French Youth Join Fight Against Working 'Til Age 62

More than 200 high schools were disrupted yesterday
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 19, 2010 6:24 AM CDT
Demonstrators with trade union flags are blocked by French riot police at the Merignac airport, near Bordeaux, southwestern France.   (AP Photo/Bob Edme)
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(Newser) – Protests over plans to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62 have brought much of France to a standstill, and authorities fear the civil unrest is just getting started. Young people have joined the strikes and protests that have disrupted daily life and a wide swath of industry. More than 200 high schools were blocked or disrupted yesterday and nearly 300 people were arrested as youths clashed with riot police in a dozen cities, the AP reports.

Cars were burned and shops looted in the same multi-racial Paris suburb where a wave of rioting began and spread around the country 5 years ago and the embattled French government worries that a violent police response will cause a repeat, the Independent notes. More disruption to air and road travel is expected today as industrial action at oil refineries continues and over 200 demonstrations are planned in cities around the country.

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