Every now and again, my faith in humanity is restored ever so
slightly. In these rare moments, I think it actually might be possible
for our younger generation to make a difference in the world. Case in
point was the recent rallying of the French youth. But first, allow me
to give you the quick back story there….
As we all know, this world-wide financial cluster fuck (or “crisis” as
they like to call it) of the past couple of years has essentially been
a green light for any and all governments in developed nations to make
changes to existing rules and regulations in the name of reducing
deficits and things of that nature. Between bail-outs within the
European Union (see Greece) to bail-outs in America (see George W),
the foundation is being laid nicely for deeper and more devastating
political treachery. Now let us look at France… Among many other
slight changes that will see France slowly changing for the worse,
President Sarkozy has a reform agenda which will raise the standard
retirement age from 60 to 62 and the pension age from 65 to 67. While
that might not sound epic, it pretty much ensures that following
generations will have a harder time with employment and a lowered
quality of life.
So what’s the good news? Well…I guess there isn’t any per se, but
the point is that the people took to the streets to challenge this.
For almost a month, young and old alike went on strike, rallied and
made their voices heard.
“French students organised their own protests against the proposed
pension reform for the first time Thursday. The students, who
previously attended official union protests, fear the pension reform
will worsen already high youth unemployment in France.” (Amazing:
Really, when is the last time you heard about kids in America doing
this? I’m not just talking about one city or demographic getting
together to show their disgust about police brutality…after someone
has been senselessly killed (shout out to the good reverend Sharpton).
I’m talking about an entire nation caring enough about their future,
that they organize multiple and ongoing protests to make a change.
Going against the system. In a country where there’s enough sex, wine
and cheese to distract just about anybody. And yet, together they
marched. And they’re not the only ones. Those crazy German kids are
just itching for a cause to get behind. And why shouldn’t they? More
importantly, why can’t we?
Who knows how much change any of this will yield. After all, the bill
was passed last week, but I’m sure amendments will be made, and quite
possibly further protesting will take place. But when it’s all said
and done, the people care. The young care. The old care. And the world
So whether you want to think of this as a “call to arms”
(http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/10455663 — even the English are trying to
get it in) or simply a fleeting moment of faith, it is a reminder to
our youth that voices can be heard, words can be read and battles can
sometimes be won…even if the war is questionable. Why not stand for
something — while we still can?
by third rail