Posted by Pedro October 24, 10 04:09 PM

“You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.”

I wish we could make things change in spite of everything, the time has come, let's take a chance on it, strike is a good investment in the end, at least, I hope so, I don't care about pension reform, I won't have any, I just want to live a normal life, I just want young people to find jobs (paid ones), I just want French children (whatever their origins, who cares ? Racists ? we don't need theml). France is beautiful, French high students, strikers and workers ARE beautiful.

Let's make it happen, I know many around me who won't go on strike cause they are afraid to lose their jobs, afraid to lose money, haaa, money, money, money, we want to be free !

We don't need your disgusting foodstuf cause mummy has to work darling, she can't cook, we don't need your F*** TV, we don't need all your useless goods, all we need is freedom and equal opportunities, let our children grow free and French, I am not of french origins, but my teachers ttold me about France and its history, well, I thank these teachers, after all these years, i remember how they werer not afraid to teach us that a man/woman has the right to fight against power if this power is not fair ...

Posted by Anonymous October 24, 10 04:11 PM

French people we are with you!!!!!!!! Antonis from Greece

Posted by Antonis October 24, 10 04:12 PM

Tiens, quand je regarde les photos où l'on voit les jeunes renverser des voitures et piller les magasins, j'ai l'impression de ne voir que la même "race" qui ne m'inspire pas du tout la France (mea culpa, vous allez tous me traiter de Le Pen, et je vous en remercie).

La France aux français dans la limite des choses et sans extrémisme, c'est tout ce que je veux pour mon pays et voir certaines de ces images ne fait que refléter la dure réalité de la jeunesse française.

Posted by Florentin October 24, 10 04:51 PM

France people know how to stand up !

Vive la France !

Posted by hurtell Water October 24, 10 05:17 PM

We stand in solidarity with our French brothers and sisters in fight for basic human rights! Why not work just the two years? Because next it will be 4 not years, then 7 like in the US. IF ANYTHING the retirement age should be lowered to open work for the youth to do.
Keep fighting brothers and sisters! I wish American workers would do half of what you are doing. WORKERS OF THE WORLD UNITE!

Posted by PeopleB4Profits October 24, 10 05:22 PM

The French people are lazy, they just want to get retired.
The American are stupid, they never know fight for their rights like French!

Posted by hehe October 24, 10 05:35 PM

Fight the policies of the NWO to enslave the workers to work longer and pay even more tax, the greedy are stealing your money now they want to steal your pension years as well, don't allow this to happen .

Vive La France!!!

Posted by Benedict October 24, 10 06:02 PM

Aux armes citoyens ...

Posted by Gavroche October 24, 10 06:10 PM

Hi everyone,
Thanks for supporting us in our movement against the government...
And if you don't, so... Nothing...
And Alex, we don't want to work 2 years more because we don't earn much money a month. If the government increases wages, so it's ok...

And, something you got to know, is that French Police is plainclothing in our strikes and they throw out rocks on their colleagues to imprison us...

Posted by Marc October 24, 10 06:33 PM

"Bon, quelque part, notre position dans l'économie mondiale...c'est pas ce qui me fait manger! Je me fout royalement de notre grandeur passée ou présente"

Sure French strikes is like Iceberg, and actualy retirement age is the visible side of iceberg. the hidden side is job loss, bankers benefits increasment, industry dying, ploitics who do not listen to the people execpt before vote time, etc.

I heard lot of american did not like Michael Moore, but if your really want to understand why all this happenned, i suggest you to watch "Capitalism a love story" especialy when it talk about economical pyramids.

In 1789 we were first to say stop with the system (just after American independence). People who learn a little bit history knows that this was a great turn for human being.

Now we say stop just after greek people(yes greek, did you forget them?). maybe bankers and rich man should listen carefully the message now.

Posted by Fanfan October 24, 10 06:57 PM


my life be worth more than their profit

Posted by lefuturestnoir October 24, 10 07:01 PM

I wish we in us had the balls to do the same

Posted by satyen October 24, 10 07:20 PM

honor to all the french citizens and workers opposing this reform! I'm very proud as a belgian citizen woring in france to take a small part in these demonstrations and srikes!

vive la france!

and I hope French people will be an example for other europian citizens to oppose their liberal reforms.

Posted by Ner30 October 24, 10 07:22 PM

I am school teatcher in france. With the new law, i must leave my work if i don't want to loose my rights. but i like to work.

this new law attack the rights of women and workers with small salary.

Sarkozy wants to destroy our rights. We don't like the american system. It's against workers. We don't want to become the animals of capitalism. they use us and after they throught us.

It's very goods pictures. thank's. the war starts.

Posted by zetkin October 24, 10 07:29 PM

Protesting policies you don't like: Good, active way of drawing attention to your dissent.
Going on strike to protest labor policies you don't like: Irritating way of drawing attention to your dissent by inconveniencing--but not necessarily infringing on the rights of--other people.
Blockading your high school to protest policies you don like: Obstructionist way drawing attention to your dissent by infringing on the rights of other people (but it's nice to see kids caring about politics, if that's why they're doing it).
Tipping over or burning cars: Destructive way of being asshole, oftentimes to people who share your dissent.

There's a reason the US has thousands of streets named MLK and so few named Malcolm X. A reason why we venerate Gandhi.

Posted by Luca Masters October 24, 10 07:45 PM

It really sounds like you have a French George W. Bush running your country. Did he buy the election like Bush did here? Im sorry my brothers and sisters.

Posted by PeopleB4Profits October 24, 10 08:13 PM

J'ai 28 ans, j'habite en france et moi je suis pour cette reforme.
Loin de là qu'elle me fasse plaisir, mais il faut etre un peu realiste.
Le systeme des retraites n'est pas stable,et on court à la catastrophe si on ne fait rien rapidement.
Alors certe, c'est difficile de m'imaginer travailler apres 60ans, mais la durée de vie moyenne en france est de 80ans.
Ce qui revient à dire, travailler 40 ans, et toucher une retraite pendant 20 ans.
Pourquoi les gens ont t'il tant de mal à accepter que ce n'est pas possible.
On veut tous que les retraités touchent une meilleur pension, mais ca ne se fera pas par magie, et il n'y as pas 50 solutions.
Soit on augmente la durée hebdomadaire du temps de travail.(aprés etre passé a 35H, ca risque de faire bizarre a certains de devoir travailler plus).
Soit on augmente la cotisation retraite sur les fiches de paye( ce qui revient à augmenter les charges sur nos salaires(mais il n'en ai pas question, nos salaires sont deja trop faible).

Soit............... travailler plus longtemps.

Posted by florent2424 October 24, 10 08:29 PM

Vive La France - my country I left in 1968 just after our famous protests- From the USA, I applaud you for your courage and tenacity. your voice was heard all over the world, shame to your government for not listening! Here, our retirement age is at 65 but just like you only rich people can afford to retire. I am 66 and working full time! You pay more taxes than we do and you deserve free health care and to retire at 62. Pray for us as we have elections coming up on Nov. 2, and if the right wing, similar to yours is the winner, I only wish that my people would be like you and shut off the whole country! One thing: No need for vandalism and arson !

Posted by Monique Frugier October 24, 10 08:45 PM

I do not support those burning cars, but do support those demanding a government that represents people, not just the rich and the corporations.

Go France!

Show the world that people, standing together, can still make a difference!

Posted by paul w October 24, 10 08:58 PM


Posted by mag October 24, 10 09:54 PM

-- comment removed --

Posted by anonymous October 24, 10 10:02 PM

Three cheers for the French! Workers are not slaves. Despite, the sell outs infesting some of the leadership positions of British labour unions, the British workers will find a way to fight back. There is absolutely no way that they will see their way of life be decimated in the way the Tory/Liberal pact, and right wing New Labour have planned. The rank and file are organizing already and their militancy is rising, despite the Trade Union Congress (TUC) traitors trying to stifle a serious fight back by calling for a demonstration in MARCH, 2011!!! This is a fight that we have to win. We will not allow our society to become a British version of a Chinese sweatshop for the 21st century.

Posted by steve October 24, 10 10:30 PM

Considero que la lucha de los franceses es muy justa y necesaria ya que ellos tienen derecho a reclamar por leyes que beneficien a la clase obrera, a los estudiantes y a la ciudadanía que sostienen la economía del país que son, en su gran mayoría, la clase media, media alta y la pobre. Las reformas capitalistas siempre van encaminadas en favorecer a los grandes intereses y en detrimento de los mejores y justos intereses de la clase trabajadora. La represión policiaca y el abuso de fuerza armada merecen el repudio de todo el mundo sensible y solidario. Adelante con las protestas!

Posted by Noris V. Maisonet October 24, 10 10:53 PM

Il est facile de critiquer...lorsque l'on ne vit pas dans ce pays...
La France s'est battue pour obtenir ses avantages sociaux, elle se battra pour les garder...
L'insolence , l'outrecuidance, l'arrogance et le dédain son gouvernement et de ces petits copains n'y pourront rien...

Posted by Breties October 24, 10 10:59 PM

a undemocratic movement ... aproved by more of 70 % of the population !

it's not because Sarkozy was democraticaly elected that the french people can't admit they made a mistake when they gave the legitimity at this bad president.

the general interested come before the individual comfort. capitalism show his limit.

Posted by daddycork October 24, 10 11:11 PM

I read so many lies here, from people that never came to any demonstration...

Do not say the French disapprove demonstrators. Several polls show that more than 70% of them SUPPORT the movement.

Most of the liars here are priviledged... They can buy loads of stuff... But they should also try to acquire some dignity... Especially the young arrogant parasites learning how to exploit the worker in some expensive business schools.

Posted by Gutterball October 24, 10 11:23 PM

I'm an American, and I'll admit outright that I'm not terribly familiar with Sarkozy's governance. I followed his election but haven't been paying too much attention since then. Therefore, my comments are couched in terms of general political/social policy rather than specifics: consider it an argument in the abstract.

I don't think I'll give a discourse about my own views, because I feel it would be a little patronizing and arrogant to tell the French how I view their struggles. Rather, I think I'll just reply to the commenter that I felt the strongest response to.

Marie: You say that Sarkozy is "the president of rich people" and doesn't hide the fact that he doesn't care about the people. Why is that? Do you think it's by simple virtue that he's asked for austerity measures? Does a government interested in economic stewardship automatically place itself against the interests of "the people?"

You also talk about the advantages that members of parliament benefit from, including retirement pensions. Do you feel that parliament's pensions constitute a significant segment of the budget? You say that they're asking the people to sacrifice while they do not: and I'll take your word for it and assume that's true. But even if that's the case, isn't this simply argumentum ad hominem tu quoque? Essentially you're accusing the government of being hypocritical: but even if they're asking the workers to sacrifice while they do not, does it necessarily mean that they're wrong? Would it be better if things were "fair" and the reforms applied to parliament as well? Would it be acceptable to you then? Or is it just an ancillary grievance that gets subsumed into this argument, and thereby further inflames passion?

As a classicist and rhetorician, I'm quite interested in your answer.

As far as racism and immigration laws go: no, I agree with you completely. I think you're right on that account.

You also say that since he made a promise not to change the retirement age, he ought to have a dialogue--because to do otherwise would be undemocratic. Now, I'm not a terrible fan of democracy and all its notions of mob rule and Periclean bellicosity/nationalism. The USA, like France, is a republic: and in republics, we elect our leaders. The expectation, in my mind, is that we elect leaders not because of the promises they make, but because we feel they would be competent. We elect leaders for their shrewd judgement, rather than to pander to our intersts: we essentially pick someone we trust to make the right choice. Now, I said I wouldn't give my own opinions--but what do you think? Is there really something wrong with Sarkozy changing course in difficult circumstances? You said you didn't vote for him, and you clearly don't think he made the right choice--but SHOULD a leader always be tied down and have to ask for approval every time? Should every difficult decision have a referendum? Sometimes *good* decisions are deeply unpopular: does the approval of the majority of the population automatically make a decision good, or is there something more to that? Is there a more objective standard?

You refer to the community well-being, you say that France is a nation, not a sum of individuals. I would agree with you, yet I clearly disagree with your conclusions. Is something that benefits people, like a low retirement age, necessarily consonant with the public good? pro rei publicae non rei publicis irrogemus: and it's an important distinction. Something that benefits a *number* of individuals is still for individual benefit, whereas austerity measures are (arguably) intended for the public good.

Like I said, Marie, I'm not familiar with the specific situation in France, and feel free to answer my theoretical questions with specific examples that address my concerns. I'm not saying that you're necessarily wrong, I'm just very curious as to why you hold the opinions that you do. Lastly: don't worry about your English, it's quite good. Far better than my French, which is nigh-nonexistant.

Posted by Jello October 24, 10 11:45 PM

To the people of France and Greece -- thank you for your bravery. You are inspiring. Our corporate media suggests you are complaining about little and never presents the economic details. They also divide us very skillfully in the US. We will be facing the same thing very shortly. Wall Street's crimes keep on paying.

Posted by Mary L. October 25, 10 12:27 AM

Of course it's better to have a retirement age set at 60. Heck, it's even better to have it at 50.
Unfortunately, the French economy cannot afford it. Plainly, there is not enough money to pay these retirees. The only possible source of money is borrowing, and that means that future generations would have to repay the debt.
It's amazing to see the young people protesting. If this reform is stopped, they will inherit this debt. Their future taxes will be much higher, and by the time they get to their 60s the retirement age would be raised anyway.

Excessive pension benefits are nothing but transfer of wealth from young people to older generation...

Posted by IE October 25, 10 12:44 AM

Lisez donc le "terrorisme intellectuel" de Jean Sévilla ou encore "Etre de droite, un tabou français" d'Eric Brunet et vous comprendrez qui gouverne la France depuis des décennies !.... La "chienlit" permanente qui détruit beaucoup d'emplois, sans compter la jeunesse qui part à l'étranger ainsi que les grandes la gauche croit toujours au partage du gâteau, comme au temps de Staline, mais le gâteau devient de plus en plus petit !...Il y a toujours un relent révolutionnaire bien présent en France qui met à mal l'économie de notre pays et ce sont les nombreuses petites et moyennes entreprises qui en pâtissent....Sachez que nous payons chaque année 400 millions d'euros en impôts indirects pour ces syndicats qui bloquent la France en toutes occasions et cela retombe maintenant sur les classes moyennes !

Posted by Françoise October 25, 10 12:54 AM

Hmm..and here in India ppl are want to have the retirement age increased :)
All the arguments reminds me of an old urdu couplet(Shayari)

'Mukammal jahan kisi ko naseeb nahi hota.
Kisi ko aasman tho kisi ko jameen nahi milta'

A life complete in all aspects is not attainable by anyone..Some struggle to reach the Sky while for others Earth remains unreachable...

Posted by Anand October 25, 10 01:04 AM

Photo #15 looks like Charlies Angels team.

Posted by Suman October 25, 10 01:08 AM

Raise the retirement age??
Good grief, how WILL everyone survive!
Let's all strike, riot and destroy things..

Meanwhile, in other parts of the world where there is no fresh water, little food and almost no law and order, people are happy to get whatever work they CAN get.. Oh that's right.. There's no there jobs either?
Not sure or too ignorant to know where I'm talking about?
Throw a dart at a world map..

Posted by Terry October 25, 10 01:25 AM

Looks like most of these people are rioting for the sake of rioting, not for the sake of protesting a law that takes away free stuff from them for 2 years. Picture #31 makes that point. High school kids don't care about that kind of stuff. And the workers striking? They're lucky they're getting those pensions. I'm American--I went to college for 5 years, have no degree 'cause I ran out of financial aide and I know I will work long past the age of 62, and with the crazy debt my country is in i know there is no way I'll ever get social security. I don't really care 'cause I'll probably be a mountain man by then. these people need to chill out and grow some vegetables. Get off the grid.

Posted by Josue October 25, 10 03:07 AM

La huitième bataille d’octobre !

Le mois d’octobre est appelé ainsi parce qu'il était le huitième (octo en latin) mois de l'année dans le calendrier de Romulus, bien qu’il soit devenu le dixième dans celui de Pompilius Numa, roi légendaire de Rome, qui promulgua une réforme du calendrier dans le but d'ajuster les années solaires et lunaires. Il réussit à conserver son nom, bien que bon nombre de sénateurs romains aient souvent voulu le changer.

Le mois d'octobre 2010 aura été socialement chaud et même, dans les rues, plutôt très chaud, avec une mobilisation qui ne faiblit pas, face à un gouvernement autiste qui fait passer en force une réforme des retraites * considérée par une majorité de français comme injuste, inégalitaire et surtout mensongère. Car on nous assène à longueur de temps qu’il n’y a pas d’autres alternatives alors que des solutions plus équitables existent.
Oui ! Trois fois oui !!! On peut affirmer et réaffirmer qu’elle est mensongère parce que les motifs invoqués par le gouvernement : démographie, espérance de vie ou problème de financement sont archi-faux **.

Pourquoi tout peut basculer maintenant ? C’est peut-être l’Histoire qui va nous éclairer. En effet, huit batailles mémorables se seront déroulées au mois d’octobre :

- en octobre 480 av. J-C la bataille de Salamine délivra la Grèce des Perses,

- en octobre 333 av. J-C la bataille d'Issus opposa Alexandre à Darius, et assura au premier
la conquête de l'Asie,

- en octobre 42 av. JC la bataille de Philippes, voit les triumvirs Octave et Antoine vaincre
les Républicains Brutus et Cassius dans la plaine de Philippes, en Macédoine orientale.
Cette défaite sonne le glas des espoirs du Sénat de préserver le régime républicain.

- en octobre 312 ap. J-C la bataille de Constantin contre Maxence sur les bords du Tibre,

- en octobre 1571 la célèbre bataille navale de Lépante délivra l’Europe des Turcs,

- en octobre 1813, la bataille de Leipzig où les troupes napoléoniennes sont vaincues par
l'Autriche, la Prusse, la Russie et la Suède.

- en octobre 1941, la bataille de Moscou où la Wehrmacht lança son offensive, mais
commença aussi à connaître l’enfer glacé et la damnation,

- enfin, en octobre 2010, la bataille des Retraites, qui délivra définitivement la France et les
Français de Nicolas Sarkozy. C’est en effet à ce moment là qu’il a définitivement tout perdu !

Voilà peut-être ce que l’Histoire retiendra du mois d’octobre 2010 en tous points exceptionnel puisqu’il comprend (particularité rarissime !) 5 vendredis, 5 samedis et 5 dimanches (donc 5 Week-ends), ceci ne se produisant que tous les 823 ans !

Lionel de Cahors
Le P’tit Billet / 43-10

* Non seulement le gouvernement a proposé et soi-disant "débattu" de cette réforme l’été dernier, mais il veut
maintenant caporaliser la situation et passer en force au Sénat par un vote bloqué en appliquant l’article 44.3.

** Sarkozy lui-même n’a-t-il pas dit le 02 mai 07 à Ségolène Royale : "Madame, permettez-moi de vous le dire, vous
faites erreur, le financement des retraites est équilibré jusqu’en 2020 (…). Ce n’est contesté par personne."

Posted by Lionel de Cahors October 25, 10 03:10 AM

La huitième bataille d’octobre !

Le mois d’octobre est appelé ainsi parce qu'il était le huitième (octo en latin) mois de l'année dans le calendrier de Romulus, bien qu’il soit devenu le dixième dans celui de Pompilius Numa, roi légendaire de Rome, qui promulgua une réforme du calendrier dans le but d'ajuster les années solaires et lunaires. Il réussit à conserver son nom, bien que bon nombre de sénateurs romains aient souvent voulu le changer.

Le mois d'octobre 2010 aura été socialement chaud et même, dans les rues, plutôt très chaud, avec une mobilisation qui ne faiblit pas, face à un gouvernement autiste qui fait passer en force une réforme des retraites * considérée par une majorité de français comme injuste, inégalitaire et surtout mensongère. Car on nous assène à longueur de temps qu’il n’y a pas d’autres alternatives alors que des solutions plus équitables existent.
Oui ! Trois fois oui !!! On peut affirmer et réaffirmer qu’elle est mensongère parce que les motifs invoqués par le gouvernement : démographie, espérance de vie ou problème de financement sont archi-faux **.

Pourquoi tout peut basculer maintenant ? C’est peut-être l’Histoire qui va nous éclairer. En effet, huit batailles mémorables se seront déroulées au mois d’octobre :

- en octobre 480 av. J-C la bataille de Salamine délivra la Grèce des Perses,

- en octobre 333 av. J-C la bataille d'Issus opposa Alexandre à Darius, et assura au premier
la conquête de l'Asie,

- en octobre 42 av. JC la bataille de Philippes, voit les triumvirs Octave et Antoine vaincre
les Républicains Brutus et Cassius dans la plaine de Philippes, en Macédoine orientale.
Cette défaite sonne le glas des espoirs du Sénat de préserver le régime républicain.

- en octobre 312 ap. J-C la bataille de Constantin contre Maxence sur les bords du Tibre,

- en octobre 1571 la célèbre bataille navale de Lépante délivra l’Europe des Turcs,

- en octobre 1813, la bataille de Leipzig où les troupes napoléoniennes sont vaincues par
l'Autriche, la Prusse, la Russie et la Suède.

- en octobre 1941, la bataille de Moscou où la Wehrmacht lança son offensive, mais
commença aussi à connaître l’enfer glacé et la damnation,

- enfin, en octobre 2010, la bataille des Retraites, qui délivra définitivement la France et les
Français de Nicolas Sarkozy. C’est en effet à ce moment là qu’il a définitivement tout perdu !

Voilà peut-être ce que l’Histoire retiendra du mois d’octobre 2010 en tous points exceptionnel puisqu’il comprend (particularité rarissime !) 5 vendredis, 5 samedis et 5 dimanches (donc 5 Week-ends), ceci ne se produisant que tous les 823 ans !

Lionel de Cahors
Le P’tit Billet / 43-10

* Non seulement le gouvernement a proposé et soi-disant "débattu" de cette réforme l’été dernier, mais il veut
maintenant caporaliser la situation et passer en force au Sénat par un vote bloqué en appliquant l’article 44.3.

** Sarkozy lui-même n’a-t-il pas dit le 02 mai 07 à Ségolène Royale : "Madame, permettez-moi de vous le dire, vous
faites erreur, le financement des retraites est équilibré jusqu’en 2020 (…). Ce n’est contesté par personne."

Posted by Lionel de Cahors October 25, 10 03:12 AM

Mon avis... bravo la France qui fait grève... mais pas encore assez fort.
Car le scandale est infiniment plus grand que ne le présente la presse.

On fait voter une loi de restriction sur les pensions.... juste après que le frère de Sarkozi (le président) termine de construire une société dont la raison sociale sont les pensions complémentaires.
Cette loi assure à sa famille un incroyable pactole.
Ce que le président Sarkozi défend... ce n'est pas cette loi... mais le gros pognon que sa famille va faire là dessus.

A vomir...

On ne cherche pas à balancer les caisse de l'état.... mais à sucer le pognon du peuple.

Il faut pour ses gens là... sortir la guillotine du musée et le remettre en état de fonctionner....

Posted by Decrolier jp October 25, 10 03:16 AM

Un mot simplement : le système capitalisme impose aux populations une vue du monde, travaillez pour nous enrichir, nous les rentiers (qui vivons de nos placements). Ceci ne peut plus durer, les désastres avérés de ce Système ne sont plus supportables. Il est temps de sortir de cette dictature de fait.
La réforme des retraites est une occasion de plus de montrer la colère de la population contre ce système anti-démocratique. Un jour ou l'autre, ce Système et ses valets seront réduits. Au pire par la force, au mieux par le retour à un début de démocratie.

Posted by ppp October 25, 10 03:36 AM

Happily that the people Frenchmen do not know that this law on pensions is crossed one week after the brother of the president Sarkozi finishes the assemblage of a private society working on supplementary pensions.
This law brings back a crazy money in the family of the president.

It is to vomit

It is necessary to go out guillotine it of the museum, and to repair it of step.

Posted by Decrolier jp October 25, 10 04:04 AM

I'm french, 30y, engineer. And i fully support those strikes.



Posted by ju October 25, 10 04:06 AM

J'aime lorsque la gauche ou la droite parle de Manichéisme, ouvrez les yeux, d'un côté comme de l'autre, ce sont les mêmes ragots...

J'attends les propositions de la gauche au sujet des retraites, quand il verront que le pays n'a plus de sous, ils feront les mêmes que la droite...

Bref, ce qui est déplorable c'est que les lycéens participent au mouvement alors qu'il n'ont rien à y faire... J'ai 25 ans, et lorsque j'était au lycée, je savais très bien que plus tard je n'en aurais pas...

Je ne suis ni pour la gauche ni pour la droite mais arrêtez d'embringuer des jeunes qui pour la plupart ne cherchent qu'à séchez les cours (je m'en souviens, j'avais fait pareil lorsque Le Pen était au second tour...)

Au lieu de bloquer les gens, faites des propositions décentes qui ne foutrons pas dans la merde les générations futures, car c'est de ça qu'on parle au départ.

Posted by Bono123 October 25, 10 04:17 AM

Solidarity and democracy...once again French citizens show the way forward...

Posted by Adam G October 25, 10 04:17 AM

J'ai lu ,j'ai entendu les uns pour ,les autres contre la loi de la retraite.Je n'ai aucune connaissance d'économie.Il ne faut pas faire d'amalgame,La retraite c'est pour nos enfants ,il fallait la faire.Si on s'aperçoit à l'usage qu'elle n'est pas efficiente ,on sera toujours à temps de refaire la loi .La France doit travailler,je pense que la grande majorité de nos compatriotes travaillent.Le point le plus difficile c'est de donner du travail à tous comme dans les années 60.Peut être que si l'Europe était,moins égocentrique et résolument unie,nous pourrions changer ce monde baucoup trop libéral. C'est comme nos gouvernants de quelque bord qu'ils soient ne sont même pas capables seulement de s'écouter.Je suis ceratanement un utopiste.

Posted by SARRAMON October 25, 10 04:46 AM

stay classy Europe. thanks france for keeping up your stereotype

Posted by Jake October 25, 10 05:13 AM

Le changement n'est pas pour satisfaire le capitalisme débridé (depuis la chute de l'est), il est là pour accompagner notre société dans un ordre mondial différent de ce qu'il a été jusque dans les années 2000. Les conditions démographiques et économiques sont bouleversées par des marchés (industrie et commerce) modifiés par de nouveaux entrants qui prennent leur position et ainsi notre économie ne peut plus supporter sans aller dans le mur les engagements pris il y a plus de 40 ans. Je suis chef d'entreprise, je ne gagne pas des ponts d'or mais nous vivons tous les jours la même situation.Tous les jours nous devons remettre en cause nos modèles pour passer les années, tenir notre marché et continuer à partager avec nos collaborateurs la valeur ajoutée créée par nos idées, notre travail et nos investissements. L'économie d'une entreprise ou d'un pays fonctionne de la m^me manière. Si nous nous permettions les déficits que l'état se permet depuis des décennies, nous serions tous sur la paille en liquidation. Nous sommes aller trop loin certainement par peur du changement, de perdre nos acquis. Soyons optimiste pour le futur, nous entrons dans une aire nouvelle ou nous nous devons d'être le plus adaptable possible...
Notre passage est certainement un palier vers un ordre nouveau, une renaissance comme notre sté l'a vécu à la fin de la guerre de 100 ans.
Après les problèmes que nous rencontrons de blocage de toute sorte ne vont pas dans le bon sens et viennent griller nos quelques espoirs de reprise donc de financement des retraites ou autres acquis sociaux propres a notre système. Il serait intéressant d'éplucher les rémunérations et frais que reçoivent nos bons leaders syndicaux...
L'homme politique français n'a pas beaucoup de courage et on peut simplement reconnaitre a ce gouvernement qu'il prend le "taureau par les cornes".
et vive la France

Posted by Anonymous October 25, 10 05:25 AM

This is not just a strike, this is policy and this pure freedom of expression, that just proves that France is still a democracy and french people are still interested about politic, hang on workers, stand up for your rights!

Posted by Daniel October 25, 10 05:27 AM

we are not lazy we are trying to defend rights that our grandparents struggled for when they were young, if you want to work until no age you can, but we don't want to, that s not laziness it is right to live! think before you judge!

Posted by martin October 25, 10 05:35 AM

Always funny, the French striking because they want free stuff from the government.

Has any striker come up with a reasonable, affordable alternative?

Posted by Ryt October 25, 10 05:41 AM

réponse à Sark0 post #357.
On peut bien offrir la rage quand le peuple n'a plus le droit aux décisions.
Ce que l'on demande c'est une égalité des droits sociaux. On ne voit pas tous la même chose et nous n'obligeons personne à faire la grève. Ce qui compte c'est que tous le monde soit écouté.

Posted by error404 October 25, 10 05:48 AM

i am from a developing country and could not initially digest local britons in london refusing to stay after 5 in office , especially when people others (europeans, asians , americans ) willing to put in that extra needed . I rued the fact that when why this idiots are complaining when god has given them so much.
I gradually started to appreciate their fact that they are used to a way of life and would not change that for anything .
Recently we hired a french trader who only agreed to join only if he can work from mon-wed and is flown back to paris on wed nite. I said wtf. But that guy is really good and worth's company investment .

@ to all those ignorant complaining about other nationalities percieved characterisitics, know the culture and then comment .
It has only been a year here in london and i have changed all my opinions about people from so and so country .

Posted by sid October 25, 10 05:48 AM

la réforme est nécesaire, mais je pense qu' elle devrait être possible après 40 années de cotisations, mais le gouvernement ne veut pas de ca, normal les copains de notre nain nationnal gèrent l'argent des retraites pendant des années, ça va leur faire des revenus en plus plus de morts avant de la percevoir )et davantage de temps avec l'argent dans ses caisses.

Posted by tintin &milou October 25, 10 05:52 AM

Stupids are everywhere indeed mister truebrit comment 523. If you don"t have enough education to discuss with arguments please stay quiete in your ignorance.

I can't understand why demonstrators can't realize our pension system could run again and again.
The world change unfortunatly not our union guys ! What's a pity. My poor country, I'm sad

Posted by enough is enough October 25, 10 05:55 AM

just to say that theses events are the result of the financial crisis who began in usa

Posted by woop October 25, 10 05:56 AM

What do you want to think when you see pict. 40 ?? These guys are elected by french people, they are only a few when it's time to vote for the entire country's pensions. And these guys also vote for their own pensions !! The reform terms are not all bad ideas, the main problem is the way the project is made...

Posted by M October 25, 10 06:08 AM

I'm proud of my country. It's been a while since I could say that. To those who complain about the strikes, one word : Larbins!

Posted by Tom October 25, 10 06:20 AM

Moi aussi je vis dans ce pays et j'ai honte de l'image que nous donnons de nous à l'étranger! Qu'il soit de droite ou de gauche notre gouvernement devra tot ou tard prendre cette décision pour que nos enfants aient une retraite... Seulement voila ceux qui sont dans la rue sont des moutons manipulés par des bergers qui les envoient dans un ravin!

Posted by Paul October 25, 10 06:21 AM

Le gouvernement essait encore de nous faire croire que nous vivons en démocratie, mais la vérité est tout autre...
Nos droits sont bafoués et nos libertés supprimées petit à petit.
Ces CRS sur les photos qui tabassent les miens me donnent envi de gerbé..
Le peuple est dans la rue et j'espère que ça continuera, sans nous l'état n'est rien...

Vive la révolution, vive le peuple !

Posted by Voltaire October 25, 10 06:25 AM

In fact French people aren't really against the idea to raise the age for a minimum pension from 60 to 62. The problem is that no discussion had been made between government and citizens. You also have to know that in France a lot of people after 55 don't have work. They're a big problem with senior employment. It's why this reform won't resolve any problem. Moreover politicians don't make any reform on they're own pension system. The French citizen don't accept an idea only because other have already accept it and i think it's a good thing.

Posted by thibault October 25, 10 06:33 AM

Je suis française et scandalisée par les propos tenus par certains d'entre vous. La racaille de banlieue, comme vous la qualifiée, à des parents chômeurs ou précaires, des logements trop petits pour des familles nombreuses, ne part pas en vacances, paye ses livres scolaires avec des bons de mairie, va régulièrement aux restos du coeur avec ses parents, vit dans des halls qui puent la pisse, vit le racisme ordinaire...c'est cela le monde qu'on leur offre. Las de voir un gâteau dont ils n'ont pas de part, ils vont se servir eux mêmes !
La jeunesse française à peur de son avenir, voilà ce qu'ils viennent dire massivement dans les rues. Quant aux casseurs, qui sont minoritaires, on leur a tellement appris que dans cette société il faut posséder pour "être", qu'ils ont perdu la vraie valeur des choses. Ils montrent leur révolte en s'en prenant aux biens matériels. Et une console volée et revendue assurera un peu d'argent de poche pour quelques jours. C'est notre faute, on récolte ce que l'on sème.

Posted by Lizzylou October 25, 10 06:42 AM

Stakhanov, I am french too. You are like all the trade unionists: you're too busy with yourself and your own comfort to think of the country. Of course, most of people would like to retire at 60, but the problem is not here. It's easy to see that we can't continue like this: in France, like in other european coutries, we live older, and have less childrens than earlier. So, how can we pay the pensions of more people with less workers?? It's impossible, you have to see that!
And this strike is a SHAME, because the ones who want to work (because they agree with the reform or just because they can't afford to stop working) are taken into hostage by the minority who demonstrates and paralyses the country! The strike already cost 3 millions euros: how many pensions could have been paid with that?!

Posted by Axelle October 25, 10 07:00 AM

To all peoples.
This reform is a big hold-up. Guillaume Sarkozy, the brother of President Sarkozy, is the head manager of a big insurance company. In the past few months, this company concluded agreement with state banks (with the help of President Sarkozy) which will allow it to be the first pension insurance company in France. This to say that this reform is made to break our repartition pension system, instead to save it as President Sarkozy says.

Our president is a big lier, stealing poors (and State) to give to the riches (and him). It has never happened since WW2 that a president is so unpopular in France. Now, it is question to abolish a special tax for rich peoples... French peoples are now revolting against lie and cynism, and it is only the beginning.

Posted by A French October 25, 10 07:13 AM

Raah mais saqué tous ces noirs et arabes qui ne sont là que pour piller et brûler, ça sera déjà une bonne chose de faite!

Posted by FranceToTheFrenchs October 25, 10 07:16 AM

For 466 : "we have weeks of 35 legal hours, 5 weeks of legal holidays + 2 or 3 weeks holidays for compensation with 35h law, so yes you read well we have about 7 to 8 weeks holidays in France"

That's wrong : most of french people works more than 35H (see statistics !).
If you work 35H per week, you only have 5 weeks s of legal holidays.
If you work more than 35H per week, you could have more than 5 weeks.

For 466 : "So when you compare a worklife of a us guy vs a french guy"

We live (US, GB, Deutchland, France...) in very rich country. Wealth has doubled in thirty years. That's not a wealth problem, that's a problem of inequality wjth this financial capitalism.

French don't want to pay their financial crisis, French revolt, French lead the way in the world.

Posted by matht October 25, 10 07:25 AM

Perhaps from other places in the world is not easy to understand what is happening in Europe. The dream is now broken and we all must do hard adjustement. France is not an exception but France is a great nation which will overcome the problems and be stronger after these difficult times. I would like mine too. From Seville, Spain, good luck all of you.

Posted by JOSE October 25, 10 07:35 AM

faut-il à ce point être inculte pour tenir des propos pro-sarkosiste....ouvrez les yeux !

Posted by jean christophe October 25, 10 07:39 AM

Vive le modèle de l"American way of live"

Plus de retraite, plein de credits et bientôt plus de système de santé et une police arrogante et toute puissante

Posted by Laurent October 25, 10 07:44 AM

Americans, you deserve the next ten years. Your free-trade / pro-corporate dogma is gonna get you: Beat up and left for dead. no jobs, no infrastructure, no community, and a country stripped bare or culture and envrionment. Have a happy 2020.

Posted by Lester October 25, 10 07:45 AM

nice pics! viva la revolution!

Posted by lorenz October 25, 10 07:50 AM

I am from Romania and I totally support the French people in their fight! They are united in fighting for a just cause. For comparison, here in Romania the age for retirement is... 64 (!!!) and will be 65 soon, with pensions of 200 Euros per month! And still NO ONE has the balls to fight for their rights! I trully say to you I am ashamed to be Romanian, our fighting spirit for our rights is long gone. Vive la France! Bravo French People!

Posted by Adrian October 25, 10 07:53 AM

Ceux qui sont contre la grève ici et qui y laissent leurs commentaires stupides n'ont rien à faire. Vous ne comprenez pas pourquoi nous manifestons : parce que cette réforme des retraites parmi tant d'autres est un prétexte pour que le gouvernement, le patronat, les riches, nous pompent encore plus d'argent qu'ils ne nous en pompent déjà. Nous sommes une démocratie et des gens se sont battus pour obtenir le droit de grève, de pouvoir prononcer à voix haute son opinion et le gouvernement bafoue ces droits, c'est inadmissible. Vous voyez des éboueurs, des profs, des gens de la construction, et tant d'autres bosser à 67 ans complètement épuisés et avec des problèmes de santé ? Vous leur confieriez vos maisons, vos enfants etc ? Faut arrêter...

Whose who are against strike and let their stupid coms shouldn't be here. They don't understand why we are demonstrating : because this law on retirement among so many others is just a mean for the government, the patrons, the rich people to steal our money more than they used to before. We are a democracy and people have fought to obtain the right to strike, to claim one's opinion clairly and the government doesn't respect these rights, it's scandalous. Would you see municipals, teachers, builders and so many others work until 67 years old completely dead and healthless ? Would you give them your children, your houses etc ? Stop it...

Posted by Jekiff October 25, 10 08:21 AM

Rien que de lire cette flopée de commentaires , j'en est déjà peur de mes lendemains , entre les Sarkozyste primaire qui veulent égorger le mauvais peuple qui a tord de penser et les Socialo-demagos qui n'apporte guère plus de solutions , on va pas allez bien loin.
Les ouvrier qui en effet "peuvent ce permettre" de faire la grève , sont la voie de ceux qui ne le peuvent pas justement , on aurait surement laisse passe encore plus d ânerie économique ou social sans eux , mais il ne faut pas non plus nier en bloc les solutions proposé , mais plutôt tenter d'en faire quelque chose de valable.
Et puis au lieu de tjrs prendre les mêmes clichés on ferais mieux de se poser la question , Ou va t'on dans la France d'aujourd'hui , parce que le social ne marchera pas tant que les gens en abuseront , et la fermeté dictatorial a la Sarkozy ne marchera pas non plus avec le budget perdu dans les poches de ses amis.
Alors préparer 2012 avec vos conviction et vos cerveaux , et plutôt que de dire que 'sa sert a rien' allez votez pour une grande ligne au lieu de brûlez , piller , gueuler et faire passez la France pour le pays des guignols.
La grève Ok , mais le VOTE est surement plus sur.

Posted by A.R October 25, 10 08:45 AM

@ 585. Labor rights were not god given (unfortunately). They were taken through strikes and fights in the streets, exactly like these ones.

If you wait for the most wealthy to arrange a repartition of wealth that's fairer to everyone, you can wait for long...

