Demonstrations and Strikes

Manifestations et grèves
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Manifestations et grèves

For better or for worse, demonstrations and strikes are an important part of French society. Here’s some vocabulary to help you understand the news as well as links at the end to further information.

un blocage   blocking (a road, bridge, etc)
un canon à eau   water cannon
un casseur   vandal
une contestation   dispute, contention, protest
un drapeau   flag
une émeute   riot
un émeutier
une émeutière
  rioter
un étendard   banner
s’étendre   to spread
être en grève   to be on strike
faire grève   to strike, go on strike
une fronde   revolt, insurrection
le gaz lacrymogène   tear gas
une grève   strike
un gréviste
une gréviste
  striker
une insurrection   insurrection, uprising
une manifestation
une manif
  demonstration
(informal apocope)
un manifestant
une manifestante
  demonstrator
manifester   to demonstrate
se mettre en grève   to go on strike
une mire   target, aim
un mouvement   movement
un mouvement social   social movement
une opération escargot   rolling blockage
une pancarte   placard
une protestation   protest
provoquer   to provoke, cause
un rassemblement   gathering
les réseaux sociaux   social networks
révolter   to revolt
une revendication   claim, demand
une révolution   revolution
un soulèvement   uprising
soutenir   to support
tirer sur   to shoot at
saccager   vandalize
vandaliser   vandalize
la violence   violence

Quelques mouvements importants

Gilets jaunes – literally, “yellow vests"

Foulards rouges – literally, “red scarves.” Apolitical, pro-République group formed in reaction to the Gilets jaunes that seeks a return to normalcy.

Stylos rouges – literally, "red pens." Teachers’ movement inspired by Gilets jaunes

Mai 68 – student and popular uprising that shaped French culture and politics

Le Quatorze Juillet – Bastille Day

 Related vocabulary

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Demonstrations and strikes - French vocabulary
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