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  1. Paula Slade
    3rd June 2023 @ 6:07 pm

    Very interesting post! Much of the current day strikes have been a surprise to me as I have been to Paris
    on several occasions and always found the city peaceful and welcoming. But, that was more than twenty-five to thirty years years ago. Thank you, Beth for bringing me up to speed.


    • Beth Haslam
      4th June 2023 @ 9:39 am

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the blog, Paula. It’s a bit different to my usual subjects, but it is interesting to learn why the French are prepared to stand up for themselves. That said, like you, other thank on TV, I have rarely seen demonstrations in Paris. For me it remains a beautiful, welcoming city.


  2. Carolyn
    4th June 2023 @ 10:49 am

    The French get all the publicity for strikes while the Brits are merely dour. I can recall many a time having to leave home at 5a.m. to drive to the outskirts of London and get the Tube in order to get to work. 70mph nose-to-tail on the A127! Still, finishing at 3.30p.m. was quite nice.

    I went to a university college based in the countryside and we couldn’t be bothered to try to go to demonstrate in London. In fact our only threat to strike was for soft toilet roll in the loos.


    • Beth Haslam
      4th June 2023 @ 12:42 pm

      Urgh, I remember those heady commuting days, Carolyn! I used the trains when possible, but that was rife with frustrations, too.
      We were the same at York Uni. We had a jolly good old moan, but did nothing practical. Bravo for your soft toilet roll demo threat. A worthy cause close to every student’s heart.


  3. Markee Anderson
    4th June 2023 @ 1:15 pm

    This is fascinating to read. I had no idea they would protest for a lot more than has been in the news. I’ve watched The Scarlet Pimpernel (one of my favorite movies) many times. It’s all about the aristocracy and the working class, and the French Revolution. I can see how many countries have tried to replicate that, but no one does it like the French. And like you wrote in the blog, the outcome is highly successful, with many luxuries (like your food!) and regulations that no other country can boast.

    Thank you for posting this!


    • Beth Haslam
      4th June 2023 @ 1:43 pm

      Thank you very much, Markee, I’m so glad you enjoyed the post. Oh, I adore The Scarlet Pimpernel!
      I’m with you. It wasn’t until I spoke with friends who live in Paris that I learned about the regularity of protests. I realise it’s a sensitive subject for many folks, but Jack and I admire the resolve of the French, who are prepared to stand up for their beliefs. We are the beneficiaries of their resolve.


  4. Liesbet
    4th June 2023 @ 11:45 pm

    Vive La France, indeed! Especially when it comes to bakeries. How I miss good French bread here in South America. 🙂

    A fascinating post, Beth. I guess demonstrating is like voting – a right to behold. Understanding is the first step to appreciation and acting accordingly. I enjoyed learning more about the strike topic and some of my history lessons were refreshed. It was needed!


    • Beth Haslam
      5th June 2023 @ 6:44 am

      Ah yes, Liesbet, it’s hard to beat French bread! 🙂 Thank you for your comments. I agree, an appreciation of key historical events is important in understanding how French culture has evolved and shaped behaviour. The French we know are extremely proud of their rights.


  5. Dawn
    2nd July 2023 @ 8:42 pm

    What a most interesting post Beth – I’ve only just noticed it having read your post about the storm and so have come to this Blog post a bit late but in the midst of the extremely sad riots. Interesting you mention Nanterre which is where a lot of the trouble is stemming from. My heart is so sad when I see the damage, destruction and many vehicles on fire in Paris. It is heart-breaking.

    As for us Brits and pensions – I’m gutted that our government put the State Pension Age up for 50s-born women (I was born in 1959) – they’ve stolen around £50,000 from every family with a 50s-born woman in it by raising the SPA to 66. We’re trying to fight it, but getting nowhere – got to admire the French sticking up for their rights!


    • Beth Haslam
      3rd July 2023 @ 6:14 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the post, Dawn. It came at a relevant time with all the riots going on. You’re right, though, it’s horribly sad to see the unnecessary violence.
      The pension situation in the UK is appalling. I’m so sorry you’ve fallen victim to the 50s SPA rules change. I agree with you. Riots I can’t accept, but I definitely admire the French for standing up for what they believe it right.


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