@Paul 591 : la plupart des manifestants ne contestent pas la nécessité d'une réforme. Rassurez-vous. Ou alors êtes vous sourd vous aussi ?

Posted by tom October 25, 10 08:55 AM

Du point de vue d´un travailleur allemand:

Je n´ai pas envie d´arreter de travailler a 60 ans, car mon travail me fait plaisir, et en Allemagne on en est a 67 ans pour les hommes ...

On a vu a quoi mène une retraite a moins de 60 ans en Grèce (entre autres...)

C´est vrai que le gars, qui a travaillé toute sa vie sur une locomotive a vapeur ou les rails, doit s´arreter avant celui qui ne bouge pas son c...l de derrière son ordinateur dans un bureau bien chauffé ... la retraite devrait s´adapter un peu mieux au conditions de travail ...

surtout quand des jeunes qui n´on jamais travailé un seul jour s´amusent a tout casser .

Mais ... j´aimerais bien que les allemands agissent comme les francais un peu plus souvent, au lieu d´accepter toutes les co.... eries du gouvernement.

Vive la France!

Posted by Michael October 25, 10 09:01 AM

Being French, Watching all these events, watching all these photos, I must say how ashamed I am. I'd like to remind you all Robert kennedy's words about violence " What has violence ever accomplished? What has it Ever created? etc...." Speech on mindless menace of VIolence in America.

However, a reform of our system is necessary. The work to be done is great, and maybe the plans proposed by our government are not the good ones. We need too understand that a solution needs to be found. The key problem comes from the fact that nowadays in France, there are fewer Active worker than before for much much more Passive people. This means that we have two choices: we need money to finance them, so we change the age to 62, or we increase the taxes Active people should pay, does this seem fair? It's not about going on retirement when you're 62 or 60 which is the problem, but the fact that you have too. Indeed we should have the liberty to decide whenever we want to retire.
Moreover, the other solution was to raise the number of active so as to re equilibrate the balance, and this is possible, look at the rate of unemployment, still so high in France, why is that? You wonder why? Because When "Baby Boomers", who are today's "Papy tankers" went to retire, they have free a lot of work positions but the government has decided back then to close those positions so as to make some savings...So what about dealing with two problems? Unemployment? and Retirement?

PS: Seeing all those high schools' students in the street makes me laugh. Most of them don't know why they protest, they are being indoctrinated. Their places is not on the street but in the schools. I've been the witness of a school headmaster being thrown stones at , this is a shame. I'm Ashamed of how all this is going, we are no longer talking. We are no longer negotiating, with violence you burn all your credibility. This might be something you should be thinking at before burning cars, burning buses, burning someone's life, or someone's work....

Antoine, From France.

Posted by Antoine October 25, 10 09:34 AM

#510 : "Allez travailler a l'usine de 18 a 62 ans et vous pourrez venir critiquer
a ce que je sache c'est les ouvriers qui font tourner les entreprise..."

I'm agree with you. French workers must work 40 years for having pensions. Now, the legal age to begun their pension is 60. If the french workers works from 18 to 60 years on a factory, they works 42 years. If the legal age of pension is repoussed to 62 yeras, they works 44 years to be in pension when the other workers, who start at 20, 22 or 30 years begun the work. There is a problem for the workers on factory and all the others who's starting on 18.
And now, the reform of pensions don't arrange anything. The governement does'nt think about a part of the population when he create the reform. Extend the time of contribution, it's OK. But extend the legal age to pension, it's bad, one part of the population have a problem.

And the students must doing strike, because, it's their avenir. Young french don't found work, because there's not work for their. With extend the years to work, the governement paralyze the work for young.

Sorry, I'm french. I have a very very very bad english ! :)

Posted by nana October 25, 10 09:37 AM

@Paul et bcp d'autres : votre commentaire en dit long sur l'absence de débat. Le gouvernement refuse de considérer la solution d'augmenter les impôts et vous acceptez ce raisonnement sans le remettre en question. Passez une petite heure à écouter cette émission. J'imagine que comme la plupart d'entre nous, vous avez assez intégré les valeurs promues par les gouvernants pour refuser la plupart des arguments, cependant, ceux sur l'aspect mathématique des réformes me semblent plus que pertinents :

Posted by tatillon October 25, 10 09:50 AM

I look nice on picture ! want to meet the girl with "non à la reforme" on her pretty face.

Posted by Meon picture October 25, 10 09:50 AM

vous qui nous sortez des salaires de 56000 euros par ans pour des cheminots ouah ???? MOI JE SUIS CHEMINOT mon salaire 2000 euros par moi primes inclus (weekend , feriè, nuit, ) 3x8 blinder et OUI???
Anciennetè 20 ans .
MOI je voudrais bien que les personnes qui sorte c chiffres controle leurs source si il y en a une ????
MOI je voudrais que vous donnier votre salaire juste pour voir?????
MOI ma femme bosse dans le priver elle a un meilleur CE que moi (cheque vacance, ticket restaurants ,cheque cadeaux a noel ,prime )incroyable

Posted by hehdbf October 25, 10 09:56 AM

Les Français ne veulent pas travailler plus. Ils veulent d'abord travailler tous ! Le gouvernement élu démocratiquement ne remplit pas son contrat. Il ne sert pas le peuple mais ses patrons financiers. Il n'a eu de cesse de fragiliser la population avec sa stratégie de paupérisation afin de lui faire accepter n'importe quoi.
Il voudrait que les Français naissent et vivent pour produire, épargner et crever. (Pour engraisser qui ?).. Quand ils n'en seront plus capables, ils seront remplacés par les jeunes formés à l'université à servir ces mêmes patrons ... Plus de soins de santé, plus de retraite, une seul commandement: "Produits ou crève !"

Ce n'est plus une grève contre une réforme mais bel et bien les germes de la révolution contre ce système .

Ne vous y trompez pas, le chef d'état et ses compères vont très mal et tremblent...

Posted by Françoise Blanche October 25, 10 10:01 AM

To all the ones saying strikers should stop and blablabla: Guess how our ancestors get rights for retirement itself, uh? Fightings, demonstrations and strikes, that's it...
No strikers means no rights at all. If you let the government do what he wants in 10 years no one will have retirement, except members of governement of course, don't forget that they vote "No" when it came to the bill about their own retirements...

People are angry because Sarkozy is telling that we should go frugal when he and his friends won't !

Posted by Hardt October 25, 10 10:24 AM

When governments oppress, its people shall rise. Power to the people!

Posted by --X-- October 25, 10 10:26 AM

Decades of liberal propaganda made people think that this kind of reform is "necessary", without even questioning themselves why. There is no fatality, this is politics, not demography. Financing retirements by making people work longer is a political choice, and it has alternatives. A lot.

People saying that unions don't provide alternatives are wrong, they do. For years, big companies and healthy people have seen huge taxes cut when workers paid more and more. These taxes cut could have paid the pensions. French government does not do this to save the system (as they claim), it is a political decision and as all decisions this government made, it is aimed at helping the rich and make the poor pay. When the financial crisis begun, government found a lot of money to help the very same banks who created this crisis. Help the banks, but make the workers pay !

Moreover, Sarkozy made the promise he won't reform the retirement system during the presidential campaign. Because he was not elected for that purpose.

Professions which still have good pensions and revenues are not not be envied : they fought for it, and instead of wanting them to have less, we should want to have more ! Some people even say that since some professions have a higher life expectancy, that's the proof they abuse the system - shame on them, they live longer ! That's simply a crazy ideology.

I don't care if France has a strong economy if it means everyone lives in misery. What's the point of being a rich country if only a few people benefit from it while others work hard for their whole life ?

To all french people who are ashamed of living here : Be sick. Be old. Be poor. And tell me you would want to live in a country where there is no social security, no public retirement system and no unemployment insurance. That's called solidarity.

And to people angry against strikes : Being on strike is a right. You loose a lot of money when you are on strike. Everyday. That's not something you do for fun. You sacrifice yourself to fight for a better system. And you do not do that selfishly for yourself, you do it for the others too - mostly in fact.

Posted by Julien October 25, 10 10:35 AM

Merci Manu :)

Posted by Flo October 25, 10 10:38 AM

Il est complètement ahurissant de devoir travailler jusqu'à 67 ans en France pour toucher une retraite de misère, pour la plupart des personnes en situation précaires et même les autres, calculées sur les 25 ans de salaire, alors que des millions de jeunes ne trouvent pas d'emploi dans le pays.

La solidarité veut que ce soit un partage du travail dont on ait besoin, et non pas de faire travailler les gens plus longtemps. De plus il existe 68 régimes différents de retraite chez nous, ce qui est une aberration. Dont certains, très avantageux, comme celui des députés & sénateurs, qui se sont gentiment exclus, par un vote, de la réforme en cours. Où donc est la justice ?

Lorsque des scandales d'état nous montrent journellement le pouvoir se corrompre & s'inscrire durablement dans les conflits d'intérêts, brasser des millions en le redonnant, par le biais du bouclier fiscal, aux plus riches, nous ne pouvons accepter ces injustices supplémentaires figurant dans cette réforme des retraites.

Cela ne passe pas. Et lorsque le président lui même gaspille l'argent public pour se faire faire un aménagement-luxueux d'avion personnel avec l'argent de nos impôts, nous ne sommes pas d'accord. Ce cas n'étant qu'un simple exemple parmi des dizaines possibles, hélas !!!

C'est tout cela qui explose en France actuellement. Car toutes les injustices les plus flagrantes se retrouvent dans cette loi que l'on nous force à accepter, et dont nous ne voulons pas.

Merci de votre lecture.

Posted by Kathy October 25, 10 10:46 AM

n° 518 Tous ces chiffres sont strictement faux.
All figures concerning salaries quoted by n°518 are absolutely false.

Alex (n°528). The true question is this. Is it fair that a worker, who began working at 18, should work until he is 70 and have around 5 years retirement, whereas a white collar, who began working at 25 or 28, retire at 70 and has around 10 ou 15 years retirement ? Since the average life length is highly dependent on the job you had, as many demographic studies have showed.
Most French people do not protest against a reform, they protet against this reform, which is obviously unfair.

Posted by NiCl October 25, 10 10:54 AM

so gza : let's go on strike, there is no other way because it'll never happen :(

Posted by Flo October 25, 10 10:55 AM

I really hope that something like that will be triggered in Italy.
ITALIANs need to wake up from the Berlusconi's governent and follow our neighboors. The medium class is disappering: poor people are getting poorer and poorer, while riches are earning more and more.

Posted by Nick October 25, 10 10:56 AM

Well yeah the girl with "non à la réforme" is really pretty, it's normal it's a french girl, i'm proud to be french for that as wel :D

Posted by Flo October 25, 10 11:02 AM

Let's be honest, the people in private enterprise who are with the strikers have short memories, 15 years ago when the governement decided to make them work 41 years instead of 39 and changed the way that the retirement was calculated, lowering the pensions, nobody moved . Today the people striking are those who can retire at 55 with 75% of their last wages, SNCF, Post, EDF, Petrol refineries, etc. will now have to work until their 57th birthday and only in 2018 will have to work a bit longer, and the others who have to work until 60 - 65 are shouting because they will have to go to 62.
Vive la France

Posted by John in Paris October 25, 10 11:04 AM

Top 10 GDP Countries 2000-2050

This table shows the top 10 countries by GDP (Gross Domestic Product) expressed in billions of US$, for the years 2000, 2010, 2020, 2030, 2040 and 2050, listed by projected 2050 rank.
SOURCE: Goldman Sachs

I wonder how is Goldman Sachs able to guess the top 10 GDP countries in 2050 while they dramatically failed to foresee the coming subprime crisis two years ago!

Posted by Zeugma October 25, 10 11:04 AM

I'm a 23 years old French girl, business student. What a lot of people commenting here don't seem to get, it's that we don't go on strike because we don't want to work more. We're not stupid, we know it has to happen, and a great majority of the french people is okay to give more. But why giving more when all of our advantages are cut back one by one? When the rich are only getting richer and the poor poorer? When all of the government is regularly attacked by the press on the luxury spending of the ministers and the president, while 10% of the population don't have a job?

I will gladly work until my 70th birthday (and I probably will have to) if this means the French welfare system won't be shrunk. If this means that more jobs are going to be created, that the environment will be protected, that the medical insurance won't disappear, that the social housing programs will expend, that the universities will have more money, that students in need will be helped. I don't want to work more so that the banks, Liliane Bettencourt (L'Oréal heiress, accused of collusion with one of our ministers btw), and the 1% of the richest people in France will make more money.
If the people has to give, the people has to get something in return!
My generation is screwed, it knows it, and it goes on the street to protest, and scream that it won't bend over, for anyone.
Vive la grève!
Vive la France!

Posted by Laure October 25, 10 11:15 AM

I am truly sorry, but french people is not ready for Revolution and any other fondamental change over life. They just are protesting against their present difficulty, although knowing tht way they just vote for when voting for Sarkozy, because of this big mouth, this lot of promises ( they know he could not stand), even we have said just before, trying to prevent them for voting : "Be careful ! he his not the right man in the right place ! he is only the man of the market, the big chief of "big-managers", and he will work for them. Try to think about of the policy he will made, with such counsellors ! But they have already vote for TCE, and Maastricht ! What to do after that ? This is not a matter of bad government, this concerns the whole society ! the way you would like to live, in the nearest future, you and yours childs

Posted by COEZY October 25, 10 11:18 AM

On serait à l'Ancien Régime la plupart des personnes du Gouvernement et l'UMP serait passé à la guillotine.
C'est marrant ça des cheminots qui manifestent alors qu'ils partent à la retraite à 50 ans et qui touchent 2 300 € de pension. Mais il est vrai que s'ils ne sont pas concernés immédiatemment ils le seront plus tard.
C'est bien que les jeunes se sentent concerner mais malheureusement le Gouvernement les discrédites. Il est que tout ça cesse mais par quel moyen. Vivement 2012 que l'on change de Président parce que lui aura montré une piètre image de la France et cela n'est pas du tout excusable.

Posted by TsUb4s@ October 25, 10 11:18 AM

Je pense que le problème n'est pas seulement cette réforme. Le problème vient du fait que cette réforme est la réforme de trop.

Depuis qu'il est au pouvoir, Sarkozy défait tout, bricole tout à sa sauce : fusion des Directions régionales des affaires sanitaires et sociales (DRASS) et de certains services de l'Assurance Maladie, pour en faire les Agences Régionales de Santé (ARS)... qui sont aujourd'hui un beau bazar, il faut le dire !!! Combien ont pris la poudre d'escampette et ont demandé leur mutation avant que la fusion se fasse ? Dans combien de régions ne trouvent-on plus que quelques employés payés au ras des pâquerettes pour faire le boulot de plus d'une dizaine de personnes d'une catégorie supérieure à la leur ?

Mais ça, on n'en parle pas beaucoup aux infos ! Ce serait gênant de voir que ce plan de Sarko est + un bazar qu'autre chose !

Je me souviens aussi que les Directions Départementales de l'Agriculture et de la Forêt subissent à peu près la même chose : nombreuses sont les tâches qui maintenant sont rendues dans les Directions Régionales...

Quant aux Préfectures ? Même combat ! Les sous-préfectures risquent de disparaître d'ici à quelques années et une personne ira à l'autre bout du département si elle a besoin de papiers...

J'ai travaillé dans ces deux dernières administrations, je connais du monde aux ARS, donc je sais de quoi je parle...

Et tout ça, c'est sans parler du sous-effectif dans l'éducation nationale où je suis maintenant rendue : dans le service où je suis, nous sommes déjà 4 CDD, dont 2 renouvelées depuis quelques années. "Faites ce que je dis, mais pas ce que je fais..." Dans le privé, ils se prendraient des amendes !


And sorry, it will be difficult to translate everything, but making it shortly : I think that the strike is not only because of the age pension, but because of many things that Sarkozy has done before... (with differents reforms in administrations for example). And you have to know, too, that he never remembers what did he say some years before... We can't trust what he says. He's a big lier...

Posted by Lily Dreams October 25, 10 11:24 AM

I live just near the picture 8. Under the rioters, there was an old person who was in the entry of the shop. The rioters run on her to rob cigarets not to protest against the reform.

It a shame.

You have the right to be on strike but not to paralyse the economy.

Posted by cd October 25, 10 11:28 AM

"A bird in the hand is better than several billion in a bushes."

- Voltaire

So it's like they're striking because they want some free stuff but what nobody realized is that they also get a day off work too so it's like getting some more vacation days for free and everything. Two free things.

"There are only two things in this world that are free and they're also the best things, they are: ice cream, love, and justice."

- Plado

Posted by TENURED PROF October 25, 10 11:36 AM

wow is image 21 really a cop spraying a kid with a crutch?

Posted by adam October 25, 10 11:56 AM

Le vrai problème des retraites, c’est qu'en 20 ans le PIB de la France (la richesse produite) est passé de 990 milliards d’€ à 1950 milliards (en 2008) sans augmentation de la part des retraites (qui a même diminué de 10% selon l’INSEE). C’est aussi l’échec des gouvernements successifs de gauche ou de droite pour réduire le chômage. Néanmoins, si 4 actifs étaient nécessaires dans les années 1960-70 pour un retraité, 2 suffisent actuellement et, vu l’accroissement constant de la productivité (300% en 40 ans), dans quelques années 1 salarié suffira à financer 1 retraité et cela compensera donc l'augmentation de l'espérance de vie.
Avec 2,2 millions de millionnaires, la France est le 3ème pays au monde après les USA et le Japon où il y a le plus de millionnaires, plus qu’en Allemagne et proportionnellement bien plus qu'en Chine ou en Suisse ! N'y a-t-il pas là un vrai problème de répartition des richesses ? Les niches fiscales des entreprises représentent 172 milliards d’€/an équivalant à 700 000 emplois à 2000€/mois, voilà à quoi correspond le montant de l’hémorragie fiscale des géants fraudeurs du CAC40.
La population ne suit plus le président Sarkozy et son gouvernement : retraites, Affaire Woerth-Bettencourt et financement illégal de l’UMP, bouclier fiscal, racisme (Affaire Hortefeux, expulsion des Roms), atteintes aux droits de la presse (France classée 44ème dans le monde par RSF), loi HADOPI, vaccination contre une grippe imaginaire, etc... etc... Les Français ont compris que leur liberté et leur avenir sont gravement compromis par des abus de pouvoir et la concentration des richesses entre les mains d'une très petite minorité par disparition des classes moyennes et explosion du nombre de pauvres. Comme en 1789 lorsqu'ils ont renversé l'Ancien Régime, vont-ils montrer de nouveau au monde qu'une autre voie est possible ? Seront-ils de nouveau un espoir et un exemple pour le reste de l'Humanité ?
Les désagréments des grèves ne sont rien par rapport à ce qu'imposera la mise en oeuvre de la réforme des retraites. De l’argent, il y en a assez pour les payer décemment, il suffit d’imposer un autre partage des richesses. Par la grève, ne lâchez rien ! Vive la France ! Vive la République !

Posted by Yeporilo October 25, 10 12:09 PM

"Je ne vit plus pour un système
qui va contre la nature humaine
et qui nous fait croire que nos gènes
sont concoctés pour le travaille a la chaine
un monde ou on nous enchaines
aux valeurs de la haine ...... "

Posted by hunter October 25, 10 12:10 PM

Poor France and mostly poor French.
As the anciant Greeks and then Romans France is "decadent" for many reasons.
Many people so called from the " left", don't want to see that. Ambition, dogmatism profit is their only "religion"
Personaly, I am too old to care (72) and still a little bit at work (on purpose)
I am not anymore concerned

Posted by Heurteloup October 25, 10 12:33 PM

Workers of France, UNITE!
Workers of the world, UNITE!
It will never be over. This is the only way to our freedom... the real freedom, not that delusional freedom that capitalists keep on spreading around the world.

Posted by Hani October 25, 10 12:35 PM

Ils nous pompent avec leur allongement de l'âge de la retraite...
Alors que la plupart des entreprises licencient leurs salariés dès qu'ils ont atteint 53 ou 54 ans!
En fait, c'est allonger la durée de chômage qu'ils souhaitent et mettre en place le système de fonds de pension à l'américaine. (Voir Médiapart et la "joint-venture" des frères Sarko).

Posted by Guy October 25, 10 12:36 PM

the youth seen here (high school students) are just doing this for fun in most respects, its the same in most protests, a bunch of hot headed young men decide to cause trouble by burning cars/ looting stores etc...

same in ireland when the orange order tried to march through dublin, it ended up just being a load of dublin youths fighting with the police for fun.

Posted by mousey (irish) October 25, 10 12:39 PM

I'm French, posting from France where I am atm, but living abroad most of te time - there's a reason why I live abroad by the way!

Several things:

French girls aren't that cute. And them protesting that much only makes them obnoxious.

Blocking the whole country is nothing to be proud of. Ppl on strike say they're fighting for democracy but all they're doing is fighting for a dictatorship by the people and for no one's benefit.

I'm French living in France at the moment, and I'm ashamed at what these French ppl resort to doing when they are mad. Okay, not all of them are throwing rocks at the police. But that a minority can block a whole country in a few hours is revolting.

The French mindset is that we are heirs to the French Revolution a few centuries ago. What we often forget is the years of Terror that followed and the upmost mess we were in at that time.

I'm ashamed at their lack of ideas. I'm ashamed at their lack of creativity – like seriously, strikes, AGAIN?? I'm in France an average of 4 months a year and EVERY TIME I'm there, there are strikes for whatever reason possible.

I'm ashamed at their lack of basic knowledge of their rights and obligations as citizens. High school students are NOT allowed to go on strike. Strictly speaking, they don't make any money, they don't get to strike!
Going on strike is a civic right, I agree, it's no obligation nor no requirement for citizenship. Guys, you don't HAVE to go on strike. You can express yourselves otherwise. And you don't need strikes to feel like you belong to something !

We are living on to be 100 years old when we die. What's wrong with working a few more years. Especially when we don't pay for most of our schooling and can get a masters 5 years after graduating from highschool without paying a dime if we set our hearts to it!

Does anyone know what amount of taxes employers are paying for every single one of their employees? I must admit, I don't exactly, but I know it's a lot already. If we don't work longer years, employers have to pay even more taxes, and that will prevent them from hiring more. And then we're all gonna be enumployed! Is that any better. I'd rather work a few more years than not work at all!

To all 'state employees' (fonctionaires) who work for trains, airports, and so on, do you really think that your strikes are gonna help anyone? Especially not you ! Don't you know that these companies are in debt already? All those strikes are a major blow up to French finances and this blow up will have to be compensated for at some point. Maybe with your pension money?? yeah, that would be a great idea ! I suggest you work an extra month for every day you're on strike!

And I'm not even talking about rioters. They don't even deserve being talked about.

Never have I ever read a definition of 'French' that said: individual who feels the need to go on strike and protest whenever their ways change a little bit for the benefit of the rest of the nation... but I'm sure that's what is said abroad!

Never have I ever heard of such a definition of democracy – dictatorship by the people and for no one's benefit

you guessed it, I'm French and not proud of my country!

Posted by claire October 25, 10 01:08 PM

Le peuple n'a pas toujours su résister au fascisme.
La situation actuelle est particuliérement inquiétante.
Je soutiens tous ceux qui luttent pour vivre debout car sans eux la france serait aux mains de fachos.

On fustige souvent la France pour ces grèves, mais la France est aussi le pays ou l'on trouve le MEDEF une spécialité française faite du patronnat le plus réactionnaire du monde. Ce que les médias ne montrent jamais.

Hasta la victoria siempré !

Posted by Carouble October 25, 10 01:09 PM

I fully support the French, they really have the balls to stand up and fight for their rights, in the rest of the countries we just let the system/policitians to steal from us each time more and more.
Well, the history supports them as well.

Posted by Romy October 25, 10 01:14 PM

Come on France, grow up.

Posted by Adulthood = Responsibility October 25, 10 01:27 PM

à Florentin (538). Je trouve votre commentaire très triste. Se focaliser sur la "race", comme vous dites, de certains de ces jeunes manifestants, tout en en omettant d'autres à la couleur de peau apparemment plus attrayante pour vous me parait un commentaire on ne peut plus malvenu. S'il est certain que certains débordements ont eu pour auteurs des jeunes issus de l'immigration, on ne peut cependant pas limiter ces actes à ces seuls jeunes, ni les étendre à l'ensemble des jeunes d'origine maghrébine, africaine ou autre. Et on ne peut que rappeler que ces jeunes sont bel et bien français, étant nés en France, bien qu'issus de familles d'immigrés (depuis parfois plusieurs générations). Et ces justement cela que beaucoup de français que j'ai envie de qualifier d' "aryens" (dont je fais partie) refuse d'accepter, démonisant ces jeunes et les montrant du doigt, les rendant responsables de tous les maux de la société, sur la base d'une minorité, certes violente et antisociale, mais qui demeure une minorité. La haine engendre la haine. Et ces débordements sont le reflet d'un problème de société qui va bien au delà des simples retraites.

Posted by Léonard October 25, 10 01:30 PM

The tradegy is that the people are rioting for the Govt. trying to reduce spending, when they should have been rioting 10-20 years ago for the Govt. installing a nanny state.

No one least of all the Govt. owes people a free lunch. The Govt. has become this massive beast of socialism, expected to support all the peoples needs, and this is clearly nonsense.

Private enterprise will support anyones needs who can be bothered to work for it.

Posted by Richard October 25, 10 01:54 PM

Qui sème la misère récolte la colère !

who sows misery reaps rage !

Posted by NISSOUP October 25, 10 02:35 PM

La honte que cette dernière photo!
Un pouvoir àvide!

Posted by YGH October 25, 10 02:40 PM

Bonjour de France,
Your photos are beautiful! my favorite pictures 18, 19,30,33 :)

Posted by Dany October 25, 10 02:42 PM

Well reading some comments here it seems that all the conservatives who support the system are pretty much annoyed with the actions of the French people. Go French, we are with you. Don't mind the conservative hysteria. Are they annoyed? That means you are doing what you have to do very well. They will regret it someday when they will end up slaves of the capitalists. Keep on fighting. Greece is with you.

Viva la revolution
Viva la France

Posted by Wannabe French October 25, 10 02:48 PM

that's the way...same law in romania is to be voted but no one has the courage to strike...vive la france

Posted by tata October 25, 10 03:00 PM

The U.S. is next, along with Ireland and others. Are you ready?! First it was Iceland, then Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Mexico, & others, now France. If you watch U.S. mainstream news, there is hardly a word of all this. Most americans have no idea Europe and elsewhere are in turmoil, in revolt.
For years now, U.S. leaders have been proposing raising retirement age above 65. Austerity measures for all, is the new fad in government ... Instead they should pay back the money they "borrowed" from SS (social security) for decades now, cut their own exorbitant wages and pensions; Stop wasting our wealth on wars we don't have to fight, and banks and markets which should fail miserably like the corrupt dogs they are.
This isn't about socialism, this is about a corrupt and bloated government and money system.
Fact: Social Security in america has always payed for itself. So well, the government has borrowed from it for 60 years and has hardly payed back any (a cash cow). SS is a simple insurance plan, money-in money-out. Now that the baby-boomers are retiring they have convinced the gullible that it is a "broken" system and socialism at its worst?! By that logic, if you have car insurance, you are a socialist.
Wake up, we-the-people (everywhere) are on the "austerity" chopping block. And it is not because we-the-people have actually done anything wrong, even if many are misinformed. Mainstream Media and our "leaders" have misled the public for decades. As one french commenter said: 'they lie to them (in France) as well.' It is a world wide problem.
If we don't say stop, government will continue wasting our wealth forever. They have even managed to run a simple insurance plan into the ground. There is nothing wrong with simple insurance; There is something wrong with the incompetence & corruption that has laid it to waste.

Posted by billbo October 25, 10 03:01 PM

Hello everybody !
I am a french teacher ( and writer of poetry - my last book is entirely dedicated to this marvelous author : Virginia Woolf ) and i have been on strike for several days. On the 27 october i shall bring 2000 euros to support the people on strike in the "Raffinerie of Granpuits" situated in the south of Paris. We are not only protesting against the age of retirement but against all the politic of Sarkozy ( Napoleon Sarkozy ) and his government who have totally torn the democracy ( "Liberty, Egality, Fraternity" ). This politicians act with cynism since they do not want to discuss of the age of retirement with the syndicalists which is absolutly anti-democratic ; moreover they help financially the richer citizens of France with 100 milliards euros of fiscal aids ! Millions of poors cannot afford to go to the doctor anymore, have difficulties to find an appartment and food...We resent rage against mister Sarkozy and his awful manners of leading and directing France. That's why you can see me on the 1rst photography holding the big board raising, my arms...

Posted by Voltuan October 25, 10 03:02 PM

The reality is that the world is described as terrible. If we listen to the TV we think our parents had more money than us and we will never have a pension. There is a story that tells us that in the 60ies our parents had jobs and now we don't have any... Well all these are lies to scare us...

There is more money today in France than even in the history, just look at the GNP, it has never been higher!
In the 60ies there were jobs for everyone aparently (but what they don't say is the in the 60ies the women didn't work much in france. There where then an employment rate of 65% of the people in age to work, and now we are 78% working. So there is much less unemployement today than in the 60ies. We only count unemployement differently.

They tell us that since there will be more old people in percentage of the population, we will not be able to pay. That sounds reasonable... but in fact if that was true, we would be already unable to pay (50 year ago, there were much less old people in percentage than today. Oh and we also should be starving... 50 years ago 40% of the population were farmers today they are less than 10% of them... so we must be starving since they must produce 4 times less food... (oh wait they are producing much more food then 50 years ago).

What they don't count is the growth of productivity. What 5 man could do 50 years ago 1 man can do it today. And the same will be true in the future. So there can be less people working in percentage of the population. In fact that is exactly what happend since 150 year. 150 ago people worked 70 hours a week with no vacations and almost no salary from 16 years old untill they died. Today in france we work 35 hour a week from 23 year old till 58 (in average). Does that mean we have less money per person than 150 years ago? Of course not. We have much more money than before per person in average.

Telling us there is no money anymore is just a lie... there is more and more money in the system! Just look at the statistics... more than 2.5% of growth of the GDP per year in average for the past 50 year! (
It is more than the growth of the population in the same period arround 1.5%/year for the world much less in europe and the US

That means there is more money per person in average every year. The problem is that people that have more money are very few (the rich people have 1000 times more money than 50 years ago, whereas normal people had a small increase of salary or a small decrease).

I want to point out that I love my job and I would be glad to do it untill I can't (65? 70 year? more? I don't care I love what I do). But saying there is no money to pay the retirement is just a buch of lies... For instance... there was thousounds of billions of dollars to save the banks in no time. Why shoudn't there be some money for the retirement?

Posted by adrien October 25, 10 03:11 PM

Toutes ces insultes et grossièretés sont indignes de gens responsables. Oui, la réforme des retraites est nécessaire; oui, les salariés du privé et du public veulent bien faire des efforts. J'ai lu dans un message qu'il était normal de cotiser plus longtemps puisqu'on vit plus vieux : en effet la durée moyenne de vie est de 80 ans, mais vous oubliez un détail : l'âge de vie en bonne santé est de 62 ans en moyenne et de 59 ans pour les ouvriers ! ce n'est pas tout à fait pareil, n'est ce pas ? Par ailleurs, la productivité qui a augmenté ces dernieres années a permis d'augmenter la rémunération des capitaux et non du travail. Il serait donc juste que la rémunération du capital participe au financement des retraites. Des efforts , d'accord, mais pour tout le monde. Refuser cette réforme ne signifie pas refuser toute réforme.

Posted by elise October 25, 10 03:18 PM

Soonly, we'll not live so long time.
Why work a so long time ?
And work so stupidly
To empty planet reserves ?

To morrow is going to slow down, eat less, think well.
Soonly, we'll be well (in our head'n heart) ?
That's the question.
NO ?

Posted by zeph October 25, 10 03:46 PM

Our children will not have any retirement because the world is to revolution itself.
We don't like bosses, neither politicians, nor economics rules.
We don't want our children to work, either to be exploited, or to become the boss. We hate capitalist's servants, we disagree with the all the democratic representation, we are tired of the capitalist class and of being members of the proletarian class : we gonna change this realities from the very reality of this world of classes.
We don't have any respect, any more, and yet for "work", or economics, or politics, and so we will dance another sort of ballet, we'll change the rule of this game ( in the present game, we'll loose for ever, because we're THE losers, ever and ever). The changing of the rule is a GAP.
We gonna try to overstep the material community of the capitalist production mode...
We need all of you, every body for communisation.
Down with the pathetic, sarcastic, arrogant, cynical, servile, progressive, left, rigth...
France on Strike, à bientôt for : WORLD ON STRIKE, FOR EVER

Posted by A.D. October 25, 10 03:48 PM

Desde la revista Crisis la Re-vuelta quisiéramos saber si es posible reproducir alguna de estas fotos sea en nuestra revista o en le blog de la misma ilustrando artículos sobre la situación en Francia , obviamente citando el origen . ESPERAMOS RESPUESTA Mirta

Posted by Mirta Fabre October 25, 10 03:50 PM

"This isn't about socialism, this is about a corrupt and bloated government and money system." Exactly, Bilbo.

Voltuan, thank you very much for going out and demonstrating. It's hard for those of us who are very interested in this to get the news out to the people in America. They are not remembering the fact that it was your country that gave us the "Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite" to rally around and set our new, small country free in the 1770s.

My heart is with all the people of France who are being given a raw deal by the Napoleon Sarkozy government. I am with you in spirit and many, many people here in the US are with you too in fighting against this corrupt government.

La victoire!!!

Posted by Julia Jenny October 25, 10 03:52 PM

The French strike, that's what they do. The French complain, that's what they do. The French explain, that's what they do.

It seems to me, however, that it doesn't really matter anymore what the French do or don't do. They themselves (and some other dreamers) still hang on to the long gone idea of a France with an irreplaceable importance to the world. Besides for being rather exotic, this idea carries an almost inevitable invitation to ridicule.

Just look at Europe: a mish-mash of small and medium sized countries, bickering tribes, dying languages and museum bound cultures, unable to make a dent in a pack of butter. France, the self promoted fore-runner of this most Western peninsula of Asia, still feels like it can teach the world anything with bombastic rhetoric by a president on trial for corruption, an outlandish first lady who needs a $1000 bouquet of roses everyday, a pedophile minister that defends a pedophile filmmaker and a divine human rights policy that allows for the deportation of ethnic minorities.

It's over my dear France, you had your chance to shine. You are now a country like so many others. Worth a visit, passing through, driving by, flying over, but exiting enough to spend more them a couple of days.

Besides that, the thrill is gone, I'm sooooo over you and I'm filing for divorce.

Posted by Rita Janssen, Amsterdam. October 25, 10 04:50 PM

Could the media (in the US and also in France) state the facts correctly? The legal age to retire will be 62 if you accept to have only A PART of your retirement money. You have to work until 67 to get your ENTIRE retirement benefit. Please do state this correctly as it will make more sense to people in other countries to understand that French people do not go on strike for only 2 years of working but 7!
TO Terri: In addition, instead of comparing everything that should not be compared, just think 2 sec about the young french people who are trying to find job nowadays. The unemployment among young people is sky high in France, by increasing the age of retirement to 67, how many more young French people will be forced to live in precarious conditions because they have no jobs?It's not because other countries don't have decent jobs that we should not care about the future of our own.

Posted by Sophie October 25, 10 05:31 PM

contrairement a ce que montre les images , tout les francais ne sont pas contre la réforme . ( de même les 70% cités sont faux ou sont calculé de la même facon que les manifestants sont comptés par les syndicats )
Les francais ne se battent plus pour leurs acquis sociaux ,ils se battent seulement ' car les syndicats leurs ont dit de le faire " nuance .
Les Francais ne comprendront jamais l'interet general dans tout les cas .
Dites vous pays du reste de l'Europe ou voisins d'outre atlantique que vous avez bien de la chance de ne pas avoir affaire aussi souvent que nous aux grèves car c'est un cauchemar pour les quelques personnes qui ont envie de travailler dans cette triste france .

Posted by arno October 25, 10 05:47 PM

Oh I can understand american people being so critical about french people and their "passion for strikes"...but maybe it's because american people are just too fat and stupid to protest?! I'm soooooooooo proud to be french !!!!!

Posted by Révolution! October 25, 10 05:49 PM

Vive la France!

Posted by Niall October 25, 10 05:54 PM

Parce que la France est un pays riche peuplé de pauvres
parce qu'ils nous pressent comme des citrons
parce qu'ils veulent nous faire taire
parce qu'ils s'en mettent plein les poches
parce qu'ils sont racistes et fascistes


Et je me fous de perdre mon salaire
et je me fous de prendre des coups sur la gueule
et je me fous même d'aller en prison

Je finirai par la faire cette foutue RÉVOLUTION et ce sera de leur faute

ET VOUS... c'est pour quand ?

Posted by Robert CAROL France October 25, 10 06:09 PM

It really sounds like you have a French George W. Bush running your country. Did he buy the election like Bush did here? Im sorry my brothers and sisters.

Posted by PeopleB4Profits October 25, 10 06:34 PM

Si ce n'est pas pour bourgeoisie capitaliste, il y aurait assez de tout pour tout le monde.

If not for capitalist bourgeoisie, there would be enough of everything for everyone.

Viva la commune de Paris!

Posted by PeopleB4Profits October 25, 10 06:39 PM

Françoise, t'as fumé la moquette ou t'as été terminée à l'urine de gnou ? Ca fait trente piges que les salariés perdent du pouvoir d'achat dans un pays de plus en plus riche, alors Ya Basta!

Posted by Cyrano October 25, 10 06:40 PM

657. First for your Rita. I don't what's wrong with you to be that agressive towards France but it's pretty laughable from one of the most unpleasant, rigid and extrem peolple in Europe...

Then, for being French living in Australia, I'm ashamed of these rioting demonstrator that totally discredit these demonstrations. The French youth is really daunting sometimes (btw, I'm only 26...) But once again, we fight not for 2 years but for 7 and for rights acquired long time ago. Why should we spend most of our life in factories, offices...? To please shareholders and capitalists. I leave this to the ultra-liberal American commentators...

Posted by Jerjem October 25, 10 06:42 PM

"There is no decent alternative" to undecent laws of capitalism...some say.
Basicaly, there is no alternative to death... So why care ?
Why fight for your right?
Let's stick to injustices and exploitations of all kind :
be grown-ups : life is unfair.
why fight ? why care ?
I am proud to be a selfish jerk ready to buy any theory that keep things f*cked up.
People are so naive, thinking there might be an exception to the world's number one rule :
Be rich or work till you die trying to be rich!
material wealth! of course...
I tell you : the system works very well !!!!
Personaly, I'm old, rich and i have never complained nor manifested!
Without the rich, the poor wouldn't be here :
The rich is like a father to the poor. Amen!
The rich gives work to many poors.
Long live Ignorance and GOD bless virtual transactions at the Stock exchange market.
ps : very classy police in this pictures.

Posted by Iron Nike (very wise jerk) October 25, 10 07:19 PM

"Rita Janssen," what is th point about your post, you only seem to be jalous about that country. As a french friend told, there is not only work in life.

Posted by bob sinclair October 25, 10 07:28 PM

What do you mean the french economy can't afford to keep down the retirement age?!

