You may recall our periodic reports on the strikes and demonstrations of the intermittents du spectacle, arts specialists who may not work year-round, in France. This week, members of the various unions representing this group staged "a coordinated wave of theater occupations." The latest activities were in conjunction with the negotiations with the French government over changes proposed to the terms of unemployment insurance to cover these workers during periods when they may not have work. According to statements reported in an article (Les intermittents organisent « une vague coordonnée » d’occupations de théâtres, April 27) in Le Monde (my translation):
They are are calling for even stronger action. "This determination which we have proven until now shows that we are ready to organize ourselves together for the day of April 28 and those that follow: only a general and prolonged strike will make the government bend." A performance of Phèdre(s) with Isabelle Huppert, scheduled for April 26, was canceled because of a "call" from the intermittents to "disturb" the performance, announced a release from the Théâtre de l’Odéon, which "refuses to perform under the protection of the police."Groups have so far occupied the theater of La Comédie-Française, Le théâtre national de l’Odéon, and national theaters in Strasbourg, Bordeaux, Caen, Lille, and Montpellier. The latest news is that in marathon negotiations that ran through last night into today the intermittents have come to an agreement on terms they can accept. It is not certain yet what will happen with the theaters that have been occupied or if performances will continue to be canceled. Le Monde also reports that art students around France have mobilized in solidarity with the intermittents, occupying some schools and other locations.