The ongoing Nuit Debout protests in France against proposed changes to labour law is but the latest round of protests by the French working class and students trying to stop the complete erosion of France’s social model which has been under attack since the 1980s. This tradition of protest can be traced all the way back to the events of May 1968 where strikes and protests by workers and students almost overthrew the government of President Charles de Gaulle. Since 1968, France has seen many strikes and protests against neoliberal restructuring. But this latest round of struggle, coming after the global economic crisis, the crisis of the Eurozone, record high unemployment in France, and the rise of the neofascist Front National could be a turning point not just to protect what French workers have but to put forward a real plan to reverse neoliberalism in France and the EU.
Confrontation: Paris 1968, is a first person documentary by Seymour Drescher and his wife Ruth Drescher on the student and worker revolt in Paris in 1968. Seymour Drescher is currently University Professor of History and Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh. His most recent book is Abolition: A History of Slavery and Antislavery.