Obviously you just cut the budget from another area.
Or are you saying that wherEVER the cut was made, millions of citizens would frantically riot for over it for months like this?

Posted by Luke Flegg October 25, 10 07:42 PM

Je suis Lycéens en France . Et j'approuve à 100% toutes manifestations et greves reconductibles . Car oui, j'accuse formélement ce systéme capitaliste de mettre en péril nos sociétés . Est-ce normal que les plus modestes, précaires, ouvriers et Salariés payent les conséquences de ce systéme alors que ce sont eux qui ménent l'économie d'un pays vers le haut étant donné qu'ils sont source de production d'où ce slogan "Tout est à nous" . De plus, La France est connue pour ses combats et luttes sociales, nos ancêtres ont acquis cette retraite à 60ans et aujourd'hui on nous méne en bateau en nous faisant croire qu'on ne peut financer nos retraites et donc qu'il va falloir encore une fois se serrer la ceinture et travailler plus longtemps pour galérer encore un peu plus ? Mais à force de nous prendre pour des imbéciles, on sature à la longue .... Il y en a marre de voir les plus riches s'en mettre plein les poches, de voir une majorité s'enfonçer quand d'autres jouent avec l'argent . À quand l'égalité dans ces sociétes ? à quand la fin du capitalisme ? De l'argent il y en a pour financer les retraites, mais pour cela il va falloir faire des choix et ceux-ci se feront quand les Français auront compris que c'est toujours les mêmes qui se font "baiser" .

Posted by Thomas October 25, 10 07:56 PM

mercil por le information! Photographs excellent! Cette problem c'est internationale y toute le citizens de terre son effected via l'government; Europe, USA, toute le citizens. Le Guerres et 'le banking cartel bailouts' plus corruption=Bankrupt Economy! Bon Chance mon ami's! (excuse mon francais)

Posted by Doug October 25, 10 08:01 PM

To the people criticizing the french protests;

The whole issue of public debt and the affordability of social services has been cause by the massive spending that governments undertook to bail out the banks during the global financial crisis. Unprecedented amounts of money were thrown at banks to prop them, which had the affect of not so much resolving the crisis but moving it around. Banks are back to making record profits, and people are give millions in bonus' for thier "work".

The Financial bailout simply transferred debt from the private to the public sector, whereupon the banks have turned around demanding that the government reduces its debt and cuts public spending. The public did not cause the crisis, and should not be required to accept any cut to their standard of living on services.

Resistance is necessary because what is at stake here is not simply retirement rights but a host of cuts and belt tightening that will hurt working people. The people who caused this crisis are back to making millions, yet workers are told there is no money for their pensions, that they must except lower wages etc. Rather than prioritizing the profit of the private sector the government must be made to prioritize society at large. Strikes are the only muscle workers have to flex and they must use it to break through these hypocritical policies and fight for proper alternatives.

Posted by Henry October 25, 10 08:18 PM

Pourquoi la grève ?
Simplement parce que les français sont fatigués de voir les énarques se gaver sur leur dos. Ce sont des incompétents, des incapables, et pour la plupart, des menteurs et des voyous.
Ils disent qu'il n'y a plus d'argent ?
Pourquoi l'état ne paie pas ce qu'il doit aux caisses de retraites, de la sécurité sociale, et autres ? Simplement pour son propre profit. SARKOZY s'est augmenté de plus de 170%, en disant qu'il voulait la transparence. Il a oublié de dire que son salaire est à vie. Résultat ! A lui seul, il coutera plus cher que les deux anciens présidents V.G.E. et CHIRAC encore en vie.
La retraite à 60 ans ?
OUI ! C'est possible quand l'on ne donne pas plus d'argent à ceux qui ne veulent pas bosser (environ 30 à 50% des chômeurs) qu'à ceux qui bossent (0,5% pour les fonctionnaires, 1,2% pour les titulaires du R.S.A.). D'ailleurs, comme ils ne cotisent pas pour la retraite, ils toucheront le "minimum vieillesse", taxé sur les cotisations de ceux qui travaillent. Donc, en faisant bosser "un vieux" plus longtemps, on peut espérer que sa santé se dégrade et qu'il finisse plus vite 6 pieds sous terre. Les jeunes continueront de faire des stages "photocopieuse" ou "machine à café", et seront exploités avec des C.D.D. Ils verront leur parcours professionnel troué comme du gruyère, et n'auront donc jamais de retraite décente.
Si l'on ajoute à cela les cadeaux aux pays qui viennent pleurer (l'Afrique en particulier), le coût financier de l'immigration (480 millions d'euros en 2008 pour les soins de santé des étrangers en situation irrégulière - dixit le ministre de la santé), les erreurs de gestion (les vaccins inutiles de la grippe, les aides aux banques lors de la crise ou nous avons payé les intérêts de l'argent avec lequel elles se sont enrichies - SARKO avait omis de nous dire que les intérêts étaient différés au début de juin 2010), le train de vie pharaonique de son altesse républicaine SARKOZY 1er, les aides ubuesques accordées aux grandes entreprises (comme l'exonération des charges sociales à la grande distribution pour éviter la délocalisation (Sic !) et qui se chiffrent à plusieurs dizaines de millions d'euros), on ne peut que comprendre et approuver la colère qui s'empare de notre pays.
Nos politiciens sont certainement les plus mauvais de la planète, pas les premiers car ils n'en sont même pas capables, mais ils sont sur le podium sans aucun doute.
ILS sont responsables du désordre et du désastre annoncé, que le peuple les jugent et les punissent pour cela, c'est son droit.
Une idée pour trouver de l'argent ?
- Interdire à toute société qui dégage un bilan positif en fin d'exercice de licencier (Ex. TOTAL avec 536 licenciements alors qu'il dégage des milliards de bénéfices).
- Interdire les C.D.D. de plus d'un an, les convertir en C.D.I. automatiquement, et interdire d'employer un nouveau C.D.D. sur le même poste, même si l'appellation change.
- Calculer les charges sociales sur les heures effectuées par l'entreprise et non sur le nombre d'employés.
Je terminerais pas ceci :
L'on dit que la révolution se fait par 2 sortes d'individus :
- Ceux qui croient aux vertus de la révolution d'une part.
- Et ceux qui n'ont plus rien à perdre.
Malheureusement, il y en a de plus en plus dans notre triste pays qui font partie de la deuxième catégorie.
Je ne souhaite qu'une chose aujourd'hui, que mon enfant connaisse la paix encore quelques années...
Merci de m'avoir lu.

Posted by B.Frederic October 25, 10 08:19 PM

Ashamed to be french. Those strikes are stupid, no propositions at all, just stupid students that want to avoid going in class (and ruin their semester...).

France is already like a 3rd world country but yet theres still assh0les to do strikes and block the whole country. Most of the people are sick of those never ending strikes. You can never get your train at the right time, even tho public transportation is stupidly expensive and totally not worth it (noisy, always late, it stinks etc...). All that because every 6 month (and I'm being optimistic) theres a stupid strike because frenches mixed the definitions of having a right, and duty.

Its also really funny to read comments from french students here, some with a Master even, but yet that can't even write properly in english and then end their pointless rants with a "sorry if my english is bad"

It is really a shame being a French with all those people making us looking ridiculous over the world.

On the other hand I'm proud not to be like some people that dropped comments here (people that are obviously not french), that make generalizations about french people, yet I can bet they don't even know a single french person.

To finish I'm just gonna say that French have the right to do strikes and protestations, but its been like 20 years that they always do it for the wrong reasons...

I hope I'll be out of that 3rd world country in 20 years...

Posted by Warren October 25, 10 08:35 PM

There seems to be a misunderstanding due to the fact that, again, the media don't do their job properly. This is reflected in many posts in this thread.

You will get FULL retirement benefits in France at the age of 65, soon 67.
Minimum retirement benefits was 60, soon 62.

the 35-hour week concerns only part of the work force in France about less than 45%.

French workers are in the top 5 in terms of productivity per hour worked.

All these facts are easily checkable. Google them.

Sorry to confuse many of you with actual facts, I know you already made up your mind.

Posted by Guillaume Delaporte October 25, 10 08:49 PM

For Jello: I have just one thing to say: Read that if you can
It really shows what the french governement want to tell to people "Do what I say, not what I do" (Sorry if it's not the correct translation in english for this expression, my english's quite poor).

This amendment should apply the pension reform to the pension system of the governement and parliament. And oh, what a surprise! You can see on your left the word "Rejeté". No need to translate I think. :)

All of these people earn more than 10 000€ just for their pension.

But of course, I'm just a french girl, overwhelmed by nothing important ^^.

Posted by Kelly October 25, 10 08:56 PM

Merci B.Frederic. Je suis completement d'accord avec vous. Les Francais, comme les Americains ne doivent plus se laisser prendre par la reflexion binaire et sterile. Refuser ne veut pas dire accepter l'oppose et vis et versa. Les reponses au monde de demain (et donc d'aujourd'hui) se trouvent dans cette palette reflexive exploratoire que pour le moment tout le monde dedaigne. A bon entendeur...

Posted by sandrine m. October 25, 10 09:37 PM

I was honestly surprise by this French strikes.

The current retirement age in Singapore is 65 years old, but everyone hopes that age limit would be raised.

I guess the difference is, there is no such thing as monetary aid for the unemployed here, and pensions are for the members of parliament only.

French, cool down. You guys are still more fortunate...literally.

Posted by lizzie October 25, 10 09:54 PM

@Jello (562), if you're still reading : as Marie doesn't seem to be here anymore and your comment raises good questions, I will answer you...

"You say that Sarkozy is "the president of rich people" and doesn't hide the fact that he doesn't care about the people. Why is that? Do you think it's by simple virtue that he's asked for austerity measures?"

The problem is not about austerity measures. It's about who bears them. Here, basically, the poor workers are contributing more to this reform than the rich, because they start working earlier (and they die earlier also). Rich workers are not affected a lot : because of the lenght of studies, they already have to retire after 62 to get their full pensions. Everybody (including the socialists) agree the system needs to be changed, and that people need to work more - the question is who. I think a new system based only on how long you worked is more fair than having a minimal age limit. There are also alternative fundings : taxing financial gains, or taxing retired people while in mean, they have a better life level than the workers, because they own their house and do not have children anymore.

With this reform, the objective is not to balance the budget : in a few years, it will be unbalanced again. The objective is to start crushing down the good old public pension system in order to reemplace it by a private capital-based system. In a few years, you will have a two speed system : some slight public pensions for poor people not rioting, and a saving system for those who can afford putting money aside. Don't forget America is a model for our president. Globally, this is included in a set of reforms which objectivte is to reduce the "volume of state" - they first made tax cuts (in 2007, and guess what, it was only for the rich), then said "wow we need to save money". Perhaps elsewhere everybody benefits that, but in France it is big companies that benefits taking the gaps left by the state.

I do agree, parliament pensions represent nothing in terms of budget, but symbolically, a lot. I won't explain the specific parliament iniquitous pension system, but it is a true scandal, and an element of a more global political abuse of ressources. "Does it necessarily mean that they're wrong?" It just mean we cannot trust them and consider them as representatives of the people. But yes, they could be right (they are not). A reform of the political system is being long needed, but it wouldn't make our pension reform more acceptable. You're right, there is something of passion here, but imagine it as if Bernard Madoff was leading the reform of Wall Street...

Then, when you say "we essentially pick someone we trust to make the right choice". But Sarkozy is not the kind of person people thinked he was. In 2007, France gave him power to lead real changes, including the hard ones. French people were saying that we were ready to make efforts. But none of the things Sarkozy have done goes towards what he was selling : recompense throught effort and merit, and having the opportunity to "work more to earn more". He is not at all the pragmatic man, truth teller he appeared to be. So there is no more trust at all. We have no clue were he is going to, he has no vision. You can "change course in difficult circonstances" if you keep your moral values, ideals, long term objectives, the problem is we don't know anymore the ones of Sarkozy. And he is implied in deeply chocking things : for example, the interior minister (that leads the police) have been sentenced for racism and still in charge, the Romas expulsions, the Bettancourt-Woerth affaire... But I agree, good leaders are the one that know how to make sometimes unpopular decisions. Generally, people acknoledge that later. I don't think it will be the case for Sarkozy. So to answer your question : I believe the approval of the majority is not needed as long as a leader is somehow recognized.

Posted by VinceDeg October 25, 10 10:03 PM

The truth is the casualty

Posted by Bing October 25, 10 10:36 PM

Well... I just read all the comments starting at the pictures, and...
What can I say? I'm a french exiled in Belgium partly because I couldn't stand Sarkozy and his minions anymore, but I follow the happenings in France with great interest. I'm 24, far from retirement, if I had any before me.
The reforme is necessary, yes. I totaly agree with that. The thing is, I think all french people agree with this too.
But not like this. Not without discussions, not without real explanations, not without some justice. This is why people are in the street, why France finaly decide to go screaming their unhapiness. There is no justice in this reforme.
I will not say that I have a solution for this situation, because I don't. But I'm sure there is one, and that nobody as really tried to find it. Not the "droite" , not the "gauche".
Criticism is easy, I know. Asking for a solution that will satisfie all parts, impossible. But surely there is a reason most of my country is now up in arms against its government?
Too much lies, too much misinformation, too much new adventages for guys already millionnaires, too much of ignoring what french people have too say, too much "people" (what do we care our president got a good catch in his bed?), too much "bling-bling" (yes, you got a rolex. Good for you, I don't give a damn, even if I could buy myself one).
This last part was amusing at first, now it's not only pathetic, it's ashaming.
THIS is why my people, oh which I am proud for the first time in years, have enough.
I don't know where it will go from here, I'm no prophet. But I hope so much too see french people rising for its rights against the world (starting with its own government and yes, I know, we choose it ourselves, but mistakes happen).
Don't get me wrong, I'm not asking for a new revolution, and I think the guillotine should stay where it is, in a museum.
Somebody here mentionned Gandhi, and I agree. France STILL is a democratie, and if politics from all parts would just take their faces out of their bottoms and start to think about us rather than their own ridiculous and petty powers, things could go right again in our beautiful country.
And french people would follow such leaders, for we are lazy, yes. And there is no more efficient worker than the one who wants to finish a task as soon as possible to have his rest. Because french proudness would not allow us to leave a task half-done, or badly done.
We would do it as fast as possible, and as good as we could. Those who don't understand that are simply stupids.
Vive la France !

Posted by FrenchGirl October 25, 10 10:36 PM

Quelques uns ici écartent ce qu'un ensemble de personnes ont dit en descendant dans la rue. Parce qu'ils étaient jeunes, comme si être jeune ne permettait pas d'être concernés par la retraite. Simplement certains de ces jeunes voient que si il y a plus de vieux travailleurs, il y aura moins de place pour l'entrée active (pour les jeunes).
D'autres écartent ce que disent tous ces gens, parce qu'au fond, il faut s'y faire et accepter le fait que notre société doit évoluer dans ce sens. Oublient ils de dire que cela n'est acceptable qu'avec l'assentiment du peuple, celui-là même qui permit de ne pas accepter l'autorité royale ! Si l'on sort de la jungle ce n'est pas pour être dévoré par d'autres et de façon plus sournoise.
D'autres encore éludent les arguments en donnant l'exemple de leur pays, grand bien leur fasse si c'est leur choix ! Nous en France, peuple gueulard, revanchard, nous avons une certaine capacité à encaisser... Mais encaisser c'est le risque d'un retour de bâton ! Et combien même certains imaginent pouvoir travailler à presque 70 ans, je leur demanderais bien dans quels types d'emplois ?

Mon côté Français de 1789, vous apprendra, qu'il est toujours possible de couper quelques têtes, si cela permet d'en rendre des millions d'autres encore plus libres !

Liberté, Liberté chérie nous t'étreignions, ils te voleront pas !

Posted by Laurent October 25, 10 11:04 PM

I think this just goes to show how good the French actually had it. If they had any serious issues to demonstrate about then I'm sure we would have heard about them. Now that they have had their little tantrum like a 3 year old that has not got its lolly, they should go back to work.

The French have great working conditions, amongst the best in the world. If people are living longer then they should work longer, simple as that.

Get back to work Frenchies! You're only costing yourselves money and embarrassing yourselves.

Posted by Anthony October 25, 10 11:20 PM

I left France 4 years ago and I'm really glad I did. I don't think I'll be coming back any time soon. This country is driving full speed straight into a wall, and thinks that honking will resolve the problem. It's is so disconnected from reality and the rest of the world, it is frightening. I now live in Asia, and people here are laughing when they see this: they are out to eat the West' lunch (including France's). The sad fact is that France would be very well equiped to thrive in this globalised world, if she accepted to change some of its ways and reform. But conservatism and ideology will get in the way of doing the reasonable thing.

Ideology and special interests are what's killing France. Very much like ideology and special interests are killing the US, where common sense has left the national debate.You look at the Tea Party there and it's two faces of the same coin: idiocy thriving on national myths. In France, these myths originate in the far left, in the US they originate on the far right. Over a long enough period of time, they produce the same effects: decadence.

Posted by Boris October 25, 10 11:25 PM

67 ! The sarkozy’s pension reform raises the retirement with full pension from 65 to 67.
In France the share of dividends paid in value added increased by 3.2% in 1982 to 8.5% in 2007.
Between 1980 and 2006, "The share of wages in value added fell from 67% to 57% on average in the richest countries" notes a study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
But Sarkozy’s chorus is : Don’t touch the Profits !

Price of humor to Mr Iron Man : “the system works very well !!!!”

Posted by Madelon October 26, 10 12:00 AM

Allez la France ! Allez mon peuple ! Continuez la grève jusqu'à ce que Sarko dégage ! Virez le patronat, virez le MEDEF, virez les banquiers, virez tous ces enfoirés !
Qui sème le vent récolte la tempête !

Bon courage à tous, employés, syndiqués, étudiants ! Vous êtes plus nombreux qu'eux, les flics sont déjà fatigués, relayez-vous, ne vous laissez pas abattre. Ne nous laissons pas voler la démocratie ! S'il le faut armez-vous ! Tous ensemble vous serez UN !

Vive la France ! Vive le peuple français, Vive mon peuple et tous les autres !

Posted by liberté October 26, 10 12:29 AM

Revolting behaviour as per usual, but then...what are we to expect!?
If the authorities in France actually had any balls, they would detain anyone involved in blocking legal access to critical facilities, 'disappear' the ringleaders to Devil's Island or wherever then proceed to drag the rest of the country kicking and screaming into the 21st century. You know, the century in which anyone born is expected to live past 80 yrs old and for which there aren't enough resources to keep them in the comfort to which they have become accustomed during the transition into the Information Age. Any sentient being should be able to figure out that the reforms being pushed through are absolutely essential in order for France to continue being even a 3rd rate country. Vive la France!

Posted by Jason October 26, 10 12:32 AM

For people do not live in France, they do not realize how French people's working altitude in general. 35 working hours per week - coffee breaks - cigarette breaks - personal calls / SMS / ... and 15 minutes of morning chatting and morning kiss (baiser); you can imagine how efficient / productive they are. All of the above not including - their careless mistakes and altitude. Time are loss, job not done!

Oh, My favorite phase of French ' C'est pas moi faute ' - Not my fault!

I saw so many cases in last 10 years in France, once a French get a job, he / she will suck all they can get from their employer / insurance plan / government.

French say ' this is my right, my benefit '.....everything is me, me, me.

French !
Do not ask how much your company /country can do for you,
ask yourself how much you can do for your company / country!

French politicians gained their votes from people by offering less working hours to them in past 10 years. When a country lower their productivities,
how can they expect they can still have enough money to pay for their benefit?

More important, it is so truth that a lot of French politicians do not do their jobs right neither do the right jobs. Every bit of those drive to a point of to-day.

Let's pray for this country,
pray for the government,
pray for those who make decision and
pray for French people to have patience and change their working altitude.

Posted by andy October 26, 10 01:31 AM

What about the photographers?? Where are they standing??
On at least three on these photos, the answer is quite clear: up on the cop's vehicle!!!

Et les photographes dans tout ça ?? Où sont-ils postés ??
Sur au moins trois de ces photos la réponse est évidente : sur le camion des flics !!

We're only seeing what we are made to see!

Nous ne voyons que ce qu'on nous fait voir !

Posted by AnEyeforAnEye, Œil pour œil October 26, 10 01:55 AM

France is a rebell nation by nature. Here is an exemple of what can achieve a government, whatever its tendancy, by ignoring this.
It is important to say that these events occured because this government declined to discuss with the workers unions on this retirement scheme amendment.
This decision was mainly taken because of fear to repeat the unexpected NO against the Lisbonne treaty in may 2005 ( after that the people of France lead themselves discussions, even in the smallest village.)

Thank you so much to all photographers and to the for these superbs photos.

Posted by daniel lecornet October 26, 10 03:13 AM

Poor France, that kid is carrying a DIGERIDOO!!!
Where's the police when you really need them???

Posted by Micke October 26, 10 03:28 AM

Ah le nombre de neuneus sarkosistes qui pullulent ici... on sent les antisociaux frustrés qui pour seul accomplissement dans la vie sont nés dans un milieux riche.

Posted by ric October 26, 10 03:36 AM

All I can say about the pictures is wow. Looks like people got carried away and couldn't stop. It's one thing to protest about something but this looks like a full blown riot taking a walk on the wild and evil side.

Posted by JoAnne October 26, 10 03:45 AM

Pourquoi toute cette haine, vis à vis du peuple, pourquoi decide t'il à notre place, pourquoi décide t'il à notre place.

Posted by Anonymous October 26, 10 03:47 AM

shame you weren't so out spoken in 1940.

Posted by Jason Hatton October 26, 10 04:40 AM


Posted by Anonymous October 26, 10 04:45 AM

I feel proud of you FRENCH. I love the students who fight for their future.
Hope you understand that a general strike is not enough. You must fight to change the system. This diabolical system must be vanish for ever.
When politicians find millions of millions to save the bankers, but it is not money to pay the pensioners, money they have already paying through all their life, then something is awfully wrong.
All the best

Posted by Ricardo October 26, 10 04:48 AM

Mass media speak a lot about the bad image of France in foreign countries, due to the strikes, but I am gladly surprised to see that a lot of people abroad support the movement and the ideal of a fair society people fight for here.

I also read a lot of messages from french people ashamed of what's happening here. Why? Because if we don't reform the system, France won't be as COMPETITIVE as the other countries, they say. That is very narrow minded. It is considering that the only thing that matters in a country is the economy and production of wealth. They neglect the well-being of the population.

Who cares about the economy? What's the point of having a wealthy economy if only 40% of the population can enjoy it, while the other part has neither time or money to live a decent life?
The technical progress should have liberated us from the yoke of work, but the time we gain with machines, we spend it working more and more instead of enjoying it with our beloved ones! This is absurd!
This is not directly linked to the movement you can think, but I think that the movement is not actually against the pension reform : it is a complaint against the world we live in, wich is ruled by insane economics.

Now look at the profits they make in the big companies (Axa, Total, Société Générale...), and dare telling me that there is no money anymore to have a strong Welfare State! After World War 2, the country was nearly destroyed, and yet they found money to create a great social system (that right wing has been dismantling since the 80'). It's only about political willingness : despite everyone says, there is money. A lot of it. We just have to decide democraticly how we share the wealth the society produces.

(My thinking might seem shallow, but it is mostly because i'm not expressing myself in a language I'm very confortable with. Sorry for that!)

Posted by Albatrours October 26, 10 04:52 AM

Entre 1 et 3 millions de manifestants au plus fort de la grève, pourquoi focaliser sur les 1 000 casseurs en marge des manifestations ?
Comment je définis le gouvernement français actuel ?
Autoritaire : la réforme votée malgré une énorme mobilisation. Le droit de grève bafoué avec réquisitions des grévistes.
Raciste : injures raciales proférées par nombre de membres du gouvernement actuel. Stigmatisation permanente des minorités pas si minoritaires. Débats sur l'identité nationale. Expulsions.
Favoritiste : scandales politico-financiers régulièrement étouffés, bouclier fiscal pour les plus aisés, parachutes dorés, pour les mêmes, cumul des retraites pour les politiques; fin de l'avantage fiscal pour les jeunes mariés, augmentation du prix de l'électricité, du gaz, des parcours de soin, des médicaments, politique de l'emploi inexistante ...
Démagogique et propagandiste : presse et divers média proches du plus haut pouvoir relayant son discours politique.

Posted by Matalma October 26, 10 04:55 AM

quand ceux qui produisent la richesse se voient spoliés et humiliés par ceux qui possèdent, alors oui il faut craindre la révolte.

Posted by Rémy Guinefoleau October 26, 10 05:02 AM

Opinions diffusées dans le monde et amplifiées par la bourgeoisie Française...

" Les travailleurs Français sont faignants, n'ont pas envie de travailler, n'aiment pas le travail... "

En 2008, avant la crise, un rapport d'une organisation internationale décrivait la productivité du travailleur Français dans le secteur privé comme un des meilleurs parmi les pays occidentaux !

Des entreprises étrangères installaient des usines en France, parce que productivité, infrastructures, douceur de vivre hors du travail, administration et protection sociale étaient intéressants...

SOMMES-NOUS VRAIMENT FAIGNANTS ? JE DIS NON ! Je n'en dirais pas autant des Sarkozystes qui s'enrichissent en dormant...

Opinions diffused in the world and amplified by the French bourgeoisie...

" French workers are lazy, do not want to work, do not like the work... "

2008 : Before the crisis, a report of an international organization described the productivity of the French worker in the private sector as one of the best among the western countries !

Foreign companies installed factories in France, because productivity, relaxed rhythm of life outside the work, administration and social welfare were interesting...

ARE WE REALLY LAZY ??? I SAY NO ! I would not say about it so much about Sarkozysts which grow rich during sleeping.

Posted by henridelatour October 26, 10 05:46 AM

In France, we are astonished (a very week word) when we look at the foreign medias ... These pictures are so oriented !! In mostly all strikes, and demonstrations, there is no violence at all.
Just a few word : do you really believe that progress goes with working more, stop working later, just payed with death to the end ?
Progress go with more people intelligent, educated, and that require more time and possibilities for each of us. In France, life-long education is definitively not understood, is not a concept which is accepted or sufiiciently integrated in our society. In France, upper classes make upper-class children, and that is ok. So progress just can't go with working later on. Accepting that is accepting progress' death.
This is also a revolt against that li'l napoleon who know so little how to communicate ... He really does believe that we are like herds in a mass society that obey : well the people just tell it's false !

Posted by Diderot en verres miroirs October 26, 10 05:46 AM

686 : Read 684, if you think that taxing the workers more is the good answer, you're been well lobotomized by the governement.

In facts :

-France is the 3rd country in the world with more billionaires.
-Work is taxed 3 way more than the capital.

Why have the workers to pay the financial crisis ? Let's tax more the capital.

The ressources are here, they are jsut not well distributed.

Posted by tass_ October 26, 10 06:00 AM

To all the French whining about the strikes and claiming they are the majority: polls have shown that approximately 70% support the strike. To all the ones saying that they've left France because of that, stay there, we don't need you.

To all the ones saying that students are being manipulated, it's false. A little core of them know what they are doing and want to get involved. The rest just wants to skip class.

Europeans contributors (German, Dutch...), thanks for your input about how it was done in your country. However the issue here is much wider than the pension system. Of course it is what started the movement but most people are just fed up by the government not listening and that's why this strike is so popular.

To all US citizens, you've got only one week to mobilize everyone around you so that the same clowns who run France today don't get hold of the senate, get people to VOTE (and go to Stewart and Colbert's rallies also).

To all the Brits who complain about this, just remember we have a right not ending up like you after 11 years of Thatcherism. We're not their yet and if we manage to kick the dwarf out from office in May 2012, we might have a chance. To all the Brits unhappy with Cameron's cuts in spending, RESIST!

At last but not least, to The Big Picture staff: thanks for these photos, they're beautiful and are pretty representative of what is happening right now in my country.

Any reader from Lyon: rally in front of the UMP office at 14h today.

Posted by Dex October 26, 10 06:22 AM

I am French and my family, although having origins( scotish and wikings) is in the country for more than 10 centuries.... I claim nothing but notice! I wonder why the "foreigners" of formerly made a success their of integration where left. I also wonder why the "old men" are not any more taken care by their descent, and finally why we do not want know that the old men living more and more old and the less and less productive young people, that it seems normal that the old men insure their pension by solidarity because it exists!! In every case, I support with difficulty that the English people broadcast biased pictures(many people coming from other contry are saw) on what takes place in France. "Roosbeefs" was always our best enemies!!

Posted by Michel JOUIN October 26, 10 06:38 AM

I was not courageous enough to read all the coments through, so please excuse me if somebody has already pointed out what I'd like to say... (and excuse also my english, I'm french)

Nobody can deny the fact that the age of retirement must be raised. However, now that the reform was passed, it's important to see that people are not only fighting about this minimum age, but also about some part of the reform that were deeply unfair towards some categories of workers (women, people who have the most difficult jobs, etc...). So, yes, a reform needs to be done, but not like this, and not this one. It was worked out in what, 4, 5 months ? How can such an important change in a country can be led to a vote in such a few time ? And without any real discussions with trade unions, without any big debate in the Assembly. The government forced this reform, preocupated only about passing it before the presidential campaign starts, and one can understand that people feel betrayed after all the promises that were made to them about it...

Posted by Marie October 26, 10 06:51 AM

Vive la france et son peuple courageux.
Je suis solidaire et apporte un soutiens financier conséquent aux grévistes.
La france comme toujours montre l'exemple au monde en matière de libertés fondamentales.

Cette réforme est totalement injuste puisque menée par une bande d'autocrates salis par les affaires de corruptions immondes et inefficace puisqu'elle règle le problème que jusqu'en 2018.

Par ailleurs est elle vraiment nécessaire quand on sait que l'argent dont on a besoin pour pérenniser le système est totalement virtuel et fabriqué entièrement par les banques et le crédit notamment (argent dette).

Ensuite pourquoi ne pas augmenter les cotisations sociales plutot que d'imposer au peuple des cotisations privées qui seront, elles, majorées de conséquent bénéfices pour les banksters.

Vive la france! and her courageous people.

I am in total solidarity with the french people and i bring financial support to them.

France, as usual shows the exemple about fundamental freedom.

This reform is totaly unequitable since this reform is leaded by an autocratic government that is mixed up in corruption affairs. This reform is also ineffective because the problem is solved until 2018.

Otherwise, is this reform is necessary when we have in mind that the monnay is today totally virtual and made by banks ?

Finally, why do not they increase the contribution to the pension fund instead imposing people private contributions that will be increased with substancial benefits given to the banksters?

Posted by jerome October 26, 10 06:52 AM

Thank you for this selection of pictures!
This is the essence of the spirit out here. This is no minority on the French streets: it is the demonstration of deep wounds inflicted by a nasty government elected by manipulating the people at the time. Hopefully that same people will learn next time. As of now, this government is only harvesting what they seeded.

Posted by Laëtitia October 26, 10 06:59 AM

The french have guts to revolt !

Posted by somebody October 26, 10 07:51 AM

Toc toc..weird guys those Frenchies

Posted by Jean October 26, 10 07:53 AM

To all french commenting here: this is an english speaking website, please be polite enough to write in english, or continue posting on french websites.

Or maybe you don't care of being understood by the readers ? So don't give your opinion. Once more, this is always the same problem of being selfish ...

Guys, you are killing the image of France overseas even in pictures comments. Don't forget: the image you give today will be tomorrow's employment.

A FRENCH reader.

Posted by VPA481 October 26, 10 07:53 AM

I'm a French man aged 56,

Here, first, are some figures:

- about 4 million people are unemployed in France
- 18% of people below 24 y.o are unemployed (because they have no "experience")
- 25% of people beyond 55 y.o are unemployed (because they are too "costy")
- social contributions for retirement from enterprises have not increased since 12 years
- 3% of the national population possess 55% of the national wealth
- 71% of the national population is against this reform
- 59% of the national population supports the demonstrations and strike actions

And the Sarkozy administration is deaf, dumb and blind to all these numbers.

We can very well preserve our repartition retirement system without any ugly reform of the sort. Simply bring a correct job to everyone between 18 and 60, raise the salaries so that social contributions are raised in the same time, raise the enterprises contribution part, pick-up money from the very few rich.

This is the way to guarantee an equitable retirement to everybody. Even more, we can easily come back to the "pre-2003" era when 37.5 years of contribution was required for a full-rate pension at the age of 60.

This is no utopy, simply, we have to kick-away this neo-liberal administration and their millionnaire friends. We're not on earth just to work all life long for big shareholders and CEOs, we are also allowed to have a peaceful and happy old-age.

Posted by JLC October 26, 10 07:58 AM

Une chose que j'aimerais comprendre, c'est comment les grévistes imagine l'avenir ?

qui va payer pour la retraite ?

qui va travailler pour payer vos jours férié ?

La France est le système ou il y a le plus d’impôt pour embaucher quelqu'un, c'est aussi le pays avec le plus de service publique. MAIS CELA A UN COÛT, si vous ne voulez plus le payer allez dans les pays sans service publique.

Je suis parti faire un post-doc au canada (bas oui je suis docteur, je n'en ai pas honte et je vois pas pourquoi je devrais avoir honte, on cultive la médiocrité en France, on chiale sur les gens qui réussissent, on ne supporte pas ceux qui s'en donnent les moyens, d'ailleurs je suis même sure que la majorité d'entre vous n'a même pas compris que j’étais docteur et pas médecin ...) Bref, on tourne en rond dans nos petits mondes sans regarder au dehors. ALO réveillez vous, ces gréves à répétitions foutent une merde monstre font perdre de l'argent a votre pays (et pas que aux patrons parce qu'au final les ouvriers pâtissent aussi des boites qui ferment.)

Pour rappel si vous voulez ouvrir une PME ou une PMI libre à vous c'est surement le pays ou c'est le plus simple de le faire .. Ah mais oui apres il va falloir bosser 50 a 60 heures par semaine pour que ça fonctionne, fini le petit confort des 35 / semaines + RTT + 5 semaines de vacances... ALO ON EST DANS LE MONDE RÉEL, les gens qui réussissent (sauf pour une PETITE minorité) sont des gens qui BOSSENT comme des MALADES. Quand vous parlez de ces bosses qui s'en foutent plein de les poches vous parlez de même pas 0.001 % des patrons, derrière ça y'a tous les patrons qui triment comme des malades pour faire tourner leur PME (plus gros employeurs français) et garder leurs 3 salariés ... ET VOS GRÉVES FOUTENT CES GENS LA DANS LA MERDE.

Quand aux étudiants en gréve, et bien au moins on sait ce que vous allez faire dans 5 ans ...

Pour les casseurs ... et bien je pense que c'est de la responsabilité des grevistes que de faire en sorte que les casseurs ne cassent pas... VOUS ETES RESPONSABLE DE CE QUE VOS GESTES ENTRAÎNENT.

My 2 cents

Posted by From Canada October 26, 10 09:06 AM

first excuse my bad english caus I'm french...

The french strikes and demonstrations are more than a problematic of age's retirement, it's a a maneer to say stop to all coruption, politics and laws only for richs and the destruction of social's rights (given to french people after strikes and clashes).
One of of the many examples : the french people are attached to a distribution system (worker's and annuitant's taxes finance the retirements pension) and without concertation the national prevoyance found (caisse nationale de prevoyance) public organism of the central bank of public founds (caisse des dépôts et consignations) will prepare the capitalization retirement, by a fusion with a group "malakoff mederic", the director of the group is ... Guillaume Sarkozy the brother of the president!!! He waits for 50 to 100 milliars of euros! these reform is a family corruption : economists had proved taht it financed the distribution only for 8 years and it will cost 500 millions to the unedic (unemplyment allocations) which have already a big deficit! It's not a juste reform it's a liberal gift to the most riches french people....

Posted by Daniel October 26, 10 10:05 AM

Poor France, poorer and poorer ! One million stupid people try to stop twenty million more reasonable citizen to work and hence they disturb the whole country's economy !

Posted by P. Johner October 26, 10 10:32 AM

You French are all NUTTERS! Destroying your own country, you should be ashamed of yourselves. Take a look abroad at all the countries that suffer from natural disasters (Hati, India etc etc...) then you will see how hard life can really be!

Posted by UK United October 26, 10 11:01 AM

Que tous les fonctionnaires qui manifestent acceptent déjà d'aligner leur système de retraite sur celui du privé et on en reparlera.

Posted by David October 26, 10 11:51 AM

Stop speaking of worker's blocking.

The Sarkozy government is blocking the democraty by trying to vote an 70% impopular reform without any people negociation.

In the U.S. you call that a dictature.

Mon admiration à tous ceux qui resistent à Sarkocratie.

Posted by Jean-Yves DENIS October 26, 10 11:52 AM

Sarkozy et son auvergnat (qui a insulté toute une communauté respectable a été condamné par la justice a payer 750 euros; si c"était un citoyen Lambda il serait aller en prison : la justice de merde et du piston) sont des dictateurs et font de la France un état policier. sarko a fait une scolarité très médiocre et est devenu président en mentant aux Français et maintenant ils leur envoi la police sans HONTE.. un médiocre (ses professeurs l'ont déclaré et ont même publié ses fameuses notes qui ne dépassaient pas 9.5/20.
L'auvergnant au nez rouge est pistonné et utilise la police comme un outil pour rester au pouvoir.. La police en civil a même mis des badges de la CGT.. et manifestait avec nous et de temps en temps ils embarquaient un etc.. police incompétente et lache...HONTE à Sarko... l'incompétent... qu'il s'occupe de Carlite et des études de son fils qui cherche des raccourci pour être un homme politique sans diplome et sans compétence.. le piston OUI comme son père...

Posted by Thierry October 26, 10 12:02 PM

travailler, working, pracuje, arbeiten, ++++++++++++++++pour aller où.
C'est chacun pour soi? non, en ce moment, chacun commence à penser un peu plus à l'autre et à se dire que ce n'est plus possible de continuer dans une société à "l'américaine" où c'est l'argent qui domine. Il faut redistribuer et arrêter de céder face aux apparatchik qui veulent tout.
La loi sur les retraites est un déni de démocratie avec une coupure entre le peuple et le politique. Continuons la lutte non violente mais active.

Posted by Porté October 26, 10 12:13 PM

solidarity from vienna/austria! europes governements are on war against the people... we fight back!

Posted by schaeferhund October 26, 10 12:25 PM

I love France. Vivre la revulution. Let's gonna kick some asses in Germany too !!! We Germans are cowards!!! I hope my nation has to work until 90. And I also hope my nation will become poor. France shows how to fight for your rights instead of complaining.

Posted by Marco October 26, 10 12:25 PM

At least they have some semblance of democracy in that the populace is informed enough to act, and act in concert, welcome to the world of the downwardly mobile.
I hope for France that the people win!

Posted by ccambre October 26, 10 12:36 PM

French people are attached to their rights, won by their parents and grandparents many years ago. They cannot accept a such unfair law, which doesn't contain any tax to the banks and the system which is the cause of the financial and economic crisis we endure now.

French workers are ready to work longer, but everybody must contribute to the system, including banks and people who live thanks to the stocks, like Mme Bettencourt, the richest woman in Europe and the third richest woman in the world (more than USD of fortune) who has the glory to be born in the family of the founder of l'Oréal.

French people want a reform of the retirement process but not this one.

