This collection comprises materials
documenting the protests and general strike that took place in France in 1968 when Parisian
students and workers protested against American involvement in Vietnam, as well as for a
better educational system and working class rights. The collection includes periodicals,
handbills, fliers and programs publicizing demonstrations. All items, except for one
handbill (in English), are in French.
On May 3, 1968, student protesters from The University of Paris X--Nanterre met with
students at the Sorbonne to discuss left-wing politics and the upcoming trial of the
Nanterre students for earlier protests. As the crowd of students grew, authorities panicked
and police were called in to surround the campus. Many students were arrested and the
Sorbonne was closed. The National Union of French Students and the Lecturers' Union called a
strike. This began a series of protests, riots, and strikes in which police brutally
attacked protestors. The intransigence of the French government and the tactics of police
resulted in strong pro-student sentiment in Paris, and during a demonstration major labor
unions in France and the Communist Party all called for a general strike on May 13, 1968.
The general strike soon spread to factories, French railways, industry, communications and
education networks. The strike lasted through June 1968 when French President Charles De
Gaulle called for a national referendum.
1.4 Linear Feet
(1 box and 10 oversized folders) and 0.3 unprocessed linear
Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights are retained by
the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or to publish,
please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.
The collection is open for research.