French students are revolting

by Peter Watts

Sarkozy supporting students are on the street, leafleting anybody within 20 paces.

Every fifteen minutes another bus load leap to the pavement, eager for instructions and a hand-full of leaflets. They rush off as excited as if heading for a rock concert.

Such activism plays like a counter-cultural revolt when compared to the political apathy that cedes political influence to lobbyists, SuperPACs, and media moguls.

Vibrant societies need public discourse, mobilised from the roots. An under-educated and uninvolved youth, numbed by television, is a dampener on democracy.

What I’m witnessing this morning is the passionate opposite. When you stop and talk with these young people about “Why Sarkozy?”, they don’t parrot a party line. They have specific reasons, to do with maintaining a vibrant France, where there will be both a jobs market and a sense of society for them to join as adults.

Only just old enough to vote, and passionately politically involved.

When someone learns to speak in public, it isn’t just about body language. It’s learning to have that unique voice, to be a participant, and connect with passion.

It’s being like the young people I’m seeing out on the streets of pre-election Paris.

Vive la revolution!


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