I regret the poor image of our country given by these apocalyptic visions of urban wars. But please don't resume the French youth to these restrictive aspect of the strike.

Posted by French-Student October 26, 10 12:45 PM

Bravo! Bravo! Wonderful pictures...

Posted by Marcelo October 26, 10 01:26 PM

Où passe la monnaie ?
Where is the money going on ?

" Etienne Chouard évoque ici entre autre l’article 104 du traité de Maastricht devenu article 123 du traité de Lisbonne, qui disposent que les Etats n’ont pas le droit d’emprunter à leur banque centrale. Ce qui amène au plus au niveau du droit l’impossibilité pour les Etats de créer leur monnaie, et les oblige à emprunter aux banques privées moyennant de forts taux d’intérêts, ce qui nous ruine ... et fait qu’en France aujourd’hui l’Etat est contraint de dépenser plus de 40 milliards d’euros chaque année rien que pour rembourser les intérêts de la dette, elle même engendrée par ce système.
A l’heure où l’on nous parle des retraites que l’on ne pourrait selon eux plus payer ou de réductions des dépenses publiques inéluctables... A voir absolument."

Posted by Oulala ! October 26, 10 01:39 PM

Lors de la campagne de 2007, le président Sarkozy avait promis de ne pas toucher à l'âge de départ à la retraite.
Les parlementaires quant eux, n'estiment pas nécessaire de réformer leurs régimes de retraites.
Les travailleurs devront donc travailler 2 ans de plus, accepter une augmentation des cotisations retraite sur la fiche de paie.
Fi des pénibilités, de la situation des mères.
Il y aura une baisse des pensions.
Et qui se frottera les mains, les grands groupes d'assurance qui se feront un plaisir de proposer des rentes par capitalisation.
67 ans, ce n'est qu'un premier pas, pourquoi pas 75 dans 10 ans.
Tout le monde n'a pas la chance de pouvoir bénéficier de 210% d'augmentation de salaire.
O Tempora, O Mores

Posted by fabdeloise October 26, 10 02:02 PM


juste un truc : en France quand on travaille dans l'informatique on est "vieux" à 50 ans ... alors 65 ou 67 ans .... pour avoir une retraite ...
(avec des certifications professionnelles ou pas ... CISSP, MCSE, ....)

ce qui doit choquer ... c'est la différence de régime entre les fonctionnaires et le privé ... pour un pays qui a pour devise ... "liberté, égalité, fraternité" ...

Posted by bruno October 26, 10 02:02 PM

It would help to see basic information shown and numbers presented.

Were deficit figures given to the public? What rationale did Sarkozy present to the public for his sudden action? What portion of the population also has private retirement accounts? Can one opt out of the public fund? What is the percentage of contribution to the public fund? How does the inequity in contributions show up? At age 62 now, what percentage of salary is paid? What percentage does one get at age 67? Which organization rated French workers as the third most productive in the world?

Posted by Mary L. October 26, 10 02:04 PM


Here's the 56 y.o. French fellow again,

@714 : QUOTE " Poor France, poorer and poorer ! One million stupid people try to stop twenty million more reasonable citizen to work and hence they disturb the whole country's economy ! "

Wrong. Definitely wrong. It is the neo-liberal economic model that blocks the People of France from having a decent and happy old-age with sound retirement conditions . We are not "blocking" anything for the sake of it, that'd be stupid and pure non-sense. We demand the reform act to be trashed. All the more that this reform was not on the Sarko/"dwarf" electoral campain official agenda (obviously it could not be anyway, he would not have been elected "king" of France if he'd told so). Since our smaller Napoleon replica does not accept any negociation, the only mean to voice out our disagreement and determination is to go on strike.

Also, you are distorting figures. That's not 1 million people that are against this reform, that is 3 millions at each demonstration, even more in each strike action, and even more again for each movement expressing the People' Voice. As well, you should remind that over 70% of the population is opposed to this reform.

@715 QUOTE " Take a look abroad at all the countries that suffer from natural disasters (Hati, India etc etc...) then you will see how hard life can really be! "

You are right. We, in France, are very happy as compared to most regions of the world. Now, is this an argument? Shall we let everything be levelled down by thoughts that deeper misfortunes exist elsewhere? Would you have the same reasonning if by bad luck you yourself happened to be unemployed and nearly unpaid? if you happened to be FORCED (no choice) by unfair laws to work up to 67 just to have something matching your country's poverty threshold "standard" to live with for your older days ?

@713 : I fully do agree with your statements. The "promised land" with this reform results in an open "boulevard" to private pension funds. ALL Frenchy froggies (I'm a frog :-) ) are against these private pension regimes. The French social welfare results from struggles gained trough the great 1936 strikes, from pressures on the post WW2 (45-46) government, from 1968 labor riots and from 1995/1997 social movements. We are (were?) proud of our social welfare model, and won't let it go away without saying our own words ... and our strikes to keep it alive and well.

The nature of this social welfare is expressed in the Republic slogan (but is France still a republic ?) : "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité" (Freedom, Equity, Brotherhood of men). In few words, the idea is that each one contribues to the common welfare and that each one benefits from this same common welfare (retirements, non charged helthcare, free education, and so on and so forth).

How can we let such a great idea be buried deep in the ground for the sake of profit for some hundreds of billionnaires and their haughty power?!

Posted by Anonymous October 26, 10 02:04 PM


@717 : alors parlons des 30% qui subissent cette prise d'ôtages ...

ok : now speaking on 30% other people who have not "the right" to stop working...

pensez vous que cela donne envie de venir en France pour les fêtes de fin d'année ?

Posted by bruno October 26, 10 02:08 PM


Here's the 56 y.o. French fellow again,

@714 : QUOTE " Poor France, poorer and poorer ! One million stupid people try to stop twenty million more reasonable citizen to work and hence they disturb the whole country's economy ! "

Wrong. Definitely wrong. It is the neo-liberal economic model that blocks the People of France from having a decent and happy old-age with sound retirement conditions . We are not "blocking" anything for the sake of it, that'd be stupid and pure non-sense. We demand the reform act to be trashed. All the more that this reform was not on the Sarko/"dwarf" electoral campain official agenda (obviously it could not be anyway, he would not have been elected "king" of France if he'd told so). Since our smaller Napoleon replica does not accept any negociation, the only mean to voice out our disagreement and determination is to go on strike.

Also, you are distorting figures. That's not 1 million people that are against this reform, that is 3 millions at each demonstration, even more in each strike action, and even more again for each movement expressing the People' Voice. As well, you should remind that over 70% of the population is opposed to this reform.

@715 QUOTE " Take a look abroad at all the countries that suffer from natural disasters (Hati, India etc etc...) then you will see how hard life can really be! "

You are right. We, in France, are very happy as compared to most regions of the world. Now, is this an argument? Shall we let everything be levelled down by thoughts that deeper misfortunes exist elsewhere? Would you have the same reasonning if by bad luck you yourself happened to be unemployed and nearly unpaid? if you happened to be FORCED (no choice) by unfair laws to work up to 67 just to have something matching your country's poverty threshold "standard" to live with for your older days ?

@713 : I fully do agree with your statements. The "promised land" with this reform results in an open "boulevard" to private pension funds. ALL Frenchy froggies (I'm a frog :-) ) are against these private pension regimes. The French social welfare results from struggles gained trough the great 1936 strikes, from pressures on the post WW2 (45-46) government, from 1968 labor riots and from 1995/1997 social movements. We are (were?) proud of our social welfare model, and won't let it go away without saying our own words ... and our strikes to keep it alive and well.

The nature of this social welfare is expressed in the Republic slogan (but is France still a republic ?) : "Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité" (Freedom, Equity, Brotherhood of men). In few words, the idea is that each one MUTUALLY contributes to the common welfare and that each one MUTUALLY benefits from this same common welfare (retirements, non charged helthcare, free education, and so on and so forth).

How can we let such a great idea be buried deep in the ground for the sake of profit for some hundreds of billionnaires and their haughty power?!

Posted by JLC October 26, 10 02:09 PM

Et c'est pour quand LA révolution ?
Après Sarko ? qui et quoi ?
C'est tout le système qui est à revoir !
Allez les jeunes c'est votre avenir !!! nous on est déjà trop con !

Posted by Dom October 26, 10 02:14 PM

#29 looks like Keira Knightly

Posted by Posh Beckham October 26, 10 02:19 PM

Toujours etonnee de votre allience et de votre solide resistence ; je vous souhaite une forte Republique donnante satisfaction a tout son peuple.

Posted by Anonymous October 26, 10 02:28 PM

A defeat for the French strikers would be a defeat for ALL working people (waged and unwaged) everywhere. A victory for the French strikers would make all us stronger.

I'm appalled that some of my fellow Americans are trashing the strikers instead of supporting them. Those strikers are defending a social contract they paid into and believed in. If that social contract is broken, it will become that much easier for YOUR state to break its social contract with YOU. Is that really what you want?

Posted by Dormilona October 26, 10 02:43 PM

This is not serious.

First, how do you want the government to pay your retirements if there is no money left ? Work more is the only solution.

Then, High-School students...They are on holidays this week and...magic! They're not in the streets anymore. Proof that the strike is a really important cause to them.

You can go on strike if you want, but annoying honnest people who only want to go to work and participate into France's success...THIS is selfish.
Cuz yes, today there was no buses in my town so I could not go study. You should be ashamed to block a whole country's economy for you own little pleasure.

And to all strikers complaining about income differences...Do you know how hard a CEO or manager works ? Do you know how much holidays they have in a year ? Do you know how many hours they do in a week ?
Find out, you'll see you're just ridiculous with your 35-hour-week.

Posted by Anonymous from Angers October 26, 10 02:51 PM


Agree.. but you're a bit pessimistic. Remember what "someone" said : "Workers of all countries, unite!"

Posted by JLC October 26, 10 02:55 PM

Hi there,
French guy who moved to Canada some 12 years ago.

I do believe, that those strikes are a great thing to witness and that this board is basically a great way to understand WHY french are french, and north american, north american.

French are struggling for a HUMAN state, based on a social bond between them and their government. This is a choice of society that was gained and put in place through the great social movements of 36, post war and 68 (to name only a few).
People expressed and fought for this contract in which they AGREED to gain less money (High Taxes) but shared the most social elements. Heatlh, Education, Retirement etc...
Is this system perfect? Certainly not.
Has it worked in the past decades? It certainly did, France is still well within the G20.

Now we have a people that have created a socialy driven government, has accepted some sacrifices (high taxes) to support the system but more importantly, to support "the other".

On the other side, we have the american people. They agreed that benefit, free enterprise and a limited government would be their social contract.
Is this system perfect? Certainly not
As this system worked? It certainly did, US economy used to be one of the strongest, generating dreams of a lifestyle based on consumption and possession.

What I read in those strikes, and why I feel french people is in its right to fight against the government is quite simple.
Why changing a social system that has worked well despite its flaws and replace it with the US social system that has worked well despite its flaws?

Neo Liberalism is not a choice made by all people, it is a choice that has been made by the US people. It worked well for a couple decades but it is now showing its limitations (US carrying the highest poverty rate of industrialized countries, lowest average death age across population etc...).
Why would a couple bankers impose a system that will be beneficial only to them (US System focuses on rewarding those who already have) to a people that have chosen to be more social, and strongly believe in it?

You people saying "go to work you lazy slums" are using the US social/work approach.
Do you really think that the state of the US in terms of education, health and wealth is currently a model to believe in for other countries? Sorry but it is not.
It was! Oh Yes it was, the american dream, the promises of a better life. Everyone believed in it (yes even the french).

And what happened in the past month in france? Corruption stories about the government protecting and easing the life of the richers (already against the social contract people agreed on), government not "listening" to a large majority (again against the social contract) etc... frustrating the hell out of the 97% of the population that only have access to 45% of France Wealth (yes, three percent of the population carries 55% of the wealth).

To me France is not fighting against its government.
France is fighting for the right to live in a system that is NOT driven by Neo Liberalism.

And between you and me, seeing on a daily basis what has become of the american dream, this is a fight worth fighting for!

Posted by Thomas October 26, 10 03:46 PM

je suis français , j'ai 34 ans .
je suis fier d'être née libre , dans une France libre.
je croix pas en dieu ,ni en une religion quelconque.
je croix en ma vie et celle de ma famille.
je pense pas vivre au-delà 70 ,75 ans.
à chacun ça vie .
De toute façon on'a qu'une seul vie , alors vivons là heureux:

Posted by jack October 26, 10 03:47 PM

@712 : vous avez l'air fier d'être en post-doc... Grand bien vous fasse! Le fait que vous soyez monté si haut dans les études est un indice que vous croyez à la méritocratie. Et vous avez raison : vos diplômes vous permettront de faire partie de l'élite... des chômeurs!

Hé oui, vous allez perdre la partie, non pas parce que vous êtes mauvais, mais parce que les dés sont pipés. Vous pensez vous en sortir avec vos diplômes? Vous allez vous en prendre plein la tronche, c'est tout vu. Car derrière votre ton supérieur et vos majuscules, vous enfilez les clichés comme certains enfilent les perles. On voit bien que vous êtes un grand naîf.

Dans quelques années, malgré votre CV blindé, vous tomberez probablement au niveau zéro de la société française, celui des chômeurs. À ce moment-là, vous aurez l'impression que c'est injuste. Et ça l'est. Alors vous regarderez derrière vous, où en sont les autres, et surtout ceux qui étaient des gros bourgeois friqués, des fils-à-papa. Et vous verrez : ceux que vous pensiez avoir enfoncés par votre intelligence supérieure et vos longues études, ils ne sont pas chômeurs, eux. Non, ils bossent dans un ministère ou ils font partie des cadres dirigeants d'une grosse boîboîte. Et là vous allez prendre conscience que la société française s'est foutue de votre gueule, et que la République du Mérite, ça n'existe pas. Il faut l'avoir vécu pour le croire, et vous ne l'avez pas encore vécu. Voilà votre problème.

Ceux qui croient que la société française n'est pas pourrie, et qui affirment tout haut qu'il suffit de bosser pour réussir, ils feraient mieux de se taire, car ils parlent sans savoir. Les dés sont pipés : c'est le piston qui fait monter, pas les diplômes.

Signé : un ingénieur indépendant qui bosse 60 heures par semaine avec la rage au ventre

Posted by G October 26, 10 03:50 PM

Great ! Just few minuts of thinking well lead you to confirm that french revolt is just the way to get a nice world ( not to wait your death to have good time as most religious promises to you) ! Let's think that all workers in the world have 6 weeks of vacations per year, working no more than 35 hours per week, getting 1500 dollars per month, and stop at 60 except for difficult, or unintersting jobs, that can stop at 55........everyone everywhere (exept traders, dictators, religious hierarquies, republican politicians and Nicolas Sarkozy supporters ...) will get benefit and better way of live , taking car of each other ...........

Posted by Noitu Lover October 26, 10 03:53 PM

lo 'vrybody
from france, from the "riots", oh... don't worry, here people only stand for democraty as usual. Socialism against capitalism... Oh I forgot, thanks wallstreet for the crisis. see u space cowboys, in da street! uhm... nice photos!

Posted by doray nico October 26, 10 04:15 PM

738 [[[And to all strikers complaining about income differences...Do you know how hard a CEO or manager works ? Do you know how much holidays they have in a year ? Do you know how many hours they do in a week ?
Find out, you'll see you're just ridiculous with your 35-hour-week.]]]

Do you know how many hours a nurse works a week? how many hours a truck driver works a week, how many hours an oil company worker makes per week? how many hours a supermarket cashier is obliged to work to get misery wages? how much time in general the working class owes itself to companies' bosses?

Find something else please, you are ridiculous.

Posted by Ozu October 26, 10 04:30 PM

The French people are spoiled.

With a 35 hour work week and one of the lowest retirement ages of all industrialized countries, what are they complaining about?

Have fun going broke, Frenchies. And nice work holding your country hostage with your riots and looting. These strikes are only going to make it more difficult to afford your socialist system in the future.

Posted by Mr. Teddy October 26, 10 04:48 PM

Thanks Warren, (comment 675)
your comment was as useless as people you talking about!
And dude, even if my english sucks,
you can f... yourself to get apologies.

Posted by Frenchman October 26, 10 05:01 PM


Posted by Laurent October 26, 10 05:49 PM

The question everyone should be asking themselves is very simple.

IF all western countries are in debt to the tune , WHO IS THE CREDITOR?

The reason why politicians are reluctant to discuss the national debt is because some inspired individual might actually have a 'Eureka' moment and demand that the government explain to the people WHO all this MONEY is owed to.

They can't answer this question without giving the whole game away. You know this and so do I.

Sadly, very few people out there can see the elephant in the room and they are so befuddled by bull$hit, they are unlikely to understand.

Posted by sakis from greece October 26, 10 06:11 PM

Thanks a lot for this wonderful page that gives me more reasons to continue the strike in France !
I'm sure that's just the begin...

Posted by Arty October 26, 10 07:15 PM

The French culture is one of opposition. First reflex is to say ‘non, pas ça!’!
I grew up in Holland where society and individuals prefer to compromise. I see opposition around me in France where the opposition would probably contest that they oppose.
Current strikes are also the culturally embedded need to stand up against power. For over 200 years the flavour of overpowering those that are in power has proven addictive to the French. Every few years there are barricades. Villepain was the last victim. But Sarkingzy will prevail. If left without compromises the angry crowd could soon find another occasion to chase that soothing flavour of victory .

Posted by alex francino October 26, 10 07:27 PM

Mr. Teddy #746, The French just happen to know that work does not equal life. Why are you so eager to have us all bleed slowly to death for the sake of multinational corporations?

We Americans need to wake up and recognize that another way is possible.

Posted by Dave October 26, 10 07:58 PM

A l'attention de Monsieur ALAN TAYLOR.

Je tiens à vous apporter des précisions au sujet des évènements qui se sont déroulés à Lyon en France, la semaine dernière. Si le lundi 18 octobre 2010 et jusqu'au mercredi 20 octobre, des jeunes des quartiers pauvres de Lyon sont bien venus dans le centre ville pour faire des émeutes, cela a été très différent à partir de jeudi 21.

Ce jour là, sur la place Bellecour les forces de l'ordre ont enfermé 200 lycéens pacifiques et calmes, à l'intérieur de la place. Ils ont empêché toute personne adulte de les rejoindre puis ils les ont arrosés de gaz lacrymogène pendant toute l'après-midi pour les pousser à bout de nerfs, pour les rendre agressifs. Cette mise en scène, très bien organisée par le gouvernement de Nicolas SARKOSY, visait à faire croire à la population que les jeunes lycéens étaient des casseurs. Or il n'en était rien. Je le répète à nouveau, ces jeunes lycéens manifestaient de façon PACIFIQUE. Les forces de l'ordre leur demandaient de se disperser et en même temps, ils leur bloquaient les voies de sortie, tout en les gazant et en les matraquant !!!

On voit là, toute l'ironie du Pouvoir et son attitude honteuse vis à vis de notre jeunesse. Ces méthodes sont fachistes, dignes des néo-nazis.
Bien entendu, les grands médias français ont relayé ces évènements appréciés au travers de la fumée des gaz, c'est à dire de loin et en abondant du côté de la propagande gouvernementale. Et évidement, les journalistes étrangers comme vous transmettent à nouveau ces informations mais elles sont mensongères.
D'autres évènements inquiétants pour la Démocratie dans notre pays ont été remarqués par de nombreuses personnes présentes dans les manifestations. Des policiers se sont déguisés en jeunes casseurs ou en syndicalistes, portant des badges des organisations syndicales, tout cela pour casser des vitrines ou d'autres biens en marge des cortèges. De nombreux témoins les ont vus ensuite remettre leurs brassards de police. Beaucoup de journalistes se sont fait matraquer sans respect pour leur droit d'exercer.
Deux français sur trois sont contre cette réforme qui donne la retraite à taux plein à 67 ans et non à 62 comme je le vois parfois écrit dans ces commentaires. De plus, il faudra plus de 42,5 ans de cotisations pour y avoir droit. C'est énorme. Bien peu de personnes ayant commencé à travailler jeune et avec des emplois pénibles pourront en fait en bénéficier. Ils seront déjà malades la plupart du temps. En France, la mauvaise santé due à l'âge arrive en moyenne vers 62 ans.

Je vous fournis des liens afin que vous voyez par vous-même où est la vérité.
Et je vous demande, Monsieur Alan TAYLOR de bien vouloir corriger les erreurs que vous relayez, sans mauvaise intention de votre part, j'en suis convaincu.
Merci pour le travail de grande qualité que vous nous présentez.
Bien à vous.

Posted by Geronimo68 October 26, 10 08:57 PM


If the system works for you, good for you.
It doesn't mean it works!

Ever noticed that for 80% of the world population, IT DOESN'T !?

Of course, why would you care?

THIS is the very heart of the problem, you think you ARE the world.

You think that poor people deserve to be poor because they didn't try hard enough to get rich. Like they even had a choice.
That simply implies that they don't deserve to have a decent life, and therefore that you don't consider them as human beings.
That's a form of racism, man.

I think YOU are the idealistic.

And YOU are the problem.
You and the other 5% of the world that eventually decide for the 95% left, just because they were born at the right time at the right place.

"Without the rich, the poor wouldn't be here", you say.
Of course! They wouldn't THAT poor and THAT many!

How can you even be surprised that people are revolted?
You take decent life and dignity away from them and they're supposed to thank you?


If you think France is trying to give you a lesson, maybe it means that YOU have some kind of confidence issues.
You are the one that sounds like his own country is the only interesting one.
For what reasons, again?
Oh, sure, you have the biggest army in the world...

As for the failures you point out in our country (i'm french too), i totally agree, i give you that.
And they are one of the thousands reasons why we are so fed up with this government that we sacrify many days of salary to show how angry we are.
Because it's the only way.

So please, don't think it's for pleasure.
I don't know why you seem so angry at our country, but you shouldn't confuse the government and the people.

I could have said "Oh, sure, you have the biggest army in the world, and you kick the ass of anybody who doesn't agree with you.
Well, i was that kid at school, and i already didn't act that immature"
But it would be stupid.

Are you pissed because someone reminded how some of our strikes or our revolution influenced some other countries?

Well sorry about that, but we're proud of this culture, and we're not letting it die. We have been an exemple, and we don't want this image to fade out
I personnaly don't care about the economic position of my country, or its size, but about its values.

Only one of these reasons would be enough to fight, because we do care (sorry for you if you don't), but as you can see, there are so many of them.

To finish, as you say that Europe is just a bunch of bickuring tribes on a western peninsula of Asia, i'm asking you a favor:
Please read a geography book in addition to the history book you also clearly need, before you spread your hateful empty words on the net.

So, talk to you in 2 month, i guess, unless a smart new antivirus also considers you as a web pollution.

@740 (Thomas)
Excellent post, bravo =)

Posted by Vivi October 26, 10 10:00 PM

Please stop with this expression of "holding somebody hostage".
Do i really need to remind you that it stands for the action of threatening someone's life??

This strike is about losing 2 hours in your week, and the stake is 2 years of retirement for this specific reform, at minimum, and a life time of change if we can finally kick this government which has the nerve to pretend that he's working for the people?

Anyone who doesn't like to be lied to should be on strike.

A short word about the riots:
Saying demonstrators and strikers are violent and dangerous because 30 people out of 3.000.000 actually are, this is as retarded and narrow minded than saying that muslims are terrorists.
This is 0.001 % for god's sake!!!

As for the unfortunate countries that work more than us, have later retirement and have a terribly low income, like Singapore, i feel sorry for you. I really do.
Your situation is extreme, if you compare to many developped countries.

But it's not an argument for us to stop fighting for our rights.

If you look at history, it's quite the opposite, actually, because the rights we obtained through fighting inspired many countries.
And some developped countries (like France, or Germany) in Europe, in G20, at United Nations have been fighting for your rights for decades.

And i think it's time for you to start fighting too =)
If you don't believe in it, what do you have left?

Posted by Vivi October 26, 10 10:39 PM

Kelly: I don't know French. I was able to use my Latin and Spanish to get a hazy sketch of what that says, but any and all nuance is going to be lost on me. Is that a proposal for pension reform for parliamentarians? I saw something that looked like "undue privilege" there, but I'm not quite sure.

What are the specifics of this pension reform proposal? Although yes, I am not suprised that it was rejected.

And yes, your English is fine. All of your fellow countrymen and women keep apologizing for your allegedly poor English, but in truth, most of your speak English quite admirably--and for someone like me, who's long regretted not having the time to take a thorough study of French (I imagine I could pick up conversational language easily enough, but I want to read French literature), it's actually a little humbling.

VinceDeg: You argue that the poor contribute more to the reform than the rich, because they're--effectively--at work for longer. I'm not sure that's the case. Now, I'm not at all familiar with the French pension system so I could be entirely off base here (indeed, your statement that educated workers have to retire after 62 to get full pensions mystifies me, but I assume the system also takes into account length of employment?). However, couldn't we say that academic studies are an investment for the future, and therefore, constitute value-added employment? I absolutely hate talking about education in such soulless economic terms, as universities ought to be attended purely for the sake of learning, but such is the world we live in: so if we must be uncouth and talk about money, let's at least recognize that academic studies aren't exactly a vacation from work, except perhaps for divissimi divitum--for everybody else who attends university, they're going for their career.

I agree with you in that length of employment, taxation of capital gains/retirement benefits, etc. are probably more sensible and less onerous methods of reform.

As far as the goal of the reform: I follow. If Sarkozy is really trying to model himself after American private-sector neoliberals, then... well, I can't really object to French disapproval. I'm rather opposed to socialism, but I'm also equally opposed to selfish individualism (sorry: the free market!)--a public-spirited communitarian approach that isn't necessarily geared towards the imposition of uniform "equality" of outcome is preferable. If intense pension spending cannot be sustained, neither can crushing poverty and tremendous economic inequity either. So in short: fair enough.

Regarding parliament, well, I'll take your word for it. There's certainly a fair deal of political corruption here as well, especially in local governments. Unfortunutely, this may be the consequence of modern democracy: politics is no longer the province of an aristocracy (whether titled, like in the Old World, or untitled, like in the 19th and early 20th century US). I have to admit a certain fondness for an era where, though political power was concentrated in the hands of a few, those few were also encouraged towards the notion of good government. I'm not advocating anything resembling the Ancien Regime, of course (though if arch-capitalists had their way, we might get there--but with crass market-driven arrogance substituting for any sort of cultural refinement), but the sort of Roman approach to government. I do not think "politician" should be thought of as a career prospect, but rather, a duty to be performed and a service to be rendered. Remove salaries entirely, and if that means only the well-to-do can hold office, then so be it.

What you're saying about Sarkozy reminds me a lot of what George W. Bush campaigned on. He promised to be a "uniter, not a divider" and have a "humble foreign policy"--these are very appealing ideas! We all know how that went, though...

Marie: I'm wondering if you saw my comment addressed towards you. VinceDeg went a long way towards answering the questions I had, but I'm still curious as to how you'd respond to them--just search the full comments page for "jello" to find my comment.

I am not normally inclined towards the left, but I do agree that you raise some good points in your latest comment. Reforms are not always fair--indeed, disproportionate impact happens often--but this particular reform does seem rather egregiously unfair to certain groups of people. I'm not enamored with the notion of discussions with trade unions (I have a great distrust of their potentially outsized influence on the πολιτεια), but certainly some discussions with some sort of neutral group (perhaps an organ of a university?) tasked with studying the impact on poorer groups might be warranted. If the government did force the reform before an electoral campaign, that is a disappointing political trick that's really out of step with the decency that we ought to expect in a 21st century country. These things happen here too, of course--but we'd really hope they wouldn't in two of the oldest surviving republics...

Posted by Jello October 26, 10 11:13 PM

One day, french will dominate the world.Not tomorrow, there will be strikes...

First, How many of french publishing posts on this blog currently live in France? if not, why did you leave?
Second, to all Americans watching the "Jerry's Springer Show" or the "celebrity apprentice" on week ends, please do us a favor, keep watching...
Then, to french strikers: with all the taxes that I pay, to you guys, for going out, I hope that you'll do the same when I go bankrupt, really.

See you around

Posted by B October 27, 10 01:20 AM

"If people are living longer then they should work longer, simple as that." 684.

Did it ever occured to you that if people live longer that's because they're working less ..? Open a history book once in your life dummy !

Posted by keef October 27, 10 03:23 AM

I am about to visit France and are a bit shocked to see the violence and disruption the riots have caused. Are they all really rioting about the rise in pensions? Or are they using it as a excuse to vent their anger? I say this when looking at the photos of the youth. In Australia the retirement age for men has been raised to 70. I actually realise someone has to pay the bills and although I dont particularly like the idea of working longer the alternative on the pension is not appealing. The pension is low and might be enough to feed yourself a tin of cat food for tea. At least by working I am increasing my super and I will have a wage to pay the bills. I also believe by working at least you are staying active.
It seems to me that the French already have a lower retirement age than the rest of the world. I hope they appreciate that.

Posted by Gaele Whitehouse October 27, 10 04:15 AM

Yes, the French strike, they protest... But here is the thing: the French have one of the best health plan in the world, they have free education, preschools before 5 years old, for free, unlike US for example, they have 5 weeks of payed holidays, social aids for the poorest, and more. How did they end up with all this?? Protesting, fighting for their rights, refusing to be enslaved, and having the enforced powers remember that they are nothing without the people, that they were elected and given power to serve the people of France. All lot of countries today should take example of the French, starting with the English who are about to live a terrible economic and social policy.

Posted by mbizi October 27, 10 05:15 AM

Pour sophie:
C'est toujours excellent de voir des personnes demander les faits exacts quand eux même mentent par ommission ou par ignorance
Actuellement c'est 65 ans pour bénéficier d'une retraire à taux plein et pas 60 comme tu le laisses supposer! L'allongement est donc bien de 2 ans et pas 7.

Posted by Steph October 27, 10 05:46 AM

The French protest because of the government proposal to raise the age for a minimum pension from 60 to 62. In the rest of Europe you have to work until you are 65 or 67 to get a pension so 62 is a great deal. I don’t understand why the French are so upset.
If you look at the pictures you wonder if any of the protesters know what they are protesting against. A lot of them are even do dumb to write there own name.

Posted by Henk de Vries October 27, 10 06:05 AM

Amis français je ne puis que saluer vos convictions et votre entrain a ne pas vous laisser faire, je suis belge, et mon peuple est mou du genoux, on se laisse sans ménagement oprésser et entuber par un gouvernement ( encore faut il en avoir un) qui ne pense pas a l'interet general mais l'interet personnel ..... je pense que votre combat dépasse le sujet meme des retraites , ce combat a une idéologie partagé de tous, y'en a marre qu'on nous mette des quenelles dans le c... pour enrichir tj les plus riches et laisser une grosse partie de la population sur le coté, je félicite la jeunesse française qui s investisse dans cette démarche meme si les médias tente de faire passer le message qu'il soi manipuler, de plus meme si cela serais vraiment le cas, il vaut tj mieux etre manipuler par un syndicat que par l autorité en place

une grande pensée a vous, vous qui nous montrer le chemin a suivre afin d'éradiquer toutes formes d'abus de pouvoir.....

je finirais par ceci : je suis optimiste car je suis certain que cette société absurde tombera, péssimiste par la peur qu'elle m'entraine avec elle

Posted by Eric October 27, 10 06:59 AM

J'ai commencé à travailler à 16ans.
J'ai eu 160 trimestres de cotisation Sécu.
On m'a cassé les pattes à 60 ans avec une retraite diminuée alors que les fonctionnaires contiunuent à avoir des retraites TRES SPECIALES ( montant durée de travail, cotisations et reversion entre autres)
J'ai près de 80 ans; J'estime que j'aurais pu travailler au moins jusqu'à 70 ans.
Pratiquement toute ma vie je me suis levé à 6heures.
J'ai connu les congés payés de 15 jours/an.
en travaillant 45 puis 43 heures par semaine.
Alors ?
Pauvres rigolos ! Arrêtez vos conneries. Car même ,avec cette "REFORMETTE" les prochains socialos vous la feront encore plus chouette .
Oui la vision qu'a, HELAS! l'étranger n'est que trop vraie.
Et puis à regarder les photos qui vous paiera les retraites par répartition?

Posted by Guy October 27, 10 07:05 AM

"we live longer, we work longer" simple as that ?

Some people live in worse conditions than us so we should be happy with what we have ?

That's a capitalist trick !
why shouldn't we uplift the system ?

What about living a quality life ? (for what life's worth!)

THIS IS A RAT RACE that only leads to world competition.
workers rights should be human rights.
We are not 3 years old hoping for a candy !
In some countries, they would put babies to work !

(like this slogan by the way : "when I was your age, I was allready working... and only nice pictures in this blog anyway)

Is that a fair competition ?

What's life ?
Life is about transformations.
Everything has to evolve...
Where to ?

How does the holly Market consider the flower that wasn't born ?


Posted by Iron Nike (very wise baby) October 27, 10 07:28 AM

I believe you are a member of the YES MEN - I can't believe one can think like you...
sorry, but you are just talking snake talk - only clichés and nasty lies - when we French strike or protest, we only do it for ourselves and don"t really care what a person in Amsterdam thinks... Besides French are not the only to protest, look what happened in other countries in Europe and in the World a few months ago : Greece, Iran, Thaïland, and I bet it's not finished in the months to come !

Posted by Laurent October 27, 10 07:31 AM

¡que viva la lucha del pueblo!

Posted by Obrero October 27, 10 08:52 AM

All I have to say is that you don't have to make working such a big deal. I agree that working in coal mines and terrible physical labor is a huge deal when your in your 60's... but good lord THIS IS THE INFORMATION AGE. Come on now. You can all be entrepreneurs all you have to do is make a damn idea that is somewhat good... then you can change things yourself. It is never ever violence that changes things. It's ideas and businesses. You're going about this the wrong way. Look at the US for example, we are in somewhat of the same position we work NONSTOP in our lives. Thing is tho we don't complain about it because we realize how we don't have to if we dont want to - we can make our own companies just like you can if you just had the ambition.

Also, that change I talked about you are trying to make... well.. that is what is happening in the US and spreading global right now. Businesses are coming in and changing the ground works and foundations OF EVERY MAJOR INDUSTRY on the planet. All starting and emanating from the internet. Get on board guys life isn't as hard as you make it, lol...


Posted by Dain October 27, 10 09:07 AM

What a nation! Vive la france! Vive la Republique! Vive la resistance!
Take a lesson workers in the UK

Posted by 6of1halfadozonoftheother October 27, 10 09:48 AM


Being french but living in Canada, I'd like to thank the photographer for the amazing work he did. Beautiful pics, so meaningful and so true: real photojournalism!

To those who "are ashamed" of being french, those who point out the "absence of alternative or proposition" brought by the demonstrating crowd, I say: You guys must be very badly and poorly informed, unless it is that you're a bunch of liars.

Several left wing parties presented alternative plans. Several academical economic studies and researcher have published many times a lots of very interesting analysis of the whole situation and the possible answer to it.

For your information, and even if I'm pretty sure you don't care about getting info (all you want is to bash those who defend everybody's rights), you could go and have a look to the special issue of the very respected and high-leveled "Alternatives Économiques" on the subject.

You could even go to bed less stupid than you woke up this morning.

Ultra-capitalism is an extremist view on economics: these guys, who are ruling the world, are some economical terrorists. Let's make them hear the street...

Posted by PhD in political science October 27, 10 10:13 AM

@Jello : Google is your friend (or at least it says so...) :
Miracle ! You understand french. The translation is not accurate and produces false meanings (for example here it would be "the government will present" instead of "presented") but it helps you get the idea.

If you want a good explanation of our pension system and the debate, to answer your questions ("indeed, your statement that educated workers have to retire after 62 to get full pensions mystifies me, but I assume the system also takes into account length of employment?"), you can read this : (Pensions : debate explained to dummies). On the same website, this says the same thing about Sarkozy that I said, but better :

"However, couldn't we say that academic studies are an investment for the future, and therefore, constitute value-added employment?" Well, in the french context, it would be difficult to admit. Thing is, a lot of careers here are free, paid by the state (which is a good thing, my parents never could have paid me decent studies), so people don't really feel like "investing" - to be honest, you just gain the right to compete for getting a decent job. And the idea behind the pension system is that when you pay for current retired, you gain the right to receive a pension when you'll be old, while students pay nothing.

"Politics is no longer the province of an aristocracy" : I don't know how to take all that paragraph. I see your point, but I think you idealize a little bit the old times. The thing is, the aristocracy was already exploiting the working class, so they didn't need to divert money from the state, but it wasn't better. They were ready to give basic rights to the people, but they weren't at all incline to think a worker should have more than what allows him to be in a good working condition. Look at Latin American states, for example Chile : it has an exemplary government with the best elements of the higher class, who live exactly as aristocrats (it was the same thing under Pres. Bachelet), but working conditions in mines are catastrophic. French revolution was nothing more than the new dominating class (the "bourgeoisie") reemplacing the old one (the nobility), for common people life conditions didn't change for good. Roman governance ? You mean, the empire whose economical system was based on slavery ?

Your comment on workers union made me realize one thing. In fact, French people usually don't trust their unions either. The sindicalisation rate is shamelessly low here. Unions are fare more radical than most of the workers, CFDT and CGT have clearly marxist views (last years, CFDT showed a more moderate view). So it works this way : unions always call to demonstrate for any tiny modification on the labour rights. Usually people don't care. But when they do, they use unions calls to be heard by the government. Apart from that, we don't have political compromise habits, and politics will never decide something based on academic facts, ideology matters more.

For our language skills, don't worry, nothing magic, I use a lot the dictionnary. And people coming to discuss on TBP speak english language waaaaaay better than the average french people. I can only encourage you to learn french, it's a real challenge but nothing is impossible for a motivated person, good luck. And thanks for answering !

Posted by VinceDeg October 27, 10 10:37 AM

quelle honte pour la France, l'alliance des communistes totalement irresponsables dépassés par les réalités économiques, des lycéens inconscients et inconséquents, et des voyous fainéants et violents...

Posted by hugoleparisien October 27, 10 10:50 AM

Vive La France !!!!
Greetings from old sleepy germany....

Posted by wowa October 27, 10 11:15 AM

most EU member states have a higher retirement age than France, so why should they carry the burden of France?? 65 would be fair actually...

Posted by johnnyb October 27, 10 11:22 AM

Man, I wish we had half your balls here in the U.S>

Posted by clandestine October 27, 10 11:27 AM

j'en lis certains qui réclament la fin du capitalisme. Mais il faut savoir qu'a ce moment la la France risque de s'apauvrir grandement. De plus va falloir dire au revoir aux tele ecran plat de votre chambre, aux portables avec des forfaits illimités ect... il faut être conscient de ce que le capitalisme apporte. Je n'ai pas envie de finir a cultiver des poireaux dans un pays communard.
Pour autant, je ne suis pas pour un capitalisme outrancier de l'argent pour l'argent, il faut qu'il soit modéré mais le souci est la nature humaine et non pas dans le milieu de naissance d'un individu (comme disent certains).
Quand je lis taxons les riches, taxons les riches, je trouve ce terme deja pejoratif. Un bon nombre de gens ont bossé comme des malades pour avoir un job qui paye bien pendant que d'autres étaient au bistrot ou en soirée, la valeur du travail est importante à mes yeux et tout travail mérité salaire. (je parle surtout des petits patron et des profession libérales)

Posted by jean valjean October 27, 10 11:37 AM

For those who did not understand: THIS IS NOT (ONLY) ABOUT THE REFORM OF THE PENSION.

