Students across France have been occupying their universities and protesting against the government’s LRU laws that introduce the market into university management.
Kohou Mbwélili, a student at Sorbonne university in Paris, spoke to Socialist Worker about the growing movement.
“We’ve held a series of general assemblies that have voted to shut down the university,” she said. “We had a blockade last week, but it was smashed up by the police on Friday morning and one student was arrested.
“This is a new strategy from the university authorities to call in the police at the first sign of a blockade. They’re moving much more quickly and aggressively – the idea is not to allow any picket lines to form at the university.
“This has been happening in other universities too – there were major clashes last week between police and students in Nanterre university.
“Our movement is still confident, however. On Monday this week we leafleted the university to build support for a renewed blockade. The student movement is expanding rapidly, following much the same dynamic of last year’s movement against the CPE labour laws.
“We’ve also been building links with other groups of workers. Many of the lecturers here support the idea of an occupation to defeat the new university laws. We’ve also had rail workers come in to address the general assembly about their strikes.
“I feel the size of the movement against Sarkozy’s laws has given us support – especially the strikes by railway workers and civil service workers. We will be joining the demonstrations on Tuesday this week and holding our own day of action on Thursday.”