Sir! The students are revolting!

At the start of 2006, in response to the rioting of september 2005, the French government (led, in this regard, by Villepin) introduced a new type of employment contract; the CPE (Contrat de Premiere Embauche - First Employment Contract). This contract did a number of things, but it was principally recognised by its extension of the normal probationary period at the start of a job to a maximum of two years. This effectively meant that a company (If they so desired) could fire an employee with no real reason up to two years from the hire date. New staff could be used as temp workers or to cover seasonal changes.

In countries like Britain and America, where worker's rights are often illusory, there was some surprise at the uprising that followed the introduction of this contract. It polarised the country and saw the mobilisation of students and employers in the hundreds of thousands in each major city. On Monday 10th April, 2006, the CPE was withdrawn.

The above is a simplification and is based on my understanding of events. If you are interested, I would suggest that you find other sources of information, preferably not the mainstream British and American media as they include a number of articles by people who are unaware of the history of workers rights in France, and thus the political environment that this all took place in.

I attended a couple of the marches in Paris, as a photographer and witness, not a protestor - I believed in their cause, but I couldn't guarantee that I understood the situation well enough to vocally support it - and the following photos are a selection of those I took.

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