1968: The Global Revolutions

L'Enragé: Revolution in France > Street Protests in Paris

Student and worker anger with the French state’s foreign and domestic policies fomented a near-revolution in Paris in early May 1968. Police responded with brutal force to street demonstrations and student occupation of the Sorbonne and other universities. French photographers captured the crises of the month in a series of characteristically dramatic photos. The city was captivated by the action and horrified by the extreme police tactics, outraged by the stories and photos of battered, bloodied students. Widespread support for the protests spread across French society. Many public figures joined in the demonstrations, including the row of film directors pictured here marching arm in arm past a cinema marquee. The photograph of a young woman brandishing a protest flag in full view of the Eiffel Tower, that most iconic of Parisian sights, illustrates the sheer scale of civil unrest throughout the metropolis.

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