Revisiting France's 1968 Riots
RENEE MONTAGNE, host:
When people say this is France's worst rioting in decades, they're referring to unrest in 1968. Those disturbances were very different.
STEVE INSKEEP, host:
Rather than poor neighborhoods, the 1968 unrest started at an elite institution. There was an anti-government rally at France's best-known university, Sorbonne. The demonstration turned violent and police moved in.
MONTAGNE: Soon an alliance of students, labor unions and left-wing political parties held many demonstrations. They protested the US war in Vietnam and the policies of President Charles de Gaulle.
INSKEEP: The government appeared close to falling in 1968, but President de Gaulle appealed to the public, threatened to use military force and survived a vote of confidence.
MONTAGNE: That diffused the crisis. It's unclear what steps the French government will take to diffuse the current situation.
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