As predicted, the protests in France have only gotten far more interesting. Many parts of the country are now paralysed by fuel shortages, road blockades, strikes and riots. Almost 1500 people have been arrested so far. The crisis has resulted in global fuel price spikes and now even solidarity riots in Brooklyn, New York.

Leading the charge are many striking high school students, many very young, willing to battle the police in the streets. Reminiscent of the near-revolution of 1968 – the young are fighting hard in a battle large (and ostensibly) about the rights of their grandparents (pension reforms and raising the retirement age), yet in reality about far larger issues. In the last month we’ve seen a General Strike against these austerity measures in Spain, coupled with massive demos in nations like Greece, Ireland and Belgium. We’ve seen years of prolonged rioting in Athens, as well as Paris, and many other major European cities. Millions of people, at a time, have been marching in the streets.

With all the elections brewing of late, it’s easy to forget the most simple of stone-aged voting technologies; the rock. Consider it the cutting edge of European direct democracy, or simply an angry and frustrated outburst at a sadly unsustainable social system, things are only going to get more intense from here. Even without the temporary collapse of a major European nation, the world’s economy is not in great shape. And the worse things get for ordinary people (through the recession and resulting cuts), while they watch rich corporations get handed trillions in bailout funds, the angrier people are going to become.

P.S. Am I the only person annoyed that it took over a week of serious nationwide action for France to arrest more people than Toronto did during the G20 Weekend?

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