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Saved by Becca Hix
on March 6, 2018 at 12:52:28 pm

Events of the 3rd May

Friday 3rd May is widely regarded as the beginning of the May '68 movement in France. After the events of the 22nd May, tensions were high between students and the university faculties, and the authorities. The students of the Sorbonne organised a rally to protest fascism within the university and to support their fellow students in Nanterre. The Rector of the university, Jean Roche, phoned the police to clear the courtyard, fearing a crisis as was happening in Nanterre. 

The riot was completely spontaneous, caused by clashes between students and authorities on the Boulevard de Saint Michel. Armed police arrived on campus to clear the courtyard as requested by Roche, and began to violently arrest students who resisted. In retaliation, some students shake police cars in an attempt to free their friends. When a paving stone was thrown at a police car, injuring the driver, the police officers began a tactic of blind violence, using batons and tear gas against the students. Over one hundred people were injured.



This sudden escalation in violence attracted the attention of students who were previously indifferent towards the movement, bringing them together to protest the violence used against their companions. Many students were content with the university system as it was, and saw no need to protest or change the status quo.

The general public also did not understand why the students were being treated with such force, and so rallied behind the students in their protests. 




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