A tale of Two Protests

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the tale of two protests. At once they were happy, and then they were rioting. Over the weekend in both Spain and France, young people, students gathered in the cities to protest. In Spain, it appears that the macro “Botellón” was planned as a protest. I am not sure yet what was being protested. In France, students gathered to protest a new law that would make it substantially easier for companies to fire employees. Both protests resulted in isolated instances of violence, burning, vandalism, and a whole lot of trash.

Am I missing something? Spanish kids are protesting for their right to drink in open public places and to not clean up after themselves. And French students are protesting about being fired from jobs they still do not have.

What a contrast from the American life. In the US, students don’t need to drink in the streets because they can drink at home or in an apartment they can afford, and they don’t complain about being fired at their bosses’ will. They’ll look for a new job. And when was the last time that a student protest in the US turned violent at all? What are the issues that affect the young people today? Where they can get drunk? Whether they can get fired?

As a caveat, a priceless moment was when a young Spanish girl was interviewed on TV. With a one liter plastic cup filled with Calimocho (Coca-Cola mixed with red wine) in her hands, she declared, “I drink in moderation.”

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Filed under Essays, Living la vida española

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