France is a country well known for keeping a good record of events. The country is well known for its anniversaries and its way of keeping them alive. For instance, many of the roads in Paris are named after major events, one of them being “10 Mai 1968.” In fact, the whole month of May is dedicated as an anniversary of the student strikes and uprising that took place in May 1968, as well as other major events that have taken place in the month of May. The one certain thing is that May is not one of the best months in the history of Paris (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_1968).
The 1968 Student uprising
The uprising was constituted by student marches that were characterized by the students throwing stones and the police firing tear gas back at them (The Revolution that never was, 2008). The marches became a daily occurrence and the police had to find a way fast to put an end to it. On this particular day, May 10, 1968, the police attempted to block the students from proceeding further by placing vans in all streets leading to Sorbonne. Riot police also placed themselves in strategic places, ready to retaliate to whatever the students would play out to them.
The students, being estimated to be around 20,000, did not turn back. They pried around waiting for darkness to fall. The students started breaking into buildings and overturning cars that had been parked in the streets, to serve as a barricade against the police.
For quite some time, not much happened between the police and the students until the interior minister gave an order that the student barricades be assaulted to clear off the streets for traffic to flow. Lots of fighting ensued. Fortunately, no deaths were reported.
However, the uprising resulted to some sort of revolution. At some point, the president, Charles de Gaulle, could not take up the pressure anymore and he decided to give in to some changes that the students called for. The demands of workers were also put into consideration and the president called for new elections and gave word to have the military in place to ensure order.
An actual revolution may have not actualized. However, the changes that resulted from the uprising cannot just be overlooked. So many reasons led to the uprising, according to various articles that were published. Some people supported the uprising for what it led to while others wrote it off as being an adolescent rebellion, but amidst all these, an undisputed fact is that the student uprising led to changes that remain rooted in the hearts of the French.
Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/May_1968
Peter Steinfels. (2008). Paris, May 1968: The revolution that never was. The International Herald
Tribune. Retrieved from http://www.iht.com/articles/2008/05/11/europe/paris.php