Protests throughout France continue to grow as roughly 1 million people are in an uproar over a proposed hike in the country's retirement age. As a part of President Nicolas Sarkozy's pension reform plan the retirement age in France would rise from 60 to 62. In other European countries, like England, the retirement age is 65. So why all the protest?
"People after 50 can't get any -- any job. They can't get work. And they want to make us believe that people will still have a job until 62. No," said one man in the Paris suburb of Nanterre. Others feel France has it's own unique culture and should not adhere to what the rest of Europe is doing.
The massive protests have brought travel in France to a near standstill. French unions have blocked oil refineries, depriving motorists of gasoline. And nearly half the flights departing French airports have been grounded due to shortages in fuel. Moreover, in cities and towns garbage is continuing to pile up as trash workers have gone on strike in protest of the governments pension reform.
"The French are very tied to their social benefits. And this reform is seen as a chipping-away at the rights they have fought for." --Mildrade Cherfils, GlobalPost correspondent
"French people are very tied to their right to strike, which they will take to the streets for various reasons, which I think a lot of other countries are probably envious of that kind of not backing down from the government." --Mildrade Cherfils
1. What is a protest?
2. Where is France?
3. Who is the president of France?
1. Do you believe the French are protesting for a legitimate reason? Why or why not?
2. Have you ever been placed in a situation where you decided a protest was necessary? What are some instances that you believe a protest might be needed?
3. Can you think of any protests that have recently taken place here in the United States? Were they helpful? Why or why not?
Read video transcript:
French Police Break Oil Blockades; Votes Thrown Out in Afghan Election:
House Democrats Stage Silent Protest Over Jobs in Senate Chamber :
Target's Foray Into Politics Met With Protest From MoveOn.org :