This is a MASSIVE PROTESTATION following a GLOBAL DISTRUST to the system, politics & economy.

And this has to happen.

Europe is the problem.

Posted by Mackenzie October 27, 10 11:48 AM

EEEnnnngggggg! (Timer going off), Game over France! Time to face reality.

Posted by trekker October 27, 10 12:18 PM

When we're on strike like this it is the only time I feel "proud" of beeing French.

Posted by You should go on Strike in your country too October 27, 10 12:24 PM

bonjour Guy (n°763), comment vas tu? je me souviens des paroles d'un sociologue largement éclairé disant ceci : "parmi les plus grands défenseurs de l'injustice sociale et politique, il faut compter les victimes de l'oppression elles mêmes, qui ne pourraient sinon supporter l'insignifiance de leur propre petite vie". Voici donc Guy matière à réfléchir, pour toi, pour ton passé, que tu n'as certes pas vraiment pu choisir. Malgré ce que tu as pu endurer, et tu m'en vois absolument désolé, non, je ne suis pas d'accord avec toi, avec cette idée emprunte de cynisme et de ressentiment, que parce qu'un peuple a pu connaître des conditions difficiles, un autre doive vivre les mêmes conditions difficiles. Ce n'est pas écrit dans le marbre : je pense que face aux enjeux liés à la mutation et à l'évolution de l'humanité, l'humain mérite mieux que ce point de vue que tu as, bien trop personnel et bien trop réducteur.

Posted by jean-christophe October 27, 10 12:53 PM

@ 777

I feel exactly the same =)

@774 & 767

Sorry guys, but i think YOUR vision is idealistic.

In real life, anyone can not make a company.
A lot of markets are already saturated because there are too many companies, too many products, and not enough people to buy them.
Simple example: the entertaining industry with music, cinema or video games.

In real life, you don't get rich just because you have an idea.
Everybody has ideas.

In real life you're not poor because you work less.
Do you really think people are stupid enough to chose to be poor?

In real life, you can have the highest diplomas and have no job.

In real life, there is plenty of money in the country for pensions, or for everything important.

But this money is detained by a tiny minority who earns 1000 times more money than the majority, gets respect, gets every rights, gets political involvement and a wealthy life with a president friend that sacrifies the country for them.

And believe me, they don't work 1000 times more than the majority, it has nothing to do with that.

Posted by Vivi October 27, 10 01:06 PM

A 778, Jean Christophe;
Tu t'es mépris. Je ne regrette absolument pas la vie que j'ai menée et je ne préconise pas "l'enfer" pour ceux qui viennent. Simplement et tous les psy ou thérapeutes pourront te le dire: on peut adoucir ce qui est trop dur , on ne peut jamais faire le contraire.
Je n'ai surement pas tes diplômes ( si tu en as) j'ai fait des études secondaires SANS BAC mais me suis levé tôt et couché tard. J'ai toujours compté sur MOI-MÊME et non sur les auttres.J'ai bossé sans syndicat.
Quand je lis que le peuple entier est pour la chienlit...
Combien de syndiqués? peutêtre 3% en raclant bien.
Dans les manifs , combien "d'intermeitterands "du spectacle ou d'intérims?
Quant aux riches ! ! !
Un proverbe chinois (Vive Mao) dit que lorsque les riches maigrissent les pauvres sont morts.
Et puis s'il n'y avait pas de "riches" qui paieraient des impôts?
Je suis assez imperméable au blabla actuel prétentieux et abscon
pour moi on appelle un chat un chat et les casseurs des voyous.

Posted by GUY October 27, 10 01:53 PM

Some FACTS for the brain washed sheep of the World bashing the French without having the faintest idea of what they're talking about:

- Foreign Direct Investments in 2009:
France # 2 source (source CIA World Fact book):

- Health Care Systems in the world (Source: W.H.O)
France #1

- Literacy rate in G7 countries (source UNDP)
France #2

- Life expectancy in G7 countries (source CIA World fact book)
France # 2

- Productivity of workers per hour worked - Worldwide:
by GDP (PPP) France #7 (Source CIA World Fact book)
by USD produced per hour: France # 2

Not too bad for a country ofa "lazy whinners" and "Commies", right?

Posted by G Delaporte October 27, 10 03:08 PM

Que les parasites prennent garde au peuple qui a fait 1789, 1936 et 1968 !


Posted by Gabrielle October 27, 10 03:47 PM

Boris, left donc la France et don't come back surtout, 70% des français n'oublient pas d'où ils viennent et n'en n'ont rien à cirer de ton avis, comme de celui des médias internationaux ! Le peuple français pense librement, lui !

Posted by gabi October 27, 10 04:28 PM

Vive la la France...
continuons le combat !

Posted by Flrsch October 27, 10 04:34 PM

Why the cant the poxy British be as politically active as this is response to the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition cuts and so on going on? Its shameful that we are rolling over and taking it. The French have the right idea. Lets see a little reaction!!!!

Posted by Leroy Gibbons October 27, 10 04:46 PM

Je salue Guy en 764 et partage son idée que les jeunes doivent réfléchir et revoir leur mode de pensée et leurs modes d'action. Financement des retraites , questions politiques, problèmes sociaux , il faut aussi mettre la main à la pâte pour préserver le système social que nous avons .
Jello, you might be interested in my postings 380 459.

Posted by Joce T France October 27, 10 05:20 PM

Quand je vois ça je suis fiere de faire partie de ces Francais qui ne baissent pas leur slip devant le gouvernement de SARKO, et certain peuple devraient faire la même chose que nous pour que ça change aussi chez eux !!! A bon entendeur...Salut !!!

Posted by laetitia de NANTES October 27, 10 05:21 PM

Nous autres savons ce qu'il en est de sacrifices et de luttes pour nos frères humains… Pour quoi se battre autrement ?
Liberté, égalité, fraternité… avec toutes les notes de l'arc-en-ciel…
Confiance camarades, nous vaincrons !!!!!!

A demain :-)

Posted by Louise M. October 27, 10 05:26 PM

Mais Lætitia c'est ridicule de penser ainsi, arrête de penser comme les autres penses par toi même et tu verras que la réforme était nécessaire...

J'ai 23 ans j'ai compris que dans la vie, il faudrait que je me lève tôt, très tôt pour vivre et faire vivre ma famille.
J'ai fais des études et pas forcement des études ou il fallait de l'argent. J'avais juste la volonté de me faire une vie sans trop de soucis financier et si personnes ne peut payer ma retraite alors c'est dès aujourd'hui que je me la construis.J'ai pas besoin qu'on me tienne la main, j'ai pas besoin qu'on m'aide à penser.

Merci Guy pour ton témoignage.Je pense que les gens aujourd'hui ont perdu tout sens des réalités.On ne réussi pas professionnellement en ne travaillant que 35heures par semaine...
J'ai pas besoin que les syndicats disent " ca fait 6 jours qu'on est 1 million donc ca fait 6 millions de gens sur les 6 jours" Voilà la bétises française.

Mais vous verrez quand la gauche repassera au pouvoir parce qu'elle sera élue qu'elle reviendra sur cette réforme pour enfoncer le clou. Vous verrez quand grâce à la politique de fermeture que mènera la gauche nous ne serons plus rien sur le plan international. Que les entreprises délocaliseront complètement leurs activités vers des populations moins cher et tout aussi performante et productive.

S'il vous plait Français, Française, remettez vous au travail, allons tous dans le même sens sans se prendre en otage les uns les autres. Quand un million de personnes sont dans la rue ca ne représente que 1.5% de la population totale. Est-ce vraiment nécessaire de faire un tel vacarme pour une réforme obligatoire?

Posted by Alex October 27, 10 05:57 PM

Ce que je lis m'encourage beaucoup à continuer le combat. Certains critiquent les grèves et ceux qui les font. Ils dénigrent les Français, les traitant de fainéants (alors que la productivité par individu n'a jamais été aussi forte), de voyous (alors que les manif se déroulent dans un climat festif), Ils disent n'avoir pas eu besoin des syndicats, de s'être battus seul. De s'être levé tous les matin de leur vie professionnelle à 6h du matin (ceux qui luttent se lèvent aussi à 6h).
Dans tous ses propos, je vois du ressentiment, de l'aigreur, de la solitude.
Merci aux syndicats, aux partis politiques, aux résistants (y compris de droite) d'avoir eu le courage alors que la France sortait de la guerre en 1945 , au travers du CNR (Conseil National de la Résistance), je dis le courage de créer tout ce qui fait la protection sociale, dont tous bénéficient encore aujourd'hui (sécurité sociale,protection chômage, retraite par répartition, etc..- mesures basées sur la solidarité).
En 1936, et en 1968 aussi.
Si ceux qui se battent ne pensaient qu'à eux, ils devraient garder ce qu'ils obtiennent que pour eux. Or JE DIS BIEN "TOUS EN PROFITENT" même CEUX QUI CRITIQUENT LES GREVES, LES MILITANTS et QUI NE FONT JAMAIS RIEN POUR MERITER.
Je sui fière d'appartenir à ce beau pays de FRANCE, qui loin d'être critiqué de l'étranger, au contraire FAIT ENVIE A CEUX QUI NE PEUVENT PAS EN FAIRE AUTANT. Merci à ceux qui nous encouragent.
Malgré la "CRISE", les banques n'ont jamais été aussi riches, les scandales politico-financiers aussi nombreux, les patrons aussi bien payés et pensionnés (retraite dorées), la justice bafouée, le peuple méprisé.
Alors continuons de défendre nos intérêts comme eux (l'oligarchie) défendent les leurs.

Posted by Fati13 October 27, 10 06:24 PM

Il est un peu tard pour pleurer, on savait très bien ou l'on allait avec un président comme NS. La révolte du peuple Français est tout à fait justifiée quoi qu'en dise certain.

Posted by Thomas October 27, 10 06:53 PM

I'm Japanese and have lived in France for 7 years.
The collective action is something we are not used to in Japan.
It's quite unreal for us !

It's like you were searching for Rock !
IT'S NOT on MTV nor commercial radios...
We can feel the heart of France beating... and with no pretention... tell the world that in Democracy, the power really owns to the people.
How many countries in the world, lost in the routine of the compromise... ?
Compromise, sort of chewy posture...
Sometimes we do need Marie, Julien, Théo, Rachid, Wafa, Saidou, Fatou, Romain, Marion, Mohammed, David, Saida to blow in the wind...
Thanxxx a lot Frenchies ! Pagan god bless you France !

Posted by takamats October 27, 10 08:24 PM

Just couldn't help it, but often citizen of other occidental countries consider the french as lazzy because we work less. But we make kids(natality rate per couple: 2.01), and we have the second biggest imigration of the planet. That is brings in the money for the retirements...
And to have full retirement in France, you need to pay 45 years of "cotisation", only 35 in germany for example, even if retirement is soon to be 67 yaers old.

Posted by yd October 27, 10 09:18 PM

VIVE LA FRANCE EN RESISTANCE, ET L'ESPRIT GAULOIS (un americain en solidarite - domage que nous y somme deja mort...)

Posted by markuse October 27, 10 10:44 PM

Live Life.

Posted by timbo October 27, 10 11:14 PM

@Jason -696... What do you mean my dear American Friend...? French Army lost 200 thousand soldiers fighting the Germans in 1940; they lost because of the stupid chiefs that were in charge then... any how I don't see you point except that you might regret that France do not belong to America since you have liberated France, right ? Learn history, you are brain-washed...

Posted by Georges Cortez October 28, 10 01:09 AM

It's good to see the French people stand up for themselves! This should be a warning for our (USA) government! Americans getting fed up with our lieing cheating puppet politicians and do the same thing here.It's way over due.Revolution is in the air!

Posted by lostinwyoming October 28, 10 02:28 AM

Je n'est pas d'avis a donner sur la reforme des retraites au regard de nos concitoyens européens....mais

la France est gouvernée par une politique de répression et de propagande (TF1) depuis trop longtemps, l'Etat devient trop dangereux pour le peuple et surtout la classe sociale moyenne (majorité des francais) qui s'appauvrit chaque jours un peu plus.
Les politiques sont tous des magouilleurs corrompus qui ne pensent qu'au pouvoir. Les salaires et les possibilités d'evolutions sont trop peu élevés pour les gens qualifiés, meme si l'experience est necessaire et les pistons aussi ,

Je ne veux pas dresser un tableau noir de la France car malgré tout jaime mon pays mais aujourdh'ui
je suis bien content de vivre a l'autre bout du monde ou ma situation de vie est meilleure qu'en France ou mes compétences sont reconnues, appréciées et valorisées.

Barer vous vivre a l'étranger les jeunes, ouverture d'esprit , perspectives de carrieres, découvertes des gens et des cultures, apprentissage des langues. C'est trop facile pour passer a coté, une chose a faire ,.....
Reserver un billet d'avion.

Posted by Bobcass October 28, 10 02:41 AM

Merci pour de si belles images de notre colère.
Thanks for so beautiful photos of our anger.

Posted by NADINE October 28, 10 03:13 AM


''35 hours a week that is less that 5% of the hours in a week''.
Really? Is that what you call lazy people?

Why do not you just learn some mathematics? 35 hours a day is 20% of the 168 hours of the weekend.
You do not have to work 24/7 to be productive.

Posted by alex October 28, 10 03:30 AM

@ 753 :
"Deux français sur trois sont contre cette réforme qui donne la retraite à taux plein à 67 ans et non à 62 comme je le vois parfois écrit dans ces commentaires. De plus, il faudra plus de 42,5 ans de cotisations pour y avoir droit. C'est énorme."

How dare you write to american people (for most of them) that 42.5 years of work time before retirement is enormous ???!!?? How many social advantages do we have in France comparing to US citizens or other European citizens. We have 5 weeks paid vacations per year, 35 hours work per week......... and you complain about working for a too long time ??? Oh god, please try to understand how we are lucky in France to have all these things...

Posted by Matt October 28, 10 03:47 AM

Toutes ces démonstrations sont des vociférations inutiles. Creusez un peu le pourquoi de ce fiasco phénoménal... Plus d'argent dans les caisse de l'Etat français par exemple ? Et bien je vous en trouve tout de suite : 50 Milliards d'euros d'impôts impayés (en 2006) par les banques et les grandes sociétés qui profitent toujours des paradis fiscaux et des fameux taux de transferts. Pour info, c'est plus de 2 fois le trou de la sécurité social prévu en 2011. Combien de jeunes finissent leur scolarité en sachant à peine lire-écrire-compter ? Des exemples comme celui-ci, il y en a des tas et pas seulement chez les riches, il y a des pauvres qui déconnent tout autant : plus d' 1 million de fausses cartes vitales circulent sur notre territoire, qui les utilisent ? Il faut se réveiller, arrêter de cracher dans la soupe et combattre notre médiocrité. La France est un pays fantastique, certes, mais peuplé aussi par des trous du cul, des beaufs, des incultes et des profiteurs riches comme pauvres. Quel gâchis...AUX ARMES CITOYENS !

Posted by Marianne October 28, 10 03:55 AM

713: Your EVERY word is golden!

Viva la France! We're sending best regards and deepest solidarity from Hungary to you! (And I shame that president Sarkozy has hungarian roots.)

Posted by Gabriel October 28, 10 05:11 AM

@ 788 et pour Guy

Aujourd'hui, il ne suffit pas de se lever tôt et de se coucher tard pour assurer son avenir, même avec un bac ou un diplôme supérieur.
Tout le monde met "la main à la pâte".
Mais tout le monde ne vit pas dans des conditions décentes pour autant.
Êtes vous à ce point déconnectés de la réalité que vous ne connaissez pas les notions de chômeurs diplômés ou de travailleurs pauvres?

Dans ces conditions, je serais curieux de savoir quels modes de pensée et quels modes d'actions vous préconisez tous les deux.

Cette réforme particulière de la retraite n'est pas obligatoire et n'est absolument pas dans l'intérêt de la France, puisqu'elle verra la fin de la retraite par répartition (qui marche très bien) et le début de la retraite par capitalisation qui ne profite qu'aux plus aisés et qui est responsable de la pauvreté de plusieurs millions d'américains.

Mais cette réforme n'est qu'une goutte qui fait déborder le vase.
Le fond du problème est que les français en ont marre qu'on les prenne pour des imbéciles et qu'on leur fasse avaler n'importe quoi.

En l'occurrence, ça m'ulcère de savoir que des économistes comme Bernard Frio qui proposent des solutions bien plus intéressantes sur la retraite sont passés sous silence, que le système par capitalisation fera la fortune de la société de Guillaume Sarkozy, le frère du président, et que c'est probablement la principale raison pour laquelle ce dernier s'y est tant accroché après l'avoir proposée.
Qui plus est pendant les vacances, en espérant que les français ne s'en aperçoivent pas, et en la précipitant d'une façon pas du tout démocratique.

Ce qui me rend malade, c'est que la presse libre n'existe quasiment plus, que le travail des journaliste soit confisqué par les renseignements généraux.
Que les secteurs vitaux du pays comme l'éducation, la recherche, la santé et la culture soient peu à peu asséchés, à des profits qu'on nous cache.
Que des entreprises qui affichent chaque année des bénéfices record aient assez de poids pour dissimuler les catastrophes écologiques dont ils sont responsables.
Que des grands patrons et des actionnaires voient leur rémunération augmenter indépendamment des résultats de l'entreprise, contrairement à ceux qui la font exister, les travailleurs, dont la rémunération diminue indépendamment des résultats de l'entreprise également.

Ce qui me donne envie de manifester, c'est que la misère augmente dans notre pays et que les gens qui se battent pour conserver des droits durement acquis sont traités d'inconscients, d'imbéciles et de gens dangereux.
C'est malheureux, mais tout ce que nous avons obtenu, c'est par le combat.
Alors quand il s'agit juste de conserver ce que l'on a acquis, vous pensez bien que le combat n'est pas près de s'arrêter.

Posted by Vivi October 28, 10 05:20 AM

Did you read Astérix and Obélix? The romans were saying: "They are crazy these Gauls!" And yes they are! The Frenchs have shown the way to democracy in 1789, which was definitely the right choice, but since then, many of the strikes have a connotation of lazyness and destruction. One can argue about the way the reform has been written/chosen/voted, but dear French people, have look around in Europe... You work maximum 35 hours a week, they work maximum 49 hours in UK... You retire at 60, they retire at 67 in DK... The retirement law from 1981 giving retirement at 60 years was based on the times statistics, unemployment, longetivity and other demographic figures... and these change with time... so does the retirement age! Alternatively, you can save some money in a private retirement company to complement the public savings and retire when you feel like! Some european countries are following this model, Sweden for example!
In France you want it all, work 35 hours for a wage of 39, get retired at 60 while the majority starts working in the begining of the 20's and live until 80! It is Christmas soon, so make a wish!

Posted by Intiwasi October 28, 10 05:28 AM

La France a mille et un atouts, elle ne sait pas jouer aux cartes. De plus
Paul Valery écrit " Les Français marchent à reculons dans l'avenir en regardant le passé".

Le courage de travailler (cette lycéenne à la TV qui déclare qu'elle manifeste parce qu'elle est fatiguée d'étudier !), de ne pas critiquer constamment les 'autres', de faire face a une banqueroute quasi certaine,
de concevoir un pays de second ordre dans le concert mondial, de dialoguer ...tout cela (et plus) manque terriblement dans l'Hexagone. Dommage.

Posted by maurice hendrik bood October 28, 10 05:44 AM

@ 718 and 714.
I would like to remind you that the average wage per month for a public civil service agent (starting at bac+5 and A category) is between 1400 euros and 1500 euros for 35 hours per week of work.

I would like to remind that the 35 hours per week are the basis on which the wage is calculated. By any means it supposes that the public agent works indeed 35 hours per week : in fact people do a lot more. and by a lot, I mean between 40 and 50. And they still get paid for 35 hours, because our government decided that the french civil service must do much more things with much less means.

Now, if you think that being paid 1500 euros, work 45 hours per week approx. for the same work that is paid twice or thrice in the firms for the same hour volume is an enviable position, then welcome and sign here.

the problem of retirement is not the only problem here. To get to understand what's going on in France you have to get the whole picture.

So, yes. We fight for a better France, here, now.
If you have lessons to give and odd remarks to make, then, go. But do not suppose one moment we can hear them.

Posted by Lotte October 28, 10 06:56 AM

To all,
I see people upset because French people protest although they benefit of "high" social conditions (in comparison with other countries). Yes that's (quite) right. Why? Because people have been ready to fight in order to improve their condition! The fight has permitted to work less, to have holidays, to have reasonnable conditions of life. Nowadays, governments present several "reforms" each year... they attack the conditions of life, to make people pays the economical crisis, to propose gifts to richest people! They racket less rich to give to upper classes, amplifying the movement of that linked to the neoliberalismization of our economies and societies!
We have to fight to defend our rights, our conditions! In making this, in face of the liberalisme who destruct the planet and its inhabitants, we help all the planet, even the poorest countries of the world, the poorest people (even of the richest countries)... because we don't have to be slaves of a system that racket our efforts to give to richest people that don't work any more (only their fortunes are working)! An american Nobel Prize found a few weeks ago, taht people gaining more than 75'000 dollars per year are not happier than other... So let's limit the gaps of salaries, of fortunes!
Let's replace liberalism! Destroy it before it destroys our environment (pollution etc), our social conditions of living, before it kills too much (African for exemple) people (we help these poor countries far less than what we ask them to pay their debts, whith incredible interest taxes)... The time has gone!!

Posted by Aurélien October 28, 10 07:26 AM


Lis un peu les commentaires de cette page, ou un vrai bouquin, si tu en as l'occasion, tu y auras toutes les réponses à tes questions.
Quand à ta manière de prendre les gens de haut et de considérer qu'ils ne sont pas assez malins pour comprendre ce qu'il se passe, ça ne donne même pas envie de lire la suite.
C'est d'autant plus lamentable que pour un docteur, tu fais énormément de fautes.
Bref le débat n'est pas là, et tu m'obliges à en sortir, ça m'énerve.

Posted by Anonymous October 28, 10 08:04 AM

How did you get to take the pics from cops? They usually don't want to be shot ... Did you get their permission to publish them? Be careful because they can put you in trouble... I was once called to "order" some year ago when I tried to take a pic from them during a inmigrants protest... the guy run after me along 200 m and shouted at me as if I had stolen something from a shop... he told me "you should know the law"... he made me erase the pics... and he wasn't even right... I wasn't supposed to publish them, but still could take them...

Posted by Michelle October 28, 10 08:13 AM

Vive la lutte pour la révolution socialiste internationale!

Posted by Geert October 28, 10 08:14 AM

come on...civil service and 50hrs / week ? kidding ?

Posted by max October 28, 10 08:15 AM

Pour 806
Que fais tu dans la vie? qu'as tu fait pour ton pays (voir Kennedy) combien de fois as tu été au chômage ?
MOI 3 FOIS et j'ai toujours rebondi car mes parents, mes profs et la vie m'avaient appris que l'on ne récolte que ce que l'on sème.

PS. J'ai bientôt 80 ans ! C'est vrai une toute autre époque que celle des"DROITS ACQUIS"

Posted by Anonymous October 28, 10 08:29 AM


Lis un peu les commentaires de cette page, ou un vrai bouquin, si tu en as l'occasion, tu y auras toutes les réponses à tes questions.
Quand à ta manière de prendre les gens de haut et de considérer qu'ils ne sont pas assez malins pour comprendre ce qu'il se passe, ça ne donne même pas envie de lire la suite.
C'est d'autant plus lamentable que pour un docteur, tu fais énormément de fautes.
Bref le débat n'est pas là, et tu m'obliges à en sortir, ça m'énerve.

Posted by Anonymous October 28, 10 08:41 AM

I hope the words below (written 13 years before the French Revolution), will say something to many people? This is one of the most beautiful text I ever read in my life... with the french declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

English and american people are often amazed by our obsession to fight for our rights... so do we with their obsession to place the economic matters before all. This is simply cultural differences and thanks God, some diversity remains despite the road-roller of the globalization.

Sometime, "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness" are not completely matching with pure economic goals and rentability, finally this is just what french demonstrations want to remind to Nicolas Sarkozy's government?...

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security."

Posted by Thomas October 28, 10 09:29 AM

A 714 : on peut être docteur et être un crétin suffisant et inculte.

Comment financer nos retraites ? Notre sécurité sociale ? Nos services publics ?
En reprenant ce qu'on nous a volé !
Reprenons les 10% qui ont glissé du travail vers le capital.
Débarrassons-nous des fainéants qui parasitent notre travail, qui ne vivent que grâce à nous, nous n'avons pas besoin d'eux.

Les solutions sont ailleurs, bien sûr, que dans le grand ordre mondial des profiteurs !

70% des français soutiennent le mouvement, public, privé, jeunes ou retraités.


Posted by gabi October 28, 10 09:58 AM

Good on you!
Wonder why France has a lower pension age than the UK/US already?
Maybe cos they FOUGHT FOR IT and generally seem to stand up for their rights whenever possible. If only there were some Europe wide action.

Posted by Ben October 28, 10 10:34 AM

The trouble with France is that everything is wrong. Retirement is only the tip of the iceberg. The whole system is going sour again. Of course French history is a curse, from the revolution, through napoleonic wars, 1830 and 1848 revolutions again, Napoleon III the 1870 war with Germany and the bloody commmune, 1914-1918 war again, the 1939-1945 2nd WW, the military disaster of may 1940, the Vichy regime and the French partcipation in the holocost.... Revolution, a french national sport, every thirty years or so. But who's at fault? There are 8 million, not four, french people living on the verge of poverty. 25% of the young below 25 are without work, 35% of the old abvove 55 are out of work. The 25-55 age segment holds all the jobs; there are 2.5 million unemployed but 8 million are affected by joblessness. The rich are getting richer and richer. Fiscal policy is full of loopholes used by the richest to reduce or pay no taxes. So the french revolution can be understood. A modern Nation has to provide all that is necessary for its people to live from cradle to grave, in the conditions that prevail in this 21st century. That means food and clothing, clean water, sewage, housing, education, health, security, ... and retirement! Today, all this is said to be to costly... in this neoliberal society; but financial greed all over the world and in France in particular has led to this disaster.

Posted by pratclif October 28, 10 11:04 AM

Très belles photos, de qualité et qui malheureusement mettent en scène la débauche gauchiste française...
J'ai honte ! En regardant ces photos j'ai honte d'être français ! Moi qui est patriote et qui aime mon pays et sa capitale plus que tout je trouve ca scandaleux ! Ras le bol de ces syndicats qui manifestent pour un oui ou pour un non et n'osent proposer des choses concrètes qui peuvent servir les intérêts de la France. C'est toujours subjectif, rien n'est objectif. Ici ce sont les retraites ok, je comprend l'importance de la réforme mais que voulez-vous faire à part taxer d'avantage les riches, travailler moins, être payé plus pour encore moins d'efforts ! Savez-vous combien ca nous coute vos manifestations et vos blocages, nous qui créons de l'emploi ? L'un des fondements d'une démocratie, c'est l'existence d'un contre pouvoir et nous avons de la chance de vivre dans une démocratie où chacun peut s'exprimer, mais dans la mesure où ce contre pouvoir être objectif dans ses contestations. La CGT en 1ère qui est dans la rue à la moindre occasion pour brandir leurs idées complètements arriérées et qui n'ont ni queue ni tête ! Comment pouvons-nous soutenir ca ? Soyons pragmatique et arrêtons de tolérer. RAS LE BOL DE CES SYNDICATS QUI N'ONT QU'UN OBJECTIF : CONTREDIRE, CONTESTER pour...rien !

Posted by Un francais qui en a ras le bol October 28, 10 12:00 PM

Tu as raison je suis complètement d'accord avec toi, les syndicats ont un rôle important mais ne sont absolument pas à la hauteur...Oui c'est toujours subjectif, le moindre prétexte pour manifester et brandir leur slogans.
Que disent les étrangers qui voient ces photos ? Mon dieu j'ai honte, honte de montrer cette partie de la population qui n'ont qu'un seul objectif : en faire un minimum pour en gagner autant si ce n'est plus ! Et ces critiques à l'égard des "plus riche" qui travaillent déjà prêt de 6 mois de l'année pour l'état ! Et que l'on ose dire "il n'y a qu'à augmenter les impôts pour les plus riches" c'est scandaleux !

Posted by Un francais qui partage votre avis October 28, 10 12:11 PM

@810.... no comment :-)

@807 and all people thinking fighting for social progress is a shame...
Yes you're right, let be inspire by the bottom, let's go back to autocratic system, with a good dictator it could be good....
Come on... French people go on strike because they don't want to work until 62 when Danish work until 67... what a shame !!!
The question might be why Danish accept working til 67 when French stop at 60 ? don't you think ?

Posted by manouche October 28, 10 12:46 PM

Whatever the French do or don't do, say or don't say, feel or not feel, it doesn't matter anymore. France still seems to carry some weight in Europe, but to the rest of the world it's nothing more than a sleazy 70's soap opera.

Posted by Rita Janssen, Amsterdam. October 28, 10 12:53 PM

I do not dislike the French from the vulgar antipathy between neighbouring nations, but for their insolent and unfounded airs of superiority.
— Horace Walpole, 4th earl of Oxford (1787)

Posted by Rita Janssen, Amsterdam. October 28, 10 01:11 PM

I was surprised at the readiness of the French people to protest against antisocial government measures.

Posted by Stergios Chanos October 28, 10 01:50 PM

I have a solution : You give us OBAMA... We give you SARKOZY !

But we do not assure the after-sales service...

Posted by henridelatour October 28, 10 01:54 PM

Before #825, I like Netherland...
After ?... I see Europe is a big package of shit ! Ask to OBAMA ! He knows that !

Posted by henridelatour October 28, 10 01:59 PM
Posted by Anonymous October 28, 10 02:38 PM

To #823 :
It is so easy the disinformation
French must work 41 years or until 65 old ! 65 actually becomes 67... It's the new law age !

60 become 62 :... Is a dispensation with decrease of pension from about 20 to 30 %. only reserved for people destroyed by the work or people who don't find another work...

NB : (In France Bosses don't employ yougn people less 25 years, and don't employ old past 55 years)... How can they do, to have a plenty pension mister " I-know-everything " ?... When you talk about a subject, it's necessary to know what you talk about...

This dispensation is only a safety belt, when we can do anything else ! This is my case ! I had brain vascular accident, I cannot work any more, I am too dangerous !
I should prefer to work more and more... Because my pension is too small to bring up still my two children... But I'm lucky this dispensation exists...

Now, do you understand better ?

Posted by henridelatour October 28, 10 02:50 PM

Bravo!, Bravo!. Un ejemplo para los jóvenes y para nosotros los viejos en México, en estos tiempos de pasividad ciudadana y de los canallas en el gobierno. Viva la France!

Posted by Huberto Juárez October 28, 10 02:50 PM

As exposed previously, the old dispute between wealthy bourgeoisie and work people is a cleavage which congeals the bourgeoisie in a position folded up on itself (being very minority), in an archaic mentality. It is however able to displaying a lot of imagination to try to win… The conflicts are won by guile and force …

The following consequences ensue from it :

- Development exaggerated with fear management, to the detriment of management by negotiation or participation.

- braking of the improvements of the conditions of employment, as by hatred and vengeance against the poor worker people.

- Attempts of division of workers by the ruling class, to settle the discord between private work and civil servants.

Weak proselytism with binary reasoning…

- Sick and monopolistic accumulation of the wealth and progressive desolation of workers' profit-sharings in the result of companies.

- We have the only employers of Europe (and maybe even the only one to the world), which does not want to employ young people, nor old men ! An engaged young person has to be 5 years old of experiment ! How does he do ?
The employment is easy only to 30 in 50 years. But what are the obsolete mechanisms of the employers' thought ? (It is necessary to think of it to understand the uprising of the Frenchmen against this reform of the pensions : less working time because of imbecile prejudices = miserable pensions. The young Frenchmen know it and to push away two years the age of the pension, it is to have a duration of employment amputated of two years more)

-Worse : not long ago a difficult negotiation ended between labor and trade-union paronal ( MEDEF) … Sarkozy made cancel the agreement and kill the concessions which were convenient for all. Is there this kind of rough intervention of the state, in the negotiation, in the other countries ? NO !

-Sarkozy, substitutes itself for employers associations to impose one-sidedly, without any negotiation ! Is there it in the other countries ? NO!

About what complain the Frenchmen ? Exactly to undergo measures, laws, arbitrary, compulsory and inequitable decrees!

The refusal of negotiation is in the camp of the upper middle class and even more on behalf of Sarkozy! « SARKOZY IS MORE ROYALIST THAN HIMSELF ! » … He does not want to obtain from consensus, but only to impose by the force, measures which benefit only the rich and which make precarious more and more the weak and the poor men…

The bourgeoisie grew richer and richer ! The middle class became impoverished, the poor men became miserable and placed except statistics. Nothing is made to re-industrialize or create employments !


Read that, understand that, and after you talk about, non inverse...

Posted by henridelatour October 28, 10 03:27 PM

A lot of whitewashed tombs in the comments section.

Let the dead bury their dead.

Posted by Jeff DanLeoni October 28, 10 03:45 PM

@814 : Sometimes, like in september and october in universities, in november trough january in public national entreprises, in april and june for others, people do work 50 hours per week in the public service.

I am sick and tired of hearing that all the "fonctionnaires" are lazy. We have to work a lot to maintain a high level of service for the citizens, and I repeat we do not have the means to do our job correctly. So yes, sometimes, civil servants do let go on some situations, especially when they have herds of angry peoples that still thinks that they are the center of the world because, well, "them" they work so hard you see, they are "entrepreneurs".

I am REALLY sick and tired of hearing people shouting everywhere they go that fonctionnaires have priviledges, that they have protection, and thus, they are some sort of "undermen" because they do not have the courage to face the roughness of life, by being "entrepreneurs".

If you are so jealous, why don't you go and pass the tests to be one of the priviledged? ;)
oh, I forgot, we are not that much paid. oh, and yes we have to face angry mobs, be ashamed of our jobs because, yes, the image a very few give is laziness.

I am very proud to serve my country and its citizens. But I feel terribly sorry for those who still think about the society divided in two separate societies of men, the public service and the better half, the world of entrepreneurship, fighting against each other.

Posted by Lotte October 28, 10 03:57 PM

Bonjour à tous, vous qui nous aimez, vous qui croyez nous haïr. Je suis une "french with balls" ou une "lazy people", qu'importe.
Vous vous exprimez sur un sujet de politique intérieure française et quelque soit le sens de votre réflexion, vous prouvez que le sujet vous touche. Notre culture est basée sur le respect des opinions, je ne chercherais donc pas à convaincre qui que ce soit du bien fondé de cette grêve, j'aimerais juste vous dire ce qui m'a fait glisser dans la protestation: je suis, comme la plupart des français, convaincue du bien fondé d'une réforme du système des retraites et j'accepte l'idée de travailler plus longtemps mais j'y pose une condition: que mon travail paie des retraites, pas des indemnités de chomage de jeunes gens qui ne demandent qu'à travailler mais dont les chances d'accéder à l'emploi seront anéanties par le maintient en activité de "vieillards".
Je suis fonctionnaire des impôts, au degré le plus bas, celui qui patauge au quotidien dans la fange des lois et rêglements iniques. Mon dégoût est profond et je peux témoigner du fait que nos lois fiscales profitent le plus souvent aux plus hauts revenus. Chaque jour je rencontre la misère, toujours plus grande de ceux qui sont privés d'emploi, et la résignation de ceux qui trop conscients de leur chance d'avoir un job, même payé une misère, courbent docilement l'échine, et paient, quitte à s'endetter à coup de crédits à la consommation. En parallèle, nous traitons les dossiers de "bouclier fiscal" qui assure aux plus hauts revenus la plupart du temps (il y a quelques exceptions, mais si rares!) le remboursement d'une partie voire de l'intégralité des impôts (toutes catégories) déjà versés. Notre système en est à ce point de démence qu'il nous est arrivé de nous faire injurier par une contribuable à qui nous avions proposé l'application de cette mesure. Cette sainte femme était tout simplement outrée "que l'Etat français refuse sa participation financière au bon fonctionnement du pays" alors qu'elle se considérait comme -je cite- "particulièrement privilégiée".
N'y a-t-il pas là quelque chose d'assez choquant pour sortir dans la rue et crier "assez!"?

Posted by Grosse Fatigue October 28, 10 04:00 PM

Dear Rita Janssen,
Bloody hell, what did the French do to you to arouse such hateful sentiments ?
Don’t you realize that your French bashing on these pages gives us more importance than you would hope ? Ok, go on, go on, hate us please, the worst thing of all would be indifference after all, wouldn’t it ? Are you Dutch ? If so, I’m surprised, I thought Dutch people were a model of tolerance... Well I admit this is as silly as saying the French are all like this or like that... besides, I heard that the extreme right in Holland is booming just like anywhere nowadays... Who could have believe this only ten years ago ???
Anyway, just let me tell you, even though you “don’t care about what French do, say, or feel”, that I found your assertion vulgar but motsly arrogant - are you sure you don’t have french ancestors ? ;-) For me, it’s only a dishonest way to turn away the real debate, that is in fact : THE RICH ARE RICHER AND THE POOR ARE POORER ALL AROUND THE WORLD SINCE THE FALL OF THE BERLIN WALL... And if for you France is only “a sleazy 70's soap opera”, no doubt that in France the employees working in hospital in worse and worse conditions or housing workers already worn out at 50 will agree with you...

Posted by Laurent October 28, 10 04:19 PM

Au "francais qui en a ras le bol" des manifs :

Ben tu vois, moi c'est dans ces moments-là que je suis fier d'être Français... et surtout pas quand je vois Sarkozy bomber le torse face au monde et se ridiculiser avec ses talonnettes... tu crois que pas que les vrais fainéants, ce sont les rentiers et les traders qui sont de véritables parasites pour notre pays ? Arrête de regarder tf1 et ménage-toi ainsi un peu de temps de cerveau disponible...

Posted by Laurent October 28, 10 04:27 PM

Toi, l'anonyme anglais venant d'Angers, j'espère que tu comprends au moins la langue du pays que tu insultes, parce que tu ne sais déjà pas grand chose de ce qui ce passe ici.

Tu crois tout savoir en nous traitant de ridicules, en te mettant du côté des "honnêtes gens", si tu étais un peu plus renseigné, tu saurais que notre révolte se fait sur un gouvernement qui LUI EST égoïste. Car ces fameuses "retraites allongées obligatoires" ne t'inquiètes pas qu'ils ont tout de suite rejeté la proposition première qui était qu'elles soient commun à tous DONC à nos chers députés votant pour cette réforme envers les salariés.

La révolte qui te gêne tant dans notre pays, c'est une révolte contre l'injustice d'un gouvernement face à son peuple. Alors réfléchis un instant, qui est le plus égoïste entre nous deux ? Moi qui me bats pour mes droits, ou toi qui râle parce que tu ne peux plus "travailler dans de bonnes conditions" au lieu d'aider le pays dans lequel tu vis ?

