After Sciences Po Paris, fear of a wave of pro-Palestinian blockades

Not a day goes by this week that all eyes are not on Sciences Po On Friday, the mobilization of pro-Palestinian students reached its climax with the intervention of the police in the Rue Saint-Guillaume, which was completely blocked. The evening before, around a hundred activists occupied the area to spend the night there. But it is not only at the prestigious Institute of Political Studies (IEP) that pro-Palestinians wave their flag. At least five more colleges were locked down this Friday. We have identified about twenty since the beginning of the week »sums up the right-wing union UNI at Figaro.

Starting with an IEP where students never wait to be mobilized. The one in Lyon was blocked by a group of about hundreds of students for the whole night before the police intervened the next morning. The young people even accepted a visit from LFI MP Mathilde Panot, who arrived provide support » after meeting in Vénissieux. Therefore, classes and exams had to be postponed. This Friday, management indicated that the establishment would remain closed until May 12. Also at Sciences Po Reims, some students spent the night at their school. This Friday, another 80 or so activists occupied this IEP branch in Paris for students interested in North America and Africa.

The mobilization also continues in Lille. The Higher Vocational School of Journalism (ESJ), usually very quiet, was forced to close its doors for the second day in a row this Friday. The leadership condemns this blockade, which prevents the right to education and does not allow discussion »said the establishment in a press release, specifying that the mobilized people were mostly outside of school ». Sciences Po Lille was also blocked on the same street on Thursday. Its doors could be reopened the next day, under police supervision. A little earlier in the week, IEPs in Strasbourg, Rennes, Menton and Saint-Germain-en-Laye were also occupied by several dozen students.

Unsurprisingly, universities have not been spared. After Monday’s occupation of the Sorbonne’s main courtyard, where about fifty students pitched their tents, the movement was watched by several faculties. Police intervened three times at the Jean-Monnet University in Saint-Étienne, where classes and exams have been suspended since Tuesday. Tents have also been set up at Paris 8 University (Vincennes and Saint-Denis), UNI points out. On Friday afternoon, the Paris Interuniversity Movement also took place in the Place du Panthéon.

The minister calls for maintaining order

We are witnessing a wave of occupation that could lead to a real tsunami if nothing is donelaments Yvenn Le Coz, the union’s national delegate. People who block establishments must be arrested and punished. Without disciplinary action, nothing will deter them and they will do it again the next day. » The student regrets that the blockers at Sciences Po Paris won their case with management agreeing to suspend disciplinary proceedings against them.

Still, Higher Education Minister Sylvie Retailleau on Thursday repeated her call for university presidents to keep order. Blocking and intimidation are not »she insisted. Apart from the demands, it is mainly the ways of dealing that have seen escalation, which I strongly condemn. A small minority of students cannot block the majority of students and create an atmosphere of fear or even violence. », specified the minister. Sylvie Retailleau also reminded presidents to take advantage of the disciplinary sanctions available to them without forgetting the use of law enforcement agencies.

High school students try to get involved in the movement more discreetly than usual. The High School Union (USL), which brings together former unions such as FIDL and La Voix lycéenne, nevertheless ensures that many high school students joined the movements organized in front of universities and IVP ». Students are currently holding general assemblies at their facility to determine the course of action. », is developed by Manès Nadel, Vice President of USL. And for the warning: We are calling for blockades across the country and we can already say that around ten establishments will be blocked in the Paris region next week. If all goes well, mobilizations should continue in Rennes, Besançon and Lyon. We prefer to remain discreet in order to organize a real high school movement. »

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