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September 29, 2023

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French riots fail to make sense

Writing a weekly column, it’s important that I keep up with the news. And one thing that I always notice when I’m searching for stories, is that when I read about European news, there is literally always a strike going on in France. It never fails.

Recently there have been huge strikes. We’re talking over a million people protesting and rioting. For a country that’s so pacifistic, you wouldn’t think they’d be violent rioters, but sure enough, they are.

If they could fight wars like they could leave work, they probably wouldn’t have lost World War I or World War II. Or for that matter, the wars they lost to England, Russia, England, Thailand, England, Haiti, and Prussia.

If they could fight a war with Narnia, they would lose – and Narnia isn’t even a real place.

Come to think of it, maybe that’s the reason why they are so anti-war – they’re just tired of losing. I know that’s why I don’t compete in dance contests anymore.

You have to get to a point where you fall off of the horse and realize that it’s a moot point to get back on. Now I sound like a Frenchmen.

Now, I hope I’m not sounding overly harsh. If you’re from France and are reading this, je suis désolé, but I think it’s ridiculous that they have to protest EVERYTHING over there.

With all of that said, as a way of sort of getting you up to speed (as I know this is a topic that fascinates each and every one of us,) I thought I would give you a sort of French riot 101 tutorial today.

The first thing to understand about protests is the numbers. I said a million people protested, which is the police estimate. There have been estimates as high as three million people, according to the BBC.

People always overestimate how many people came to their riots. We all sort of do that. How many times have you talked to someone who was like, “Yeah I went out to Junction last night and did like 54 shots in 9 minutes.” And you know the person is full of it.

It’s pretty much the same thing with protest estimates. They round way up.

Same way when they have the Million (insert grass roots cause) March. They never actually have a million people there, but it sounds good.

Many of the people protesting in France right now are students, because the cause they are against is a new law which makes it easier to fire someone under the age of 26.

The unemployment rating for this group is 40 percent according to the BBC, and a big part of this is because places are reluctant to hire younger workers because if they suck, then it’s extremely hard to fire them in the heavily unionized country.

Basically the only way a French company can fire a person is if they are bankrupt, or if the person makes a lot of mistakes, but even then, it can be appealed, and judges usually rule in favor of the workers, according to Fox News.

So basically you can’t be fired, even if you’re completely incompetent, and some people see this as a good thing.

In the mean time, the protests keep going and going and going in France. It’ll eventually stop, but another one will take it’s place with a new group of people. As I said, it’s the college students who are largely disputing the new law. Some of them have even gone as far as having sit-ins in their classrooms.

Staying in a classroom when you don’t have to? And to imagine French people call us weird.

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