The trains stopped Tuesday in France and again Wednesday. The management of SNCF (French national rail) claimed some 33.9 percent of railway workers went on strike, but the disruption was almost complete: only one high speed service in eight worked Tuesday, and one intercity train in 10.
The rail workers won the first round of the battle. Unions are holding together for now. Rallies took place in many towns. Health workers and pensioners also joined the rallies after demonstrating in the last weeks. Most of all, many students joined the rallies: some 15 universities have stopped completely to protest against Parcoursup, the new enrollment system, suspected of surreptitiously introducing selection procedures. Some incidents took place in Paris because some people, with their faces covered, smashed a few windows and damaged street furniture.
Intellectuals also supported the strike, starting a fundraising campaign that had already raised beyond €100,000 Tuesday.