Now the truckers are at it too. Since last weekend they’ve been blockading roads to vent their wrath at the pension reform. Oil refinery workers have already barricaded petroleum depots in an effort to stop the supply of petrol to the entire country, and railway workers have been on strike for days. Secondary school and university students are making moves to spearhead the movement. And they all intend to take to the streets again today for the seventh day of nationwide protest to date.

Sociologists have already warned of the risk of a conflagration. The nation’s nerves are raw. Emotions are running high, especially since the wave of strikes produced a martyr in the eyes of the resistance movement: 16-year-old Geoffrey Tidjani, hit by a rubber bullet in clashes between youths and riot police, might be left permanently blind in one eye.

Translated from the German by Eric Rosencrantz

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