Puis je tiens à te dire, que je suis étudiante en vacances aussi, et que je continue à manifester dans les rues et que NON je ne suis pas seule, que les jeunes français prennent à coeur qu'on leur vole un droit gagné par leur grand-parents. Et oui je parle de vol, parce que de l'argent notre cher Président a su en donner à ses riches habitants, n'importe qui se renseignant le sait.
Il serait temps d'arrêter de croire les médias manipulateurs de cet Etat, et de regarder un peu plus loin que sur un bout de papier ou sur la TV.

Maintenant, j'espère que tu te retiendras avant de parler à tort et à travers du pays étranger qui t'accueille.

Posted by "Anonymous" bis October 28, 10 05:18 PM

In France we have only politicians who like the money, go-getters, corrupted by the clientelism of the lobbies of the agroalimentary one, of pharmacy, the car, the banks and large buddies of the chairmen of French index of the CAC40 (40 heavy lorries of the quotation, whose certain firms are world leaders). To make politician it is like making career in the show biz, a means of quickly gaining much money and in any discretion via the accounts open in the tax shelters. The problems of the country could be solved only by people who have the direction of the honor and honesty, not subjected to any lobby. These people resemble of nothing all which you all know. The French politicians walk beside their shoes, they are unable to control because they see only by the electoral deadlines. This is navigation at short sight, they work in very the short term then the result is null. They are null.

Posted by Will October 28, 10 05:23 PM

The young french people are in anger because they already are very precarized, they find only work contracts very little paid, with limited time contracts and very often not renewed. Their career will present many not worked periods, therefore they will miss many validated and cotized quarters when they leave to the retirement. They will have to undergo rebates on their future pensions at the rate of 1,75 to 2,0% per missing quarter. The politicians who have followed one another for thirty years in France failed on all the tables, they lied to the people which saw lowering his purchasing power, they left the young people without work, without solid prospects with a dubious future. Precarized, they do not inspire confidence with the hirers out and at the banks, they cannot find housing, and the banks do not lend money to them. They cannot be established in family with children. Their future lack of visibility and the politicians do not have true solutions with the problems which they created themselves. Their incompetence fouls and their indifference ends up wearying many people. The parents lodge and provide for the needs for their children. One remains in dad/mom’s home until the old one thirty even forty years. Who in France today, does not have one or more unemployed in his family? Where are we going to with their brilliant ideas on this unprepared mondialization?

Posted by Will October 28, 10 05:43 PM

Apologizes for my “improbable” English. I am French leaving in France.
What occurs to France it is a revolt of wage earners in anger which saw lowering their wages by 9,3% over one thirty years period (since 1983) and in same time the dividends of shareholders increased by 8,5%.
The permanent holdup facts with the social accounting? In fact the choice was made by the French politicians since 1983 until our days in 2010. “According to the Funds International currency, in the Member States of G7, the share of the wages in the Gross domestic product dropped by 5,8% between 1983 and 2006. According to the European commission, within Europe this time, the share of the wages fell of 8,6%. And in France, of 9,3%. In same time, the share of the dividends in the added-value passed from 3,2% to 8,5%. One quasi-triplement. Statements thus, these 9,3% appear abstract. They represent in fact of the colossal amounts - which have very concrete consequences in our daily life. That they are evaluated, initially: The GDP of France rises, today, with nearly 2.000 billion euros. “Thus there are approximately 120 to 170 billion euros which scraped work towards the capital, calculates Jacky Fayolle, old directing of ANGERS - Economic and Social Research institute. - 120 to 170 billion per annum, then? - To go very quickly, it is that. ” Even with low estimates, the threshold of the hundred billion euros is largely exceeded. That is to say more than ten times the “hole” of the French Social security System in 2007 (ten billion, the year of before the crisis), five times that of 2009 (22 billion euros, crisis obliges). A score of time that of the retirements (7,7 billion euros). Amply mediatized “holes”, while that is less often evoked, how much deeper, dug by the shareholders in the pocket of paidworkers…
It has been this policy of French employers for thirty years with the complicity of the “socialist” politicians and the politicians of “other side” who granted so important reductions in charges to Firms that the social insurance funds (retirements and health insurances) have been for a few years in difficulty. A very true hold-up! The biggest hold-up every year! This current government, inconscious, hypocrite and dead loss do not find an other solution to only make pay the same persons employees already despoiled by lengthening the lifespan with work. The preceding reform of the retirements carried out in 2003 by the same 1st minister Francois Fillon was the first low blow with the employees, it had promised to them that this reform would last until 2020. He lied. This Sarkozi government : a team of incompetents who has no scruples about lying to the French peoples, make increasing the national debt while preaching the opposite. It has only simplistic solutions and counterproductive. For example, President Sarkozi who was so proud of his reform of the special diets of retirement (2008), keeps silence on the subject now since it is known that this reform is now more expensive for the French community than before the reform. He would have better to abstain

Posted by Will October 28, 10 05:46 PM

it is amazing to see how brain-washed the citizens of the United States are. WE are fighting for human rights. Robot rights are what you have and they only way you learnt. pity. that´s how your country is going. Even with Obama.

Posted by mafalduki October 28, 10 07:00 PM

French did ask for one thing : the reform of the retirements must be seriously made after being prepared over approximately 4 years as that was made in Sweden for example. The French government made this reform in 4 months without dialogue with the trade unions. This is a diktat. The Parliament voted ages measurements : lengthening of departure to the 60 years retirement to 67 years spread out until 2018. This reform was made in less than 4 months, this was a joke. A truth bad work which proves the little of serious and ease of this government towards the citizens. How to astonish that the crowds are in the street to express their dissension? After what resembles a breach, for French people, the president Sarkozi imagine himself to be re-elected with the presidential elections in 2012. He hopes that with this reform of the retirements like flagship measure. Actually he was already very unpopular by his bearings the pectoral ones and his natural aggressiveness, I believe he has no more chance. He very missed and disappointed much including in his own camp. For me he will remain the “President" whose French was ashamed of the style on several occasions. I am sure he will be no more elected in this country. He was an error of casting for many of us french people.

Posted by Will October 28, 10 07:01 PM

Thank you Monsieur Alan TAYLOR for the big photos.

Nice work!

Posted by Will October 28, 10 07:09 PM

Mon pauvre petit Alex (791), arrêtez aussi de penser comme les autres et de croire ce qu'on vous raconte!! Il y a des tas de français qui aimeraient bien se remettre au travail! Encore faudrait-il qu'ils en aient! Moi, j'ai la chance d'avoir un travail et de préparer ma retraite comme vous dites mais je regarde autour de moi et je vois qu'il y a des gens qui sont de plus en plus riches en rendant les autres de plus en plus pauvres. La délocalisation, elle a déjà commencé depuis longtemps car les actionnaires veulent gagner toujours plus; les grosses sociétés ne paient pour ainsi dire par leurs charges sociales et ça ne les empêche pas de s'installer quand même dans des pays où la main d'oeuvre est moins chère! Et de faire des chômeurs chez nous! Et que dire du profond mépris de cette classe dirigeante envers un peuple qui l'a élue ?!

Posted by margaulem October 28, 10 07:12 PM

Vive la France! Well done to all those striking. I'm from Ireland where the government is currently enacting cutbacks in the budget in important areas such as education and social welfare while the rich survive the recession unscathed and very few people are on the streets striking. To all those in France - don't give up the good fight. Ignore those American neo-liberalists (or those who support such ideals) making comments here who believe that the purpose of living is working. Keep fighting the good fight and protecting the gains achieved in Europe after 1798, '68... Un autre monde est POSSIBLE!

Posted by Rua October 28, 10 07:24 PM

"Then, High-School students...They are on holidays this week and...magic! They're not in the streets anymore. Proof that the strike is a really important cause to them." (previous comments)
Sorry I'm a student, so I know what I mean :)
And I can tell you that the blockade of the schools were made by 25% students from my high school, knowing that 25% were blocked and enjoy. But 50% waited one thing: go to class.
So it is normal that 75% they go on vacation (after all, it's the holidays ;) ). But I can tell you that the 25% blocking high school, now they always strike with the other strikers.
Personally I was 50% and right now I don't strike, I take a vacation, I do my homework and have fun (yet happy).And I am informed about reforms without making the strike.

PS: Beautiful photos ;D

Posted by ced October 28, 10 08:05 PM

Hi everybody.

I took some time to read almost every comment here and it is really, cheering me up to see that the gap between both sides is growing.

On one side, you have people against this strike, or just against France in gerneral, that are a bit rude, lack of debate skill and have almost no arguments.
Just anger.

On the other side, i see a lot of supporting people, a lot of cultivated people that now the truth about what's happening here in France.
They have arguments, figures, of course, but more important, they are passionate, they are concerned, thay have hope and they have an ideal, which is getting so rare nowedays.
And sometimes, they also don't have direct personnal interests in blaming this government.
This is solidarity, and it really warms me up.

Thank you all, especially the friendly people supporting us from abroad =)


Après avoir passé un certain nombre d'heures à lire les commentaires de cette page, on s'aperçoit vite du fossé entre les deux camps.

Un fossé de niveau de débat entre les aigris et ceux qui ont la foi (et des arguments, accessoirement).

Merci pour ça car cette solidarité me réchauffe le coeur.

Posted by Vivi October 28, 10 10:04 PM

The peoples of Europe should hang their leaders because the leaders do not listen to people.

Les peuples d'Europe doivent pendre leurs dirigeants puisque les dirigeants n'écoutent pas les peuples

Los pueblos de Europa debe colgar sus líderes porque los líderes no escuchan a la gente

Posted by revolution October 29, 10 02:23 AM

A geronimo 68:
Ce que vous dites, c'est VOTRE verite!!!... uniquement VOTRE point de vue que vous voulez faire partager a tout le monde en bon "opprime" que vous etes!! (mdr!!)

Posted by jean edouard October 29, 10 06:20 AM

Very nice photos!
I am really glad to have discovered this webpage. Now, I know a website with very nice picture related to the news and I learned so much from all these comments.
To answer the one complaining about the cost of strikes. You could (or should) read this page: (French, sorry)
just a litlle quote from this page: "Et puis il faut relativiser en ayant en tête un chiffre : celui de l’impact négatif du renchérissement de l’euro. Ce dernier s’est apprécié de 10 % sur le mois écoulé. Cela représente 0,4 point de PIB en moins. C’est dix fois supérieur au côut des grèves."
The main message is that the cost of strikes is nothing compare to economic fluctuation!
I always noticed that passionnate debate is bringing a decrease in the brain activity. It is valid for both side of the people arguing here. Please try to be objective and not to believe everything that goverment, politicals in general, unions or media are stating. Using brains is so much better and so much fun! ;-)
For those abroad, notably americans, who are critizising the 5 weeks of hollidays, the 35 hours and the social system. You might have a look to the cost of this economy compare to yours. Even so the public debt in France is high, it is still much lower than in many other countries with none of the french advantages... So it seems to me like it is affordable (but maybe I'm to passionate :-)), if you just stop dreaming about getting more and more money and start thinking about your every day life.
To those who don't understand why students are striking, they should know that it is just because of the french culture. First it is, in some way, part of the formation of being a french citizen (even so it is not official yet ;-)) and then because when justice is not present anymore, solidarity becomes very important in France (maybe not enough but still).
To those who state that strikers are selfish... I don't understand how you get that. I always believed that the one complaining about strikers was the selfish one. Because "he" couldn't work as long as "he" wanted, because "people" were striking. "He" would like to get paid and don't care that "people" fight (with very high cuts on their salaries) for the some advantages that "he" will finally accept. If he is so ashame of strike and strikers just don't take any of the advantage they obtained. Per example, don't get any paid hollidays next year! It is an easy argument, but against people who insult strikers, it seems valid to me.

A french who is following sarko's orders! "France you like it or you leave it". The France of Sarko is not the one I like. Hope to be able to come back in 2012!

Posted by ouinouin le lapin October 29, 10 06:32 AM

Students on strike.... and this is those people who we lead the world tomorrow... what a shame -_-'

They don't even imagine that millions of people can't afford high school studies. Stupid french people.

A young swiss boy.

Posted by Moriendi October 29, 10 06:39 AM

Viva la France! Grüße aus Deutschland!

Posted by Frankura October 29, 10 06:59 AM

#836 Dear Laurent, Please stop with that worn-out 'French bashing-you are so jealous-we are so smart and you are so dumb-you're insulting my country-you cannot talk to a great nation like this'-routine. France has become an embarrassment to Europe and just can't cope with the real world anymore. So you guys should go play with the puppies on the porch and don't even think about running with the big dogs.

Posted by Rita Janssen, Amsterdam. October 29, 10 07:04 AM

Personnly I am French and to be honest, I do not support those strikes and agree with the pension raise. And this for 2 reasons:
Though I am 25, I will be targetted by this law but ... when ? In 4 decades ?
Let's just settle things down, 4 decades ... in our current system this means 8 presidentials periods before facing the situation. Things will change. Whatever is voted today will not stay in position more than 10 years, it is obvious. Going all-in now is meaningless in my opinion.

Second thing is - and it not rocket science, just numbers - things need to change. Decades ago 4 people contributed for a retired. Currently ... 1.5 for 1. Obvious, the situation must evolve. People live longer, pensions need to be paid. I want a pension. Like everyone. But how can I imagine getting one when the State does not have enough money to provide them ?
Working longer to get the pension, yeah, it seems fait enough for me.

Opposing spirit is a French touch, yeah. Everytime it all comes back to the revolution. Things had to change. They did. But currently people are fighting to keep advantages which will only put us deep into trouble.
I hope people will think again. But the current situation makes me laugh: We are ridiculous. Yes it is nice to see people stand up against the "Power" ... but only when fighting for changes to improve current and future lving conditions. Not only for your little self.

-- I apologize for the bad English.

Posted by François C. October 29, 10 07:24 AM

solidarity from a greek student..

Posted by sweak October 29, 10 07:49 AM

A Guy (764),
C'est bien parce qu'on est sénile à 80 ans (Alzheimer?) qu'on voudrait avoir notre retraite avant!

Posted by Cavin October 29, 10 08:19 AM

I think the most important point is to meditate on this :

In France, wage earners saw lowering their wages by 9,3% over the last thirty years period (since 1983) and in same time the dividends of shareholders increased by 8,5% on the same period.

Dig it!

This is what is called the principle of the communicating vases.
It is the policy of French employers: giving less to paidworkers to distribute it in dividends to the shareholders. According to the years that represents between 120 and 170 billion euros ( 166 to 235 billion U.S Dollards) which are lacking to paidworkers and to the social insurance funds.
Here is the money of the so-called social deficits passes. There is the scandalous embezzlement, true hold up against the worker’s interests; this happens every year to the detriment of the workers of the private sector.
All this diverted money of the Social Security Funds by this juggling act of French employers involves that question : is there really any urgency and need for this pension reform?
It is clear that French has a true problem of confidence towards the successive leaders they have chosen. The collusion of the politicians ( socalist politicians initiate this since 1983!!) and French employers on this embezzlement is a true permanent scandal. What is alarming is that there is no debate on this subject in the French medias.
This situation resembles these stories of wretched parents and perverts who make sick their children to lavish care to them and treatments from which they would have no need. On his logbook president Sarkozi notches the reforms the ones behind the others. All his reforms are useless because inappropriate but that does not do anything, it notches them to notch something. He makes his beautiful trade of President, he controls a country. He is proud of him and gives lessons to the other leaders of planet. It is him and his friends of French employers the perverts who return to us sick and then claim to want to look after us. France really does not need these clowns, poor France transfers this “chienlit” and takes again your destiny in hand.

Posted by Will October 29, 10 09:15 AM

When I speak about this embezzlement which goes from the pocket of the French employees of the private sector in those of the shareholders in the form of increase of the distributed dividends, there is also an irony of the history.
Each one knows that approximately 40 to 45% of the market cap of the values of the Bourse de Paris is held especially by American pension funds… One can say that a good part of the diverted money of the French social modes which feed the dividends paid to the shareholders… goes in the pockets of the American pensioners who depend on it. In other words (I know that it is a little fast short cut) the lobby of French employers managed like a chief to make lengthen the lifespan with the work of French to pay part of the retirement of some part of the American pensioners.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
Lorsque je parle de ce détournement de fonds qui va de la poche des salariés français du secteur privé dans celles des actionnaires sous forme d’augmentation des dividendes distribués, il y a aussi une ironie de l’histoire. Chacun sait qu’environ 40 à 45% de la capitalisation boursière des valeurs de la Bourse de Paris est détenue surtout par des fonds de pension américains… On peut dire qu’une bonne partie de l’argent détourné des régimes sociaux français qui alimentent les dividendes payés aux actionnaires …va dans les poches des retraités américains qui en dépendent. Autrement dit ( je sais que c’est un raccourci un peu rapide) le lobby du patronat français s’est débrouillé comme un chef pour faire allonger la durée de vie au travail des français pour payer une partie de la retraite des américains.

Posted by Will October 29, 10 09:39 AM

Great photo's and some great comments. I really wish the rest of the world fought against their govenments the way the Frence do. Good luck!

Posted by Anonymous October 29, 10 10:24 AM

I have nothing against the stock exchange system purses values, nor against the fact that is necessary to remunerate the shareholders in the form of dividends to be distributed. I find that completely normal that companies are evaluated on Stocks exchanges, this is a rather healthy system in oneself and when they call upon shareholders near whom they will raise capital to make thrive their company and give and maintain work which will make live families. What I find awkward in what happened into Europe and France for thirty years. It is this race in the distribution of dividends always increasingly high. This extra premium given to the shareholders is for me a skid uncontrolled and non sitted on the true performance of the companies to generate profit by their own activity and their dynamism. French employers preferred better less to pay work and to transfer part of the value work towards the dividends to be distributed. This is a form of steal which does not say its name. The worker is stolen on his wages and on his national insurance contributions so that the fruit of this steal is distributed to the holder of the capital (shareholder). The companies faced to a failure of competitiveness prefer make the profit with that they should have given to their employees. To have continued this unfair practice with not any respect to the employed persons, carries out us today with deficits of the Social insurance System which poses problem.

Posted by Anonymous October 29, 10 10:26 AM

In English:
"Those who took all dish in their plates, leaving the plates of others empty, and which having everything, say with a good face, a good conscience: us... us... that possess everything, we are for Peace ! I know that I have to shout to them: the firsts violent, the provocateurs of any acts of violence, it is you. And when in the evening in your nice houses, you are going to embrace your small children with your good conscience, from the eyes of god, you have probably more blood on your hands of unconscious that will never have the desperate who took weapon to try to take out from his despair..."
-Abbot Pierre, 2007

En Français:
"Ceux qui ont pris tout le plat dans leurs assiettes, laissant les assiettes des autres vides, qui ayant tout, disent avec une bonne figure, une bonne conscience: Nous ! Nous, qui avons tout, on est pour la Paix !
Je sais que je dois leur crier à cela, les premiers violents, les provocateurs de toutes violences, c'est vous.
Et quand le soir dans vos belles maisons, vous allez embrasser vos petits enfants avec votre bonne conscience, au regard de Dieu, vous avez probablement plus de sang sur vos mains d'inconscient que n'en aura jamais le désespéré qui a pris des armes pour essayer de sortir de son désespoir..."
Abbé Pierre, 2007

Posted by Charles C. October 29, 10 10:42 AM

@855 : en francais.

C'est rigolo de voir que vous commencez par parler de votre situation personnelle par rapport a la nouvelle loi sur les retraites, puis finissez par dire qu'il faut arreter de défendre égoistement son petit pré carré de privileges.

Vous faites quoi des malchanceux qui n'ont ni votre (insultante) jeunesse, ni l'age respectable de 62 ans aujourd'hui?
C'est tant pis pour leur gueule? ils n'avaient qu'a faire attention avant de naitre?
Et je demande a voir que la situation change dans les prochains mandats présidentiels. Vu comme ils se refilent tous la patate chaude...

en anglais : It's funny to see that you begin your comment by exposing your personal situation and finish it by saying that we should be less individual and think of the greater good.

And what about the people that have neither your (insulting) youth nor the age of 62? Too bad for them?

I'm waiting to see how things could evolve in four decades....

Posted by Lotte October 29, 10 10:50 AM

I don't have much to add that hasn't already been said about the protests and French politics. My position on this issues should be quite clear when I say that I am a protester and been part of almost every march since September.
In response to François (#852), I'm a Frenchwoman—also 25 years old, and quite amazed by the kind of narrow-mindedness and navel-gazing that would make anybody say "I don't care 'cos I won't be retiring anytime soon". It's like saying "let the rest of the world starve, my fridge is full". Oh, wait… You would, wouldn't you ?
My grain of salt is the following, and I believe it's important to say it : the protests are VERY peaceful and serene. Except for a few isolated incidents (in Lyon mostly), mostly engendered by the massive presence of heavily armed policemen (which offended many high schoolers from "sensitive" neighborhoods, who feel discriminated—with good reasons), the demonstrators are chatting colleagues, singing students, and balloon-carrying children on a stroll-like parade with their family. Not really the riots led by raving extremists and violent youths some would have you believe. The goal is simply to remind the government : we're here, we are many, and we quite thoroughly disagree with your pension reform (and frankly almost everything you did since you've been elected : this is just the icing on the cake). No need to burn anything. If I dared, I would even say that it's all pretty boring. Why do I still go ? Because it's important.
I understand where the reporters and editors come from when they chose which photos to display (the more striking the better), but is it really still journalism when it shows such a small and extreme portion of reality ?
I love the Big Picture, but I was a bit disappointed by this selection (even if the pictures are great, as always).

Posted by Anna October 29, 10 10:58 AM

Non - Mais regardez bien ces personnes qui n'en peuvent plus en France !!!
Lol, regardez ils ont l'air affamés, ils portent des loques.

Ils se croivent dans "les raisins de la colère" parole !

Bien sur, cela pourrait aller mieux. Quelques-un sont dans la difficultés, certainement pas ceux qui manifestent...

Ils devraient connaître réellement la faim, et le froid, et le manque de vêtements....

Posted by Laure October 29, 10 11:15 AM

The pictures are great! It is a shame that this kind of pictures were not published in french newspapers! I attend three of the demonstrations, I am proud to be french and to fight for my rights!

Posted by Sanguine October 29, 10 12:32 PM

la misère vous ne connaissez pas, moi je l'approche dans mon travail d'instituteur.
Des enfants qui ne mangent pas assez ou mal il y en a en France.
Comment faire vivre une famille avec 1000€ (salaire minimum)?
Ces gens là qui sont dans une misère noire, ils ne sont peut-être pas tous dans les manifestations car leurs problèmes les submergent.
Mais moi, je ne suis pas égoïste comme vous car si je ne suis pas dans la merde, je n'ai pas envie que les autres y plongent.
Expliquez-moi la logique de faire travailler les Français plus longtemps alors que nous avons largement plus de 10% de chômeurs et que beaucoup d'entre nous ont des temps partiels imposés.
Cette réforme ne vise qu'une chose, faire baisser les pensions de retraite pour permettre aux actionnaires de continuer à s'enrichir.
Riez bien chère Laure, je ne connais pas votre situation, mais sachez qu'hier dans la manifestation j'ai rencontré un ingénieur qui avait perdu son boulot ce qui avait changé sa manière de percevoir la réalité.

A tous les citoyens de la planète, je dis levons-nous et refusons ce monde capitaliste qui n'a pour valeur que l'égoïsme, l'avidité et le cynisme.
Ce monde craque de toute part, inutile de se mettre la tête dans le sable, il faut regarder la réalité en face!

Je ne suis pas fier d'être Français, je suis fier d'être debout et de me battre pour un monde meilleur, un monde de partage et de paix.

Sorry, my english is so bad.

Posted by Jean-Michel October 29, 10 12:39 PM

A Guy (764),
C'est bien parce qu'on est sénile à 80 ans (Alzheimer?) qu'on voudrait avoir notre retraite avant!

Posted by Cavin October 29, 10 12:52 PM

Vous savez que le mandat d’un député français dure 5 ans, mais savez vous que chacune de ces 5 années lui donne droit à quatre ans ( 48 trimestres) de cotisations validées (taux + période)!
Ainsi lorsqu’il aura fini son mandat, il aura accumulé 20 ans de cotisations validées.
Et s’il a la chance d’être réélu, avec son deuxième mandat il pourra totaliser 40 annuités de cotisations validées.
Pour un travailleur lambda chaque année travaillée validée ne peut lui procurer que quatre trimestres cotisés. Il devra travailler 40 ans à raison de quatre trimestres par an à cotiser pour être validé. Le principe d’égalité de traitement entre les citoyens inscrit dans la constitution est bafoué, mais qui s’en soucie ?
S’il a des périodes où le député français n’est pas réélu, et qu’il soit dans le besoin s’il n’a pas de profession ( cas très rare) il touchera une pension entre 2000 et 3000 euros pour rester chez lui…jusqu’à la retraite.
Le député peut faire valoir son droit à la retraite à partir de 65 ans ( pour toucher le taux plein) s’il le souhaite et cumuler un autre mandat de député il peut ainsi toucher une retraite de 5000 euros a minima et la cumuler à son traitement de député sénile à 4000 euros environ par mois et cela jusqu'à 90 ans ou 100 ans, on en voit qui dorment à l'assemblée, y compris dans les séances de jour. Soit 9000 euros/mois à ronfler sans être trop dérangé. Un salarié du privé qui touche sa retraite peut aussi cumuler les deux mais le montant global ne peut pas dépasser…la moyenne du salaire mensuel sur les 6 derniers mois avant de partir à la retraite. C’est la partie retraite en trop qui ne sera pas versée.

Ce sont nos amuseurs de députés qui font ces lois.
En ce moment il y a une commission ( de députés) qui planche sur une réforme de leurs régimes de retraite. On peut leur faire confiance pour continuer à garder leur privilèges scandaleux.

Posted by Will October 29, 10 01:00 PM

#864, dear Anna, to me the pictures show exactly what France is like. Professional photographers are able to do that.

'Very peaceful and serene, demonstrators chatting with colleagues, students singing love songs, balloon-carrying hippie children on a stroll-like parade with the whole flower power family?' Girl, lower the dose!

Only a 'few' isolated incidents in Lyon (well, they're not really French are they?) and some offended high school kids from "sensitive" neighborhoods (do you mean those colored immigrants forced to live in dilapidated ghettos that your president called scum and were never treated as human beings? No, they're not really French either, are they?)

Oh, I know. It is another conspiracy by biased foreign reporters who deliberately want to ruin the grandeur of France, as if the French are not capable of doing that themselves.

Posted by Rita Janssen, Amsterdam. October 29, 10 01:04 PM

# 870 Dear Rita, I wasn't sure before, but you're a troll, aren't you ? :)
I never said that high school kids from difficult neighborhood weren't justified in their revolt (I think I said the opposite in fact). But violences are still very isolated.
If you live in Amsterdam, I don't see how you could have a better idea of what French strikes are like than someone who actually participated. I maintain that it's all very peaceful and convivial.
As for the bit about me implying that Lyon is not really French and extolling the grandeur of France, I don't know what to say to such ridiculousness.
Now, I should take my own advice and not feed the troll…

Posted by Anna October 29, 10 01:32 PM

These are great photos but they only show the most photogenic bits of these protests - lots of fists, flashes, fights and general rioting, I've been on 6 marches, in a small town in rural south-west France (30000 inhabitants), where up to 10000 people have been marching each time, and it's been very difficult to get good photos because it's all so good-humoured and jolly... and nothing like a riot. Not that riots would necessarily be unjustified, but still, it all gives a very clichéd and rather unfair picture of what French people are like

Posted by Ilona October 29, 10 02:21 PM

"Tous en greve"

Posted by Michael October 29, 10 03:09 PM

Vous avez de la chance vous parlez d'un revenu de 1000 euros, sans aucune honte le mien fait presque la moitié. Je n'ai aucune aide. Et je ne les revendique pas. J'arrive avec difficulté à payer mon loyer à me nourrir, à m'habiller, (les vêtements sont moins chers que la nourriture, maintenant), pourvu qu'on ne cherche pas les marques sportives et autres... Revenu d'une Avc, je m'estime heureuse, d'avoir un toit, et de manger.
Pour le reste, je vois que le Monde occidental est en crise, alors, j'essaie d'être citoyenne et ne pas demander l'impossible.
Peut-être que les gouvernants ont mal géré, mais tout mettre sur le dos, du seul gouvernant actuel, c'est de la mauvaise foi et de l'aveuglement.
Je suis jeune encore, et pourtant, j'attends de voir si les réformes, vont apporter quelque chose.
Je pense que la seule chose à protéger est LA DEMOCRATIE, celle que démontre la rue, me dé devient largement TOTALITAIRE.
Si la démocratie est protégée - NOus avons 2012 pour nous prononcer, et si les réformes se montrent mauvaises, la démocratie nous permettra de les reformuler ces réformes.

En attendant, vous ne faites qu'appauvrir le Pays. Et c'est le contribuables, le carburant et tellement de choses qui vont augmenter A CAUSE DE CES GREVES QUI N'en finissent pas.

Le droit de grève, est comme toute chose, il est une arme valable, quand il n'est pas utilisé à tout bout de champs, pour un oui ou un non...

D'ailleurs les autres pays se glaussent bien de nous, et ils ont raison.
Nous voulons n'être que des assistés. De quelque côté que l'on retourne le problème....

Alors vos leçons de gauchistes.... Il y a bien longtemps que j'ai compris que cette idéologie avait le verbe haut et la démagogie sans frein.
En ce moment, je comprends que pour arriver au pouvoir, ces personnes qui pourtant sont objecteurs de conscience et gontre les guerres, n'hésitent pas à provoquer des guerres civiles dans leur propre Pays.

Je ne saurais juger Sarkozy, ce que j'ai ramrqueé en revanche, c'est qu'une meute s'est acharnée sur lui, plus pour la forme que pour le fond.
Ras le bol de sa montre, de sa femme, de ses vacances, etc...
En attendant, il se bouge... et pour voir le résultat, faut-il encore que des réformes passent. Et alors j'espère, que je pourrais m'offrir tout ce dont je me prive actuellement afin d'aider mon pays.

Jusqu'à présent, tous les présidents ont préféré pour garder leur électorat, céder devant la rue. Alors, comment croire qu'il est opportuniste, quand on sait que les prochaine élections sont très proches, et qu'il ne cherchent gère à faire plaisir à tous ceux qui vous ressemblent - haineux et sans réflexions logiques... Tout professeur que vous soyez !!!

Tout professeur que vous êtes encore, vous avez le jugement hatif. Si l'on défend certaines réformes, c'est que nous ne connaissons pas de difficultés.... Shame on you !!!! Houuuuuuuuuuu!!

Posted by Laure October 29, 10 04:08 PM

Dear Markuse (#796), if an "american gaulois" accept to give his support to french people in their own language, I have to answer in english. I'm so, so, so sorry Markuse, it will be totally approximate ( and unfortunatly probably fun) but your "gentleman attitude" appeals my "basic gauloise touch" answer. (Oh my god, I'm suffering !:-))
First: You are not dead! Listen! Your "gaulois' heart" is beatting!
Second point: One of our show man called COLUCHE used to ask: "Do you know why rooster is the french symbol? Because it is the only animal that is able to sing, with his two feet in shit!"
Here we are, Markuse, just in "it" so begin our protest song; but we are so tired! Our "Wake Up!" is lower and lower... So, when an eagle comes to the little rooster and says it "That's OK my friend, GO ON! I'm here for you ", the little plucked rooster says to himself "Hey, I'm not so tired, I have friends!"
Droopy would say that better that me, so, "you know what? I'm happy" :-)

Millions thanks to all "non-french gaulois", from Germany, Spain, Japan,Iran, China, Corea, Greece, and you, and you, you too...
Oh my God! I'm smilling, now! Another song is beginning...

To you're great! Thank you.

Posted by Grosse Fatigue October 29, 10 04:19 PM

Dear Anna, For 12 yrs I saw you guys demonstrate from my second floor mid-town Paris department. I've seen at least a hundred of your ritual gatherings and spoke to hundreds of protest worshippers. It always start peacefully and it always ends in violence. Some of you really think you have to become an Assterix-clone, a Jose Bave look alike or a Jeanne d'Orc impersonator. Most of you, however, are just there for the party, have another long weekend, raise a ruckus, bully some guys from the suburbs or pay some schizophrenic homage to a history long forgotten.

With all the alcohol passed around, it seems like just another French custom. Nobody seems to realize that bringing a country to a standstill is indeed an act of aggression, a form of terrorism, no matter how good the intentions are.

Petit Pere Nicolas gave you permission to speak English and indeed, some of you do. Meaning that you have been either lying to the world ("It's so difficult for the French") or annoying people is a last resort for a fading nation).
Petit Pere Nicolas also gave you permission to eat Hamburgers and guess what, you're not hanging McDonald's dolls from bridges and you don't wreck his restaurants no longer. Even better, you became the second biggest growth market in the world and you even state that you make the best burgers in the world.

'Us guys from the North' feel that 'You guys from under the Garlic Belt' are mentally a generation behind. Some of you even call us 'trolls' but yeah, some of you think that the Sorbonne is a great university and that Gillette is a French company. It's becoming harder and harder to take you guys seriously.

The pictures definitely show France as it is. That's what professional photographers do. These pictures are made by professionals, dear Anne, whether you like it or not. Welcome to the real world.

Posted by Rita Janssen, Amsterdam. October 29, 10 05:31 PM

La foto nº 21 no la entiendo

Posted by Rocío October 29, 10 05:50 PM

I think what the French protesters are doing is AWESOME!!!

Comment numbers 781 and 783 are great, but 794 is the uncensored truth! Find that comment and read it!!

People RULE... Democracy is not a spectator sport! Dissent is Patriotic!!!

They had a General Strike in Seattle and it worked!

A People's History of the United States explains in detail about the Seattle General Strike. That is a most powerful book written by
Howard Zinn.

The only problem is that they stopped the strike! They had a perfectly good working social system and they stopped the strike and went back to the old system of corporate rule! WHAT WERE THEY THINKING? Oh, yeah.. They are programmed to think that Capitalism is their savior when in fact, it is the tool the Bank$ters created to make us their economic slaves!

"Give me control over a countries monetary system and I care not who makes its rules."

Posted by Oppressed American October 29, 10 06:27 PM

MERCI ! Thank you !

Admirable !

You are a great artist -
Thank YOU for the French People.

I hope the american people will liberate also of yours politicals pigs !
Money aren't reality !

Posted by Jean October 29, 10 06:47 PM

As an American I can see the FRUSTRATION OF THE FRENCH PEOPLE. The governments of of both their country and ours only care about the $$$$$$"s. What the French Government as well as the Government of the USA should do is respect the people and sit down and talk. I am personally proud of the PEOPLE OF FRANCE. WE THE people of the USA are in to much FEAR to do what the French are doing. Viva La France.
Donal Murphy --Albuquerque, NM

Posted by Donal J Murphy II October 29, 10 07:03 PM

Incredible photos. I wish the apathetic people of the UK would stand up against our government like the people of France have done.

Posted by Simon October 29, 10 07:15 PM

We Romanians should do the same ! I love the French people ! Vive la France ! By the way, the photographers did a great job capturing those images ! I feel the same way about our government.

Vlad Albulescu -- Arad, Romania

Posted by Vlad October 29, 10 07:29 PM

I assume Sarkosi wants to raise the retirement age not for his own benefit. He is doing it because the numbers don't add up. And its not that the "rich" prey on everyone else. Why have a problem with some people being rich? And why try and take their money whenever there is a budget crisis?

Posted by Ron Wein October 29, 10 07:39 PM

Dear troll Rita Janssen,

Your hate of French people is fed with pathetic and mean arguments. I think you generally don't like people and life. You are just a xenophobic and bigoted witch. You should commit suicide, the world would be a better place without you.

Posted by Laurent October 29, 10 08:22 PM

Les français ont une pensée totalement communiste et en plus ne veulent pas bosser et ils sont reconnus mondialement pour ça! Vous croyez vraiment que l'argent va tomber du ciel et tout réparer la crise et le déficit en claquant des doigts. Tout ce qu'il va se passer ça sera la délocalisation et la crise des investissement.
En plus ceux qui crachent sur Sarko crachent sur les français car il a été élu par le peuple me trompe-je? Est-ce que la démocratie serait un système pourrit ?
De toute façon tout ces lycéens sont des gros nazes qui se battent pour un système qui n'a aucune raison de perdurer pendant 40 ans et s'effondrera forcément si on ne fait rien! Ils n'ont pas compris que c'est le seul moyen de peut-être conserver notre système de retraite C'est les même qui vont se plaindre de la sélection dans les écoles alors qu'ils ne foutent rien et manifestent pour se marer ou flatter leur égo en s'imaginant qu'ils sont importants...

Posted by jaimepassarkononplus n'empêcheque.... October 29, 10 08:48 PM

Our solidarity form Greece.
I admire french people for their will to organize and do massive strikes. Continue your fair struggle!

Posted by skourtousis October 29, 10 09:22 PM

What a lot of codswallop! It's a lie to say that much of France came to a halt, despite the lovely bright and bold pictures! Lyon, Marseille and Nanterre are not most of France!

I only 2 small friendly demonstrations, and traffic was held up for abut 15 minutes near Avignon.

What has been achieved by the media is frightened people in USA mostly, worried sick about their long-planned trips to France being totally spoiled bu strikes and demonstration which they feared they might get caught up in.

Shame on you! Far worse goes on in USA - real riots!

Posted by earlybird October 30, 10 02:59 AM


Funny that you chose a quote from 1787, - two years before the french Revolution -, by "the 4th earl of Oxford", who found himself lucky to live in England at the time as had he been french, he would most likely have ended with his head rolling in the gutter. Anyway, you could not have chosen a more backward-looking reference. If the goal was to make you look like an old wig, it's a complete success.

Posted by Kisses from Paris October 30, 10 03:00 AM

Above all, many thanks to's The Big Picture and to the authors of theses photos for being so respectful and delicate with the voice of french people - usually so much laughed at and mocked by those that mediate the domination of the few against the masses. Once again : merci.

Posted by Francis October 30, 10 03:33 AM

How sad that we here as Americans can not see the big picture as the French do and organize an outstanding protest! Well done!!!!!

Posted by Anonymous October 30, 10 04:04 AM

shame on us to be french. thinking we are always right, being so lazy, still want more and more, never care of all the advantages we got. where nobody wantst o understand that what they want us to do works perfectly. France is dying because of our "no-well-placed" proud

Posted by birk October 30, 10 04:04 AM


La fotografía n°21 sobre la derecha y en cumbre de la fotografía puedes ver policías de civil que proceden a detenciones. No llevan el brazalete de la policía, se mezclan a la muchedumbre y se agrupan para detener jóvenes camorristas. Muchos jóvenes se pasean con una muleta ellos no cojean pero pueden disimular un arma en su muleta o servir para afectar. Llevan también una alforjas llena de proyectiles que lanzan en dirección de las fuerzas de l' orden. El joven hombre a la izquierda que se hace gazer parece tener vaciar las piedras de su alforjas sobre los policías un poco antes de esta escena.

Posted by Will October 30, 10 05:19 AM

Rocio, (#877), no hablo espanol pero eso debe ayudar te:
El hombre con la bomba "defensiva" esta de la policia.

