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Presidential 2022: several student blockades denounce the second round poster



“Revolution is a duty. » On the facade of the Sorbonne, occupied since Wednesday April 13, certain slogans refer a little more than half a century back, to a time when the Parisian university served, with that of Nanterre, as the epicenter of the demonstrations of May 68. Others refer more directly to burning news: “Neither Macron nor Le Pen. »

→ ANALYSIS. Presidential 2022: Macron-Le Pen, the democratic divide

For Joachim, in a master’s degree in history and who until now had not shown “only with the yellow vests”the poster for the second round of the presidential election indeed leaves the choice “between Satan and the devil”. On the one hand, continues this student, small beard and tracksuit in the colors of Bayern Munich, there is “a neoliberal who, in the long term, wants to privatize education” ; the other, “a candidate who does not correspond to the new French identity”.

A few meters away, a small door opens. A dozen young people manage to enter the building. A member of the security forces tries to dissuade them with his tear gas canister, while a student, hooded, responds by operating a fire extinguisher.

“Some students don’t have enough to eat”

On this Thursday morning, Samuel, one of the 500 participants in the GA who, the day before, had decided to block, was content to bring food through a window to the students – for some from other universities – entrenched on the site. This student of modern letters prefers to leave the occupation to the antifas, the anarchists, the rebels, “more experienced”. In any case, after having, like many here, slipped a Mélenchon ballot in the first round, he too will not vote on April 24.

→ REREAD. Presidential 2022: the first vote of the Covid generation

If, locally, the movement begins to take hold, it is because beyond the presidential deadline, it is an opportunity for many to denounce the rise of student precariousness. To recall how the Covid period, marked by nearly a year and a half of distance learning, was psychologically trying.

“Some students live in squats, others don’t have enough to eat,” a protester is moved. His goal is to “to make visible this discontent”. Even though, ” unwillingly “she will vote Macron to block Marine Le Pen.

Inside, describes the one who spent the evening of the day before in the university, it is “truly surreal”. “In one room, we constantly play the piano, another has been transformed into a canteen, a third into an infirmary… Everything is very well managed, there is no damage other than tags on the walls”, she assures.

→ THE FACTS. The precariousness of young people continues to worry associations

Close by, Claire and Charlotte are alarmed despite everything “possible damage caused in lecture halls steeped in history and symbols of open-mindedness”. Both hardly imagine a reopening of the amphitheatres before the second round. “We will no longer have lessons, just the partials when we return from the holidays”, laments Claire.

“Le Pen, Le Pen, let’s get out!” Macron, Macron, we fight! »

The Sorbonne is not the only establishment affected by the anger of students who do not feel represented in this second round of the presidential election. This is also the case of the Jourdan campus of the École Normale Supérieure, in Paris and, since Thursday morning, of Sciences Po.

Sitting in the middle of rue Saint-Guillaume, the demonstrators resume songs and slogans chanted by megaphone. “Le Pen, Le Pen, let’s get out!” Macron, Macron, we fight! » An AG stands on the asphalt. No voting instructions will be given. However, many, like Romain, establish “a hierarchy between the two finalists”. He who was born in 2002, the year which saw the far right reach the second round of presidential elections for the first time, is sensitive to the positioning of Jean-Luc Mélenchon: “Not a voice for Marine Le Pen. »

Vote ? Vote white? Refrain ? In the crowd, some are still hesitating, like Camille, a member of the Sciences Po Doctoral Students’ Collective. “In this final, the social, ecological, feminist aspirations of youth are ignored… In 2017, I voted for Macron, to ward off the danger of Le Pen. But five years later, the far right totals 30% in the first round. The Republican roadblock is a dead end. The answer comes first and foremost through a reconstruction of the collective,” she pleads.

“Blocking Sciences Po and demonstrating is not denying the outcome of the ballot box”, insists Thomas, in master. “It’s extending our first-round vote. »

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