Many universities now occupied

Universities now on strike
Universities now on strike

Rough translation of an article taken from French broadsheet Le Monde, summarising the situation as it stands across France [as of 8pm Friday].

Submitted by Steven. on March 10, 2006

See full map of university strikes here

According to the ministry for national education 8 universities were completely blocked on Friday evening and 26 others "to a differing degree", of a total of 84 in France. The eight entirely blocked universities are "Clermont-Ferrand II, Grenoble-II and III, Lille-III, Montpellier-III, La Rochelle, Rennes-II and Paris-X", listed the ministry.
According to a calculation of the AFP, 40 universities were, Friday evening, the theatre of various movements of opposition to the CPE, while the trade union studied UNEF counted 45 of them. The Minister for national education, Gilles de Robien, declared on TV that the "manifs in the universities" were "not very democratic and can be dangerous".
Occupied for two nights, then invaded by students in strike, the Sorbonne became during the course of the day the symbol of the dispute against the CPE. The university had not been occupied since May 68. Towards 4.15pm, several hundred students penetrated the building by windows on the ground floor. According to the vice-chancellorship, there were around six hundred: "student radicals, agitators, and without-papers", said Nicolas Boudot, deputy manager of the cabinet of the vice-chancellor of Paris. The demonstrators drew up a barricade in the centre of the main courtyard of the Sorbonne and intend to occupy the buildings for the night.
Near the very front, scuffles broke out between anti-CPE students and member of the anti-riot polices. In addition, 1 000 students had organized a sit-in on the corner of the boulevards the Michaelmas and Saint-Germain, before converging in the direction of the Sorbonne shouting: "Release the Sorbonne!" Thursday evening, very many gendarmes, helmeted and armed with truncheons, had remained deployed in front of the building occupied to contain some 200 anti-CPE demonstrators. Scuffles took place and the students spoke of bludgeonings and interpellations[!]. These claims were denied on Friday morning by police sources.
The mayor of Paris (Socialist Party), Bertrand Delanoë, said he was "strongly worried", on Friday in an official statement, "of the levels of members of the anti-riot polices against students, yesterday in the district of the Sorbonne". Mr. Delanoë estimates that the movement, "which peacefully disputes" the installation of the contract first engages (CPE), "falls under the republican tradition of freedom of expression and demonstration".

Additional news
Near spontaneous demonstration have been taking place in many towns and cities. In Lille, 3000 school and university students marched through the city.
And in Tours, 200km southwest of Paris, several hundred students moved onto tracks at the railway station, stopping trains for three hours, the SNCF rail operator said.