Reports on the mood of the Parisian universities

Reports and eyewitness accounts of different universities across Paris.

Submitted by alibi on March 14, 2006

Rough translation of more of an article from Tuesday's Liberation:

Sorbonne University, Paris Monday, 11h00
At the Place de la Sorbonne, barely thirty students, dozens of CRS but lots of coffee. Here, all the access to the buildings have been closed by the CRS [riot cops] since their intervention, in the night of Friday to Saturday [evicting the occupying students].

As nobody passes, its on the pavement that the most keen try to mobilize. But the heart is not there really. "It is true that we are not numerous," says Francois, 21 years. "By closing the FAC [uni buildings], the government wanted to demobilize us. With the cold out here, people come, take some leaflets and set off again just as quick."

The difficulty, is that the strikers do not have any room to gather. Then, they release this poster: "Against the CPE. General Assembly at 12H00. Rendezcous at the Sorbonne (room to be specified)".

Jussieu University, Paris Monday 11h40
It is the hour of the general assembly in the large lecture theater. "Many support us, but cannot put themself on strike because they are paid," says a young woman on the platform. "It is as much for them that it is necessary to fight."

Mohamed, 18 years, comes from suburbs. He studies in Jussieu and returns each evening in Tarterêts, the tough estate in Corbeil-Essonne. Until the blockading of the facs [university buildings], the CPE went over his head. "I was against it, but the priority was my course," tells this first-year student of physics. "With the blockades, I started to come to the meetings. It is there that I included/understood the point that it was necessary to be mobilized. Since, I have attended all of the demonstrations."

What irritates Mohamed most? "Not only the CPE but all the law of 'social cohesion', because the government wants to throw young people into the arms of employers after what has happened in the estates. It is all a gift for the employers." Tomorrow, it the students will be present at the students demonstration, a lower key setting before those of Thursday and Saturday, which they hope will be "enormous".

Tolbiac University, Paris 12h20
Christine Blanco, 19 years, in her first year: "Its already more than two weeks without class, it is not possible that this continues. Let us express ourselves on Thursday and the weekend, but a minority cannot decide that the whole of the students will the FAC." In the crammed lecture theater, the mood is however not with the compromise. More so as they hear that lecturers are also with them.

Sophie Jallay, 43, a lecturer in economy, purposely left the general assembly of the professors that had begun Monday at 9am in the Pantheon to come to warn the students: "Us also we voted to strike.". Result: 76 for, two against, 15 abstentions and two refusal of vote.
Motions against police violences were also adopted.

The strike being renewable, a new meeting of Profs is envisaged for Wednesday. By then, they want to reopen the Sorbonne and to organize debates in all the appendices of Paris I. "There are lawyers, economists, philosophers, I am sure that while discussing with everyone, one can render comprehensible things, estimates Sophie Jallay. It is imperatively necessary that there is a dialogue, including with those which are against blockings of the facs. That will not be done without us."