Sorbonne occupation grows as media focus on 1968 nostalgia

An account of events this afternoon in Paris from the left-leaning French paper Liberation.

Submitted by Steven. on March 10, 2006

Despite being a nationwide revolt of both young workers and students, the mainstream French press has concentrated on events at the Sorbonne University, scene of some infamous rioting in 1968.

At 4pm, about fifty students, who have occupied the Sorbonne for one day and a half, decide to send a spokesperson. A boy leaves the Sorbonne and explains: "36 hours without sleeping, one starts to tire, but one discusses, it is interesting. Some want to concentrate on the issue of the CPE, others want to extend to deal with precariousness, the intermittent ones."

Suddenly, from side street of the School, one hears the noise of scuffles. They are 2000 students from Tolbiac, who arrive in front of the Sorbonne. Small scuffles with the police occur.Le group goes up Rue Saint-Jacob, without the gendarmes following.
students gather outside the Sorbonne
photo courtesy of
From the windows of the Sorbonne a group of occupants make signs to the demonstrators outside who launch sandwiches & water bottles to the acclamations of those which are massed on the Rue Saint-Jacob.
One of them sees an open door and ten minutes later, 250 students manage to penetrate inside the Sorbonne.
students enter Sorbonne to join occupation
photo courtesy of
The gendarmes miss this, and eventually start to go up to prevent the invasion and, finally, push back the students to the top of the street Saint-Jacob. After a half an hour of face off, the demonstrators go up towards the Pantheon then go down again the boulevard Saint Michel where, at 6pm, under a freezing rain, they started to disperse.

[translation of article originally posted at the website of Liberation]
Meanwhile, in an article in todays Guardian, reporter Angelique Chrisafis writes of young intellectuals discussing philosophy at the Sorbonne comme '68. More representative of this battle however, are tthe masses of unemployed French youth who right accross France are struggling against the contract law that will have them sacked without notice, or even explanation.