I’m glad to see that after the militant protest, human blockades, building occupation, riots, and street battles with cops (great photos here), that French students have defeated the CPE anti-labor bill. One provision of the law would have allowed employers to fire anyone between the ages of 18 and 26 for any reason for the first two years of their employment. Shockingly, people between 18 and 26 weren’t real keen on that idea. Months of protest and direct action took place, and just today the French government conceded defeat. Not resting on their laurels, the students are now looking to roll back the recently passed ‘law of equal opportunities’ that I admit I am not familiar with.
The French government said over and over that the CPE was an attempt to reduce youth unemployment. I was baffled. “You want to increase youth employment by allowing employers to fire youth?” It wasn’t till this afternoon that I finally figured out their logic (Took me a long time to figure out how hurting someone makes them better. I think that proves that my humanity is pretty intact). They figure that employers will be more likely to hire young people if they know they can fire them. Ergo, more youth will be hired and youth employment will go up. Job insecurity will also increase, and worker rights go down, but hey, employment will go up!
I’d like to point out that if the students had just held peaceful rallies opposing the CPE, they would not have won. Period. American activists prefer calm, peaceful, legal actions, and we usually lose.
If Americans had lashed out like this in 2003, would 34,000 Iraqis still be alive today?
Oh, and also in Europe, proto-fascist prime minister and media mogul Silvio Berlusconi seems to have been booted in Italy’s parliamentary elections today. He’s fighting it, but hopefully the prick has seen his last days in power.
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