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Student Riots In Paris Essay

809 words - 4 pages

Protests began mostly because of the students at the University of Nanterre were not happy with the conditions at the college. There were many students, about 2,000, at the university and they were overcrowded. They were also not given the education that they thought they deserved. The students also fought for the rides for the opposite sex to visit their dorm rooms. These college students wanted better learning conditions. Some of the students were also mad about the United States involvement in the Vietnam War. Others wanted more personal and political freedoms. Charles de Gaulle was president of France and he ruled France as a conservative society. The college kids wanted a more democratic and modern society than what they had now. And with that, they began protesting for change to be made in Paris and throughout all of France.
On March 22, 1968, 142 student radicals protested and invaded an administration building at the Nanterre University. They held a meeting that dealt with the French bureaucracy that controlled the funding and class discrimination. The police were called to put down this meeting. The students left without any problems. This event became known as the Movement of 22 March. Several months of unrest and conflict between students and the administrators led to the closing of the University of Nanterre for a month. Students were mad about the closing and protested on May 3, 1968 at the University of Sorbonne. Sorbonne is the oldest University in Paris. Thirteen students were arrested based on the testimonies of police officers. It is not certain whether they were true or not. Three days later on May 6, 1968, a bigger protest erupted. Students from Nanterre met in the center of Paris and had riots with the police for up to five hours. There were about 20,000 students, teachers and even supporters who marched. Many of these people created barricades, while others threw paving stones at the police. The police retaliated with tear gas. Tear gas causes severe irritation to a person’s eyes and it’s mainly used to control crowds in riots. Many students were arrested and about 350 police officers were injured. Throughout the entire protests students would but up slogans and graffiti all over Paris. For weeks later many more protests took place in Paris. The students still wanted social reform and a better educational system. The entire month of May in 1968...

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