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In Paris, student discontent erupts in a student strike beginning May 3, followed by a week of student protest in which the Sorbonne (the prestigious division of the Parisian University system) is cordoned off by French National Security forces. On May 10 and 11, students begin erecting barricades in the Latin Quarter which the police proceed to dismantle. By May 13, the student crisis provokes a national labor strike, organized by a coalition of labor unions. While students continue to occupy the reopened Sorbonne, factories nationwide are shut down by strikes.
Columbia Strike Coordinating Committee pamphlet. 1968. NYU Archives Collection.
The general strike soon spreads to French railways, industry, communications and education networks. Government-labor talks yield no results, leading President De Gaulle to dissolve the National Assembly and call for a national referendum on May 30.

The worker-student alliance forged in the wake of the Paris student revolt subsides, while general elections held in France in June 1968 result in a powerful Gaullist victory. This vote demonstrates that, while the May Paris revolts had a powerful dramatic impact, the larger political and ideological aims of the student protesters do not enjoy widespread national support.

SDS pamphlet. 1968. NYU Archives Collection.
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