Posted by Grosse Fatigue October 30, 10 06:22 AM

FR:Mais quel est le problème de ne pas vouloir travailler , quel est le problème de ne pas vouloir gagner des milles et des cents , quel est le problème de ne pas avoir "d'iphone" ou de grosses voitures ? Quel intérêt a avoir une maison gigantesque ,quel intérêt a s'accomplir professionnellement pour gagner de l'argent ?

Ce que je veux c'est du temps pour vivre !

Un français qui étudie ce qu'il aime et qui ne se sent pas concerné par ce que veux sarkozy pour lui .

EN: But what's the problem if I don't want to work , to win money by millions , not having "iphone" or large cars ? What's the interest to have a huge house or to be professionally accomplished to earn money?

What I want is time to live!

A French who study that he loves and does not feel concerned by what Sarkozy want for him.

Posted by TF October 30, 10 06:53 AM

The French know how to protest. If civil disobedience is the sign of a healthy democracy then France can teach the rest of the western world a thing or two. Australia, The UK and especially the US have all surrendered many of their democratic freedoms to the state without even a wimper all in the name of the so called 'war on terror'. Once those freedoms are gone they are very hard to get back. Vive La France

Posted by Brett October 30, 10 07:15 AM

#884 " Laurent wrote: "Your hate of French people is fed with pathetic and mean arguments. I think you generally don't like people and life. You are just a xenophobic and bigoted witch. You should commit suicide, the world would be a better place without you."
Rita answers: "My dear Laurent, you started out as a 'peaceful and convivial' French protester and listen to you now "YOU WANT ME DEAD." With all your superior French wisdom, you have decided that you are GOD, that this is Judgement Day and that it's time for me to commit SUICIDE. It's you who decides what this world needs. Man, are you French or what!

Posted by Rita Janssen, Amsterdam. October 30, 10 07:31 AM

Tu cotises normalement et t'as la retraite a 62 ans, rien de démesuré par rapport au reste du monde, certains pays développés ont la retraite bien plus tard et la population ne s'en plaint pas, la France reste l'un des pays occidentaux ou l'on part le moins vieux a la retraite, dans ce cas vous avez recours a des comparaisons saugrenues avec l'esclavage et l'asservissement en vous vantant de votre révolte populaire, faudrait peut être se dire que si la plupart des peuples ne font pas grève pour si peu c'est qu'il y a une raison, suffit de relativiser avec le niveau de vie, l'espérance de vie, ne parlons même pas des congés payés, les RTT annuels et cetera, il me semble bien que la France est championne dans ce domaine. Je me demande bien a quoi pensent ces grévistes, faudrait expliquer qu'il n'est plus possible aujourd'hui de prendre sa retraite a 50 ans, pire encore pour eux a 60 ans alors que le retraité a l'époque vivait beaucoup moins longtemps, mourrait généralement une décennie après sa retraite, aujourd'hui les gens dépassent facilement les 80 piges, comprenez bien que la situation est différente, et que ce soit Sarko ( Que je suis loin de porter dans mon coeur ) ou pas, cette réforme s'avère nécessaire pour l'intérêt de tous, l'état ne peut payer les gens a rien faire pendant des décennies, c'est tout bonnement impossible, c'est creuser la dette a coup de bulldozers ! C'est une réforme incontournable et tous les pays européens y songent et dans des dimensions bien plus élargies que les vôtres, car on ne peut faire autrement suite a tous les facteurs cités plus haut. Chacun fait sa grève pour son petit privilège personnel, l'intérêt de tous a long terme par un petit " sacrifice " incontournable qui n'a rien de démesuré par rapport aux autres pays développés, cela n'intéresse personne par contre.
Je suis d'accord avec " Jaimepassarkononplusn'empêcheque " les organisations syndicales françaises sont malheureusement d'inspiration marxiste, régler les problèmes sociaux par la grève est stupide, la grève n'est que ruine avant tout, mais chez vous c'est une culture entretenue par le PCF et la CGT entre autres, et depuis des décennies, il est important de savoir que ça a ruiné des entreprises, des secteurs économiques entiers, une manière vraiment désuète de protester contre une réforme qui a lieu d'être, peu importe qui la met en place. A mes yeux, ce ne sont que des caprices et de la fainéantise, rien de plus, et surtout rien d'exemplaire, dommage que les extra européens ici présents prennent exemple la dessus, c'est navrant, on avait déjà eu affaire a cette situation, les 68arsd et les baby boomers ont eux aussi de bonne foi cru qu'ils participaient a une révolution ...

Posted by Mieszko October 30, 10 07:55 AM

35 hours a week ?
I have no idea who in France works 35 hours a week except some civil servants. Most of the people work more than that, simply because the government has already sneakily reformed that law by adding a lot of exceptions to it.
Don't be naive. The French are more angry about the whole social inegality issue / unemployment than about working two years more.

Posted by Pietro October 30, 10 08:26 AM

L'important c'est de bouger et ne pas accepter sans esprit critique, nous sommes un pays libre ou le droit de manifester existe. Quand les réformes sont injustes comme celle-là qui ne fait payer que les salariés et pas le capital alors oui il faut réagir et ne pas se RESIGNER. Vive cette France là ! Celle dont la Démocratie permet au peuple de s'exprimer.

Posted by bzep October 30, 10 09:02 AM

Dear Laurent, let me quickly translate some arguments from #885. (I just love ancient languages) "The French hang totally onto the communist idea, they don't want to work and are known for that all over the world.....they don't do anything and protest for the fun or to flatter their ego and think they're important. Pathetic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

I hope you don't forget to put your fellow countryman on your fatwa-list, or is that for foreigners only?

Posted by Rita Janssen, Amsterdam. October 30, 10 09:12 AM

Quand je vois ces photos, j'ai l'impression que c'est la guerre civile, j'ai l'impression que le pays et a feu et a sang, quelle panique ! Les envahisseurs doivent être aux portes de la France ? Les nazis ? Les terroristes d'al-Quaida ? Ou alors les élections ont été truquées? Où peut être un putsch a-t-il eu lieu? Bref je m'alarme.Que se passe-t-il donc? Je vois qu'on renverse des voitures, on pilles des boutiques !

Et puis je lis le texte d'introduction de ce photo-reportage "opposition to a government proposal to raise the age for a minimum pension from 60 to 62"...

Et là je me tais. Tellement j'ai honte.

Posted by Louis October 30, 10 09:19 AM

Surtout reste chez toi et continue à regarder TF1 en ruminant ta honte... je ne voudrais pas être à ta place... quel manque de recul, quel manque d'analyse !

Posted by Laurent October 30, 10 11:08 AM

Thank you, you made a very good point !!!

Posted by Laurent October 30, 10 11:24 AM

To Laurent and Rita Janssen
This is my supplication: Please stop war!
This forum is about freedom. People argue, express...Now I read that, express one opinion merits death (884)! Oh my GOD!
Dear Laurent, I'm a striker (not a rioter) et next week I'll strike again. My hart is on your side, but I cannot accept your position against Rita Janssen. Her opinion about french people repulse me too, but she is allowed to give it. That's the foundation of freedom, and you and me fight for it.
Dear Rita Janssen, I used to live in Paris few years ago and know how unpleasant strikes can be for non-strikers. For you it seems to be a very bad souvenir., but Paris is not France. In other french cities, strike is not war, it's fraternity and solidarity expression. Please dear Rita Janssen, come again, visit our conutry, avoiding Paris if you want, talk to us, you will see: we are human beings, with defaults ...and few qualities, like any other people in the world.

Posted by Grosse Fatigue October 30, 10 12:05 PM

@Louis: Change de pays si tu as honte. La France, tu l'aimes ou tu la quittes :p

Posted by thefre October 30, 10 01:27 PM

The issue is not to work 2 years more. Personally, I'd like to retire at 62 - but as it so happens, I'll have to work till 70. Will I be able to do so ? And how much will I have once retired ?

Many people my age (I'm now 40) will arrive at 62 with incomplete careers and therefore will not have a full pension. It means that we will have to work till 67. If we can... If we are still "employable". Women will be even more harshly impacted because of incomplete careers, unemployment, having raised kids, precarity, and above all, about 25% less in wages compared to men for a start. All categories will be impacted in the end, with decreases in pensions - but that's what they want anyway. So that people may "invest" in private pension funds. When we know how that system can fail, that's scary !

Do your American readership know that the very brother of the president wants to create a private pension fund thanks to that law ? If you want to retire earlier, if you want to earn more once retired, please come and give us your money !!! (If they'll be able to give it back to you in 20, 30 or 40 years, that's another story.) Here we have a major issue : how can a democratic state craft and implement a law designed to profit a happy few (among the president's brother) ? That's an essential question.

I guess you had the same issue with a certain George W. Bush a few years back...

I'm sorry, but there are jobs that you cannot perform or with great difficulties past a certain age. Try to climb a scaffolding at 65... That's just an example. I don't see myself running after the bus to catch it to go to work at 67... that's an image but the pressure at work is terrible. The body undergo a natural tear and wear, whether we like it or not. We can't go against this.

Remember that French productivity is among the highest in the world. More and more companies and administrations do not take on people, so those who stay employed have to work double or triple ! Hence more professional sicknesses and work accidents, more exhaustion from 50-55 of age. Some people are overworked, most jobs are understaffed and many are unemployed. That's the reality.

I'm just 40, but employers consider me as too much experienced and trained. I'm just 40 ! How can I expect to make it full retirement pension then ??? If someone has the answer, I'm ready to consider it.

Of course, these gains in productivity did not profit the workers, they went directly into the shareholders' pockets ! The same that had become richer and richer over the years, thanks to OUR work, but they want to share nothing, don't they ? They are parasites but they looked down on us as if we were just that, COSTS to be reduced, regardless of the social and environmental cost to society.

Moreover, besides being overworked and understaffed (and let's face it, underpaid too), workers in my country have seen their working conditions deteriorating over the years. Stress is ravaging our workforce.

The issue is that Sarkozy and his clique wants to have it all for them only. No sharing. No solidarity. However, they forgot that this is France, where these words still mean something. I'm proud of my country.

Thomas Jefferson himself used to say that a little upheaval from time to time was healthy for a democracy. If some peoples in the world have not been able to fight for their rights, this is their concern but they should not reproach the French people that does fight back against the money interests that want to have everything destroyed for their sole profit. My parents, grandparents and others before have fought and suffered a lot and we should let this all go down the drain ? NO !

Everybody has to take their responsibilities - I think we the French do. At least, we won't have any regret. I, for one, would not lament on my fate because I would have done everything in my power to preserve our rights.

By the way, the pictures were amazing. I live in Nice, I was part of the demonstration that blocked the airport access on October 19 but no media in France talked about it (the 2nd biggest airport in France !). I had to come here to see a pic thereof posted here ! Thank you, thank you !

Posted by Vinnie October 30, 10 01:36 PM

Ceux des français qui ont honte de voir les photos en haut ne devraient pas culpabiliser si vite. Qu'ils soient plus curieux de ce qui se passe, qu'ils cherchent à comprendre avant de juger. Un, deux ou trois millions de gens qui cessent le travail, qui ne seront pas payés et descendent dans la rue pour protester; ce n'est pas pour rien.

Il y a bien une violence qui s'exerce contre eux dans leur quotidien et leur futur! Cherchez bien, vous finirez par trouver qu’il y a bien une violence faite aux gens qui se révoltent.
Les français ne sont pas fainéants, ils sont courageux et capables de descendre dans la rue et marcher des km quand il le faut pour montrer leur désaccord et lutter contre les injustices et les coups tordus des politiciens.

Ce n'est pas de gaieté de coeur qu'ils se mettent en grève car cela leur coûte des journées de salaires non payées. La fin de mois sera encore plus difficile pour eux et leur famille.

Ce qui est malheureux c’est de constater que ce peuple a toujours dû arracher par la lutte dans la rue tous ses acquis sociaux et cela depuis que ( précédant la Révolution ) le peuple affamé de Paris est allé à pied à Versailles demander du pain au Roi.
Il faut se souvenir que plus tard en 1936, les congés payés ont été obtenu après de violentes manifestations réprimées dans le sang par la police et la gendarmerie de l’époque.
Il y a eu plusieurs morts.
Au bout du compte une fois la loi votée, la presse de droite s’est déchaînée en articles qui expliquaient que la France allait à la faillite que les entreprises ne pourraient jamais supporter de payer des congés aux « fainéants » sans mettre la clé sous la porte.
On le sait depuis que tous ces atermoiements n’étaient qu’un baratin mensonger. Après cela, la France est entrée dans ce Boom économique que l’on a appelé plus tard « les trente glorieuses ».

Posted by Will October 30, 10 01:41 PM

Laurent, the High Commander of the French Demonstration League in exile, is snubbing me. That's what snobs do, but It still broke my poor girl's heart. I've been bursting into his overseas command center and His Highness has ordered me to kill myself because I had an opinion he couldn't agree with. I was simply exercising my freedom of speech and I was just trying to help. I still am:

"Mon General, that guy Intiwasi of #807 said: "...many of the strikes have a connotation of lazyness and destruction." Could you please take appropriate to silence this infidel. Maybe send in some of those famous Rafael fighter planes that nobody wants. For once I agree with your president Starcozy: "You cannot talk to a grand nation like this without consequences" Heads must roll."

And while you're at it, that guy from #808 quoting : "... that high school kid stating on tv that she was demonstrating because she was tired of studying" we cannot let that pass either. We want blood in the streets, smashed windows, burning cars, Bruni in battle dress, bare breasted Mariannes dancing the Can Can, a real French Jerry Springer show. Allons enfants!

Posted by rita Janssen, Amsterdam. October 30, 10 01:51 PM

We the French are angry and we show it by going on strike and marching against a reform we know is unfair.

We are angry against that government of the rich, by the rich and for the rich. A government that keeps telling us that there's no alternative (pretty like Thatcher did in her time). A government that keep telling us there's no money for our pensions, our schools, our hospitals, our judicial system, our administrations, for much needed employment in the public sector and the small-sized businesses alike, while they gave BILLIONS of euros to banks, investors and the like to save them from THEIR mismanagement and greed.

Who are they kidding ?! They take us for fools and they expect us to take it kindly ?!

No way. This has to stop. QUE SE VAYAN TODOS ! Qu'ils s'en aillent tous ! They should all go away and never come back !

Personally, they can go to Hell, I don't mind. Maybe then, this place would look a bit more like Heaven after that.

Posted by Vinnie October 30, 10 02:28 PM

Working in 35 hours per week for all French man or woman who has a job, this country releases a GDP of more than 2000 billions intramural euros. (2700 billions U.S Dollards GDP = approximately produced national wealth) The statistics can deduce from that that France is world champion of the productivity.

A lot of foreign investors having noticed this fact, return to invest in France. Admittedly there are delocalizations towards the countries with low social costs but the sectors, high added value with qualified personnel and well trained, resist well.
In few words, the French worker is rather fast and effective because one obliges them to buckle their objectives of the week in 35h and not more.
But it should be known that is tiring and stressing for much. It is important to realize that speeding every day to do your job perfect is very hard to sustain for years. Such a life is really tiring and dangerous for health.
I don’t believe seriously that is possible for an old person to do a good job in 35h/week like a young person who is in excellent health.

Posted by Will October 30, 10 03:13 PM

French people are better educated than the previous generations before world war II and are rather able to distinguish if the politicians are serious or not. They are aware that they live in a rich country and are perfectly aware of the social injustices in their country. They are not glad when they see inappropriate measurements which their government takes.
They know that there is something wrong with the NOT ELECTED governorship of the European commission.
They know that they are not any more preserved from shelter of unemployment in this Europe “opened to the four winds”. They are plunged in a world of unfair competition and unslung from countries with low wages like China, where there is neither insurances health nor social protection and with prohibited trade unions has. They do not choose this Europe of the merchants which enriched the already rich person a thousand times more than thirty years ago.
And in the same time, impoverishes the middle-classes, precarize the young people and ignore all of the most stripped. The French people are not quite when they realize the progress of dismantling of the social protective systems. The “mondialization” which is defined as a levelling down of the working world, who wishes that? Didn't ask the European workers to be aligned on the standard of living of Chinese, but why the politicians try to do that to them?
French people voted against this Europe of the merchants by referendum, Europe which is unaware of the social domain, Europe which impoverishes the employees. They voted against this Europe which reduces the social loads of the companies so much so that the social insurance funds become overdrawn.
To correct these deficits one must work longer to gain less.
Our President Sarkozi, well known to be " the friend of the riches" made vote its majority with the assembly to start again this rotted European system of which French people (and other people) no more wanted.

And recently we are now obliged to work until 67 old. Thank you Monsieur Sarkozi for the 67 year old nurse who will seek your vein to make you a puncture.

Posted by Will October 30, 10 03:23 PM

Dear Grosse Fatigue #904, don't you think that it is extremely weird and alarming that, up to this point, you are the only one taking a stand for the freedom of speech? Does it tell us anything about 'peaceful and convivial' attitude of the French striker? I think so! Doesn't it feed the idea that the French are only force-fed with civilization and that they, when challenged, still are a bunch of primitive warriors? I think so!

I believe that you do mean well, but your duck won't fly. Lyon, Bordeaux, Lille or Nice, it doesn't matter, the reactions are the same. France has become like a religious sect. Living there, you either convert to it or be excluded, discriminated or in this case condemned to death. The French don't practice what you preach and personally I find that very vulgar.

It took a country like France to show an elderly, white female university teacher the true meaning of the word 'facade.'

Posted by rita Janssen, Amsterdam. October 30, 10 03:37 PM

Dear Rita Janssen (#912), I'm so sade when I read that your experience of France leave you such a disgust. I accept your point of view for what it is: an opinion, a "base de réflexion", but I will probably never be OK with your analysis of my people.
Just on thing more: stay alive, and for a long time! That's important to give us time enough to show you we are not so lazy, rude, violent and primitive ;-)
We are not enemies, that's just an exchange of opposite opinions (one of them is given in a calamitous english,, sorry for that :-)), nothing more.

Posted by Grosse Fatigue October 30, 10 04:49 PM

Dear Rita Janssen,

So you think you know everything about France? You can define a whole nation so easily? I mean... your hatred of my country is so deep that it must be grounded on a solid knowledge and understanding of it... Maybe a personal experience? You went there and they didn't want to be friend with you? Those dirty workers on strike somehow spoiled one of your days? Well, too bad, but it still doesn't excuse this incredible hate speech of yours. Insulting a whole country, ALL of its inhabitants, is stupid, dangerous and makes you look like a ridiculous french-bashin troll. A proud "university teacher" should know better.

Posted by Denis, Bordeaux, France October 30, 10 06:12 PM

The pictures are amazing like always..
About the picture #20, I hate seeing young teenagers in a protest! Most of time, they are just there to cause troubles...

Posted by NomyDior October 30, 10 08:14 PM

How sad that we here as Americans can not see the big picture as the French do and organize an outstanding protest! Well done!!!!!

Posted by Anonymous October 30, 10 08:33 PM

Pourquoi relayer uniquement les photos des casseurs ?
Ce sont des gens qui profitent de la situation et ce n'est pas représentatif des convictions des manifestants !
Ah c'est sûr cela fait de belles images à sensations pour vendre du papier ...
Sommes-nous tous des sauvages ?
Le pays des lumières est éteint ... j'en connais un qui coupé le courant (thinking)
Merci Sarkoléon, mais ton royaume c'est pas uniquement tes potes !

Posted by Olivier October 30, 10 09:17 PM

A tous ceux qui disent qu'ils ont honte d'être francais en voyant ca: moi aussi j'ai honte que vous soyez francais!

Posted by Matteo October 31, 10 05:07 AM

C'est la guerre en france,
Les communistes ont tué 80 millions de personnes,
maintenant ils assassinent la france.
S'il ne sont pas contents qu'ils aillent en afrique,
5000 enfants y meurent chaque jour,
Ici on fait la grêve "parce que c'est trop dur".

Posted by gurt October 31, 10 05:21 AM

Non Olivier, nous ne sommes pas des sauvages, nous défendons juste ces trois valeurs très modernes, parce que nous y croyons : LIBERTE, EGALITE, FRATERNITE
Peu importe ce que pensent les moutons dociles et egoïstes...

Posted by mickey maousse October 31, 10 05:48 AM

J'aime particulièrement la photo N° 33 qui a quelque chose de la tragédie Grecque au fondement même de la démocratie.
vues de l'étranger ces photos doivent donner l'impression que la France est à feu et à sang ce qui est tout à fait faux quand on connaît la France et la Français.
moi je suis Italienne et j'habite en France et j'ai une admiration totale pour cette capacité des français à combattre l'injustice faite aux hommes, à tous les hommes de ce monde. Ce qui est contesté ici ce n'est pas la réforme, mais l'injustice de cette réforme. cela à l'air d'une contestation purement locale mais en réalité c'est un combat pour la dignité humaine.
encore merci au peuple français.

Posted by ugolin October 31, 10 06:42 AM

One here said these very good words :
KEEP UP THE GOOD FIGHT... Un autre monde est possible. Thank to you... Vive la France.

Posted by Redwarf October 31, 10 07:23 AM

The problem in our beloved country is not the lack of work. our productivity is the the highest in Europe. The main resentment is : Why not to distribute the country's wealth? As you put it, some people become richer and richer and they do not pay any income tax.

Posted by Vincent KINDA October 31, 10 08:17 AM

Dear Fatigue (913): Of course you will never agree with my analysis of 'your' people. As soon as 'you' guys reach the age of 20 you've got this defense mechanism built in that makes you, as a good soldier, draw your sword as soon as anybody has got the nerve to criticize the 'holy' country, even when you agree with it. This reaction is not different from any other religious fundamentalism.

To use Sarkozy's words: 'You cannot talk to a great nation like this.' What? Who's talking to me? Is there a new God in town? Sacred ancient scrolls have been found in which the Master of the Universe has written down the Universal Law : "Anyone insulting France must be put to death?" (remember Laurent #884?). For a medium-sized/used-to-be-but-still-wants-to-be-a-world-power/visibly declining and dangerously crumbling down European super-power like France, doesn't this kinda thought sound just a little bit pompous, or is it possibly a case of "sickening megalomania in overdrive"?

And how would a Frenchman decide what France is? Through the ludicrous and preposterous National Identity forum, which the world followed and enjoyed with jaw-dropping enthusiasm? Through his 'T'es nul (you're worthless) and France Akbar' education? Through the government controlled French media that is making the ignorant majority of the French believe that they are the 'best educated, best fed and best looking uber-people of the world'?

My dear Fatigue, let me assure you (as France always assures the US) that I am a great friend of France and being friends means that you can tell each other the truth. So, it makes me wonder. Why would the self appointed country of human rights wish a good friend dead when she's just trying to help and is telling you her inconvenient truth? Let me help you. As soon as you realize that Napoleon wasn't the greatest Frenchman that ever lived, but just the Hitler of his own time, you might have made the first step into the direction of finding out what France is.

Your friend Rita.

Posted by rita Janssen, Amsterdam. October 31, 10 09:12 AM

C’est bien vrai ça ! La France est ruinée à causes de ces agités qui manifestent à tort et a travers au sujet d'une réforme indispensable et justifié !!
Et quoi ! Il est tout à fait normal de reculer l’age de la retraite puisque l’espérance de vie augmente!
Comme il est tout à fait normal que nos députés bénéficient de régimes spéciaux leurs permettant de percevoir, dés 60 ans, 1500€ par tranche de 5 années de mandature, Pour l’exemple un député ayant exercé durant 15 ans percevra une retraite de 1500*(3fois 5 ans)=4500€. Quant aux ministres et autres haut représentant de l’état, pour en savoir davantage, je vous conseille de vous rendre sur le lien suivant :
Je serais bien curieux de savoir si les homologues américains du congrès et de la maison blanche jouissent des mêmes privilèges.
En conclusion je crains que beaucoup de mes compatriotes souffrent du «syndrome du larbin » qui se caractérise par un comportement pathologique visant à prendre systématiquement la défense des classes les plus favorisées au détriment de celles dont il est issu. Ce syndrome diminue les capacités d’analyse du larbin et se traduit par un blocage psychologique l’incitant à agir préférentiellement contre ses propres intérêts au profit de ceux qui l’exploitent.
Pour moi la France est devenue une petite province du monde, sans intérêt...

Posted by psychedeclic October 31, 10 09:17 AM

Très belles photos.
Les Français ne veulent plus de Sarkozy.
Gardez Obama.
C'est la mentalité libérale et capitaliste qu'on ne veut pas en Europe.
Ici, ce qui importe, c'est le respect de la personne humaine.

Beautiful pictures showing how French can't stand anymore Sarkozy.
They don't need Obama, It's the same sort of guy : sold to Goldman Sachs & Co.
This sort of mentality and behaviour are not welcomed in Europe where the human dignity first, not the fortune of some fellows.
How can you accept to live in a world which makes money with concentration camps ? You buy products which are made with blood of prisonners (see what's doing in the LAOGAI in China or in the Prison Valley in the USA).
Is it the world that you'll have hope to offer to your children ?
Shame on you to accept to be just consumers.
What have you done the respect of human being ?
It's not to be sold.
Money is the new chain of slavery.

Posted by POJ October 31, 10 11:21 AM

Dear Rita (#924),
Something extremly pleasant is happening, a real dialog seems to be possible between you and me. That's an excellent point, but I have an enormous problem: english . I have offered my "hart" to Laurent (904)! Thanks God he is probably not a hunter, my head still is on my shoulders, not on his chimney! The "e" I refused him, I've given it to you, offering some kind of sadistic feelings (I am sad, of course!)... That's a to dangerous way for such a dialog. I know you perfectly speek french, so will I go on in that language. .Peut être vais-je vous étonner, Rita, mais nous ne sommes pas aveugles à nos défauts. Vous nous accuser de mille maux dont vous nos accordez le monopole absolu: tous les français sont éduqués dans la fainéantise etl'assistanat, l'arrogance, la xénophobie... et j'en passe. Comprenez, Rita que lorsque vous arguez de telles choses, vous insultez nos pères, mères, amis. Vous amalgamez toute une Nation dans un stéréotype. Comment pouvez-vous espérer ainsi ouvrir nos esprits à vos arguments? Votre combat est perdu d'avance. Je pense quand à moi, que vous n'aviez pas vraiment conscience de la charge émotionnelle contenue dans vos premieres interventions. Sans doute malgré vous (de tout coeur je l'espère), vous n'avez fait que semer le vent. En toute logique, ce que vous avez récolter est une tempète. N'oubliez pas dans quel contexte vous vous ètes ainsi exprimée. Vos messages m'ont profondément insultée, à tel point que quand Anna (je crois) vous a traitée de "troll" dans un sourire, j'ai pensé "bien fait!" (cela restait à mes yeux une plaisanterie). Et puis le débat a dégénéré de manière gravissime à mes yeux. On ne baillonne pas une voix, quelle qu'elle soit. Ca, ce sont mes parents -des français- qui me l'ont enseigné bien avant qu'on me parle de "déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyen". Je leur suis reconnaissante de cette leçon. Pour autant, un argument, pour être valable doit comporter des éléments de réflexion vérifiables, pesables,discutables.
Je vais juste vous parler de vécu: mon père a commencé a travailler à 14 ans comme beaucoup de français "interdits d'éducation" pour cause financière. Son emploi l'a fait travailler 6 nuits par semaines jusqu'à sa retraite. Sa pension annueelle est de 14000€. Il m'a offert, coute que coute, la possibilité de suivre un cursusscolaire selon mes désirs. Un fainéant, assisté, violent et primaire? Pas selon mon coeur ni selon mon analyse.... Mais je suis française! Autre exemple: l'un des membres de ma famille travaille dans un hopital. Le manque de personnel a fait mettre en place un systéme de "35h en 3 jours", soit 12 h de travail d'affilée, 3 jours par semaine Cette personne m'a confié "après la 9è heure de service, je n'assure plus les piqures et prises de sang, je m'arrange avec un collègue et lui prend des tâches plus administratives": fainéantise ou sens des responsabilités?
Vous voyez, Rita ceux-ci ne sont que 2 exemples et pourtant, ils semblent faire mentir votre théorie
Mon propros n'est pas de vous manquer de respect, Rita. J'aimerais juste voir dans votre position un début d'ouverture vers l'idée suivante: et si tous les français ne faisaient pas qu'un. Et si la France était constituée d'individus?

Posted by Grosse Fatigue October 31, 10 11:35 AM

Dear Denis #914.
You'd better read 924 as an appetizer, sit down for a while and breathe deeply. What I see is a Frenchman come blasting in with 'Blazing Saddles' ready to chop the head of the infidel that had the nerve of sinning against the 11th Commandment: THOU SHALL NOT OFFEND FRANCE!

U wrote: So you think you know everything about France?
I write: No, but there's not a Frenchman alive that does. Especially not because critical information about France has always been blocked to keep up appearances and to protect 'the poor citizens of the glorious fatherland" from the constant conspiracies of envious and barbaric Anglo-Saxons meant to undermine the image of the greatest culture the world has ever known. Believe you me, the information presently available about France in English is overwhelmingly bigger than in French, and is increasingly responsible for the fact that the average French opinion doesn't easily exceed the level of the Donald Duck magazine.

U: 'You can define a whole nation so easily?'
I: No, but after extensively studying your culture while living in France for a dozen years and after teaching at your universities, I allow myself an opinion. It was however extremely sad to find out that France is actually nothing more than a modern U.S.S.R. and that it is very dangerous not to follow the party line. Did they cut off my power? OH YES! Did they cut off my water supply? OH YEAH! Did they cut off my telephone? Did they cut off my internet? Did they check my mail? SURE!

U wrote: '...your hatred of my country is so deep that it must be grounded on a solid knowledge and understanding of it..Maybe a personal experience? You went there and they didn't want to be friend with you?.'
I write: Hatred, aggression and envy weren't exactly human qualities I was familiar with before I came to France. That goes as well for lust, gluttony, sloth, despair, wrath, pride and vainglory. As a matter of fact it's not about hatred at all. I'm just a loving friend that is trying to warn for the fact that you are running into a dead end street. The French definition of friendship and fraternity however, are so suspiciously different from the rest of the world that one is inclined to believe that they don't exist at all in France. As de Gaulle once stated: 'A great nation like France doesn't have friends, only interests.'

U wrote: 'Those dirty workers on strike somehow spoiled one of your days?"
I write: Concerning dirty workers, I suppose you're not talking about the quality of French artisans which shines about the lowest of the lowest. I was lucky to find one good plumber among the 13 mentioned in the yellow pages and he was Polish (of course). Personally I didn't meet too many French workers that were serious enough to make their precious hands dirty. Otherwise, my appreciation for hard working people must be in my genes. I guess that the French DNA took another turn after so many years of idleness.

U wrote: '... it still doesn't excuse this incredible hate speech of yours. Insulting a whole country, ALL of its inhabitants, is stupid, dangerous and makes you look like a ridiculous french-bashin troll.'
I write: You call me STUPID, DANGEROUS, RIDICULOUS, A FRENCH-BASHING TROLL. Laurent, who has taken a French leave and also seems to be supporting the death penalty, didn't think that I was a good enough person to be allowed to live. Concerning hate, you guys sure got something to teach the rest of the world. BTW, just as an illegal immigrant being stopped by the police is eager to shout 'DISCRIMINATION', many a Frenchmen (including you) start shouting 'FRENCH-BASHING' and 'UNACCEPTABLE' as soon as truthful facts about France are being revealed. For you could probably agree with me that in France, losing face is worth than dying. That's why you've got this good old friend warning ya for the pitfalls ahead: "If y'all go on like this, y'all not gonna make till the end of the year.'

U Wrote: "A proud "university teacher" should know better."
I write: "But my dear Denis, I DO, I DO! That's why I'm wasting my precious time on an overheated youngster from Bordeaux France, who feels that a bloody sword is the best way to conceal one's ignorance.

P.S. Sorry for the vitriolic irony. It's something I had to learn in France in order to survive and I'm told that the French love this kind of literary aberration. We call that 'pissing somebody off' consider it to be vulgar.

Your good old friend Rita from Amsterdam.

Posted by rita Janssen, Amsterdam. October 31, 10 01:29 PM

from Israel we say! go workers of france! you are doing a great thing!!

Posted by nim October 31, 10 01:39 PM

La stupidité humaine est incommensurable....que dire de plus? Espérons que ceux qui liront ces commentaires sauront faire la part des choses.

Posted by hervé-Bazin October 31, 10 01:46 PM

J'ai lu certains des derniers je suis EFFAREE par le contenu de certains d"entres eux.
Certains critiques sans être, à priori, très informés (lol)

L'âge de la retraite va être reculé...oui (avec le vote de la loi) ; merci de vérifier l'âge !!!
Nous sommes dans une période de transition et ce ne sont pas les 62 ans pour un départ à la retraite qui sont, à terme visés !! mais plus.
Le nombre de semestres devant être cotisés pour obtenir une retraite entière ne sera plus atteinte par de plus en plus de français : chômage pour les moins de 25 ans et que dire de celui des plus de 55 ans !!!! (or le calcul est fait sur les dernières années)
Qu'en est-t-il aussi pour ceux qui ont fait des études universitaires ...??

Bref, un départ plus tard avec encore moins de "revenu".

Les français seraient "fainéants" ??? Là encore...comment expliquez-vous que nous soyons un des pays ayant le plus de productivité au taux horaire ??
Mais cela, bien sur..? rares sont les reportages qui en parlent (cf : reportage de France 3 : La mise à mort du travail)

merci par contre, à ceux qui saluent l'action des gens "de la base"

Posted by endorra October 31, 10 03:30 PM

My dearest Grosse Fatigue #927.
You sound like a gentle person that likes to keep the church in the middle of the village or believes that you catch more flies with syrup than with vinegar. You preach peace, love and understanding and you could even believe that Tender Love and Care is the cure for all ills. You're climbing on this here barricade to defend your country as if it was more important than your virginity. Although, I think you mean well and that's why I salute you for it.

However my dear, English is now the prestige language in the world and using (and switching to) the now inferior language French on an international Boston Globe blog -because it's more convenient for you- is extremely impolite. Presuming that I speak perfect French is from the same order. It closes down the conversation to everybody but a couple of hundred French-speakers and gives the old impression that information, inconvenient for France, must be discussed in secret.

So, use your own whatever local dialect at home, but use English when you speak to the world. That goes btw for all you francophoney freaks. When you use French or Swahili, we just don't read.

Why are you French always trying to stop the future?
This is 2010, this is the world, you either speak English or you shut up.
No offense meant!

Posted by rita Janssen, Amsterdam. October 31, 10 03:30 PM

Grow up what is 2 years in South Africaa men retire at age 65 and woman at age 60 and most still work well into their 70ts

Posted by adam October 31, 10 03:37 PM

Answer to #764

Je ferai la réponse en Français, une fois n'est pas coutume, que j'ai d'ailleurs publié sur mon blog...

Qu’il sera difficile de faire changer la société… Pourquoi ? A cause de l’égoïsme, de la manipulation, à cause du « pétage plus haut que j’ai le cul » et aussi de la jalousie…

Voilà un exemple de la prose argumentée d’un vieux Français de 80 balais, que j’ai trouvée sur ce buzz de boston. Com : « France on strike » :

Lisons son texte ensemble :


J'ai commencé à travailler à 16ans.
J'ai eu 160 trimestres de cotisation Sécu.
On m'a cassé les pattes à 60 ans avec une retraite diminuée alors que les fonctionnaires contiunuent à avoir des retraites TRES SPECIALES ( montant durée de travail, cotisations et reversion entre autres)
J'ai près de 80 ans; J'estime que j'aurais pu travailler au moins jusqu'à 70 ans.
Pratiquement toute ma vie je me suis levé à 6heures.
J'ai connu les congés payés de 15 jours/an.
en travaillant 45 puis 43 heures par semaine.
Alors ?
Pauvres rigolos ! Arrêtez vos conneries. Car même ,avec cette "REFORMETTE" les prochains socialos vous la feront encore plus chouette .
Oui la vision qu'a, HELAS! l'étranger n'est que trop vraie.
Et puis à regarder les photos qui vous paiera les retraites par répartition?

Posted by Guy October 27, 2010 07:05 AM

Voilà quelqu’un qui a travaillé dur et qui en est fier « J'ai commencé à travailler à 16ans. J'ai eu 160 trimestres de cotisation Sécu »…

Ensuite cette personne a été mise au rebut et en éprouve beaucoup d’amertume « On m'a cassé les pattes à 60 ans »…

Puis, il compare sa situation à celle des fonctionnaires « alors que les fonctionnaires contiunuent à avoir des retraites TRES SPECIALES ( montant durée de travail, cotisations et reversion entre autres) », montrant une haine uniquement déclenchée par la jalousie de ceux qui ont un peu plus que lui (Il est vrai qu’il est si loin des réalités des nantis superprivilégiés, que son champ se limite à ceux qu’il juge devoir être au même niveau que lui-même…

Il exprime à nouveau son amertume « J'estime que j'aurais pu travailler au moins jusqu'à 70 ans »…

Puis il remet une couche sur la pénibilité de sa vie de labeur « Pratiquement toute ma vie je me suis levé à 6heures.
J'ai connu les congés payés de 15 jours/an.
en travaillant 45 puis 43 heures par semaine »…

Je m’attendais à une conclusion du genre « Allez les petits, c’est bien ! Je me suis fait baiser, mais je suis avec vous : Ne vous laissez pas faire ! Battez-vous contre ce système inique… »

Et bien non ! La jalousie est la plus forte !

Lui le méritait et ne l’a pas eu ! Donc les autres ne le méritent pas et c’est bien fait pour leur gueule !...

Alors je me dis, que la réforme de la société pour du plus juste, du plus équitable, du plus égalitaire… Est un chemin bien pénible, lorsque l’on y rencontre :

-Des détrousseurs de grand chemin,

-Des admirateurs du cynisme de ces détrousseurs, qui n’osent pas le faire eux-mêmes mais sont contents de se positionner dans leurs supporters,

-Mais également des jaloux qui se sont fait détrousser et qui n’ont de cesse que ceux qui ne l’ont pas été, le soient à leur tour, quitte à prêter main forte à ceux qui les ont humiliés et dépossédé…

-Des égoïstes qui ne défendent que leurs intérêts propres et qui se tourneraient contre leurs compagnons de lutte si leurs intérêts étaient les seuls satisfaits, sinistres collabos dont on achète les services pour 40 deniers…

Quel syndrome inquiétant ! Il est l’allié du Tyran, l’allié de l’iniquité. L’égoïsme est l’iniquité !

Sans unité, pas de victoire…

Posted by henridelatour October 31, 10 04:32 PM

Answer To # 932 Janssen

You are the past ! You are resigned of the decline ! You are indoctrinated of liberalism ! You are vehicle of the binary dogma !
It is not of your fault, I pity you sincerely !

We do not naturally count on you, to make the progress restart in the right direction !
But feel reassured ! More and more intelligent people (economists, managers of banks and even bosses !) have understood that future is what we can do (Relocation of our factories, Job creation, Taxes of unfair competition, A consumer is someone who earns his money, "Ford-ism", Regulation...)... And French can do it ! Yes we can ! But regrettably, against the whole world of unique thought...

