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
1.4 Linear Feet
(1 box and 10 oversized folders) and 0.3 unprocessed linear feet
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.