What I Learned This Week

“This is not just France, being France.”

Street protests and deeply unpopular presidents are nothing new to a republic that was founded in popular violence. And while there are similarities between the recent riots in Paris and the student rebellion of 1968, and even the banlieues riots of 2005, the gilets jaunes movement is distinct. As John Lichfield, a journalist who has been based in France for two decades, observed this week: “There was a joyous side to the 1968 rebellion. The revolt, hijacked by the trade unions, was resolved by a general pay raise and the summer holidays. Above all, 1968 was a time of growing prosperity.” In 2018, parts of the country are thriving, but too much of it feels abandoned and rejected. There is n…

Want to read more?

Subscribe Today

Already a subscriber? Login here.