Apparently, the Sorbonne and 7 other Universities in France and completely shut down by a strike while 40 more (of the 84 total) universities are partially on strike. I know this because I read it in the news this morning. Apparently, none of the strikers thought to block or even inform the French as a Foreign Language students in their building down the street. So Cola has not been striking. She has not chanted slogans. She has not sat down in traffic and blocked major thoroughfares. She has not piled up furniture in the center of the university to block the path of police. She has not thrown fire extinguishers or other heavy objects down onto the heads of gendarmes. She has not been cleared out of buildings with tears gas. Nor has she declared her solidarity with the sans-papiers. It's disappointing, really.
The students are upset about something called the CPE. It's a proposed change to the labor law which would give workers under the age of 26 fewer rights, but still more than they have in the US. Because the US labor law sucks. Who would want it? Anyway, France has something of a reputation for this sort of thing, but this is the first time the Sorbonne has been occupied since 1968. There has been way more youth unrest these last few months than there has been in a mighty long time. It's a cause for concern, as there wouldn't be all this ruckus if things were going well.
French students have unions. Not like the student union, where you can go get a cup of coffee, but like unions with meetings and whatnot. American students need unions!