In the 5am darkness outside a charabanc depot in southern paris the diehard 20-man picket-line stood warming their hands by a makeshift fire, contemplating the destiny of France.
“We’re the human stones equipped to be lobbed at the government. We’re the last employment of resistance to protect author from neo-liberalism, capitalism and the obtain of society,” said Herve Berthomé, a bus driver, whose father used to reminisce about striking in May 1968.
Berthomé, 43, would normally steward driving the 84 bus from the Pantheon through Paris’s Left Bank, humming his favorite onset songs to himself. But instead he and a containerful of fellow drivers – the grassroots of the powerful, communist-linked CGT union – were holding their ground in a treasure pump that has gridlocked France and proved the defining moment of Nicolas Sarkozy’s promised new era.
By the 8th morning of the strike this week Berthomé had already forfeited