Ultraliberalism is the PAST, only the PAST, we want not any more...
We built the FUTURE

Posted by henridelatour October 31, 10 05:11 PM

après s'être battue dans la rue face à l'injustice de cette réforme mais surtout pour montrer un ras le bol général contre toutes les manipulations de notre gouvernement et du monde dans lequel on vit, on affronte à nouveau ici le même genre humain; formaté, bouré d'informations calomnieuses et fausses. Quand j'entends que les grèvistes sont purs égoistes, que ce sont pas des pauvres, qu'ils font honte à leur pays et j'en passe... je suis écoeurée de voir la stupidité grandissante de certaines personnes... je dirai même, vous me faites peur... Allez vivre en afrique, dises même certains!! mais c'est aussi pour ça qu'on se bat!! oui, c'est un combat pour la dignité humaine.

Posted by mag October 31, 10 05:11 PM

Je suis une femme de 50 ans qui a eu 4 enfants, et qui a pris par 2 fois un congé parental d'éducation. J'étais salariée dans le secteur privé pendant 24 ans. Puis à 40 ans, je me suis retrouvée au chômage : cela m'a fait rire de vouloir obliger les seniors à aller jusqu'à 62 voire 67 ans : en 30 mois de chômage, je n'ai reçu AUCUNE PROPOSITION d'emploi par Pôle Emploi (en ANPE) et aucune réponse positive à ma demande de secrétaire médico-sociale. Si bien que j'ai créé ma propre entreprise individuelle, qui ne me rapporte aucun bénéfice, mais je paye mes charges d'emprunts et charges sociales. Donc pour faire comme préconisé par Sarko : "travailler plus pour gagner plus !).... j'ai finalement pris un boulot au smic : téléconseiller pour un prestataire de service de GDF SUEZ et là ...... la catastrophe : harcèlement moral..... on nous pousse à la faute (raccrocher au nez des clients), on licencie à tout de bras pour fautes, on pousse les gens à démissionner...... j'ai tenu bon malgré les pressions qu'on exerçait sur moi (menaces....) pour finir par craquer ! je suis en arrêt de maladie pour dépression grave avec somnifères, anxyolitiques et anti-dépresseurs ! Je me retrouve à 50 ans avec une santé foutue..... et j'ai de nombreux petits jeunes de 21 ans, diplômés commerce, des secrétaires quadrilingues dans la même galère que moi (groupe Acticall)...... Maintenant je me bats et j'irai jusqu'au bout pour condamner ses patrons vampires ! Pensez donc, la formation qu'ils nous assurent est prise en charge par pôle emploi, comme nous sommes tous au smic : bénéfice sur les charges sociales pour les patrons..... Ils peuvent ainsi pour 150 postes de disponibles former 800 personnes et toucher au moins 2000 euros par formation.... obligation pour nous de faire de la vente forcée.... J'irai jusqu'au bout pour faire arrêter ce massacre de la santé des téléconseillers..... comme j'irai jusqu'au bout des manifestations de grève : on embauche pas à 40 ans alors encore moins les seniors..... C'est sûr que la mortalité de ces seniors arrivera ils ne pourront pas en profiter longtemps.; Par contre TOUS NOS DEPUTES, SENATEURS.....rempilent sans problème, ils se votent (et TOUS de tout bord politique) des majorations et des cumuls de retraite (maire, député, conseillers généraux, sénateurs, ministres..... et même notre président qui s'auto-augmente son salaire). QUE TOUTES CES PERSONNES PENSENT BIEN A CECI : on se souviendra TOUS de leurs agissements AU MOMENT DE VOTER ! AUX URNES CITOYENS ! Ces gens d'en-haut (qui ne savent pas ce qu'est la pénibilité du travail....) ne devraient pas OUBLIER que c'est grâce au labeur des gens d'en bas qu'ils ont leur fortune !
Merci d'avoir montrer ces magnifiques photos criantes de vérité !
Merci Boston Globe.
Sorry, but my english is very bad !

Posted by Catwoman October 31, 10 05:13 PM

Many people in France can't just think about anything except themselves. They think "liberty, equality, fraternity" only means: i'm free to do whatever I want, nobody should have more possessions than I have and everybody has to stand on the same rung of the social ladder than me. Whatever i do. Period.
So, when a pension reform is about to be approved, they think "holy crap! I will have to work longer ! Let's start the strike!"
Is this reform a real necessity ? Are there any other solutions? Is working 2 years more such a teerrific idea? They don't care. The crucial and only point is: they will have to work longer. So, strike-time.
On the other hand, i didn't checked but I'm sure unions have the solution: tax the rich (well, before they all leave France).
Thank god, I leaved this country a long time ago...

Posted by amusedly October 31, 10 05:48 PM
Posted by mickey maousse October 31, 10 06:54 PM

Rita Janssen from Amsterdam, you said you were an elderly teacher, and I would have liked to be your pupil... If the courses you give in your school are or were of the same kind than your comments here, I feel really horrified for your students. Your courses must be like a lobotomy session and I am surprised your country administration did not dismiss you as a teacher. You think in black and white, and assert your own truths as if they were the whole world’s opinion. Are you the new Pravda ? In fact, YOU ARE EXACTLY WHAT YOU REPROACH TO FRENCH PEOPLE ! (you probably lived too long in France !) Even poor Grosse fatigue who was very kind to you, got a very bitchy and hurtful answer from you. You don’t even want to understand what is said, and as long as a French man or woman gives an opinion, they are discredited in advance, whatever they say... I don’t think it’s a proof of intelligence that you give from yourself.

As for myself, I’m sorry if you have mistaken my joke (let’s admit it was bad) for an opinion, I think there is a BIG difference between suggesting to somebody to kill oneself and support death penalty. I really cannot accept this and it makes me angry, because, believe it or not, I am usually very peaceful and I have always been against death penalty. I just don’t like bad faith...

I do not believe that France is the best country in the world and that everything is perfect in my country, on the contrary. I’m willing to admit that we are a fading nation, just like any western country in general. A lot of things also worries me, namely the present politics by Sarkozy, but also how this planet is run by the great leaders... But for you, all the french are the same and just want to make protest and riots, that’s the only truth you want to hear !

I don’t know if it’s enough for you to stop scattering around your bad feelings, but you have to accept that there are some places in the world that are not exactly like you would dream of it... We are different : we are permanent moaners, we like to talk and argue, we live in a galic village, and maybe many more defaults, but we probably have also a few qualities like “Grosse fatigue” pertinently said...

Anyway I’m not sure you will understand my words, Rita Janssen from Amsterdam, but at least, I feel better now...

Posted by Laurent October 31, 10 07:50 PM

Of course the questions about retirement reform is no more the main reason of these demonstrations. People on strike or making demonstration just want Sarkozy to stop doing harmfull and unfair social reforms. If they are millions of people in the street against this particular reform -as the drop that make overfilled the glas- it is because of its obvious and provocative unfairness.

In fact this famous "62 year limit" is not a "maximum age limit" as it is generally presented, but a "minimum age limit". It means most people will work longer, depending on an other counting system based on the time they worked during their life. It will result from this reform that people that began to work very early (and having generally the more difficult work) will have to work longer, but the other will not be affected.
So contrary to some comment, this reform isn't "brave".

Talking about the way French people demonstrate is interesting but I think it is necessary to point-out that :
-Violents acts (as shown in the pictures) come from a very small fraction of people, most of them are made by immature and nihilist people just looking for some fight.
-Most of the 3 million people in the street are peacefull despite their bitterness and angryness.
-The french strikers are not happy to loose part of their salary. They don't choose to be on strike to weaken france economy or to annoy right-wing french people and visiting foreigners, but because they're angry enough to do it.

Rita, I like the brilliant way you mix a fluent english and a perfect french way of provocation, bloody and relentless. It's unfortunate that you and your opponent are completely off-topic. Could you come back to the main subject or "shut up". No offense meant...

Posted by Ori October 31, 10 10:09 PM

Spécialité française, les grèves d'aujourd'hui ne sont que politique. Tous les jeunes dans les rues sont manipulés par des syndicats dont le seul objectif est de déstabiliser. Ce n'est pas nouveau, mais à force c'est pénible. Quand à la majorité des adultes manifestants, il s'agit de fonctionnaires divers, privilégiés, disposant de conditions de travail particulièrement avantageuses, et qui pour la plupart partiront à la retraire à taux plein bien avant l'âge légal.
Les travailleurs, les vrais, ils savent que si ont ne fait rien en matière de retraite, ce sont d'abord eux qui vont en pâtir.
Cette france gauchisante commence à me faire vomir.

Posted by François Lebrun November 1, 10 03:04 AM

Dear Ori (#939), you are absolutly right, we are completely off-topic. Truth is never an offense. I quit, there is a life outside and a strike to prepare.

Dear Rita (#932), Ori is right, I was there just for you!
Vehemence of your talk against a whole nation represent for me a fantastic intellectual challenge, and my team was ready : in my heart : Vercingétorix son of Celtill, in my head: René Descartes. It should be exciting, but I have forgotten 2 important things: I don't speak the universal language, and that forum is not about "Rita vs Grosse Fatigue".
Goob bye, Rita, it really was a pleasure.

Dear Laurent (#938), you can keep the hart, plus my heart :-)

Now Grosse Fatigue is gone, let's talk about strikes.

Posted by Grosse Fatigue November 1, 10 05:34 AM

Les photos sont géniales!
Elles seront surement utilisées par les flics pour identifier les casseurs.
Allez, c'est fini....jusqu'à la prochaine!

Posted by Gérard November 1, 10 06:20 AM

Dear Ori,
I agree with all you have just said, which is very pertinent, except one thing :

About the violent rioters – which of course must not be mistaken for strikers and protesters. It is difficult to know where they come from, as they don’t seem to be organized within an official structure - they are more like free electrons. But we cannot just dismiss them like that. The fact that they seem to invite themselvess to every peaceful march worries me, I don’t think it is good for our democracy because they contribute to discredit all the rest of the strikers and demonstrators (4 millions in the street !). It is said that they mostly come from the deprived suburbs and are from non-white origins - that may be true, but like during the 2005 riots, they are also here to express their anger towards the state and the institutions, which still regards them as second class citizen. So, even I disagree with violence, they express they want to be considered as basic French citizen – and in that sense, they entirely desserve it, don’t you think ?

You know as well as I do, being French is an idea, not a race...

Posted by Laurent November 1, 10 07:06 AM

Quelle mouche a piqué lovely Rita?
Quelqu’un et qui que ce soit, qui met tout un peuple dans le même sac ( poubelle) et qui vous explique que l’ADN de ce peuple qu’il hait s’est façonné dans l’oisiveté et que ce peuple dans son entier est comme ceci ou que ce peuple est comme cela, mérite t-il que l’on discoure avec lui?

Rita Janssen est tout à fait capable de vous débiter ses conneries pendant des jours ou des semaines sans discontinuer. Elle est totalement insensible à quelque argument de bons sens que ce soit. Elle ne raisonne pas, elle affirme.
C’est une totale perte de temps et d’énergie à essayer de la convaincre du ridicule de sa démarche. Son discours est destiné uniquement à blesser par l’insulte gratuite.

Des « Rita Janssen » il y en a des milliers en France qui sont françaises et qui pensent les mêmes conneries que notre Rita d’Amsterdam à l’encontre de peuples tout entiers comme les américains, les anglais, les africains, les pays du Golfe ou d’autres pays et cela souvent parce qu’elles y ont fait une mauvaise expérience (arnaques, vol de bagages, agressions, viol…ou déception amoureuse…).

Dans chaque pays du monde il y a des Rita Janssen qui ont été bloquées deux ou trois jours à dormir par terre dans un aéroport français ou qui ont passé plusieurs heures étouffantes dans un TGV sans être ravitaillé en boissons, …sans explications du personnel naviguant. Dur dur quand cela arrive mais heureusement que ces événements sont rares dans l'année; c'est surtout leur médiatisation souvent exagérée qui leur donne le relief et la caricature qui va frapper les esprits!

D’autres Rita se sont fait volées ou agressées par des équipes de pickpockets dans le métro parisien ou dans un musée ou à un salon expo. de la Porte de Versailles ou autres endroits très touristiques. De retour au pays elles vont faire leur thérapie comme elles peuvent. Celle-ci a choisi de se planquer derrière son clavier pour évacuer sa logorrhée.

Alors amis français, je vous en supplie laissez tomber ce qui relève de la pathologie. Comme vous n’êtes sans doute pas docteur psychiatre vous ne pouvez rien pour toutes les Rita Janssen du monde. Il y a trop de boulot.

Ici le sujet n'est pas de répondre aux états d'âme d'une personne traumatisée qui a choisi d'insulter gratuitement un peuple mais de parler de la réforme des retraites en France. Si possible…essayez d’arrêter cette polémique stérile.

Le modérateur est super sympathique de la laisser faire.
Soyons au-dessus de cela, ce n’est pas bien grave on peut encore supporter beaucoup de choses injustes et désagréables.
Personnellement je n'ai pas voulu répondre à ses emprunts à Walpole (qui parlait des aristocrates français qu'il a connus et fréquentés et non du peuple français) ni répondre à son discours sur "les français sont comme ceci ou les français sont comme cela" qui n'est que fadaises, fabulations ou affirmations faciles sans fondement. Pour une prof d'université c'est affligeant et minable.

Posted by Will November 1, 10 08:51 AM

photo 21 : tear gas : not good

Posted by seryh November 1, 10 09:02 AM

Dear Henry #934.

U wrote: "You are the past ! You are resigned of the decline ! You are indoctrinated of liberalism ! You are vehicle of the binary dogma ! ...
I pity you sincerely !" .."Ford-ism" ...Ultraliberalism is the PAST... We built the FUTURE... Yes we can"
I write: No you can't! Not when you don't stay away from those little purple pills that makes you blabber like Fidel Castro before WWII. I know the French are mass consumers of anti-anxiety pills, but you're really overdoing it.
You need help, try rehab.

Posted by rita Janssen, Amsterdam. November 1, 10 09:52 AM

Solidarity to all French strikers!!! Everyone on strike!!! Thanks for showing everyone else how it should be done.

Posted by Lisa from USA November 1, 10 10:11 AM

thank you so much to all the people leaving messages of encouragement from the USA, Germany, Italy, Israel, Spain, Greece, and all those I forgot ... it warms our hearts to see the need for justice is not yet dead in this world ...

I have a special thought for the Greeks who also protested in recent months with courage against the budget cuts imposed by government employees, because of a crisis caused by their corrupt and incompetent leaders, but also by global finance.

Posted by Laurent November 1, 10 10:55 AM

Thank you so much for all those leaving messages of encouragement from the USA, Germany, Italy, Israel, Spain, Greece, and all those I forgot ... it warms our hearts to see the need for justice is not yet dead in this world ...

I have a special thought for the Greeks who protested in recent months with courage against the budget cuts imposed by government on employees and workers, because of a crisis caused by their corrupt and incompetent leaders, but also by global finance.

Posted by Laurent November 1, 10 10:58 AM

@855 François C

Désolé mais tu vas devoir te farcir les 100 derniers commentaires pour t'apercevoir que tu as tort =)

Qui plus est, dire que la réforme ne te dérange pas parce qu'elle ne te concerne pas (pas encore, dis-tu), c'est un peu fort de café.

Pour terminer, tu te doutes bien que la réforme des retraites n'est pas la seule raison du mécontentement du peuple.

Un exemple entre mille: les actions politiques scandaleuses de la police expliquées dans un lien un peu plus haut.

Bonne lecture ;)

Posted by Vivi November 1, 10 11:07 AM

Sweet Laurent #938. "Welcome back! I thought you secretly snuck out the backdoor.
--- "You would have just loved my lessons! Never a boring moment. Real wake-you-uppers. Especially with a class full (they are always full in France) of French kids singing protest songs I haven't heard in 40 years. You should see my wall Laurent with all those Teacher of the Year Awards, you'd be impressed."

--- "True, I did live in France too long. You too btw. The only difference is that I'm aware of it.

--- "True, Grosse Fatigue was very friendly (I just love this hippie-girls-from-the-60's-mentality) but she was still offending enough to change the rules in the middle of the game. That's a bit like Zidane's head butt, the French adore it, but the rest off the world thinks it's a total lack of respect.

--- "I really cannot accept this, you insult my country, I can not allow my country to be insulted, I have to defend my country, you cannot talk to me like that , it's hurtful and disgusting, I'm angry and frustrated." Let me ask you, do all you guys have the same record built in, for you're always singing the same boring chanson? The question is, what do you think you should do about? If your Gallic Kuran tells you to revenge the Holy Spirit of Francia, you should actually strap on your explosives, stop making all these hidden threats and try to eradicate this old lady in Amsterdam, if that makes you feel better. But as you are against the death penalty, that would go against your peaceful principals. Now what? More Prozac maybe?

--- Translating 'mauvaise foi' with 'bad faith' doesn't sound to good. (Maybe I should be just like the French. Interrupt and correct constantly and rudely as soon as somebody makes the slightest mistake in your (now inferior) language. That's a good idea. You guys are gonna love it. Very good for your confidence. Very encouraging. But hey, you guys invented it, so you must actually love it. You love snails too.

--- It was so sweet of you to play Prince Vaillant and come to the rescue of poor damsel Grosse Fatigue -which can loosely be translated into Dirty Pants- but I do believe she's quite capable of taking care of herself. She must be standing bare-boobed on the burning barricades carrying the flag by now and I'm really looking forward to see her picture on the cover of the Boston Globe. At least the girl's got a plan.

--- Oh, I do understand what you guys are saying, I do indeed. I only heard it before and before and before. That's very tiring!

--- I know, you hate your own hatred. That's what you get when you put Descartes behind the wagon. It's called existentialism. It's French and it's fun. De Gaulle was the one describing it the best when asked if he was happy (with the result) he said:
"Happy! What do you think I am? An idiot!"

Grandma Janssen.

Posted by rita Janssen, Amsterdam. November 1, 10 12:04 PM

Merci à tous les Peuples de Monde pour la solidarité apportée à nos luttes.
Nous manifestons pour nous, mais aussi pour tout ceux qui ont besoin de justice et de paix de part le Monde.

Merci aussi pour le site pour ces très belles photos humaines

Posted by Alain V. Marseille France November 1, 10 12:45 PM

Poor, Poor Will #944.
I can deduce one thing from your story. English must have been really to difficult for you.

Posted by rita Janssen, Amsterdam. November 1, 10 02:12 PM

I am really astonished that moderators allow the lovely Rita to particpate.
Obviouly she or he really needs a head shrinker or maybe it's a fun game from some stupid guys that are just checking how far they can into on line French bashing . Honestly if you have just bit of intelligence you can't even read more than two lines of what she says and then you jump to next comments, like if you just put your feet in something that really doesn't smell good and that we call in French : une grosse merde !

Posted by solong November 1, 10 03:20 PM

Dear Ori #939.
Did you also notice that, when the French are provoked the French Way, they are fully up in arms and lost in space. ""Do unto others as you would have them do unto you". Wasn't that the Golden Rule of ethics and Human rights?

But you are right Ori, I lost focus (at my understands). I'm sorry. No offense taken. Let's talk barricade.

"Arise children of the fatherland
The day of glory has arrived
Against us tyranny's
Bloody standard is raised
Listen to the sound in the fields
The howling of these fearsome soldiers
They are coming into our midst
To cut the throats of your sons and consorts"

I know the French are having a hard time. They always had, they always have and they always will have. That's in their DNA. Some don't believe that the French are actually all the same, but with the kind of rigid education these guys are getting, it's impossible to escape. It's called egalite, you know everybody is equal. Except for the elite of course which is a thousand times more equal than all these run-off-the-mill citizens which are allowed to go out on the street once in a while to vent their anger, break and burn some properties till they again go home to be good the good boy and girl scouts they really are.

Here up North they call the French a bunch of neurotics. Some kind of a strange mix between Louis de Funes, Edith Piaff and Sebastien Chabal. They're coming like tourists from some backward planet, they group together in the corner, they don't speak to anybody, they're grumpy and they are constantly complaining about everything and everything. Every individual is trying to prove that the French are the worst, the very worst, the cheapest and nastiest tourists in the world. And you know what, they are! It's all too much for them. They're simply not ready for the real world.


Posted by rita Janssen, Amsterdam. November 1, 10 04:16 PM

Le problème est simple à poser. Qui produit les richesses ? Celui qui travaille ou celui qui possède le capital ? Celui qui travaille est le plus souvent obligé de le faire car il ne possède pas les moyens de production. C'est ce dernier qui accapare le fruit du travail au seul prétexte qu'il possède les dits moyens de production (i.e. Le Capital!).
Ceux qui disent que les français qui manifestent ne le font pas essentiellement contre la réforme des retraites, ont raison. Nous voulons récupérer le fruit de notre travail. Ce n'est pas "l'entreprise" qui crée les richesses contrairement à ce que dit la patronne des patrons et de Sakozy, ce sont les TRAVAILLEURS hé oui, ils veulent profiter du fruit de leur travail.
Scandaleux n'est-ce pas ?
Et n'oubliez jamais que les capitalistes sont prêts aux pires crimes pour maintenir leur pouvoir. Ce sont eux qui ont armé les Talibans en afghanistan. Quels sont les dirigeants de quelle nation la plus représentative du libéralisme qui a utilisé massivement l'arme chimique (Vietnam), l'arme bactériologique (Corée) et l'arme atomique ? La bourgeoisie française n'a pas hésité à massacrer le peuple d eParis à plusieurs reprises (1830, 1848 - Février et juin-, 1871) et elle n'hésitera pas demain si ses profits sont menacés. Les capitalistes européens ont porté Hitler au pouvoir (Plutôt Hitler que le front populaire). La famille Sarkozy a vécu sans encombre dans la Hongrie Fasciste, c'est devant l'avancée de l'Armée Rouge qu'elle a choisi l'exil. Hé oui, telle est la dure réalité.
Nous sommes arrivés à un tel développement des moyens d'action des hommes sur la nature qu'un petit groupe d'homes, voire des individus peuvent mettre en cause la vie de millions d'autres, voire de l'humanité tout entière. Le temps est venu de l'obsolescence de la propriété privée de ces moyens d'action. L'avenir est au "en commun" car comme le dit le philosophe. In fine L'histoire de l'humanité c'est celle de ses forces productives...
 "À présent, des révoltes incessantes lui reprochent ses parjures ; ceux qu’il commande n’agissent que sur commande. Maintenant il sent son titre qui pend, flasque sur lui, comme la robe d’un géant 
sur un faussaire nain. » Hamlet

Posted by Ivan November 1, 10 06:53 PM

Dear Laurent and other readers,

I find useless to try to define a "population of rioters". Then, trying to interpret their "message" appears futile. For what I know from my own experience of demonstrations, most of the rioters I met were just looking to have fun by following other rioter... The "group effect", removing the fear of punishement, lead them to a powerfull excitement state... At this point overpassing the rule of the society becomes a nice adrenaline-driven play. Whatever they tell about their motivations: extreme left or right, football fan, diffuse or pathological angryness, or else, these are just small justifications for the pleasure of adrenaline, transgression, the ecstasy of violence and fear. Unfortunetly, this kind of behaviour is well shared in all human beeing whatever the country, the ages or the context that allow it to be express... OK, young people that where never told about self-knowlegde and self-control are more susceptible of rioting... OK, a big part of them are probably coming from the lower-class, stigmatized minorities or abandonned districts... But then, what is the conclusion? ... There would be a lot to say about this, but this is probably not the right place to do it....

So, no Laurent, nothing to expect from this violence... unless more violence. We have to avoid it at maximum. And from this point of view, Sarkozy's harsh policy and speeches has vicious responsabilities in the increasing level of violence in french society...
(Violence level that is still far below that in the US: I remind you that no rioters or policemen were killed after several weeks of demonstration and strike, to which milions of people participated ! And yes... no authorized arms = no deadly violence... Sorry for the off-topic conclusion...)

Last off-topic point: I don't care of being french or whatever... Of course my passport claim I am a european citizen with a french mother langage but I don't find any proudness of being associated to a particular state or geographical place... Hopefully his own identity is far more rich than just the colour of a flag, far more extended than just a space limited by a frontier, far more complex and interesting than behavioral stereotypes...
From my point of view, I just enjoy the exquisite pleasure to read famous french writers in original version.

Posted by Ori November 1, 10 07:34 PM

Dear Rita,

924 didn't give me much appetite, 928 gave me plain nausea. May I suggest another lexical field in order to characterize your prose? In my humble opinion, the sewers would be more appropriate than the kitchen.

So your stay in France wasn't a nice decade... I'm really sorry that you had to suffer this country for so long, even if i tend to think that you should have ended this intolerable pain before. But this is not my concern and not even my point.
My point is that it doesn't entitles you to insult 62 millions people. Do you get it? And don't give me that "You cannot talk to a great nation like this" bs. You perfectly know that it has nothing to do with what i mean. Besides I don't like Sarkozy. But your rant was not about this little president, neither was it about giving us a "friendly" warning. No. It was about bashing the lazy protesters, first, and then the whole country (why not after all), pretending to know everything about their motivations or goals, and not even understanding the despicable arrogance of this attitude.
I would react in the exact same way if we were talking about any other country in the world. It's not about France, it's about your patronizing tone and stupid claims.
And it was not a surprise for me to notice that you were using the "11th commandment" metaphore. Well... why not? After all, you use religion's flawless logic and argumentation, don't you? No? Come on... you know you do.

1/ To cut it short, you say "french people are lazy assholes and i know it from personal experience" in the same way that religious fundies say "God exists, He talked to me". Well, that's not enough. In other words : your plumbig adventures may be exciting to the highest degree, but they are irrelevant.
2/ (should be 1bis, actually) You ask me to "believe you" as they do, without providing actual evidence of what you claim. In fact, i highly doubt the veracity of at least half the things you write (and that's an euphemism, one of those literary aberration i like : little things please little minds)
3/ You are also using strawman -a lot-. What Laurent says is not what Denis says. Therefore you can't blame Denis for the things Laurent said. This level of logic reasoning should be ok for university standards.
4/ Just as religious fanatics, you insult but pretend that you are saying all the things you say because you are a "loving friend" trying to "warn us". Well, what can I say? A love so warm and beautiful should never fade away... or should it?

The list could go on, but i'm afraid i have better things to do right now. It's ok, though, as I think you catch the spirit of it. Besides... a youngster from Bordeaux -even an overheated one- wouldn't want to be too hard on a bitter old woman who feels that bullying people is the best way to handle one's neurotic disorder.

With love from the pitfalls of the Styx (dat was nice from ya to warn us, ma'am, thanks for all dat help),


PS : "vitriolic irony"? Really? Don't flatter yourself.

Posted by Denis, Bordeaux, France November 1, 10 07:58 PM

Everyone, please feel sorry for Rita who is obviously recovering from a terrible love story with a french man...

More seriously, besides what Anna pointed out and that i strongly approuve, i have to ask you just to read this whole page,
One of the think no one can't contest is that we don't all feel, think and talk the same way in France.
Just like in any other country, actually.
So why the hell are so so mad at french people in the first place??

Posted by Vivi November 1, 10 08:45 PM

@ 885 " jaimepassarkononplus n'empêcheque.... "

Quel est le rapport entre le fait de se battre pour ses droits et ne plus vouloir travailler, sans parler d'être communiste !?

Va dire ça à l'ouvrier qui ne tient plus debout à 50 ans, ou à l'infirmière qui fait 70h par semaine et qui touche le smic, il seront content, tiens.

En, même temps, avec des raisonnements aussi simplistes, je ne suis pas vraiment étonné que tu ne puisses pas comprendre.

Si jamais tu te décides à passer à la pointure de crâne au dessus, il y a tout ce qu'il faut dans ces commentaires.

Bonne lecture!

@ celui dont l'histoire ne retiendra pas le nom et qui dit que la France est communiste, je t'invite également à regarder les chiffres cités plus haut.

Mais comme tu sembles confondre régime politique et économique et penser qu'être de gauche revient à tuer des millions de gens, je dois dire que j'ai aussi assez peu d'espoir pour toi...

Posted by Vivi November 1, 10 09:29 PM

@ 878 Opressed American

Thanks for your support, man, it means a lot coming from the US (from what i understand)

Sorry about the rest of my comments that are in french, because i can forgive foreign people to be wrong about us.
But not french people.

Thumbs up!

Posted by Vivi November 1, 10 09:42 PM

Robin Hood had a lot of enemies, didn't he?

Robin des bois avait beaucoup d'ennemis, n'est-ce pas?

Posted by Vivi November 1, 10 09:58 PM

I will juste sum up the point of view of Ivan (958) with which I am entirely OK : the people in the streets are there not only because of the "reform" of retirement ("reform" is since years and years synonymous of regression, destruction...), but because a simple problem of justice. Who products the wealth? The workers. Who rackets the profits? The capitalists. Because the means of production belong to them (see "The Capital" of Karl MArx, read it : I begin to understand the tremendous ideas include in this book... read for example "Marx mode d'emploi" by Daniel Bensaïd : very instructive... and summarized!). So, after a crisis created by the capitalists, states allied with capitalists made pay for this its own victims! And all can continue like before : go on the destruction of social conquests of the victims, and mollycoddle and pamper always more the capitalists. It's more than time to resist against this cynical mess!! This incredible injustice! The portion of salaries in PNB is always lower, and the portion which is going to the Capital is always higher : the well-to-do can sleep quietly on their beds of gold... Are we going to accept that a long time again?? It is time to introduce democracy in this ploutocratic system, in this markets dictatorship! The people has to recover is right place, and to govern for itself! And no to be reduced in slavery for the wellness of a few people! For this, let's end with this capitalism that destroy the planet and its inhabitants for a few tyrants...
The author of the 810...

Posted by Aurélien November 2, 10 10:02 AM

And for people who see in people doing manifestations just lazy and rotten persons, I will say that working is just a way to make wealthier the capitalists. This propaganda of working working working is very useful for capitalists. I have to admit that in a non capitalist society, I would find it far more easy to work, in knowing that my work can be useful for the entire society, and not for the wellness of a few persons...

Posted by Aurélien November 2, 10 10:09 AM

Bon faut pas exagéer non plus, c'était pas mai 68 comme ces photos semblent le montrer. Les gens du privé ont quasiment tous bossé (sinon t'es viré!) et seul le public peut se permettre de telles grèves...inutiles puisque la loi est votée! On a pas mis non plus la France à sang, jusque foutu un peu plus notre économie en l'air. J'habite Paris et franchement les grèves , a part un peu dans les transports, ca m'a pas géné beaucoup...Alors de grâce arrêtez cette propagande étrangère semblant montrer la France à feu et à sang...

Posted by nospammer November 2, 10 10:42 AM

In the USA, We only do this if our favorite basketball or baseball team wins the playoffs

Posted by Johnny November 2, 10 01:25 PM

968 => That also would be the case in France if we had such exciting playoffs. ^^

Posted by Denis, Bordeaux, France November 2, 10 02:28 PM

The only one I've seen (and I live in Puteaux and work in the 14th of Paris, lots of manifs pass by Denfert) to be true is photo number 12. And that's possible to see on any given day at La Défense! Maybe I missed it all while I was stuck in the office?

Posted by Anna November 2, 10 04:31 PM

If you need to know, I never “secretly snuck out the backdoor”, but the webmaster apparently discarded all my previous eager replies to you, probably judging I was not reverent enough with this charming lady from Amsterdam... But somehow, this one will be the last...

Ok you always want to be right, and there is nothing we can do to change your mind, I get that. This rage against my fellow countrymen is just fascinating by its radicalism and its infantilism. I’m not a psychanalist so I won’t try to give an explanation of your attitude, you won’t listen anyway. You probably met the wrong people in France, maybe you felt rejected. I feel sorry for you, but there is nothing I can do for you if you have such trouble to adapt to the customs of another country. I have realized that it is totally useless to discuss with you, so this will be my last reply to your nonsense.

Apparently you do not allow French people to defend their values, if they do so, they are just fanatics. I wonder how you would react if I was attacking the Netherlands - 51st State of the USA ? - and the Dutch the same way. You are free to think what you think, free to denigrate a whole country and its people, at least thanks to you I have discovered what is hidden behind the so-called Dutch tolerance. But I doubt you could be a good ambassador. I know that whatever we could say would be turned down. You know what we say in France ? “Quand on veut se débarassser de son chien, on dit qu’il a la rage” which means “When one wants to get rid of his dog, one says he has rabies”...

Besides, you participation in the debate was limited, since you were constantly off-topic. There is nothing I can do to soften your mental distress, and I don’t want to be the Frenchman on which you will dump your insanities and your resentment anymore.

However I would like to make you one compliment : Your english is perfect ! (I wish mine was as good as yours)

Also I had a very good laugh at reading your crazy babbling!

Now I’m very sorry to tell you that I’m finished with you, dear Rita !

Just one last thing, as I know you appreciate ancient languages, I will tell you my last words in French :

Transmets mes sincères amitiés à la Hollande et aux Hollandais ! I even can say it in Dutch : Stuur groeten aan de Hollandse en Nederlandse (I believe this language is still practiced)

No offense meant, of course...

Posted by Laurent November 2, 10 05:20 PM

Depuis 35 ans, aucun gouvernement de droite ou de gauche n'a fait le nécessaire pour régler ce trés important problème que représente le super endettement de la France.
Il me paraît important de signaler que ces grèves vont encore alourdir cet endettement et à mon avis, il serait préférable de s'adapter afin de mieux nous aider à sortir notre Pays de la crise mondiale.
Il serait également urgent de créer des formations et du travail pour tous.

Posted by Andre SERRANO November 3, 10 12:27 AM

First, sorry if I write in french, but I don't speak very well english. J'ai 63 ans, je suis retraité et je vis à Marseille qui est considéré comme une des villes à la pointe du mouvement de lutte contre la réforme (ou plutôt la contre-réforme des retraites). Ici, le mouvement a touché presque tous les secteurs. On a beaucoup parlé des travailleurs de l'étang de Berre (raffineurs, dockers et agents portuaires qui ont bloqué toutes les raffineries et plus de 70 bateaux pétroliers et gaziers pendant un mois) et des éboueurs de Marseille (3 semaines de grève). Il y avait aussi les routiers, les cheminots, les conducteurs de bus et de tramways, les cantinières des écoles,les enseignants, les agents municipaux, les travailleurs de certains grands magasins (Monoprix, Carrefour), les sidérurgistes (Arcelor Mittal à Fos sur Mer), les lycéens, les travailleurs sociaux, les agents de la bibliothèque de l'Alcazar, les contrôleurs aériens, etc ... dont on a moins parlé. Certains viennent juste de reprendre le travail (cantinières), d'autres ont fait grève plus sporadiquement (par exemple les jours de manifestations nationales). Donc, je ne suis pas d'accord avec le monsieur de Puteaux quand il dit que le secteur privé n'a pas participé au mouvement (et les gens des raffineries et des grands magasins ou d'Arcelor Mittal alors ?).. D'ailleurs ce monsieur a un langage tout à fait sarkozyste puisque comme lui il pense que désormais en France quand il y une grève, on ne s'en aperçoit pas, ce qui oblige les travailleurs à faire des actions spectaculaires (comme les blocages) pour essayer d'être entendus. A noter également qu'à Paris et dans la sa banlieue proche (où habite ce monsieur) on ne trouve plus que des bourgeois et des petits bourgeois (les bobos) tandis que les classes pauvres ont dû aller habiter à la périphérie. Ce qui n'est pas le cas de Marseille, où les pauvres sont encore dans la ville. Ceci explique peut être pourquoi, contrairement à Paris et Lyon, il n'y pas eu de violence urbaine à Marseille ni pendant la révolte des banlieues de 2005, ni cette fois ci. Le sentiment d'exclusion est certainement moins fort à Marseille. Par contre, je suis d'accord avec lui pour dire que ce n'était pas Mai 68, évidemment puisque c'était octobre 2010. Plus sérieusement, Mai 68 fut une grève générale et massive dans une situation de plein emploi produit par deux mouvements qui ne se sont pas vraiment rencontrés : un mouvement étudiant petit bourgeois où ce n'était le plus souvent que la phrase qui était radicale et un mouvement ouvrier totalement encadré par les appareils syndicaux et les partis de gauche. Aujourd'hui la crise est passée par là et l'ambiance n'est plus trop à la fête. Les ouvriers et les employés craignent pour leur emploi et les lycéens et étudiants poiur leur avenir. Il n'y pas eu de grève générale et dans beaucoup d'endroits ce sont surtout des militants qui ont agi. Mais ce mouvement par certains côtés (liens tissés entre les travailleurs de différents secteurs, liens entre les travailleurs et les jeunes scolarisés ou non, méfiance vis à vis des partis de gauche ou des directions syndicales qui n'ont pas fait grand chose pour étendre le mouvement et parfois même comme pour le PS à Marseille se sont alliés avec la droite pour obliger les éboueurs à reprendre le travail) est peut être plus porteur pour l'avenir. Car ce mouvement n'est pas seulement un mouvement sur les retraites, il est aussi un mouvement de rejet du chef de l'Etat et de son gouvernement, il commence aussi à devenir un outil de critique du système capitaliste et (même si c'est encore sous une forme très confuse) l'aspiration à un autre système social. Par contre, le mouvement n'a pas trouvé les moyens de résister aux attaques très dures du pouvoir,(plus de 2200 arrestations dans les manifestations, fortes condamnations par les tribunaux, déblocages "musclés" des sites occupés, réquisitions des grévistes), ce qui explique en partie son recul actuel.

Posted by rakoto13 November 3, 10 01:02 AM

god it makes me laugh-and cry to be honest, when i see french students and lyceens going on strike- when really they are the key demographic which should be 100% behind these reforms. It is their future that is trying to be protected, but the French will be French unfortunately. I'm glad i packed my bags and left France as soon as finished my studies, never to return hopefully (well except on holidays :-)).

Posted by gizmo November 3, 10 09:30 AM

Rassurez-vous, chers amis Américains. Ces photos ne sont qu'illusion. La France sous Sarkoléon-1er est vérrouillée par les médias qui endorment le peuple à coups de jeux-TV à la con, de flics " robocops" armés jusqu'aux dents, de responsables syndicaux corrompus avec le pouvoir jusqu'à la moelle. Donc pas de panique. Il ne s'agit que d'un sursaut après une longue agonie. Vous assistez outre-atlantique, à la fin du modèle Français à grands coups de matraques dans la gueule.

Posted by Surcouf November 3, 10 10:08 AM

I agree with 881! I am French (although not too proud these days!) and I live in England where the government is doing exactly the same. Do the English react? Hell no! It's a case of turning the other cheek! How much damage must governments do before people dare to say "enough is enough"???
I really hope that all those riots, demonstrations, etc will not have been in vain....

Posted by Fred November 3, 10 11:55 AM

@ Gizmo, # 974 :
if you pass beyond the liberal capitalism fondamentalist religion, you will then be able to answer this enigma : how come 15 millions cultivators succeded in feeding less than 40 millions french people, just after WW2, and nowadays 5 millions cultivators can feed more than 65 millions french people ? France should be starving to death ! Years gave us what is called "productivity improvement". The thing french politician NEVER talk about when they say there won't be enough working people to pay the retired ones. THERE IS, because their productivity gained a lot. All those who don't want to see this fact are liars.

Posted by Cesco November 3, 10 03:11 PM